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Detroit Lions 2017 NFL Draft Review

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The 2017 NFL Draft has come and gone for the Detroit Lions. The need for a running back was great, but the Lions stated they were comfortable with their current group. The Lions did not take a running back with any of their nine draft picks. Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington are the team’s squad at Organized Team Activities next month. Abdullah, who’s returning from season-ending foot surgery, will enter the season as the starter. He is taking part in offseason workouts with the Lions, while Riddick still is rehabbing from double wrist surgery.

Here is how the Detroit Lions drafted:

Round 1 – Jarrad Davis, LB, 6-1, 238, Florida

The Lions passed on Reuben Foster to take the high-character Davis in the first round. Davis was a team captain at Florida. He has an exceptional work ethic that the coaches praised. He should start at middle or weak-side linebacker as a rookie and immediately upgrades the Lions’ weakest position.

Round 2 – Teez Tabor, CB, 6-0, 199, Florida

Tabor fell to the second round after slow 40-yard dash times at the Combine and his pro day. Lions general manager Bob Quinn said he values instincts and “reactionary athleticism” more than pure speed. Tabor was one of the best cover cornerbacks in college football last two years. The Lions are comfortable with character issues that led to his suspension in college. He’ll have to earn a starting job, as the Lions have Darius Slay,  Nevin Lawson, and  DJ Hayden.

Round 3 – Kenny Golladay, WR, 6-4, 218, Northern Illinois

The Detroit Lions traded out of their original pick, No. 85, after a run on defensive players they liked earlier in the round. Golladay is a big target who is still growing into his body after a late growth spurt. He will be a situational receiver and should be able to help in the red zone.

Round 4 – Jalen Reeves-Maybin, OLB, 6-0, 230, Tennessee

Quinn said the Lions had 10 to 15 players targeted at the start of Round 4 – they had the 18th pick in the round – including Reeves-Maybin. Reeves-Maybin will play outside linebacker for the Lions and should be a core special-teams player as a rookie. He is the cousin of major league baseball outfielder Cameron Maybin.

Round 4 – Michael Roberts, TE, 6-4, 270, Toledo

The Lions went into the draft knowing they had to add a tight end to complement starter Eric Ebron. They took one of the biggest bodies at the position in the draft. Roberts had scored 17 touchdowns as a red-zone threat at Toledo last year. He has huge hands that make him a threat as a receiver and is considered a solid run blocker.

Round 5 – Jamal Agnew, CB, 5-10, 185, San Diego

Many consider Agnew a slot-only cornerback because of his size. Furthermore, he showed exceptional ball skills in college and convinced the Detroit Lions he had NFL potential. In fact, he had a solid workout at his pro day, where he twice ran sub-4.4-second 40s. Agnew also can return punts, though he has a lot of work to do in that area if he’s going to win the job this fall.

Round 6 – Jeremiah Ledbetter, DT, 6-3, 280, Arkansas

Ledbetter played both end and tackle at Arkansas, but Quinn said the Lions will try him as an interior lineman when he gets to town. Ledbetter has good bloodlines – his father was a draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – but he lacks polish after spending two seasons in junior college.

Round 6 – Brad Kaaya, QB, 6-4, 214, Miami

The Detroit Lions drafted a quarterback in the sixth round for the second straight year, and Quinn said this was a case of Kaaya standing apart on their board with his draft grade when the Lions were on the clock. A three-year starter at Miami, Kaaya comes from a pro-style offense and was recruited by Lions tight ends coach Al Golden. He should compete for the No. 2 job behind Matthew Stafford with Jake Rudock.

Round 7 – Pat O’Connor, DE, 6-4, 270, Eastern Michigan

O’Connor is an athletic pass rusher who missed the 2015 season with an injury. He’ll have an uphill battle to earn a roster spot, but was an underappreciated playmaker in the Mid-American Conference, totaling 16 sacks and seven forced fumbles in his last two seasons on the field.

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