Lions best rookie class ever deserves award


Let’s do ourselves a solid and stop giving NFL teams draft grades the night of the NFL draft.

Those grades mean nothing. We don’t know how players are going to pan out mostly because we only get snippets of a players worth on the field.

How many of you were angry after the 2023 Detroit Lions draft? How many of you cringed when General Manager Brad Holmes broke the cardinal rules twice by selecting a running back and linebacker with his first two picks?

How many C and D grades did Holmes receive immediately after the draft?

This town lost it. Then we got to see running back Jahmyr Gibbs play. We got to see linebacker Jack Campbell make tackles. And later on we watched as rookie Sam LaPorta became one of the league’s best tight ends. And defensive back Brian Branch became one of the league’s big hitters.

The Lions went 12-5 and advanced to the NFC Championship with this rookie class making veteran plays. Those jeers turned to cheers.

Holmes and the Lions were given the Best Draft Award by Inside The League, an award determined by NFL scouts. A month earlier Holmes was named NFL Executive of the Year.

The question was no longer what the hell was Holmes doing on draft night? The question was why the hell didn’t we see his vision?

Gibbs rushed for 945 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 6.1 yards per carry. LaPorta broke rookie tight end records (86 catches, 889 yards and 10 touchdowns) while Campbell finished with 95 tackles and two sacks.

Branch made an immediate impact once he hit the field. He had 74 stops, three interceptions and a forced fumble in 15 games. And he had that thunderous hit on Atlanta Falcons rookie running back, hitting him so hard that Robinson’s helmet rolled across the field.

Not bad from a terrible rookie class, huh?


For more from the author Terry Foster, check him out on Twitter here: @terryfosterdet

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Original Photo Credit © Denny Medley – USA TODAY Sports