Posted By: Sean Lanigan
May 11, 2018
With the 2018 NFL Draft Over, the Detroit Lions Podcast Writers Take a Look at their Favorite Rookie Pick of the Draft.
This draft delivered the message that the Lions are going to find a way to run the ball this season. I love the plan Bob Quinn laid out and taking Tyrell Crosby in the 5th has me convinced that he’s going to right the ship, even if it kills him. Adding a strong run blocking tackle to back up Taylor Decker and Rick Wagner makes perfect sense. Injuries along the line are a common issue throughout the grind of a season.
I’m not worried about needing him to pass block either. The last sack Crosby gave up in college was early in the 2015 season, or 25 games ago. In addition to the backup role, he fits perfectly as a 6th lineman in short-yardage situations. He excelled on power running plays with Oregon and has the size to carry over in the pros. Crosby has me feeling confident that things won’t fall apart if an injury pops up. How or why he slipped as far as he did is a mystery to me. I think this will turn out to be a steal.
To anyone that follows me on twitter or follows my writing should know my answer to this. Kerryon Johnson is my favorite Detroit Lions rookie from a group of picks that I like a great deal.
Running back is one of my favorite positions to watch, so being a Lions fan hasn’t been all that easy to handle. I watched the Lions go through the entire 2017 NFL Draft, a class loaded with running backs, and not take a single one. It was heartbreaking.
Finally, this year the Lions drafted a running back and not just any running back, Kerryon Johnson, one of my favorites in this entire class. I’m absolutely thrilled with the pick and, more importantly, I think it could be the most impactful one from the Lions’ new additions.
This running game has been bad for a while, really bad. This whole draft but especially Keryyon Johnson, indicates a commitment to having a productive running game, something that has been a myth to Lions fans over the years.
Hopefully this pick will bring about the end of that horrible prime time graphic of the wheels falling off while the announcers talk about how long it’s been since the Lions had a 100 yard rusher, as if the fans didn’t already know.
My favorite pick in the 2018 NFL Draft would have to be 5th Rounder Tyrell Crosby. I had a late round two – early third round grade on him after scouting him earlier this spring.
Now, I understand that there is some speculation about concussions being the reason for his fall. However, as Jeff Risdon mentioned on the Detroit Lions Podcast earlier this week, Crosby himself has stated he has never been diagnosed with a concussion.
I am really excited for the strength and physicality that he will bring to Detroit. Both Crosby and first round selection Frank Ragnow
were among the nastiest lineman in this draft class. General manager Bob Quinn mentioned it was a priority to get tougher up front this offseason and Crosby definitely does that.
I was high on him throughout the process but love this pick largely because I think it is amazing value in the 5th Round. He will make a great 6th lineman in goal line situations. His addition to this team should help with the complete turnaround in offensive line talent in Detroit, which could vault their offense to one of the best units in the entire NFL.
For the coming 2018 NFL season, Frank Ragnow is the most exciting rookie on the Detroit Lions. Since Bob Quinn was hired as general manager, he has been trying to assemble an offensive line worthy of protecting quarterback Matthew Stafford
. Ragnow is the last piece in creating the most talented offensive line Stafford has ever played behind.
From day one, Ragnow is going to step in and play either guard or center at an extremely high level. In college, this guy never allowed a single sacks over four seasons. He played in the SEC, against defenses that perennially pump out NFL talent such as Alabama, Texas A&M, Florida and LSU. Ragnow is already arguably the Lions’ most polished pass blocker and he hasn’t even played an NFL snap yet.
Pass blocking isn’t even Ragnow’s biggest strength though. While he does excel at protecting his quarterback, he is even better in run blocking. Ragnow is extremely physical and loves having the opportunity to flatten defensive linemen and linebackers whenever a hand off or screen pass is called. This type of physicality has been much needed along Detroit’s offensive line for a long time and Ragnow adds to that. Going into this coming season, I am the most optimistic I ever have been about the potential of the Lions running game.
Frank Ragnow makes the entire Lions offense better. His presence makes the job of his fellow offensive linemen easier, which gives Matthew Stafford more time to find receivers, allows the receivers more time to get open, and gives new running backs LeGarrette Blount
and Kerryon Johnson larger running lanes to go through.
While Frank Ragnow isn’t the sexiest pick that Bob Quinn could’ve made, he is still a very good one, and I look forward to watching him in 2018 more than any other Lions rookie. He will single-handedly improve the entire Lions offense for years to come.
The signing that I am most excited for has to be the rookie running back Kerryon Johnson. Aside from the obvious reasons that Detroit hasn’t had a 100 yard rusher since Thanks giving in 2013, getting Kerryon opens up a lot of other areas for the Lions that wouldn’t have been exploited before.
One big thing I like about Kerryon is his patience behind the line of scrimmage. He will wait for a hole to open up and make the most of what he is given. Abdullah had to constantly bounce runs outside but with the improvement along the offensive line those holes should appear and Kerryon will exploit those to his advantage.
I’m hoping with the impact a competent running game will have that the Lions can get rid of their multiple screen plays that they substituted for their lack of a run game last season. This will open up Tate, the main recipient of those screens, to focus more on catching further down the field and use his ability at gaining yards after catch more effectively. Instead of turning a sideways pass into an eight yard gain, he could turn a pass caught eight yards down the field into a 16 yard gain.
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