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O'HARA: A history of who's been available at 29

Draftniks who have gotten used to the Detroit Lions filling their roster with draft picks in the top 10 will have their patience tested in this year's draft.

The Lions have the 29th pick in the first round. That's worlds away from previous recent first-round picks such as tackle Penei Sewell (seventh overall in 2021) and defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson (second overall in 2022).

General Manager Brad Holmes has shown in his three seasons with the Lions a knack for getting players beyond the first round.

Tight end Sam LaPorta (second round, 2023), safety Kerby Joseph (third round, 2022) and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (fourth round, 2021) are examples of Holmes getting quality players in lower rounds.

It also bodes well for the Lions to draft a quality player with the 29th pick.

The following is a look at the players drafted 29th in the last 10 years and how their draft selection ranks.

There also is a look at the players drafted two or three picks after the 29th pick to judge if there were better picks than the 29th.

Here are the picks at 29, from 2023 to 2014 (and a bonus):

2023: DT Bryan Bresee, Clemson

Drafted by New Orleans Saints.

Ht./Wt. 6-5/305.

Played all 17 games without a start. Posted 4.5 sacks, 12 solo tackles, seven tackles for loss and nine quarterback hits.

Draft ranking: The Saints got a good one.

Possible better pick: Joey Porter Jr., who played all 17 games at cornerback for the Steelers, could have been a good pick.

2022: OL Cole Strange, Chattanooga

Drafted by New England Patriots.

Ht./Wt. 6-5, 310.

Played all 17 games as a rookie in 2022 but missed time in 2023 because of an injury.

Draft ranking: The Patriots got a starter who was brought down by an injury in his second season.

Possible better pick: DE George Karlaftis III, on the board at No. 30 was a better pick. He had 10.5 sacks in his second season after six as a rookie.

2021: CB Eric Stokes, Georgia

Drafted by Green Bay Packers.

Ht./Wt. 6-0/194.

A starter when healthy, Stokes has played 28 games with 25 starts. He had highs of 16 games played and 14 starts as a rookie in 2021. He started all nine games he played in 2022. As a rookie, he played both right and left cornerback.

Draft ranking: A good draft pick, and a good player when healthy. He had a high of 14 passes defended as a rookie.

Possible better pick: Based on 23 starts in first 25 games he was the right pick.

2020: T Isaiah Wilson, Georgia

Drafted by Tennessee Titans.

Ht./Wt. 6-6/350.

Wilson's career was reduced to one play in his rookie season. He had legal problems that season and never played another game.

Draft rating: Bottom line – a wasted pick.

Guaranteed better pick: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire would have been a better pick at 29. He went to the Chiefs at 32.

2019: DL L.J. Collier, TCU

Drafted by Seattle Seahawks.

Ht./Wt. 6-2/291.

Four seasons with Seattle, 2023 with the Cardinals. Started all 16 games in 2020, his second season, but only one start in the other four seasons combined, and three career sacks.

Draft ranking: Limited production.

Possible better picks: CB Deandre Baker, OL Kaleb McGary and WR N'Keal Harry are on the board. McGary has the best resume.

2018: DT Taven Bryan, Florida

Drafted by Jacksonville Jaguars.

Ht./Wt. 6-4/291.

96 games, 40 starts, 10.5 career sacks in four seasons with Jacksonville and one each with the Browns and Colts.

Draft rating: Durable but lacked impact.

Possible better pick: Could have taken Lamar Jackson, who went to the Ravens with the last pick in the first round. A colossal drafting error.

2017: TE David Njoku, Miami (Fla.)

Drafted by Cleveland Browns.

Ht./Wt. 6-4/246.

95 career games played, 66 starts.

287 career catches, 3,264 yards gained, and 25 TD.

Draft rating: The Browns snagged a winner with this one – but could have done better.

Possible better pick: The Steelers took pass rush star T.J. Watt with the next pick.

2016: DT Robert Nkemdiche, Mississippi

Drafted by Arizona Cardinals.

Ht./Wt. 6-3/296.

Played six NFL seasons – 38 games, six starts, and 4.5 career sacks.

Draft rating: Journeyman level player.

Possible better pick: DE Emmanuel Ogbah. Drafted 32nd, has been more productive.

2015: WR Phillip Dorsett, Miami (Fla.)

Drafted by Indianapolis Colts.

Ht./Wt. 5-10/192.

Still active in his ninth season with Denver, his seventh team. Played 94 career games, 20 starts. 151 career catches, 12 TDs.

Draft rating: A journeyman who played for seven teams.

Possible better pick: DT Malcom Brown played 106 games with 97 starts for three teams. He was drafted three picks after Dorsett.

2014: DT Dominique Easley, Florida

Drafted by New England Patriots.

Ht./Wt. 6-2/263.

Played 41 games with six starts in two years with the Patriots and two with the Rams. Played his last game with the Rams in 2018. Had 6.5 career sacks.

Draft rating: The Patriots failed to get value for a first-round pick.

Possible better choice: Defensive backs Jimmie Ward and Bradley Roby were drafted with the next two picks. Both had more than double the production of Easley.

Bonus 29 pick: 1988: Linebacker Chris Spielman, Ohio State

It was the first pick in the second round. The NFL had 28 teams at the time, and the pick was acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Spielman was an instant starter and a fan favorite. He was first-team All-Pro once and made the Pro Bowl four times in his eight seasons with the Lions.

He played his last two seasons with the Buffalo Bills after signing there as a free agent.

Spielman currently is serving as special assistant to the President/CEO and Chairperson.

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