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Lions Gab Grades the Teams Picks in the 2011 Draft

By Abe Munch

1st- Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
2nd- Titus Young, WR, Boise State
2nd- Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois
5th- Douglas Hogue, LB, Syracuse
7th- Johnny Culbreath, OT, South Carolina State

Synopsis: General manager Martin Mayhew has added key players in his drafts the past three years which have produced 10 starters. And while the wins haven’t been where he would like, the product on the field has been very consistent and it only seems to be a matter of time (and a healthy Matthew Stafford) before the wins start rolling in.

Best selection: Mikel Leshoure. The Nick Fairley pick was also a steal. But I believe that Leshoure will prove to be the best running back in this draft class. He showed enough talent to warrant a mid first round selection. Leshoure teamed with Jahvid Best will make life difficult for opposing defenses.

Biggest Risks: None. I wasn’t as high on Titus Young as some, as I saw that he had inconsistent hands, didn’t run all the NFL routes, and lacks strength, but there’s no denying his straight line speed and ability to get behind defenders. He should find a niche on returns, screens, and in motion. Otherwise, the Lions were terrific selecting players with high value..

Sleeper: Douglas Hogue. Hogue was very productive for Syracuse the past two seasons and shows good movement skills to chase and cover ground in space. He has good size and should contribute immediately on special teams as he learns the system.

Grade: B+
Detroit added the players they wanted at a bargain price. The front office continues to draft well and they’ve jumped from zero wins, to two wins, to six wins the last three seasons. Lions fans are hoping for ten wins this year.

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