Three free-press writers debate the 2019 NFL class of the Detroit Lions following the three-day event on April 27, 2019.
Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez and Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press

Overall, not bad.

That was the consensus of the NFL analysts who graduated from the Detroit Lions 2019 draft class on Sunday.

The Lions made nine picks in the draft: Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson (# 8 in total); Hawaii linebacker Jahlani Tavai (# 43); Security at Boston College Will Harris (# 81); Clemson defensive end Austin Bryant (# 117); Penn State Corner Amani Oruwariye (# 146); Old Dominion Wide receiver Travis Fulgham (# 184); Maryland runs back Ty Johnson (# 186), Georgia Dense End Isaac Nauta (# 224); and Arizona Defensive Tackle P.J. Johnson (# 229).

And overall, it seems the Lions have a good mix of hard-core players in the form of the Patriot Way the franchise is trying to achieve. Have some players been overrated? The consensus is yes. But that did not stop the Lions from getting top marks.

Thus, some analysts rated the class:

Nate Davis, USA Today Sports

Degree: C

Analysis: "They did not fulfill their request TE TJ Hockenson could the best way of consolation, but the design of a GM Bob Quinn resume is pretty well thought out so far, so it's pretty hard to be happy about the rest of the thing – though you may seem like so with a Clemson D-Lineman nothing goes wrong … even if it's the fourth rounder Austin Bryant. "


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Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN

Grade : B-minus

Analysis : "The Patriots' Influence is Real in Detroit GM Bob Quinn and Coach Matt Patricia both spent years working together with Bill Belichick, and in this Offseason, the Lions have some S pieler added directly from the Belichick catalog … The Lion In Round 1, she recorded the tight end that she hopes will be conveyed to her by Rob Gronkowski in T.J. Hockenson, one of the best-prepared bottlenecks I've discovered in the last decade. … My opponent for him was longtime Steeler Heath Miller, a really good player. Hockenson is the third tight end the Lions have designed in the first round since 2009, most of any team in this span.

"Elsewhere, you know Belichick likes versatile defenders, and this selection matches the style that Patricia wants to play Detroit: Jahlani Tavai (# 43) is a tackling machine, I had a fourth round in the class, Will Harris (# 81) drove a 4.41 second second at the combine and will be safe in the rotation. Bryant (# 117) was under Clemson's super-talented defensive line, but he is a calm finish and will be in a 4-3 Prosper …

"All in all, this is a solid, albeit unspectacular class. If there is a problem, it's not about addressing the other defensive end position in the second round with some good players.


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Carlos Monarrez, Free Press

Note : C-plus

Analysis : "We got a taste of Lions' desire to think about how the Patriots last year, when they chose defender Louisiana for their defense Walker in the third round. This year, they went into Patriot Way mode and were probably overplayed players that fit their specific system and player profile, especially in defense.

Chad Reuter,

Overall rating : B

Analysis : "I love Hockenson as both sides of a narrow vantage point. He will be a strong goal for Matthew Stafford and a good blocker in the run game. … Tavai was selected earlier than expected, much like Kyle Van Noy a few years ago, though NFL scouts believe Tavai can be a starter. … getting a big corner was a must, so I'm aboard the Oruwariye Pick. The Lions also needed the depth they added when running back and receiving. Johnson could eventually replace Damon Harrison who signed until 2020.

Dan Kadar, SB Nation

Overall rating: B

Analysis: "There is a dispute over which to dispute the value of a tight end in the top 10. But if you do that – like the Lions with TJ Hockenson at # 8 – then take a safe bet. This helps to turn the lions further into the patriots of the rust belt. That was really the theme of the design. Linebacker Jahlani Tavai was in 43rd place but a player whom the Patriots claimed to have wanted.


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Andy Benoit, Sports Illustrated

Note: B-plus

Analysis: "Head coach Matt Patricia is determined to make the Lions a patriotic-style offense. Obviously, the search for a 5-tool bottleneck is a strong first step. It's too much for T.J. Hockenson will be the next Rob Gronkowski, but Hockenson is one of the best-rated prospects for the end of this century. Its blocking is even more addressed than receiving – an important note in the face of Detroit's two decades of efforts to improve the weak bottom game. … Jahlani Tavai has demanded the incredible size Patricia, who also pursues a patriotic approach to defense. Will Harris provides crucial depth as Patricia likes to play with three or sometimes four security features on the field. … One player to keep an eye on is Amani Oruwariye, a long-armed press corner that took a closer look at most picks in the fifth round thanks to controversial 2017 Teez Tabor inconsistency. "

Chris Thomas is a sports editor for the Detroit Free Press, contact him at or follow him on Twitter @bychristhomas .

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