2019 Detroit Lions NFL Draft grades: What experts are saying

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - APRIL 25: T.J. Hockenson of Iowa poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen #8 overall by the Detroit Lions during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee.…

The 2019 NFL Draft is in the books. So, let's begin taking a look at what the Detroit Lions did.

First, here's a look at who the Lions drafted this year:

  • Tight end T.J. Hockenson - Selected in the first round, 8th overall.
  • Linebacker Jahlani Tavai - Selected in the second round, 43rd overall.
  • Safety Will Harris - Selected in the third round, 81st overall.
  • Defensive end Austin Bryant - Selected in the fourth round, 117th overall.
  • Cornerback Amani Oruwariye - Selected in the fifth round, 146th overall.
  • Wide receiver Travis Fulgham - Selected in the sixth round, 184th overall.
  • Running back Ty Johnson - Selected in the sixth round, 186th overall.
  • Tight end Isaac Nauta - Selected in the seventh round, 224th overall.
  • Defensive tackle P.J. Johnson - Selected in the seventh round, 229th overall.

Here's how the Lions were graded by experts around the league:

NFL.comOverall grade: B: Draft analysis: "I love Hockenson as a two-way tight end prospect. He will be a strong target for Matthew Stafford and a nice blocker in the run game. But he wasn't the top player available: it was defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Time will tell which way they should have gone with that pick."

Sports Illustrated: Overall grade: B-: Draft analysis: "Head coach Matt Patricia is determined to shape the Lions into a Patriots-style offense, and obviously finding a five-tool tight end is a strong first step. It’s too much to say T.J. Hockenson will be the next Rob Gronkowski, but Hockenson is one of the highest-rated tight end prospects of this century. His blocking is even more touted than his receiving—an important note given Detroit’s two-decade-long effort to improve its feeble ground game."

Sporting News: Overall grade: C+: "Bob Quinn made it clear the Lions want to embrace their physical identity based on running and defensive success. Hockenson was a home run for blocking and receiving, and although there were some reaches for the front seven and secondary, they got several versatile players Matt Patricia can mold well."

CBS Sports had the Lions in the "Losers" category for the draft: "Loved this call from Bryant McFadden on our HQ show -- Detroit drafted a tight end in the first round for the third time in the last decade, with T.J. Hockenson joining Brandon Pettigrew and Eric Ebron on a list that would not be described as illustrious. Jahlani Tavai out of Hawaii helps as a linebacker (I thought they could have gone Devin Bush in the first round) and I don't necessarily dislike their picks. But I'm confused as to what their identity is moving forward. Are the Lions going to pound the rock while paying Matthew Stafford massive amounts of money? Are they going to line up three tight ends and try to feed Kerryon Johnson? Even if it all works out they have to do it in a division where the Packers got demonstrably better (Rashan Gary, Darnell Savage in the first round alone) and the Vikings added a center (Garrett Bradbury) who could ignite their running game and Dalvin Cook's one-cut, zone-running potential. The NFC North is tough and the Lions just didn't feel like they had the sauce they needed from this draft."

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