The draft, which had been scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, was successfully completed virtually from the homes of coaches, general managers and other front-office staff because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here's a pick-by-pick look at how each of the Lions' selections will fit:
Round 1, No. 3 overall: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
My take: This was the pick that always seemed to make the most sense for the Lions. Okudah is the top cornerback on the board. On a team that traded Darius Slay to Philadelphia last month and then signed Desmond Trufant in free agency, there was still a hole for a starting corner opposite Trufant and now the Lions have a player who should transition into a No. 1 corner sooner than later. General manager Bob Quinn never had an issue taking a corner this early, saying he wasn't sure why teams avoided corners in the top five. "It's obviously critical [as a position] and has high value in the league," Quinn said last week. "Really, when you look at corners, basically you have three corners that are starters in professional football now." Detroit added one to go with Trufant and Justin Coleman at No. 3 in the draft.
Jeff Okudah's NFL draft profile
Ohio State's Jeff Okudah can cover, catch, hit and tackle and is being called the most complete cornerback in the 2020 NFL draft.
Bucking history: Okudah becomes the 28th defensive back to be selected in the top five in the NFL draft and the first since Denzel Ward went to Cleveland at No. 4 in 2018. The past three defensive backs to go that high have all become stars: Ward, Jalen Ramsey and Patrick Peterson. He's the first defensive back to go in the top three since Shawn Springs went to Seattle in 1997. Springs ended up having a 13-year career. The history is good, too. Eric Berry, Sean Taylor, Quentin Jammer, Charles Woodson, Bryant Westbrook and Terence Newman were top-five picks since 1997.
How he fits: Matt Patricia prefers physical corners who can thrive in man-to-man and pressing opposing receivers. It fits perfectly into Okudah's skill set. He was a lockdown cornerback at Ohio State and often stuck to receivers. Opposing quarterbacks completed only 39% of passes against him last year and held opponents to an opposing QBR of 14.2. While he thrives in man coverage, he can also play zone, so he's an all-around corner who's a great fit for Detroit.
Round 2, No. 35 overall: D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
D'Andre Swift's NFL draft profile
D'Andre Swift was a feature back in a crowded backfield at Georgia.
My take: Swift is versatile. He can be a receiver out of the backfield, a good blocker and explosive runner. His selection means one of two things for the Lions -- either Detroit is going to go full SEC running back by committee with Kerryon Johnson (Auburn) and Bo Scarbrough (Alabama) in place or the Lions are putting one of the two on notice about their future roles.
The reality on this pick, though, is Detroit passed on many talented defensive linemen to take Swift. Defensive tackle and edge rusher, especially, are spots of need and the Lions took Swift with Ross Blacklock, A.J. Epenesa, Yatur Gross-Matos and Marlon Davidson on the board. To be worth it, Swift has to be better than the Lions last four running backs they've taken in the first or second rounds (Johnson, Ameer Abdullah, Mikel Leshoure and Jahvid Best).
Round 3, No. 67 overall: Julian Okwara, DE, Notre Dame
Julian Okwara's NFL draft profile
Watch the highlights from former Notre Dame defensive end Julian Okwara.
My take: This is a fantastic pick by the Lions, and if Julian Okwara comes back healthy from his fractured left fibula, he's an absolute steal for Detroit. Okwara could have been a possible first-round pick before the injury and gives the Lions an impact rusher to pair with Trey Flowers and Okwara's older brother, Romeo, who is a rotational end for Detroit. The brothers are reuniting and playing the same position. He had 15 sacks and 23 tackles for loss in his career and also intercepted two passes. Combined with what Detroit has gotten in its first two picks, it's a really solid class so far.
Round 3, No. 75 overall: Jonah Jackson, OG, Ohio State
My take: The Lions needed to come out of the draft with a potential starter on the interior of the offensive line and they might have it in Jackson. He's a player Detroit is familiar with, having coached him at the Senior Bowl. Plus he has a pedigree that New England-based organizations like from Rutgers, where he played for four years before transferring to Ohio State. He has some versatility, having played some center at Rutgers and is both aggressive and good with his hands. He might be the third Day 1 starter the Lions have taken in the first two days of the draft along with cornerback Jeff Okudah and running back D'Andre Swift. Julian Okwara could end up as an early starter as well at defensive end.
Round 4, No. 121 overall: Logan Stenberg, OG, Kentucky
Logan Stenberg's NFL draft profile
Check out highlights from Kentucky's beast in the middle in offensive lineman Logan Stenberg.
My take: After trading up to take a guard in the third round, Ohio State's Jonah Jackson, the Lions traded back in the fourth round to add another guard in Stenberg. Considering the glut of players at guard and competitions at both spots, the Lions are clearly looking for possible upgrades from Joe Dahl and Kenny Wiggins/Oday Aboushi. Stenberg was primarily a left guard at Kentucky, which could project to Dahl's position. It seems like it could mean Detroit is looking to get younger at the spot and potentially start two new guards in 2020. One other thought: It all but ensures Hal Vaitai is staying at right tackle.
Round 5, No. 166 overall: Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin
Quintez Cephus' 2020 NFL draft profile
Take a look at former Wisconsin WR Quintez Cephus in these highlights as he dips and dodges his way to goal lines and into the NFL draft.
My take: The Lions always seemed like they were going to take a receiver at some point during the 2020 draft, but Cephus is somewhat surprising. He ran a slow (for a receiver) 4.73 40-yard dash at the combine but he has good size (6-foot-1, 202 pounds) and strong athleticism. He's a player the Lions can develop since there will be little expected of him this year with Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola and Marvin Hall, at least, probably ahead of him on the depth chart. Surprised the Lions didn't go with K.J. Hill or Donovan Peoples-Jones based off who was on the board at the time.
Round 5, No. 172 overall: Jason Huntley, RB, New Mexico State
My take: Not sure why the Lions felt the need to double up on running back in the fifth round while they still haven't addressed defensive tackle, edge rusher/defensive end and safety, which are positions of more need, especially after taking D'Andre Swift in Round 2. What this could mean is multi-faceted. The Lions seem to want to shift how they are running and this is a definite warning sign to Bo Scarbrough, Ty Johnson and maybe even Kerryon Johnson about their futures with the club. Huntley is a smaller back who is a good receiver, so maybe they ticket him for a role kind of like J.D. McKissic had last year. Bob Quinn usually has one head scratching pick in every draft that sometimes works out (Tracy Walker) and sometimes really fails (Jimmy Landes). This might be that selection.
Round 6, No. 197 overall: John Penisini, DT, Utah
My take: Meh. The interior of the defensive line appeared to be a clear need entering this year's NFL draft and the Lions continually ignored the position until the end of the sixth round with the selection of Penisini. He never seemed to have massive production for the Utes, with only five career sacks and 15 career tackles for loss. He should have a chance to get work early with Danny Shelton and Nick Williams the two main tackles along with Romeo Okwara and Da'Shawn Hand capable of helping out as end/tackles. With Penisini's size, he might end up as the backup to Shelton early on.
Round 7, No. 235 overall: Jashon Cornell, DT, Ohio State
My take: The Lions went all-in on Ohio State players in the 2020 draft. Detroit took a Buckeye on each day, from Jeff Okudah at the start to Cornell at the end. Cornell won't give the Lions a ton in terms of pass rush, notching seven career sacks, but he can be good against the run with 13.5 career tackles for loss. He's a versatile player who at 285 pounds can move between tackle and a heavier end. But he likely projects as a tackle. After ignoring the position for the first two days of the draft, the Lions use their last two picks on defensive tackles. What does it mean? Figure Danny Shelton and Nick Williams are going to get a bunch of reps unless one Cornell or Penisini surprises early.