Detroit Lions' 2017 draft class: Kiper's grades, McShay's best pick, more
NFL Draft Insiders
Posted: 2017-05-01

The 2017 NFL draft is over, and it's time to review how your favorite team fared. Where did it reach? Did it get a potential steal in Round 5? Is there a bust waiting to happen?

ESPN Insider's draft experts break down each draft class, starting with Mel Kiper Jr.'s grade, Todd McShay's favorite pick, and Scouts Inc.'s analysis on how each player fits into his new team.



Detroit Lions

Mel Kiper's Draft Grade: C+

Kiper: Detroit got some good players, but I'd contend they didn't address their biggest needs in this draft. Ezekiel Ansah is the Lions' only pass-rusher, and they didn't get him any help. I think it's fair to assume Bob Quinn -- who has done an excellent job thus far -- didn't see Charles Harris or Takk McKinley as great options in the system, so Detroit ended up with Jarrad Davis. That's not too bad, as he should jump into a starting role immediately and is a great kid.

And maybe the Lions like Ameer Abdullah more than most and think he'll return better than ever, but I think given the health problems faced by him and Theo Riddick, they could have used another back. I like the addition of a cornerback, but Teez Tabor is a reach for me at No. 53 (No. 100 on my board). He needs to play faster than he ran after poor showings at the combine and his pro day. The Lions are betting on the tape over the workout.

The Lions did add some help at wide receiver, but there were several better receivers available when Detroit took Kenny Golladay on Day 2. Jalen Reeves-Maybin, a fourth-round pick they added when the Patriots traded up, could see time at outside linebacker. Michael Roberts is more of a pass-catcher than blocker but provides insurance (Eric Ebron is in the final year of his deal). Getting Brad Kaaya, my seventh-ranked quarterback, at the end of the sixth round is good value. He could be Matthew Stafford's long-term backup. Detroit could end up hitting on Davis and Tabor, But there just isn't enough here to warrant a higher grade given the lack of a pass-rush addition outside a late bet on Jeremiah Ledbetter.

ROUND/PICK NAME POS COLLEGE
1/21 Jarrad Davis ILB FLORIDA
2/53 Teez Tabor CB FLORIDA
3/96 Kenny Golladay WR NORTHERN ILLINOIS
4/124 Jalen Reeves-Maybin OLB TENNESSEE
4/127 Michael Roberts TE TOLEDO
5/165 Jamal Agnew CB San Diego
6/205 Jeremiah Ledbetter DE ARKANSAS
6/215 Brad Kaaya QB MIAMI
7/250 Pat O'Connor DE EASTERN MICHIGAN



Todd McShay's favorite pick

Teez Tabor, CB, Florida (No. 53 pick)

Tabor looks like a first-rounder on tape, showing easy change-of-direction skills. He has a knack for finding the ball too, with 28 pass breakups and nine interceptions in his Florida career. Tabor looked like a first rounder ... until he ran a 4.62 40 at the combine in February. I don't always buy into workout numbers, but the 40-yard dash really matters for cornerbacks, and that's a red-flag number for Tabor. So how am I so positive about this pick? Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin's plays a zone-heavy scheme, which is the perfect fit for a player like Tabor, who is instinctive but lacks top-end speed. Tabor's playmaking ability will be welcome on a Lions defense that ranked 28th in takeaways.

Scouts Inc. on 2017 class

1 (21) Jarrad Davis, ILB, Florida | Highlights

What he brings: An explosive run-and-hit linebacker who has quality instincts and covers sideline to sideline defending the run. Room to grow in coverage but improved throughout his career, and he is an underrated blitzer. Davis has elite football character and work ethic. -- Kevin Weidl

How he fits: The Lions fill the void left by DeAndre Levy, who is still a free agent. Davis adds a playmaker to the middle of the defense. He has the ability to contribute all three downs and should help immediately improve a run defense that ranked in the back half of the league last year. -- Kevin Weidl



2 (21) Teez Tabor, CB, Florida | Highlights

What he brings: Tabor is a long and fluid athlete who has good short-area quickness and flashes playmaking instincts with quality ball skills. He also shows the willingness to step up in run support. Tabor's best team fit will be within a heavy zone coverage scheme because of his lack of ideal long speed. -- Kevin Weidl

How he fits: Tabor lands in an ideal spot under defensive coordinator Teryl Austin's zone-heavy scheme. This will allow him to maximize his skill set and protect him vertically, as he lacks ideal speed and range. -- Kevin Weidl



3 (32) Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois| Highlights

What he brings: Golladay is a big target with good hands and above-average speed for his size. He struggles to separate transitioning out of breaks, though. He has a chance to develop into a No. 4 receiver who potentially makes his biggest impact in the red zone. -- Steve Muench

How he fits: Golden Tate had a strong year and Marvin Jones returns, but 36-year-old Anquan Boldin is a free agent and may not return. Taking Golladay this early is a reach, but he has a high ceiling and the Lions shouldn't need him to play too significant a role as a rookie. -- Steve Muench



4 (18) Jalen Reeves-Maybin, OLB, Tennessee | Highlights

What he brings: Reeves-Maybin is an instinctive and rangy run-defender with above-average cover skills on tape, but he didn't test as well as expected in agility drills at his pro day. He's also undersized, and he missed most of the 2016 season with a shoulder injury. -- Steve Muench



4 (21) Michael Roberts, TE, Toledo | Highlights

What he brings: Roberts lack ideal top-end speed and he's still developing as a blocker. He has the tools to make an immediate impact in the red zone and become an effective No. 2 tight end if he keeps his weight down and puts in the work. -- Kevin Weidl



5 (21) Jamal Agnew, CB, San Diego

What he brings: He has quality size with an excellent combination of speed and ball awareness. He shows the potential to play in the slot at nickelback as well as outside the hashes. -- Kevin Weidl



6 (21) Jeremiah Ledbetter, DE, Arkansas

What he brings: Ledbetter is a versatile defensive end who can fit within a base 3-4 or 4-3 front. He brings added value with his ability to reduce inside as an interior rusher in passing situations. -- Kevin Weidl

6 (32) Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami | Highlights

What he brings: A three year starter within a pro-style system, Kaaya shows fast eyes working through progressions and is extremely accurate when throwing from a clean pocket. His lack of ideal mobility is a concern, and he needs to show he can be more consistent under pressure. -- Kevin Weidl



7 (32) Pat O'Connor, DE, Eastern Michigan

What he brings: O'Connor is a grinder who is tough against the run and rushes the passer with good effort but he has shorter arms and below-average upper-body strength. -- Steve Muench



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