Detroit Lions win ‘Most Likely to Sell You Corn From a Lunchpail’ award

The 2023 NFL Draft kicked off this past Thursday, and following the conclusion of the first round, quite a few people were questioning what the Detroit Lions were doing. After all, they used the No. 12 pick on a running back, followed by using the No. 18 pick on a linebacker that most believed would go in the second round. Now that the draft has concluded, most people have backtracked a bit, with some of those people admitting that the Lions actually walked away with a pretty nice haul. In fact, one analyst compared what Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell have done in Detroit to raising the Titanic off the ocean floor.

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Key Points

  • The Detroit Lions received criticism for their draft picks during the first round, as they used the No. 12 pick on a running back and the No. 18 pick on a linebacker that some believed would go in the second round.
  • Despite the initial criticism, many people have since backtracked on their opinions, with some admitting that the Detroit Lions had a successful draft and a “nice haul.” One analyst compared their success to “raising the Titanic off the ocean floor.”
  • The Detroit Lions' draft picks reflect the current regime's focus on toughness, and there is speculation that their pursuit of short-term goals may pay off with a playoff run in the weakened NFC. The addition of third-round pick Hendon Hooker could also prove to be a valuable addition to the team.

Detroit Lions win ‘Most Likely to Sell You Corn From a Lunchpail' award

Will Brinson of CBS Sports has released his NFL Draft awards and he gave the Detroit Lions the “Most likely to sell corn from a lunchpail” award after they selected a pair of Iowa Hawkeyes within the first two rounds. Here is what Brinson has to say about the Lions' draft.

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My editors told me I could be as weird as I wanted with the awards I gave out, so blame them for my Iowa cornfield fascination. The Lions clearly dig it, too, because two of their first four picks came from Kirk Ferentz' Hawkeyes program in linebacker Jack Campbell and tight end Sam LaPorta. A pair of Nick Saban standouts — running back Jahmyr Gibbs (12th overall) and defensive back Brian Branch (45th) — served as the Alabama bread in this corn sandwich. 

Much/most of the criticism surrounding what Detroit did during the draft centers on using two first-round picks to add a running back and an off-ball linebacker. It very much fits with the mentality of the current Lions regime, a group of coaches and executives who are infatuated with toughness. That is not a complaint, because Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes have done the impossible, appearing to steer the Lions in a potentially successful direction, the NFL's version of raising the Titanic off the ocean floor and rolling back to port with the band blasting. 

Here's an interesting exercise: take the Lions draft picks from Thursday and Friday, respectively, and flip them. 12th overall is probably too early for either LaPorta or Branch, but if you move their names to the top of the selections and imagine the Lions grabbing the RB and LB on Day 2, I think we drastically reconsider how we view this class a whole. I also think there's something to be said for the Lions pursuing short-term goals. The NFC is drastically weakened, the Bogeyman left for the Big Apple, the Lions are favored to win the division, and this is a draft class with guys who could be big-time impact guys in 2023. A Lions playoff run of any sort would quickly render any issues with this class moot, and the third-round scoop of Tennessee's Hendon Hooker could be a very nice cherry on top.

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Bottom Line: There is excitement surrounding the Detroit Lions

Overall, the Detroit Lions draft picks during the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft received criticism from some, but their subsequent selections and overall strategy have garnered praise from many. Their focus on toughness and pursuit of short-term goals may pay off with a successful season in the weakened NFC, and the addition of players like Jahmyr Gibbs, Jack Campbell, and Hendon Hooker could prove to be valuable assets for the team. While it remains to be seen how the Lions will perform in the upcoming season, their draft picks have generated excitement among fans and analysts alike.

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