The draft is over, and now comes the fun stuff! I have recapped the Detroit Lions day two and three 2021 NFL draft picks in an effort to help Lions fans everywhere understand the reasoning behind each pick. If you missed the day one recap, it’s not too late, you can still just view it and then jump right back here for the rest of the rounds…enjoy!
Detroit Lions 2021 NFL Draft Recap: Day Two
2.41 | Levi Onwuzurike | DT | Washington
Onwuzurike is a large man with bad intentions and is going to fit right in the Lions’ new approach this upcoming season. The Lions did an amazing job of building in the trenches with the first three picks in this draft. The super bowl was a prime example of how the trenches dictate how the game is going to go. If the offensive line is pushing around the other teams’ defensive line, the run and pass game will be there all day. The Lions focused on both sides of the ball and got potential game-changers on each side.
Draft grade: B
3.72 | Alim McNeill | DT | NC State
McNeill causes quite the stir on social media after the Lions took him one pick before the Philadelphia Eagles whose viral video showed their group of coaches and scouts get upset after knowing the guy they wanted after a trade down went one pick before they were able to take him. This is great news for the Lions, as not only do they get to pull a fast one and steal a player, but the guy they wanted was in demand by other teams.
McNeill is a big defensive tackle standing six-foot-two and weighing 320 lbs. He has burst for his size and can push a pocket in the passing game. His sack numbers went down last year but mostly due to the fact he started getting double-teamed far more often.
Draft grade: B
3.101 | Ifeatu Melifonwu | CB | Syracuse
Melifonwu is a tall CB with plus ball skills, he will fit in nicely on the Lions roster who was in need of some depth at the position. Corners in the NFL tend to take a couple of years to develop thanks to the Lions’ addition of veteran corner Quinton Dunbar in the offseason, as well as the return of the Lions’ third overall pick in last year’s NFL draft Jeff Okudah.
Melifonwu does not have to come in and make a difference from day one, he can sit and learn before being thrown into the action. That being said, it is difficult to grade the pick at this moment but he does have very solid potential.
Draft grade: C+
4.112 | Amon-Ra St. Brown | WR | USC
St. Brown was my favorite pick in the Lions’ 2021 NFL draft class, besides their day one selection of Penei Sewell. He is a very reliable receiver who will come in and most likely be a day one starter for the Lions, both due to their lack of depth at the position as well as St. Browns’ own ability. He thrives in the slot but can step out wide and play the X or Z receiver spot. He can create separation from the slot and win jump balls from the outside. St Brown will be a very nice addition to the Lions’ offense, I believe sooner rather than later.
Draft grade: A
4. 113 | Derrick Barnes | LB | Purdue
Barnes is a do-it-all linebacker that the Lions have already said will be their “Mike”. Barnes is a speedy linebacker with sideline to sideline speed that the Lions have been lacking in recent years. He is also a player that will be a day one starter on special teams contributing to the team right away even as a mid-round pick. Barnes has also dabbled at defensive end in college and has some pass-rushing ability which can be useful in the Lions’ new 3-4 scheme.
Draft grade: B-
7.257 | Jermar Jefferson | RB | Oregon State
Even though this pick was extremely late in the 2021 NFL draft, it still seems like a throwaway pick in many ways. Jefferson does not have speed on his side as he ran a 4.56 40-yard dash. Jefferson also is not a factor in the passing game with only 43 receptions in three seasons. He does however have great vision and finds the hole in the line often. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry in his three seasons.
Draft grade: C
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