Apr 23, 2024
Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK Lions linebacker coach Kelvin Sheppard has a strong message for the 2024 NFL Draft class. It doesn’t matter where you get drafted. It’s a simple piece of wisdom Detroit Lions linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard wish he knew during his own experience, but now emphasizes to young players as they embark on the whirlwind that is the draft process. On the latest episode of “Twentyman in the Huddle,” Sheppard recalled what he went through before being drafted out of LSU by the Buffalo Bills in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. “I don’t know about everybody else but it seemed for me the closer I got to the draft, the lower they started to tell me I was going. So I’m like, ‘I don’t like this, dude, I like where I was after the last game,’” he said amid laughs. “But that’s neither here nor there — that’s he said, she said.” From personal experience, Sheppard knows focusing on draft position certainly can mess with a player’s head. “I even give advice to guys now—I wish I could have known this mentally—it truly doesn’t matter where you get drafted. I really believe that. That’s just unique on that day, it’s all about what you do after you get drafted,” the former linebacker said. General manager Brad Holmes has shown time and time again he doesn’t give a flying hoot about draft position—dropping down last year to grab Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12, who wasn’t expected to go in the first round, or the countless number of diamonds he’s plucked from later rounds—I need not remind you yet again star receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown was drafted in the fourth round. As a kid, getting drafted to the NFL may be the ultimate goal, but Sheppard believes it can be the downfall of a lot of players—especially those selected higher in the draft. “I’m talking about the higher-end guys, you see their work ethic slip and things like that because in their mind, they made it. They’ve achieved the ultimate goal of getting drafted,” he said. On the other end of the scale, there are the guys who go undrafted and now must prove themselves to earn a contract—Twentyman pointing out undrafted free agents make up a third of the NFL. “If you really look at the lay of the land in the league, I tell people (the) majority is made up of those guys, the blue collar sort of guys who’ve got to put the hard hat on and make it, year in and year out,” Sheppard said. They discuss a lot of other draft-related topics, you can watch the full episode below. And onto the rest of your notes. Set aside your Wednesday night, the Lions teased a new episode of “Inside the Den.” Wednesday https://t.co/6TADl3RFkH— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) April 23, 2024 Check your favorite sportscasters’ social media — many will be in town for the draft and may offer opportunities to see them. DETROIT--I'll be podcasting live with @FieldYates, @minakimes and @Foxworth24 on Wednesday night at the ESPN Bet Sportsbook in Greektown. From 7:30-9:00pm.Tickets: https://t.co/lHMviKnvTA— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 22, 2024 In case you missed this declaration: Mayor Mike Duggan has declared Thursday, April 25, 2024, “Honolulu Blue Day” in the city of Detroit! Detroiters and visitors from across the region, especially those planning to be downtown for the NFL Draft, are encouraged to sport their Honolulu Blue on April 25 to represent.— Detroit Lions (@Lions) April 19, 2024 I just love this overview from Larry Lage for the Associated Press about what the draft means for Detroit. Your weekly future Lions kicker Jake Bates update: 49 yards? Not a problem for Jake Bates pic.twitter.com/xH6PCDk2UY— Michigan Panthers (@USFLPanthers) April 21, 2024 Needed you to see this cool draft jacket I saw on X: My daughter’s jacket for the draft in Detroit later this week. She can’t wait. #OnePride @Lions pic.twitter.com/tV9C0iwiet— Patrick DeVito (@TheLionsMan) April 22, 2024
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