From top to bottom, the Detroit Lions' 2019 draft class was tested to a higher degree than could have been anticipated.
Of the nine players drafted, eight made the active roster at some point in the season and five started at least one game.
Defensive lineman P.J. Johnson, the second of two seventh-round draft picks, was the only member of the draft class who was released in the cut to 53 players and not signed back to the practice squad. He was signed in December to the Chargers' practice squad.
General manager Bob Quinn expects the 2019 draft class to benefit from the growing pains and lessons learned in game action and on the practice field.
"I think we feel good about our draft class," Quinn said in his annual postseason press conference. "The biggest jump is from year one to year two, so we want those guys to make a big jump."
The top two picks – tight end T. J. Hockenson (first round) and linebacker Jahlani Tavai (second) were drafted to start and were opening-day starters. Both ended the season on injured reserve.
"T.J. is going to come back healthy," Quinn said. "Jahlani ... I thought he had a good rookie year for a linebacker. It's a tough position to play as a rookie, and he stepped in and played really well."
Safety Will Harris (third round) was among the others who moved into starting roles later in the season for a variety of reasons. Harris became a starter after the midseason trade of Quandre Diggs.
Harris had growing pains but played his best game in the final game against the Packers, Quinn said. He had a season-high four tackles, a pass breakup and his only sack of the season on a blitz.
'He really kind of let it loose and played fast," Quinn said. "Some of those guys in later rounds – they did a little, but they need to do a lot more next year."
Here's a breakdown of the Lions 2019 draft class, by round:
1. TE T.J. Hockenson: Great start with six catches for a team-high 131 yards and a TD in the opener against Arizona but flattened out after that. In 12 games he led the Lions' tight ends with 32 catches, 367 yards and two TDs. He has a bright future, if healthy.
2. LB Jahlani Tavai: Productive at Hawaii and productive for the Lions as a rookie until injuring his shoulder in Week 16 vs. Denver. Tavai shared some of the play-calling duties when Jarrad Davis was unavailable because of injuries.
3. S Will Harris: As Quinn said, he had growing pains, often in coverage. He fit into the safety rotation with Tracy Walker and Tavon Wilson. Size (6-1, 207) and mobility are assets.
4. DE Austin Bryant: Played only four games – including the last three – because of an injury. Size (6-6, 261) and length could help the pass rush in the future. He played 54 snaps, most of the Lions' defensive linemen, in the final game and had four tackles. It was a good finish to an injury-shortened season.
5. CB Amani Oruwariye: Held to nine games with two starts, because of a knee injury. Another young addition to the secondary with size (6-2, 205). Oruwariye had two interceptions, including one in the final game off Aaron Rodgers – who had only four for the season and led the NFL with an interception percentage of 0.7.
6. WR Travis Fulgham: One of those who has more to prove. No catches in two games, with most of the season on the practice squad.
6. RB Ty Johnson: Played all 16 games with one start and saved his best for last – 65 yards on three carries vs. the Packers. Rushed for 272 yards and 4.3 yards per carry.
7. TE Isaac Nauta: Showed promise in six games with versatility – fullback and blocker/receiver tight end – after starting the season on the practice squad.