Lions' Day 2 NFL draft grades: Kerryon Johnson lauded, Tracy Walker questioned

Lions’ Day 2 NFL draft grades: Kerryon Johnson lauded, Tracy Walker questioned

There is not a lot doubt Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia obtained their guys on Day 2 of the NFL draft.

The Detroit Lions needed to commerce as much as No. 43 total to seize Auburn working again Kerryon Johnson, giving up a fourth-round decide to do it, and grabbed Louisiana-Lafayette security Tracy Walker within the third, the place most had him pegged to go 1-2 rounds later.

So Johnson and Walker clearly the gamers Lions brass needed.

But how had been these picks perceived by draft analysts? Here’s a roundup of grades, which options principally reward for the Johnson decide:

Chad Reuter, C
“The Lions were so interested in Johnson that they gave up a fourth-round pick to move up eight spots. That’s marginal value, though I expect Johnson will be a good back. Walker was picked two rounds earlier than expected, but he has the skills to become a starter in the league.”

Andy Benoit, B
“The Lions are determined to inject some life and consistency into what’s been a mostly nonexistent ground game. After taking Arkansas center Frank Ragnow in Round 1, they go with a power-running back in Round 2. Matthew Stafford is one of the NFL’s most respected QBs, and with a ground game to balance the offense, he has a chance to now become a line-of-scrimmage-audibling field general that outsiders can finally appreciate.”

“Tavon Wilson, Glover Quin and Miles Killebrew all hit free agency in 2020. Walker can develop behind them for now, with the understanding that he could contribute in select packages early on. Matt Patricia did a lot with safety-heavy groupings in New England. You get more schematic flexibility that way.”

Pete Prisco,
Kerryon Johnson: “I love this pick. The Lions have their lead runner. He will be a big-time producer on the ground.” Grade: A

Tracy Walker: “Matt Patricia likes back end players with versatility and this kid has it. That’s a good pick.” Grade: B

Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report
“Johnson fits best as a committee back who can add some value in the slot, as a return man and as a trick-play threat. He won’t hurt the Lions as an every-down runner, thanks to his hard-nosed style, but he may hurt himself. Look for Johnson to compete for touches with Theo Riddick, Ameer Abdullah and LeGarrette Blount in what has become a crowded backfield.” Grade: C+

“Tracy Walker played a hybrid nickelback-like role for the Ragin’ Cajuns and was just good enough at everything to be an excellent defender at the mid-major level. At the NFL level, he will struggle against quality slot receivers and is too much of a dive-stick tackler to be effective in run support. Walker is a high-motor player with good instincts, so he’s worth a developmental flier. This is a little early for the Lions to start taking fliers.” Grade: C-

Luke Easterling, USA Today
“Another SEC running back off the board ahead of LSU’s Derrius Guice, which continues to surprise me (barring any confirmation of true off-field issues). The Lions need a physical, punishing runner to help balance this offense, and that’s exactly what they get here. Despite his leaner frame, Johnson delivers a punch and doesn’t shy away from contact. He’s the workhorse this offense needs, but Guice would have been a better value.” Grade: B

Tracy Walker … Grade: D

Pro Football Weekly
“Bob Quinn takes his biggest swing as Lions GM at solving the NFL’s worst rushing attack — and he links up with old pal Bill Belichick in moving up eight spots and sending No. 117 to New England to do it. That’s a decent amount to give up, but Johnson is one of the more underrated backs in this class, a really tough runner who gains every inch and matches the mold of first-rounder Frank Ragnow.” Grade: B+

“Good size, small hands but some playmaking skill. Walker has started since early in his career in college but hasn’t developed quite the way scouts had hoped. In fact, a few teams talked about using him as a corner with his size — especially his long arms. His instincts for safety might just be average, but his athleticism is solid.” Grade: C
“Still no Derrius Guice? The Lions taking Kerryon Johnson makes more sense than Guice because of their scheme, plus he’s a better fit for the type of player the Bill Belichick tree likes. Johnson will mesh well with Matthew Stafford, as he’ll be a big weapon out of the backfield, catching all of the passes thrown at or behind the line of scrimmage, a staple of Detroit’s offense. I’m not sure the Lions had to trade up for Johnson, but I like this pick.” Grade: B+

“Ladies and gentlemen, our first Millen pick of the second day of the draft! Tracy Walker is a late-round prospect with good instincts, but he seems more like a special-teams player. The Lions almost certainly could have gotten Walker in the fourth or even fifth rounds.” Grade: Ghost of Millen Strikes Again

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