The NFL Draft is over for 2020. It was a unique experience with the thing being entirely virtual and I thought it went off (almost) entirely without a hitch. The only thing I saw that went awry was that it showed Detroit moving up early in the fourth for a split second to a pick just above our own to have two straight, before quickly showing that we'd actually traded down instead!
It's my first draft that I've watched all the way through, and I thought the media and analysts did a terrific job and kept the broadcast engaging - it also helps that the Detroit Lions twitter fam made for a good Zoom group all the way through.
So, Detroit went into day three with:
109 (rd 4, pk 3)
166 (rd 5, pk 21)
197 (rd 6, pk 18)
235 (rd 7, pk 21)
They ended up, as referenced above, trading down in round 4 with the Las Vegas Raiders. Detroit traded pick 109, and received 121 (rd 4, pick 15) and 172 (rd 5, pk 27).
Detroit picked as follows: (number indicates average draft position per ESPN's draft model)
121: Logan Stenberg (G, Kentucky) 132.9
166: Quintez Cephus (WR, Wisconsin) 183.7
172: Jason Huntley (RB, New Mexico State) unranked
197: John Penisini (DT, Utah) unranked
235: Jashon Cornell (DT, Ohio State) unranked
Detroit have also been busy immediately after the draft snapping up rookie free agents who went undrafted, but I will cover that in a subsequent post.
Logan Stenburg (6'6, 327lbs) comes into a very crowded offensive guard room, especially since Jonah Jackson was taken with the final pick in day 2 and is the presumptive starter at right guard. He's an interesting character, who has branded himself "Mr Nasty" with his own small clothing line (http://www.mrnasty.co) and is in the typical mould of an old school, in the trenches, run blocking guard. He did not allow a sack at Kentucky last year, but is prone to the odd mindless flag every game which will need to be coached out of him early.
He, and Jackson, will compete with Josh Garnett, Kenny Wiggins, Oday Aboushi, Joe Dahl and Caleb Benenoch for two spots either side of Frank Ragnow.
Grade: B+, his selection might have come a little early, hence only a B+ rating here, but the Lions are clearly making the running game a priority and this selection will certainly help the team on day 1.
Quintez Cephus (6'1, 202lbs) is a two-sport star from Statford Academy in Georgia and this really shows up on film. He's a possession receiver not unlike former Lion Anquan Bolden, who can box out opponents effectively and has good blocking ability in the run game. Watch for him to make the roster backing up Danny Amendola as the slot receiver. He's had some legal issues in the past, but these are behind him and general manager Bob Quinn spoke glowingly about his personality and temperament in the post-draft press conference. His highlights are here:
Quintez will be competing for a roster spot alongside Geronimo Allison, Marvin Hall, Chris Lacy, Travis Flugham, Tom Kennedy, Geremy Davis and Victor Bolden.
Grade: B+; Again this selection is potentially a little early, and home town fans were disappointed that we didn't pick up Donovan Peoples-Jones from Michigan but his tape shows he's got the backup WR catching ability we so need.
Jason Huntley (5'9, 193lbs) was a surprise pick out of New Mexico State. He will be the smallest running back on the roster and his tape certainly makes you wonder why he wasn't meant regarded. NMS isn't in a conference providing the best competition but he is an electric runner and kick returner who has 5 kickoff returns for touchdowns in his college career and will vie with Jamal Agnew for the kick return spot on special teams. He's an excellent pass catcher too, the only college RB with over 1000 receiving yards in the draft, and he also ran in his pro day what would have been the fastest 40 yard dash time in the combine, so watch for him to possibly line up as the 3rd down passing back or in the slot. He's got excellent vision and a change of direction, but don't look for him to run between the tackles. Highlights here:
Huntley will be competing for a roster spot with Bo Scarbrough, Tra Carson, Ty Johnson and Wes Hills and Nick Bawden.
Grade: B-; It's hard to know much about Huntley yet. His speed and agility are obvious from the above, but he's yet to face any premier opposition and therefore hard to know if his talent will translate to the pro's. He's already joining a crowded RB room with the above in addition to Kerryon Johnson and 2nd round pick D'Andre Swift being presumptive RB1s.
John Penisini (6'1, 318lbs) is a run stuffing nose tackle, but limited effectiveness as a pass rusher. He will fill a hole as a rotational D-lineman on run downs with the release of Damon 'Snacks' Harrison, and compete for a roster spot with Kevin Strong, John Atkins and Olive Sagapolu, as well as 7th round pick Jashon Cornell.
Grade A-; Detroit desperately needed interior help against the run and Penisini looks like a premier level player at a bargain price.
Jashon Cornell (6'3, 285lbs) is hybrid tackle/end contributing 30 tackles, 6.5 for a loss and four sacks in 2019 for Ohio State. He's athletic, but lacks explosion and core strength but with good coaching could be a contributor as a rotational player initially and on special teams. Coach Patricia will love his versatility to play inside or outside which we know is highly regarded by this front office.
Grade: C+; Detroit also needed further interior and exterior competition and this is a low risk pick with a potentially high ceiling.
Overall day 3 grade: B+. I expect the top 4 picks to make the active roster which is more than most day 3 picks will do around the league and Stenburg and Penisini could well find themselves starting a few weeks into the season (if there is one!).
How do you think we did on day 3? Let me know below or on twitter @roarofthelions1
The articles following this will be:
A full draft roundup
A undrafted rookie free agent round up (including associated releases)
A roster review and predicted starting lineups on offense and defense