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Lions rookie class handily ranks in top 10 of 2018 at Bleacher Report

The Detroit Lions rookie class of 2018 has been one of the NFL’s best and most impactful in its first season. Lions GM Bob Quinn added several pieces who play key roles both now and in the future, when the team hopes to get back to the winning ways of the last few years prior to the disappointing 2018, and even go well beyond that.

Quinn’s draft class of 2018 earned the No. 6 ranking out of 32 NFL teams in Bleacher Report’s ranking of the rookies.

“Injuries robbed the Lions of a few late-season standout performances, but this year’s class shows plenty of promise,” penned B/R analyst Brent Sobelski in regards to Quinn’s heralded class.

Those words echo truth. Kerryon Johnson, the team’s second-round pick, was an instant hit at running back. Johnson snapped the prolonged 100-yard rushing drought and was on pace to crack 1,000 yards for the season before going down with a knee injury. Fourth-round DE Da’Shawn Hand quickly proved a capable starter up front and was in the midst of a strong rookie season before going on IR in early December.

Two rookies along the offensive line are still paying dividends, with first-rounder Frank Ragnow showing capability as the starting left guard all season long and sixth-round pick Tyrell Crosby getting his feet wet as Rick Wagner’s injury replacement at right tackle. Third-round safety Tracy Walker has proven himself a worthy starter for 2019 and beyond with his coverage acumen and hit-stick mentality.

It’s a strong class relative to the rest of the league, definitely worthy of being ranked in the top 10. The trick for Quinn will be to add another this spring and keep the ’18 rookies on the proper developmental track.

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