|| Riley Reiff
|| T, Iowa
|| Ryan Broyles
|| WR, Oklahoma
|| Bill Bentley
|| CB, Louisiana-Lafayette
|| Ronnell Lewis
|| LB, Oklahoma
|| Tahir Whitehead
|| LB, Temple
|| Chris Greenwood
|| CB, Albion
|| Jonte Green
|| CB, New Mexico State
|| Travis Lewis
|| LB, Oklahoma
The initial enthusiasm for this class has waned considerably over the course of the first two seasons.
Only Reiff is an established starter, capably taking over for Jeff Backus at left tackle in 2013 after being the swing tackle in his rookie year. PFF graded him positively, and he fared better than any of the rookie tackles taken in the first round in 2013 and thrown into action, too.
Reiff has been a better pro than several of the players right after him, including Whitney Mercilus, Dont'a Hightower and Nick Perry.
Broyles has been the victim of some rotten luck. He fell in the draft because of a torn ACL in his final year at Oklahoma, and the Lions were lauded for taking him late in the second round.
MLive's Anwar Richardson (now with Yahoo) broke down some of the other options the Lions bypassed for Broyles. In that article, Richardson quotes Mayhew as stating that Broyles was the top player on the team's board.
Unfortunately, Broyles tore his other ACL as a rookie. After working his way back in 2013, he tore his Achilles tendon. His future is very much in doubt. That's one of the risks of taking an injured player, and the Lions learned it the hard way with both Broyles and Best.
The three defensive backs all remain on the roster, and they hold the key to the class. Thus far only Bentley has done much of anything, earning the starting nickel role in his second season.
He was not great, earning a -5.1 score from PFF before Louis Delmas ended his season with a reckless head shot that gave Bentley a concussion. His run support was generally strong, and as long as he can shake off the cobwebs he should improve in his second year starting in the slot.
Greenwood and Green were both drafted as athletic projects. Both remain athletic projects two years later. Greenwood offered some serious promise by playing well in the 2013 finale, but only after the Lions waived him and he had a stint in Dallas.
Green flashed competence when pressed into emergency duty as a rookie, but his 2013 preseason and brief foray in the regular season dampens the enthusiasm. He'll get one more shot to prove he belongs.
The three linebackers have been nothing short of wasted picks. Whitehead's work on special teams is the only contribution thus far. Ronnell Lewis was praised as a strong pick by B/R's Scott Carasik at the time, but poor play and a subsequent arrest proved the death knell on his time in the Lions den.
While the final grade here cannot be written until we learn the fate of the cornerbacks, Carasik's initial "B" grade proves too optimistic. Bad luck with Broyles and poor player development by the Schwartz staff downgrade this class.