Archive for the 'Lions' Category

Draft Recap Round One

Lions Draft Review.

First round 2nd second overall Suh: This was to many a no brainer. With the second overall pick many would consider it a horrible mistake to pass on Suh. I could just sit here and praise Suh and the Lions like these guys; but I choose not to save your time and mine. To state it simply, this was an obvious choice, and the Lions did the right thing.

First round 30th overall Best: I have a hard time giving my full opinion on this because it seems to change every day. First off, let us talk about Best’s abilities. I think he is a very versatile back that will add an instant weapon to the Lions arsenal. Everyone knows that Best posses top end speed and elusiveness. Too me though he has two very underrated abilities. Although him being a scat back he has surprisingly good skills running inside. This can be attributed to his great vision and quick feet. He has the tendency to bounce runs outside, but I do not anticipate it making that big of a difference in the NFL. To me he is more likely to gain extra yardage by using his speed on the outside rather than lowering his shoulder (plus this might keep him a tad healthier).

The second thing I have noticed that I feel most people have overlooked is his ability to shake tackles. This might confuse you because most people say he does have the ability to break arm tackles but not much more than that. Now look at the statement I said; it says shake not break tackles not because I wanted to use some synonym but for a distinct purpose. Jahvid Best uses his quickness and agility to keep defensive players off balance, not allowing them to square up and get there head around. Best gets credit for breaking arm tackles but he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for being the one to force defenders to only use arm tackle .

Now I have been almost completely positive about Best until now. One of the biggest concerns about a running back is their durability. In the NFL running backs have an incredibly short shelf life, due to the fact that your body takes a pounding each and every time you touch the ball. Best has already had plenty of injury concerns in the past; and I will not lie this scares me. Injuries form the past don’t implicate how many you will have in the future. Just look at Adrian Peterson, he had a horrific injury to his knee but now is one of the best backs in the league. A knee with surgery and rehab can be fixed, but a concussion cannot. Best has had a history of concussion highlighted by his freak accident against Oregon State. There is no way to completely heal from a bruised brain, and each successive concussion makes the next one easier to get.  Injuries may be the only thing that will be able to slow down the lightning Bolt of Jahvid Best.

All of this being said I am very glad Best will be wearing a Honolulu jersey. However, I don’t really agree with the trade up to get him. I highly doubt any of the teams they jumped to get him would have selected him. I believe the Lions really wanted this player and got a little too nervous when Spiller and Matthews were taken so early. It was a small price to pay to ensure you got the guy you wanted but none the less it was still a price. Hopefully Best lives up to his name and provides the team with a production for years. I must admit he is very fun to watch.


2010 NFL Draft Grades Beware

In the wake of the 75th NFL draft almost every sports media outlet will be releasing draft grades. I will admit; like every other fan I love looking at these to see what “experts” think about my favorite team’s draft.  The more research I have done the more I realize how pointless these draft grades are.

It is not a novel idea that draft grades are extremely inaccurate, most people say to look at them with a grain of salt. I go a bit further and say to ignore them altogether. There should be a warning in the title that says for entertainment purposes only.

To prove my point let’s look at the core of former Lion’s GM Matt Millen’s drafts. Please folks prepare for the worst, young children should leave the room now.

2003: Let me first say HAHAHA. Ok now that is over; this draft is absolutely worthless. Charles Rogers had the potential to be a great a wide receiver and I understand why people were excited about him. As a foolish 13 year old at the time, I was excited to see my favorite MSU player wear blue and silver. Too bad Rogers smoked more blunts than he did defenders while in the NFL. I won’t get into Rogers sad demise (like opting to go to jail rather than going to an alcohol rehab program) because it will make me too sad.

The linked article doesn’t give the draft a Z- because of Cory Redding. Redding has sense bean traded after two unproductive seasons. He was a solid 3rd round pick but not a good one. I would go with a solid F on this draft judging by the fact you number two overall pick isn’t in the league anymore.

2004: Wow another A+ draft for Matt Millen. Why was he ever fired and classified as the worst GM ever by all Lion’s fan (satire is harder to write than say). First off this is probably the best draft of Millen; not that that is saying much. I will not completely bash the picks; Kevin Jones was pretty darn good until he got injured. Millen was able to make some trades to pick him up. (I just complimented Matt Millen I may have just thrown up in my mouth) Roy Williams only had some talent and had successful years, mostly in a pass happy offense though. I can’t call Williams a bust because we got 1st and 3rd round picks for him.

2005: yet another A+ for Matt Millen. This draft was absolutely awful, Mike Williams just signed with Seattle, which I guess makes it better that we can say he is still in the league. Other than the big fat bust Mike Williams (pun intended) I haven’t heard of a lot of the guys the Lions drafted. Oh that’s right most of them don’t play football anymore. Dan Orlovsky is the only salvageable pick in this draft. As a 5th rounder he became what he was supposed to be, a solid back up.

Well now you have some evidence about how deceiving draft grades can be. As for now be happy that this organization acquired some talent college players; and hope that they will be productive in the NFL.  Just as another example look at the grade for last year’s draft. I think one year with this draft class has shown that it is worth more than a B-. However classes cannot be truly analyzed until 3 or 4 full seasons. I hope the 2010 draft headlined by Suh and Best, will turn around the Lions.

Lions Weekly News and Notes

Just as a reminder there is only one more week before the 2010 NFL Draft(The draft is 7pm et on the 22nd). This post will be dedicated to the Lions and the pre-draft rumors. First we need to look at this video of Ndamukong Suh that is swirling around the Lions community.

When I first watched this video I was impressed like any other fan. People love to hear positive things about potential players for their favorite team. When watching I was determined not to get swept off my feet. I reminded myself that this is just a workout all NFL players are gifted and are going to be impressive on a TV show. I’m a firm believer that evaluation is best done by watching players play their game not run 40 yard dashes on a TV show or at the combine.

Then I watched it again, and although it really doesn’t change my mind on the player who already has a nearly impeccable scouting report it did make me smile. The first thing I saw was him throw 300 pound bags around like they were nothing. When I first saw the video I thought that they were 100 pound bags. The second thing that stood out to me that I would love to see play for Detroit, is the hardest hit sports science had ever seen.

All this being said, his workout was very impressive, and I want Suh on my team; but this video shouldn’t change anyone’s mind about drafting Suh. If you realized Suh was a great NFL prospect because of a Sports Science show and not all of his other workouts and games played than you must have your head under a rock. I want to see Suh in Honolulu blue.

The Lions will be having a press conference this afternoon to discuss their intentions in the draft. Don’t expect much to be said during this draft though I expect Schwartz and Mayhew to say nothing more than they usually do. It will just be rehearsed quotes of, “We will be looking into any and all options.” Then there will be hopeful questions asked like,  “Are you looking to draft Suh?” or “Are you still thinking about trading down?”.  Of course the answers will be the same for both questions; yes we will be exploring all options. I really doubt that the Lions will be straight forward with their draft plans, and nor should they. So, fans don’t expect to hear any breaking news today about the draft.

While there may be no news about the draft the Lions may release some information about possible free agents, and maybe shoot down some trade rumors. I personally would love to hear an update about Lito Sheppard or Adam “Pacman” Jones. As for the trades I highly doubt that the Lions will tip their hands if they are indeed in trade talks. However I can see them saying that they are not in trade talks for Donald Penn, or any of the other absurd trade rumors.

Responsibility of Reporting

What has always been an issue with sports writing has become painfully obvious this past week with the constant news about Pacman Jones. Writers are always trying to increase their credibility and popularity by being the first person to report breaking news. For the most part this is great for consumers, especially ones that pride themselves on being well informed about their favorite teams (or any area of interest for that matter). However an epidemic of publishing false information has struck the internet.

Unlike newsprint an article online can easily be published and updated at the click of a mouse. This freedom and ease of publishing has lead to haste with reporters. Are the early first reports worth it if they are constantly wrong or inaccurate? To some degree they are worth it if mistakes are limited. No matter how hard people try, there will always be mistakes made. My problem is not that the mistakes happen, it is the fact that people are starting to put more emphasis on the timeliness of the story than its accuracy, for which there is no excuse.

What disappoints me greatly about the new trend of reporting is that writers are starting to hide behind their nameless “sources”. It is important to protect your sources from scrutiny, or they will no longer give you valuable sources. However when these “sources” give false information, especially on a regular, it makes the reader wonder if the source itself is credible or if it exists at all. Call me a cynic but I can see a non prominent reporter or blogger make up a story that could possibly be true. So blogger John Doe hears that the Lions are interested in Pacman Jones, he leans over to his shitshu who informs him that a deal between the Lions and Pacman has been signed. Now either this fictional deal ends up happening and the writer looks like a well informed insider, when actually he just got lucky. On the other hand if it becomes apparent that the signing will not happen,  John will simply amend his article with no consequences what so ever.

With the specific article in mind by Pro football talks, I have no clue how someone could be so wrong. It would be understandable if, say the Lions and Pacman were close having a deal and that the Lions were the only team in contention, and then a report came out saying that the Lions and Pacman agreed to terms. It appears however that the Lions and Pacman are nowhere near reaching a deal, and other teams are still thinking about signing the cornerback.

Although my scenario of the writer discussing sports with his dog may be far fetched, it could be possible(not the dog part but the made up story aspect). I highly doubt this particular writer made up the story, because he does write for a prominent online new group, but it does however remind me of a story that could be made up. The point of this post is simple. Before you write something as fact, make sure it is fact and don’t rely on updates to correct your mistaken information.

Lions defensive needs

Defensive end: The defensive line needed more attention than arguably any other position this off-season.  With the addition of Kyle Vanden Bosch the defensive ends need less attention than they did be fore. However Vanden Bosch won’t be a long term answer.  The Lions could pick an end as early as the second round(assuming they don’t move down in the draft) but i doubt it. My anticipation is that they will pick a defensive end in the later round to add depth and potentiality pick another Sammie Lee Hill type player.

Defensive tackle: The defensive tackles on the field next year may look dramatically different than they did last year. Sammie Lee Hill looked like a solid NFL player last year despite being a late round draft pick. The addition of  Corey Williams will also help bring depth to the position. This is small news compared to the fact that most likely the Lions will end up getting Suh the game changing defensive tackle with the 2nd overall pick.  After all of the change with the defensive line, it will move from a weakness to a strength.

Linebackers: The Lion’s linebacker will not look that different as last year. Foot is out and Levy is in as the new starter, and we will all see how that works out. There may be small additions in free agency and through the draft but most likely there will be no major change in the core.

Safety: Louis Delmas looked great last year and will help bolster the secondary for years to come.  The other safety spot is up for grabs and may change in a multitude of ways. My best guess is that they will address this hole with a veteran  but add depth with the draft. Hopefully they will hit on a late round draft pick like they did last year.

Corner: The corners will be completely different  than last year. Jonathan Wade and Chris Houston will replace Buchanon and Henry.  Hopefuly this will be an improvement from last year, but there is no real way of knowing.

Zack Follett Lion Fan Favorite

No rookie player in recent memory has acquired so many fans despite being a 7th round pick. The Lions standout special teamer Zack Follet has attracted fans both with his hard hits on the field, and his antics off the field. Zack has been extremely involved in community service since he was drafted by the Lions. He is constantly raising awareness and money for certain foundations he feels needs support. In his newest adventure Zach decides to spend the day with real Lions. Make sure you check out this video and you will be able to tell why so many fans have fallen in love with this player.

Detroit’s Needs Before the Draft

The Lions have been extremely active this offseason as expected, especially on the defensive side of the ball. As the free agent market starts to cool down, fans such as I, naturally begin to formulate what needs should be addressed during the draft.  Instead of blindly picking players that could be drafted I will simply talk about what positions need to be addressed. The Lions draft strategy will be the same as last year (pick the best player available).

Quarterback: Matthew Stafford showed great promise and appears to be the future quarterback for years to come. However, he still needs a serviceable back up. Daunte Culpepper is still an unrestricted free agent and a deal may not happen. This would be a quick free agent fix; Detroit would not want a rookie quarterback. If Jake Delhomme would come at a low price he is a possibility. Charlie Batch could also make a return to Detroit because of the emergence of Dennis Dixon as a serviceable backup in Pittsburgh.

Running Back: Once again Detroit’s running game was anemic at best. The blame is not just on the running backs but also on the line. However the running backs as a whole were unimpressive especially Kevin Smith, granted he was injured, but still even when he was not injured the explosion I expected was not there.

Running back is not a high priority but most teams are running a rotation of running backs and it would be beneficial for the lions to do this as well. If Jahvid Best or Ryan Matthews is available in the second round I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lions picked one of them up. Older free agents like LT, Westbrook, and Jones are a possibility but are unlikely unless Detroit overpays.

Other thoughts: Also it would be nice if the Lions picked up a franchise fullback late in the draft. Yes, you heard right the highly important franchise fullback. In all serious I would love to see someone like Cory Schlesinger back in Detroit. There are thoughts of picking up someone like Dexter Mccluster (A pass catching scat back). To me this is a luxury (and a waste of a pick during this phase of rebuilding) especially when Aaron Brown showed potential last year as a pass catching running back.

Wide receivers: The wide receiving core is much improved with the addition of Nate Burleson. The signing added depth to the position and also provided a more legitimate number two threat next to Calvin Johnson. Derrick Williams was pretty big disappointment last, but he is still extremely athletic and with hard work and good coaching I think he could become a good slot receiver. The Lions could possibly pick a true slot receiver later in the draft, but it isn’t as pressing as some needs.

Tight End: The lions have no true need for a tight end. Brandon Pettigrew looks like a promising blocking and catching balanced tight end. If there is a good tight end available at the end of the draft they may select him but once again that is unlikely.

Offensive Line: Oh the offensive line, the topic of concern every year. In all honesty the lions protected Stafford pretty well last year. Jeff Backus the perennial fan hated tackle once again impressed the current coaching staff, and probably will stick around. I think if the Lions could pick up a good offensive guard, the whole line would become a little better. If Mike Iupati may be available in the early second round but I highly doubt it. Luckily with good scouting and a little bit of luck a solid offensive lineman can be selected in the late rounds. If the Lions pick up a lineman later in the draft he may not be ready to play his rookie year but could contribute in upcoming years.

Similar analysis on the Defensive side of the ball will come when all the details about newly acquired corner backs Jonathan Wade and Chris Houston are announced.