Lions head coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes are in Year 2 of their rebuild in Detroit, and both men have been very clear over the last year on their philosophy for building a sustainable winner.
The NFL Draft is their preferred method of roster building. That's been pretty evident through their first two offseasons, prioritizing the draft for finding their core pieces, filling gaps where they see fit in free agency, and letting young guys play early and often.
Detroit did a nice job in last year's draft finding some of those foundational pieces in tackle Penei Sewell, nose tackle Alim McNeill and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. They also like the progression players like defensive end Levi Onwuzurike, cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu, linebacker Derrick Barnes and others are making heading into Year 2.
This is a huge second draft for Campbell and Holmes later this month.Las Vegas Raiders JerseysThey have the No. 2 overall pick and five picks in the Top 100. If the draft is the preferred roster building method, it's imperative to get it right."It's important," Campbell said Thursday in a session with reporters. "We said all along ... what we were trying to build here is from the draft. We wanted our core to be from the draft. That's where our pool of guys are coming from. You want to build your core that way and you want to develop those players and then you want to sign those players back and then you want to draft some more.
"I just think that's how you sustain in this league. I think that's how you have success, long-term success. That's how you do sustain and become competitive. I think that's the way to go."
Campbell also talked about the No. 2 overall pick, which will be an important building block in their long-term plan.
"You want a guy who can come in and he's a Day 1 starter," Campbell said. "That's really what you're trying to acquire. A guy that you feel like can come in, he's going to be able to have solid production for you. You'd like to believe by the time you hit your first game that this player is starting for you and he's going to be able to produce."GREEN BAY, Wis. – For a team like the Green Bay Packers, it’s a good year to need a receiver or three.
Receiver prospects dominate Pro Football Hall of Fame talent evaluator Boston Red Sox JerseysGil Brandt’s annual “Hot 100” list of NFL Draft prospects at NFL.com.
Five of the top 27, 11 of the top 67 and 16 of the top 100 are receivers.
Atop the list are Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson at No. 11 and USC’s Drake London at No. 12. Of note, Arkansas’ Treylon Burks is No. 13 on Brandt’s list. He’s been mentioned as a potential first-round pick for the Packers, who own the 22nd and 28th picks of the first round.
“If Arkansas was scoring a touchdown on offense in 2021,” Brandt wrote, “there was a very strong chance Burks was the one doing the scoring -- with 12 total TDs (including 11 receiving and one rushing), he comfortably led the team in that category, with the next-closest player (running back Dominique Johnson) posting eight.”
So, who is ranked in Green Bay’s vicinity? Alabama’s Jameson Williams, who might have been the No. 1 receiver prospect in the draft but suffered a torn ACL in the national championship game in January, is No. 26. Ohio State’s Chris Olave is No. 27.After Penn State’s Jahan Dotson at No. 37, there is a big void until Cincinnati’s Alec Pierce at No. 61, SMU’s Danny Gray at No. 64, North Dakota State’s Christian Watson at No. 65, Georgia’s George Pickens at No. 66 and Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore at No. 67.That’s a pretty lofty ranking for Gray, whose 4.33 clocking in the 40 made him one of the fastest players at the Scouting Combine. Moore’s standing probably is impacted by his height. At 5-foot-9 5/8, he won’t even be a consideration for some teams – the Packers probably among them.
Baylor’s Tyquan Thornton, the fastest receiver at the Combine, and Tennessee’s Velus Jones, the second-fastest receiver at the Combine, are No. 91 and No. 94, respectively. That would put them in the Boston Red Sox Jerseythird-round conversation rather than Day 3.
Both players are among the Packers’ 30 predraft visits. That list includes Burks and Pickens.
Meanwhile, the Packers have needs at outside linebacker and offensive tackle. To Brandt, those are top-heavy positions. There are 10 edge defenders among Brandt’s top 68 players but none in the final 32. Plus, there are six offensive tackles in Brandt’s top 41 but only one in the final 59.
Added together, one-third of Brandt’s top 100 are receivers, offensive tackles and edge defenders. That’s good news for general manager Brian Gutekunst, who has two picks in the first round, two more in the second and one in the third for a total of five of the first 92 selections.