Breaking down the 2023 Detroit Lions Draft class

The Detroit Lions are a better football team at this moment. The team has been able to add both playmakers as well as depth and not only depth but quality depth. Finally able to draft “the best player available,” has added to the teams push to being a contending football team. Lions GM, Brad Holmes has done very well this draft. Let’s take a look at the 2023 Detroit Lions Draft class a little more closely.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – DECEMBER 31: Alabama Crimson Tide running back Jahmyr Gibbs (1) attempts to break a tackle by Kansas State Wildcats safety Josh Hayes (1) during the Sugar Bowl between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Kansas State Wildcats at Caesars Superdome on December 31, 2022 in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

RB,  Jahmyr Gibbs from the University of Alabama, Drafted #12 overall; the Lions got themselves a playmaker. On paper Gibbs is the first exciting player in Motown since Barry Sanders, Gibbs has excellent acceleration and top speed and a threat to score any and every time he touches the football. Elite burst, Very good change of direction and solid pass blocker.

Below average strength and is tackled upon first contact needs to get stronger up top. Gibbs footwork between the tackles is too choppy at times and hesitant which leads to a loss in  momentum. The Lions would be wise to allow Gibbs to get to the edge and let him turn up field.

LB, Jack Campbell from the University of Iowa, Drafted #18 overall; The Lions drafted a linebacker who is a ballhawk.  Very quick to diagnose zone versus gap runs, quick to fill his gap on the front side of gap runs,  Physical and strong at the point of attack and wraps the runner very well.

Campbell has been known to get caught out of position against motion, at times he blocks square and  is prone to stop his feet on contact, Subpar change of direction is an issue in man coverage.

TE, Sam  LaPorta from the University of Iowa, Drafted #34 overall; Fights for extra yards after the catch, Laporta is an excellent athlete, he is a smooth route runner who fights for yards.

Continuing to evolve as an in line option, not necessarily a ball-winner all the time he needs to clean that up an begin to fight for the ball more. Laporta is  undersized for TE at 6′ 3″, but that allows him to lineup outside at times which gives the offense a different dimension.

S, Brian Branch from the University of Alabama, Drafted #45 overall;  Branch is a hybrid defender, he has top notch recognition and trigger and reads the play well, uses good angles to the ball, very smooth backpedal.

Lacks the top speed for safety, poor timing at time at the catchpoint, marginal ball skills. Could be developed into a slot corner.

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE – NOVEMBER 12: Hendon Hooker #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers looks to throw before the game against the Missouri Tigers at Neyland Stadium on November 12, 2022 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)

QB, Hendon Hooker from the University of Tennessee, Drafted #68 overall; Good touch and timing on deep throws is his bread and butter also when throwing a in-breaking route, refined passer, not really turnover prone, can add to the running game when fully healthy.

Coming off season ending knee surgery due to a torn ACL, Hooker is an older prospect (25 years old), struggles to navigate pocket against pressure so he must be quicker to understand.

DL, Brodric Martin from the University of Western Kentucky, Drafted #96 overall; playing mostly nose tackle he is close to being immovable, gets full extension and sheds blocks, Martin has pass rush potential but lacks consistency he excels at knocking passes down.

Not very explosive or nimble, Martin tends to stand up a big when he wears down, still developing a pass rush plan. Martin needs to be conditioned and must become a threat on the pass rush.

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