The Lions make another throwback NFL Draft pick, Jack Campbell (No. 18)
Sometimes you have to just applaud a team for sticking to its guns and picking players who they feel are the best on the board regardless of what the outside world thinks. There is also an argument to be made that zigging while everyone else zags puts you behind the eight ball, which feels a lot like what Detroit did in this draft.
Using two first round picks on a running back and an off-ball linebacker would have made sense in the 1990s, which is the era that Dan Campbell would clearly want to take Detroit back to. Iowa’s Jack Campbell has a chance to be a strong pro and a leader in Detroit’s locker room but the value simply wasn’t here to take him with the 18th pick.
Most experts had Campbell mocked as a sleeper pick in the second round and Detroit certainly could have gotten him later than 18. This is another case where the Lions could have traded back, picked up more draft picks, and added the guy they wanted while giving themselves more assets to improve their roster in the long run.
Simply sitting back and making this pick is another case of Detroit failing to utilize its draft picks correctly. Campbell could be a great player but the value of a linebacker with the 18th pick in the modern NFL isn’t strong enough unless the guy is going to become a perennial Pro Bowler.