Draftseason’s Draft Grade A Day is back! This is where we look at each team’s 2019 Draft class and grade it based on PRODUCTION ONLY! Points will be awarded per round and the scale is determined on the expectation of the round the pick was made. Fractional points are given out as well as bonus points for any player who outplayed their Draft ranking. We will add up the total points to determine the final grade. We started with the Arizona Cardinals who had the first pick in 2019 and will work our way up.
Grading Scale: (total possible per round)
Round 1 – 5 points
Round 2 – 4 points
Round 3 – 3 points
Round 4 – 2 points
Round 5 – 1 point
Round 6 & 7 – 0 points
Pick: TE TJ Hockenson, Iowa
Analysis: The Lions had to be hoping for more from a tight end taken in the top 10. Hockenson finished the season with 32 receptions for 367 yards and two touchdowns.
Pick: LB Jahlani Tavai, Hawaii
Analysis: Tavai appeared in 15 games and had 58 tackles, 2 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception for the Lions. That’s about what you’d want from a second-rounder.
Pick: CB Will Harris, Boston College
Analysis: Harris appeared in all 16 games and started 6. He had 43 tackles, one sack, and broke up 3 passes. He definitely lived up to his third-round billing.
Pick: DE Austin Bryant, Clemson
Analysis: Bryant had just 8 tackles in 4 games. Not great.
Pick: CB Amani Oruwariye, Penn State
Analysis: Oruwariye had 19 tackles and a couple of interceptions for the Lions during his rookie season. His production was good for a fifth-round pick.
Pick: WR Travis Fulgham, Old Dominion
Analysis: Fulgham was active for three games but didn’t catch any passes.
Pick: RB Ty Johnson Maryland
Analysis: Johnson produced more than the average sixth-rounder. He ran for 273 yards and caught 24 passes for 109 yards but never found the end zone.
Pick: TE Isaac Nauta, Georgia
Analysis: Nauta appeared in 6 games and caught 2 passes for 13 yards. A more generous evaluator could give him a fractional point for that, but not this one.
Pick: DT PJ Johnson, Arizona
Analysis: Johnson was released by the Lions and is now on the Chargers. He didn’t do anything for either team.
FINAL GRADE & ANALYSIS
Final Grade: 11.25/15 75% C
The Lions season wasn’t very impressive this year and neither was their 2019 Draft class. First-round pick TJ Hockenson flashed at times but did have some injuries that cost him playing time. While the team has to still be very excited about his future, they do have to be a little disappointed with his lack of production out of the gate. The Lions got some decent pieces for their defense with their next two picks. Linebacker Jahlani Tavai was able to rack up a lot of tackles and made some big plays. Will Harris started six games for the Lions and had an impressive 43 tackles. Austin Bryant was their choice in the fourth round and he looks like a miss at this point. They did bounce back well late with CB Amari Oruwariye and RB Ty Johnson. These guys both flashed in spot duty and could find themselves with larger roles in 2020. Overall, this grade could go up in time. TJ Hockenson has all the tools to be a top tight end in the NFL and completing an NFL season fully healthy could be the first step to becoming that. They did find some pieces on defense that should also see increased playing time starting next year. This class could eventually become known as a solid one, but it lacks the players to rise to the level of a great one.