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NFL Detroit Lions

Grading Each of the Detroit Lions’ Eight 2014 Draft Picks After Preseason

Grading Each of the Detroit Lions' Eight 2014 Draft Picks After Preseason

Eric Ebron Lions
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Detroit had eight picks in the 2014 NFL Draft, and while TE Eric Ebron made all the headlines at No. 10 overall, each of the rookies filled a position of need. Most of these players proved themselves this preseason with solid outings while some were limited because of injury. Here now are my grades for the Detroit Lions' eight rookies this preseason.

Round 1: TE Eric Ebron

Eric Ebron Lions
Andrew Weber-USA Today Sports

Round 1: TE Eric Ebron

Eric Ebron Lions
Andrew Weber-USA Today Sports

Ebron had his struggles in camp dropping passes, but this preseason, he led all Detroit tight ends in receptions (7) and receiving yards (88). Ebron admitted he struggled grasping the playbook early on, but he lined up at several different positions and was a good blocker in the running game when asked to do so.

Grade: B+

Round 2: OLB Kyle Van Noy

Kyle Van Noy Lions
Kyle Terada-USA Today Sports

Round 2: OLB Kyle Van Noy

Kyle Van Noy Lions
Kyle Terada-USA Today Sports

Detroit's second-round pick Kyle Van Noy missed the last two games of the preseason with injury, but when healthy, Van Noy flew around the ball and was disruptive against Cleveland and Oakland. He only recorded two tackles this preseason, but he was productive when on the field.

Grade: B-

Round 3: C Travis Swanson

Travis Swanson Lions
Kirby Lee-USA Today Sports

Round 3: C Travis Swanson

Travis Swanson Lions
Kirby Lee-USA Today Sports

Playing both center and guard this preseason, Travis Swanson, Detroit's third-round pick, struggled with consistency and committed several penalties. The good thing for Swanson is that he wasn't expected to be a starter this season, so he'll learn from his mistakes and get prepared to be a starter in 2015.

Grade: C

Round 4: CB Nevin Lawson

Nevin Lawson Lions
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Round 4: CB Nevin Lawson

Nevin Lawson Lions
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Much like every other member of Detroit's secondary, Nevin Lawson, Detroit's first fourth-round pick, struggled in coverage this preseason. With a stricter emphasis of illegal contact/pass interference this preseason, Lawson was penalized several times. I expected Lawson to compete for a starting job this preseason, but he's further behind than I thought he would be.

Grade: C

Round 4: DE Larry Webster

Larry Webster Lions
Tim Fuller-USA Today Sports

Round 4: DE Larry Webster

Larry Webster Lions
Tim Fuller-USA Today Sports

A raw defensive end, Larry Webster, Detroit's second fourth-round pick, looked rather impressive coming off the edge. The former Bloomsburg product even made some big plays, knocking out Oakland's Derek Carr in Week 2 of the preseason. He still has a long ways to go, but he's off to a good start.

Grade: B

Round 5: DT Caraun Reid

Caraun Reid Lions
Tim Fuller-USA Today Sports

Round 5: DT Caraun Reid

Caraun Reid Lions
Tim Fuller-USA Today Sports

Caraun Reid, Detroit's fifth-round pick, also showed some promise on the defensive line. With all the talk surrounding Nick Fairley's issues, Reid quietly had a good preseason, recording eight unassisted tackles and one assisted tackle.

Grade: B+

Round 6: WR T.J. Jones

T.J. Jones Notre Dame
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Round 6: WR T.J. Jones

T.J. Jones Notre Dame
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T.J. Jones, Detroit's sixth-round pick, was unable to contribute this preseason as he was placed on the PUP list.

Grade: Incomplete

Round 7: K Nate Freese

Nate Freese Lions
Kevin Hoffman-USA Today Sports

Round 7: K Nate Freese

Nate Freese Lions
Kevin Hoffman-USA Today Sports

In a one-sided competition, Nate Freese, Detroit's seventh-round pick, easily won the kicking job over Giorgio Tavecchio. Freese connected on all six of his field goal attempts, including three from 50 yards or more.

Grade: A

Brian Kalchik is a Detroit Lions writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+.