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Why the Detroit Lions should do the unthinkable....

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I am asking the Detroit Lions to do the unthinkable: to take a WR in the first round 4 out of the past 5 years. Calvin Johnson SHOULD be the pick. He is the #1 player in this draft and the surest thing to come out since Carson Palmer. He has all the tools you look for (Moss' height, TO's speed, Harrison's hands) with a great work ethic. For crying out loud, he ran the a 4.39 40 at the combine with a pair of BORROWED SHOES. Plus, he had a smurf of a QB throwing to him in college who didn't throw to him nearly enough, which prevented him from challenging for the Heisman. If you have never seen what this kid can do, then check out this catch:

But thanks to the joke of a GM we have, we find ourselves in a predicament, having drafted 3 WRs in the past 4 years. Charles Rogers was a publicity stunt; the hometown kid coming to revive his hometown team (Too bad the only thing he could revive was his crack pipe :P). Roy Williams is becoming an All-Pro wide-out, the crown jewel of Millen's only some-what successful draft (Kevin Jones, Teddy Lehman). Big Mike Williams, or BMW, for all intesive purposes is Bart Simpson turned wide receiver (Donuts, anyone?). I wouldn't plan on him being in Detroit past June 3rd.

I view that there are 3 "franchise players" in this draft: JaMarcus Russell, Adrian Peterson (if he stays healthy), & Calvin Johnson. I am scared that the Lions are trying to shy away from these "franchise" players. However, when you have so many holes and are as far from winning as the Lions are (2 or 3 years away in my books), you need to take the BPA. And for all you Lions fans who say "Well, the BPA theory got us BMW two years ago", Mike Williams was not the BPA, Shawn Merriman or Derrick Johnson were. Only a baffoon like Matt Millen had an out-of-work, overweight WR at #1 on the board at that point. I was screaming for them to take DJ, but it blew-up when Minnesota passed on BMW at #7.

This year there are many Lions fans who want them to either take Joe Thomas or trade down. Here is the problem I have with these options....

(1) In many years when there isn't a dominent offensive lineman, the best of a mediocre bunch become grossly overvalued. I'm not saying Joe Thomas is a horrible player, he could quite possible be a very good pro, but he's not this Orlando Pace that everyone is making him out to be.

(2) Why would you corner yourself into trading down? I have nothing against trading down, but it shouldn't be your only option! Of course if someone offers me an unbelievable deal, then by all means, I am taking it and laughing all the way to the bank. But unless that deal comes around, then I am staying right at #2.

(3) For those who think the Lions need to draft on the defensive side, normally I would agree, but when you have a pick in the top 3 or 4, you need to get a playmaker, no matter what side of the ball he plays on. Look at last years draft. If Reggie Bush becomes as good as they say he can be, how much will the Texans regret passing on a playmaker of his status. Although they strengthened their defense with Mario, they may have passed on one of the greatest offensive players of his era.

(4) As smart as it would be, the Leos will not take a QB. They have a head coach and an offensive head coach who do not believe in taking QBs early in drafts. Add that to a franchise who got burned by taking Joey Harrington, and you have a next to none shot. The only possibility of a QB is if Russell by some chance falls to them at #2, but then I think they would get a sweet deal and trade down instead of taking him.

Going by those four facts, the Detroit Lions have 3 options: Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, or trade down. I would pull the trigger in that order. One miracle situation would be a trade down and then still getting Peterson, but the chances of that are slim to none.

You know this league is messed up when (cue the circus music) the Buccaneers lose the coin toss and drop to #4, even though the player they lust for, CJ, is the #1 player in the draft. You'd think that there is no way they can get him. Yet they will get him because the Raiders won't take him, the Lions won't take him, and the Browns won't take him.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Feel free to criticize, scream, or, by some chance, agree with me.

I got to go take a Tylenol before my head explodes. :shocked:

GFB

Moss' height and TO's speed? Moss isnt overly tall and TO isnt overly fast.... interesting you said those two attributes. And when was Carson Palmer a sure pick? Many draft experts had him as very risky (only one good season) and even had Leftwich rated above him.

And Mike Williams was the BPA at that point in 05. Doesnt make it a smart pick, but remember he was ranked #1 by Mel Kiper and very highly by many others. Doesn't mean he was ranked highly in the front office but going into the draft he was suppost to challenge for the top 5.

They already have a playmaker at receiver, and Mike Furrey looked great last year. For Matt Millen's sake, he better hope BMW turns out to be the slot receiver he's suppost to be. If Im Millen, and I cant trade down I take Quinn or Russell if hes available. Kitna is becoming ancient, plus hes not that good to begin with. Bringing in a franchise QB for the future could help save the franchise. After Joey though they may be gun shy, but IMO thats the smartest option.

Seriously dude, shut the fu*k up. Im not kidding. Talking about the damn Lions getting Johnson. You disgust me..... :mad:

Now remember this is coming from a Bucs fan who wants Johnson more than life itself and who is horribly paranoid about having the lions, raiders, and browns who all could do ANYTHING ahead of him. Thank you for making my night that much more restless....................

Wait a minute.... I thought you wanted Dwayne Jarrett over Johnson? :P

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Agreed. But I?d rather have one of the 10-20, a third and somebody else?s #1 next year. See SD Chargers for how to trade down and fleece an over-eager team.

I get what you are saying and it's a valid point, but someone has to offer the Chargers that right deal before they can trade down and get the best value for their pick.

Yup?..We passed on Barry. Best RB I ever had the pleasure of watching and we passed on him. To be fair though, Mandarich was one of the all time biggest busts at ANY position and everyone was fooled. Plus, RB is different than WR. You HAVE to draft the once-in-a-lifetime RB. (Yes Texans, you messed up). Also, as good as Barry was, the lack of quality players around him in essence wasted his career and resulted in how many titles? Life isn?t TECMO?you need depth everywhere.

Off topic but, I would somewhat disagree with you. I remember that for the first five years or so, Barry was surrounded with some good players: Lomas Brown, Herman Moore, Brett Perriman, Kelvin Pritchett, Robert Porcher, Chris Spielman, Bennie Blades, Mel Gray to name a few. Granted, I was only 4 years old at the time, but I remember that they had a few good years.

Which is fine. But I would stress that is only YOUR opinion. Most have Thomas rated over D?Brickshaw who went where? #4 last year? And I don?t think D?Brick was a bad pick for the NYJ either. Look?.if you?re worried that Thomas will be a bust I can?t alleviate that concern. There is always that chance. And if the possibility exists to sell off the pick to a team looking to move up so be it. But you seem overly sour on high draft choice tackles and I?m not sure there?s a lot of evidence supporting that fear. Surely, you are correct in that teams like New England get great value out of their 4th and 5th round O-Lineman, but can you reasonably expect the Lions do draft so carefully? It?s like flipping houses for profit. It SEEMS easy?..but it takes a keen eye and lots of know-how and if you don?t have those qualities, maybe you should just go with the slightly more expensive sure thing and leave the speculating to the pros.

Alot of what you said was true. I don't trust the Lion's scouting. But just because I don't think they will make the right picks, does that mean they shouldn't at least try?

I actually really liked D'Brick last year and hoped he fell to the Lions, even though there was little chance of that. There is just something I see in Thomas that scares me. Maybe it has a nothing to do Thomas, but with Wisconson lineman after the Aaron Gibson fiasco. Who knows, he just scares me.

Here is every offensive lineman chosen in the first round over the past five drafts, so you guys can decide for yourselves.

2002

Mike Williams

Bryant McKinnie

Levi Jones

Marc Colombo

Kendall Simmons

2003

Jordan Gross

George Foster

Jeff Faine

Kwame Harris

2004

Robert Gallery

Shawn Andrews

Vernon Carey

2005

Jammal Brown

Alex Barron

Chris Spencer

Logan Mankins

2006

D'Brickashaw Ferguson

Davin Joseph

Nick Mangold

That?s a separate topic, but I don?t see the negativity regarding Quinn as fair. I think it?s overflow from how annoying Notre Dame is in general. Its not that kids fault who he played against or how overrated his squad was. I think he?s got every chance of being successful as a pro.

It's not that I'm down on Quinn, I just think that there are 3 players better than him in this draft. Like Matt Lienart was last year, Quinn is stuck in a draft with a "better" quarterback prospect. 8 years out of 10 he is the number one pick....

Because you?re a pro scout? I don?t mean to be a jerk here?.but I?m not sure what you (or I for that matter) DEEM means a hill of beans.

In fairness, in the first post I said that it was my view and my opinion of those three players. And I don't expect that you have to agree with everything I say. It's just my opinion. But who really cares about any of our opinions unless are name is sitting on a desk with the title "General Manager" sitting beside it? It was just my $.02 on the matter.

Sterling, I listened to everything you said and you weren't being a jerk. You are each entitled to our own opinion, just as I am....

Lastly, let me add that IF the Lions pass on Johnson and he becomes the next great WR?it wouldn?t necessarily mean the Lions should have taken him. There are more variables than that at play. I think it?s distinctly possible Barry or Deion could have failed in Green Bay. I think its possible that under any number of circumstances Favre could have been a failure elsewhere. I think under different circumstances with a crud team Jerry Rice could have had a solid, but not exceptional career. Even though the cream usually rises to the top, the system; supporting cast and scenarios an athlete finds themselves in greatly influence the path of their career. Jordan sans Pippen? Does he win 6 rings?

If you TRULY love Calvin Johnson, don?t doom him to Detroit??root for someone else to take him and for him to actually do well. Once the Fords see the light or die??.and Millen gets his walking papers then MAYBE, just maybe the Lions will be ready to build a quality organization.

Circumstances do play a role in a players performance. If I put Peyton Manning in Houston or Detroit, he probably wouldn't make the playoffs. But just because our circumstances aren't the greatest now, you want me to hope the Lions don't take the best player (IMO) in the draft? If Brett Favre retires next year, and you guys fall back into the to the top 5 picks for a few years, are you actually going to hope that they pass on the best player because your Packers aren't in a position to win at that moment? I don't get your reasoning behind that statement.

And you know I am hoping for the day to come when Millen gets canned. The Fords may never sell the team willingly, but you can always hope, right?

Moss' height and TO's speed? Moss isnt overly tall and TO isnt overly fast.... interesting you said those two attributes. And when was Carson Palmer a sure pick? Many draft experts had him as very risky (only one good season) and even had Leftwich rated above him.

TO is a shell of himself now. Think more of his 49er/Eagle Days. Moss is one of the taller reciever I've seen, so I used that comparison.

About the Palmer thing, I was always under the impression that he was viewed as close to a sure thing as they come. Whether that was accurate or not at the time, I don't know....

And Mike Williams was the BPA at that point in 05. Doesnt make it a smart pick, but remember he was ranked #1 by Mel Kiper and very highly by many others. Doesn't mean he was ranked highly in the front office but going into the draft he was suppost to challenge for the top 5.

I don't think Kiper is as smart as everyone makes him out to be. Prior to that draft, everyone had Mike Williams going 7 to the Vikings to replace Moss. They shocked everyone by taking Williamson, which left the Lions scrambling.

I can remember hearing that the Lions at Williams at #2 on their big board. I don't know whether that is true or not, but that's what I heard.

They already have a playmaker at receiver, and Mike Furrey looked great last year. For Matt Millen's sake, he better hope BMW turns out to be the slot receiver he's suppost to be. If Im Millen, and I cant trade down I take Quinn or Russell if hes available. Kitna is becoming ancient, plus hes not that good to begin with. Bringing in a franchise QB for the future could help save the franchise. After Joey though they may be gun shy, but IMO thats the smartest option.

I addressed the Furrey issue in the first post. Kitna is a servicable QB, but is not the long term answer as you said. Other than that, I agree and would be okay with taking a quarterback (just not Quinn at #2 :P )

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I get what you are saying and it's a valid point, but someone has to offer the Chargers that right deal before they can trade down and get the best value for their pick.

Yup. Totally. But the Lions will have to play poker a bit and seem really married to the pick while letting the right teams know they could be persuaded.

Off topic but, I would somewhat disagree with you. I remember that for the first five years or so, Barry was surrounded with some good players: Lomas Brown, Herman Moore, Brett Perriman, Kelvin Pritchett, Robert Porcher, Chris Spielman, Bennie Blades, Mel Gray to name a few. Granted, I was only 4 years old at the time, but I remember that they had a few good years.

Yeah?I suppose. They had a couple playoff years and that one NFC title game appearance. But what I meant was, meanwhile, a RB with half the innate ability named Emmitt was winning 3 rings because his O-Line made holes you could drive a truck through. Not coincidental either that the Cowgirls had fleeced Minnesota in the Herschel deal?(valuing MORE picks over one rare player) and scouted their subsequent draft choices brilliantly.

Alot of what you said was true. I don't trust the Lion's scouting. But just because I don't think they will make the right picks, does that mean they shouldn't at least try?

That is the toughest question you pose right there. You have to try. But scouting?how do the teams like the Pats and Eagles do it? It?s like 3 of every 4 picks is a diamond in the rough. I don?t think Green Bay drafts particularly well at all of late and frankly half the league or more doesn?t seem to either. And that?s a big part of the equation. Doing more with less. I?m a TMQ disciple. I?ve enjoyed looking at the game a little differently the past few years. And that means not only looking at in-game decisions differently, but front office ones differently too. I think most teams/GMs are trying to catch lightning in a bottle. They chase the ?it? guy, become enamored with playmakers and game-changers. So you spend all the first round money, signing bonuses and time on these guys and maybe one in three pans out. They pan out JUST as they become free agents and they leave or break your cap when the stay. Robert Ferguson/Javon Walker. Both high picks. One is a bust. The other isn?t. But that other one, takes 3 years to peak, gets hurt, demands trade and there you go. Six years later we still haven?t filled that Freeman void. And where we have filled it is through a low round guy like Driver who works harder than both of them combined. (I?m only using Packer examples cause I?m familiar with them) I?d just love to experiment and always trade out of round 1 and see what kind of team you could assemble with double the #2s?.focusing on versatile, smart players who like special teams and excel at the basics of offense and defense??none of which will break you if they bail in free agency.

Circumstances do play a role in a players performance. If I put Peyton Manning in Houston or Detroit, he probably wouldn't make the playoffs. But just because our circumstances aren't the greatest now, you want me to hope the Lions don't take the best player (IMO) in the draft? If Brett Favre retires next year, and you guys fall back into the to the top 5 picks for a few years, are you actually going to hope that they pass on the best player because your Packers aren't in a position to win at that moment? I don't get your reasoning behind that statement.

And you know I am hoping for the day to come when Millen gets canned. The Fords may never sell the team willingly, but you can always hope, right?

Again, I don?t know. What I don?t want, is for Green Bay to spend the next ten years looking for another Favre. I think they, or any team would do well to focus on the eight or nine players who the line on both sides of the ball. It will give whomever you put in the skill positions time to develop and a better chance at succeeding.

I?m going to give you an example. Craig Newsome. One of my favorite Packers from the championship year. A big guy, which helped, but otherwise unremarkable in athleticism. But he played behind a D-Line of Reggie, Sean Jones, Gilbert Brown and Santana Dotson; which meant he never had to cover for more than 3 seconds. He was not a risk taker like Woodson or Bailey and didn?t have to be. In fact QBs rarely even looked his direction cause he was simply rarely out of position. He recorded a grand total of 1 interference call that whole year and it was in the Superbowl and could have gone either way. Indeed that whole defense keyed off how good the line was. We had average linebackers, average corners (great safeties actually) but pretty much vanilla quality talent on half the D. Similarly, Dallas? offensive line was so immense and so talented that it allowed Emmitt to reach the second level instantly and for the most part kept the terribly accurate Aikman alone and throwing darts. I think Detroit and every other team should operate under the assumption that anyone can run to the endzone if all the defenders have been knocked to the ground already.

That?s all I got. Good luck to you. May the Lions get Calvin and may it turn out well.

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