The 2021 NFL Draft has officially come to an end, and it was one full of amazing players and surprising picks. GM Brad Holmes during these 3 days was finally able to show his elite scouting skills that were shown while he was with the Los Angeles Rams. Now that the draft is over, let’s take a closer look at who we selected and how they’ll fit in with the Lions!
Round 1, Pick 7 | Penei Sewell | OL | Oregon
The moment the Cincinnati Bengals took Ja’Marr Chase, I knew that Penei would fall right to the Lions. Though Ohio State QB Justin Fields was on the board, it was a no-brainer for the Detroit front office and selected Penei Sewell.
To make things simple, Sewell is going to be the player in this class who leaves his mark on the league. His raw talent made him #1 on my 2021 Big Draft Board and his skills and work ethic to get even better should make the NFC North scared. Sewell will fit perfectly at the RT position, and before the draft was working on being able to switch to LT if needed. Overall, I love this pick, and Brad made the right decision by beefing up the trenches.
Round 2, Pick 41 | Levi Onwuzurike | DL | Washington
I like this pick a lot. Levi has decent value, and was my 3rd best DT in this class. Onwuzurike is an elite pass rusher who is developmental in the run who can become a stud for the Lions in the future is he able to be given a chance by Dan and the front office.
Once again, I really do like this pick. We’re building from the inside out and once again we are buffing up the trenches and improving our run defense.
Round 3, Pick 72 | Alim McNeill | DL | NC State
Though at first glance, not many of the fans liked this pick, I loved it. McNeill is just above Onwuzurike at the 2nd best DT on my big board. Having the Lions pick the 2nd and 3rd best DTs is something to absolutely take note of. He is an incredible athlete for a DT and a solid pass rusher as well as a run defender. He and Onwuzurike should make a scary duo for the years to come.
Round 3, Pick 101 | Ifeatu Melifonwu | DB | Syracuse
Ifeatu did have first-round hype coming into the 2021 NFL Draft, but I just didn’t see the hype, and it’s obvious that the 32 NFL GMs didn’t either. Getting him later in the third round was absolutely a steal. Melifonwu is a top 10 corner on my big board; he is physical, rangey, and a good athlete. He is a little less technical though and that could be a struggle for him at the beginning of his NFL career. Despite all this, he will be able to pair with Okudah and the young secondary of the Lions for the future.
Round 4, Pick 112 | Amon-Ra St. Brown | WR | USC
Finally, the Lions take a WR. USC’s Amon-Ra St. Brown isn’t the biggest nor the fastest receiver in this draft, which could attribute to why St. Brown fell all the way down to Round 4. Nonetheless, the Lions nailed it with this pick and Amon is an athletic receiver with a good burst. Though the Lions WR core is comical, Amon will still need to fight and grind his way up the depth chart to settle in the WR2 or WR3 position.
Round 4, Pick 113 | Derrick Barnes | LB | Purdue
After a quick trade, we secured the 113th pick and selected a linebacker in Derrick Barnes. Barnes is a very athletic and quick LB and will fit very well in the new 3-4 scheme on defense.
Round 7, Pick 257 | Jemar Jefferson | RB | Oregon State
The black sheep of the group, Jefferson doesn’t measure out great in any aspect of his athletic build. His speed is acceptable, but far from elite. You can see some shiftiness on tape, but that did not translate to his explosion or agility scores.