Grading the Detroit Lions' Previous 5 Draft Classes

Grading the Detroit Lions' Previous 5 Draft Classes

Detroit Lions Rookies
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In the past five years, the Detroit Lions have produced some quality players and they also have produced some quality busts as well. Each of the previous five classes were selected by former head coach Jim Schwartz, and some of these classes helped lead Detroit to a postseason appearance while others helped get Schwartz fired. Here are the draft grades of each of the five previous Lions draft classes.

5. 2009: Grade: B+

Matthew Stafford Lions
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5. 2009: Grade: B+

Matthew Stafford Lions
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Star: Matthew Stafford

Other Key Players: Brandon Pettigrew, DeAndre Levy, Louis Delmas

This draft class came into Detroit after an 0-16 2008 campaign and all four helped Detroit reach the postseason in 2011. Stafford is Detroit's most prolific passer in team history, Levy is a rising star at linebacker, and both Pettigrew and Delmas were key players for Detroit.

4. 2010: Grade: C

Ndamukong Suh Lions
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4. 2010: Grade: C

Ndamukong Suh Lions
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Star: Ndamukong Suh

Other Players: Willie Young, Jahvid Best, Amari Spievey

From this class, only Suh is still with the Lions. Young signed this offseason with the Chicago Bears. Jahvid Best's career ended after multiple concussions, and Spievey was released due to poor performance. Without Suh, this class would be an F.

3. 2011: Grade: D

Nick Fairley Lions
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3. 2011: Grade: D

Nick Fairley Lions
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Star: Nick Fairley

Other Key Players: Titus Young, Mikel Leshoure

This class gets ranked so low because Fairley has been a disappointment so far and both Young and Leshoure have proven to be busts. Young is out of the league after being a locker room cancer and Leshoure is currently fourth on the Lions' depth chart.

2. 2012: Grade: C-

Riley Reiff Lions
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2. 2012: Grade: C-

Riley Reiff Lions
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Star: Riley Reiff

Other Key Players: Ryan Broyles, Bill Bentley

While a draft class needs at least three years to fully determine how good it can be, the 2012 Lions class is not off to a good start. Outside of Reiff, no other players from this class are starters. Broyles has been hurt the past two seasons and Bentley has been benched due to poor performance.

1. 2013: Grade: B

Larry Warford Lions
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1. 2013: Grade: B

Larry Warford Lions
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Star: Larry Warford

Other Key Players: Ezekiel Ansah, Joseph Fauira (Undrafted), LaAdrian Waddle (Undrafted)

Last year's class had some great players who contributed right away for Detroit, but this class will ultimately be labeled as the last class for Jim Schwartz. Warford is well on his way to becoming a Pro Bowl guard while Ansah had a great rookie season. Undrafted players in Fauria and Waddle played key roles on last year's team.