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NFL Detroit Lions

Grading the 2013 Detroit Lions Draft Class Pick-By-Pick

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Grading the 2013 Detroit Lions Draft Class Pick-By-Pick

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The 2013 draft class for the Detroit Lions would indirectly lead to the firing of Jim Schwartz as head coach.

While these picks appeared to be good on paper and fit major needs, such as defensive line and secondary, some other positions of need were completely neglected.

Ezekiel Ansah and Darius Slay addressed needs with Ansah performing well and Slay struggling big time. But another impact wide receiver to complement Calvin Johnson was ignored by the Lions, as well as another big play linebacker that could have been teamed with Stephen Tulloch and Deandre Levy.

While most experts grading the Lions draft gave it between a B+ to a B immediately after the seven rounds concluded, the results on the field dictate different grades than names on a piece of paper.

Third-round pick Larry Warford was the best pick of the class with first-round pick Ezekiel Ansah a close second. Second-round pick Darius Slay and fifth-round pick Sam Martin both had poor seasons that did not warrant where they were selected.

It is too early to tell what this class will bring five or 10 years down the road, but just for this year the Detroit Lions' 2013 draft class did not make the impact that was expected of them.

Here now are my grades for each of the nine picks that Detroit selected and the grade of these nine players towards the overall team performance of the Lions.

Note: Players who did not play a snap received an incomplete grade.

Brian Kalchik is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @BrianKalchik, like him on Facebook or connect with him on Google.

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1st round: Ezekiel Ansah, DL, BYU

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A pure pass-rush specialist, Ezekiel Ansah recorded eight sacks with two forced fumbles but only 17 tackles. While the sacks were there, the ability to be an all-around defensive end was not always present.

Grade: B

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2nd Round: Darius Slay, DB, Missisippi State

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Darius Slay was inconsistent in his first season, being benched on multiple occasions for poor performance. He only had four starts in 13 games with zero interceptions and only six pass deflections.

Grade: C

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3rd Round: Larry Warford, OL, Kentucky

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Warford was the best pick of the entire draft for the Lions. As a steal in the third-round who could be a potential Pro Bowl player down the line, Warford provided stability and a mean streak to a line that lacked both previously.

Grade: A-

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4th Round: Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina

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Devin Taylor played well in spot duty for a rebuilding defensive line. Although the stats were not there, Taylor was a good value pick in the fourth-round.

Grade: B-

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5th Round: Sam Martin, P, Appalachian State

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The Lions committed the mortal sin here of drafting any kicker before the sixth or seventh-round. Plenty of other talented players were still available. Martin was not a factor in special teams and had a kick out of bounds penalty that lost the game to the Cincinnati Bengals in the middle of the season.

Grade: D-

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6th Round: Corey Fuller, WR, Virginia Tech

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Corey Fuller never played a down in 2013 for the Lions.

Grade: Incomplete

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6th Round: Theo Riddick, RB, Notre Dame

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Taking over the third running back position is pretty good considering Theo Riddick beat out a former second-round pick in Mikel Leshoure. He was a good value late in the draft.

Grade: B-.

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7th Round: Michael Williams, TE, Alabama

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Michael Williams never played a down in 2013 for the Lions.

Grade: Incomplete.

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7th Round: Brandon Hepburn, LB, Florida A&M

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Brandon Hepburn never played a down in 2013.

Grade: Incomplete.

Overall, this draft grades out as a C+ at best. While Ansah and Warford were good picks, the struggles of Slay and Martin really hurt the class.