Lions make grade from analysts for first-round picks in NFL Draft

Detroit News

The Lions drafted Michigan star Aidan Hutchinson at No. 2 overall, then moved up 20 spots in a trade with the NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings to select Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams at No. 12.

Those moves generally brought positive reviews from national analysts, with the Hutchinson pick drawing A’s from Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News and Rob Rang of Fox Sports.

“The Lions can be thrilled about the ferocious Wolverine slipping to be a cornerstone pass rusher for their 4-3 under Aaron Glenn, for which he’s an ideal fit,” Iyer wrote. “He is tough and relentless and straight-up productive. Hutchinson can remain dominant in the NFL and also is an asset against the run. He is the best player in this draft class.”

Rang agreed, writing, “there is not a better fit for Dan Campbell and blue-collar Detroit than Hutchinson.”

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports and Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report each gave the pick a B-plus.

“They need a pass rusher in the worst way, and they have to be thrilled that Hutchinson fell to them here,” Prisco writes. “He is a polished edge rusher who will be an impact player right away. The Lions have to be able to impact the quarterback better than they did last year. Hutchinson will do that. But he might be a 12-sack guy most of his career, rather than a 16-sack guy. But that’s OK.”

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Williams, meanwhile, is coming off an ACL injury, which seems to have affected the grades the Lions received for the pick. Still, the selection brought Bs from the aforementioned pundits.

“Williams tilts the field unlike any other wide receiver prospect in the class,” writes Sobleski, who gave the pick a B-plus. “His aforementioned speed affects everything offensively and how opposing defenses must account for him at all times. The Lions may have to wait a little while before their new WR1 gets onto the field. Totally worth it.”

Iyer also gave the pick a B-plus, Prisco gave it a B, and Rang a B-minus.

“This is the best receiver in the draft,” Prisco writes. “The Lions can wait to get him healthy. When he is healthy, he will be a dynamic playmaker. They made a bold move to go get him, but they did give up a bunch to get him. They better hope he is what they think he can become. I think he’s a star.”

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