Who is it going to be? Realistically, the Detroit Lions have to pick a player on Thursday. By the 23rd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, most of the high profile players will be off the board. There are more than enough holes to pick a player at any number of positions….and the defensive secondary comes directly to mind. The linebacking corp played pretty well during the season, yet behind a high powered defensive line the Lions ranked 23 against the run. Even though the offense was prolific at times, it struggled to run the ball and was very susceptible to delayed middle blitzes and strong pass rushers. On top of all that, the Detroit Lions top two running backs played 6 games between them in 2011. There are so many options, what’s a team to do?
The secondary was dismal last year. Some of the blame for that rests with the defensive front and a lack of pressure on the passer. That unit doesn’t have much depth, and the ton of injuries it suffered didn’t help. Of course there were also those guys out there giving it there all and still getting burned. It would be nice to have someone on the corner wearing an asbestos uniform; Jenoris Jenkins seems like that guy.
The mock draft gurus seem to think he will fall to the lions at 23, what with his off field problems. He ran a 4.44 forty yard dash at the combine. He was an elite player at Florida against some big time SEC talent. But those off the field problems loom large for a team with 3 players who were just arrested for Marijuana. We count on Kyle Vanden Bosch to be the veteran voice in the locker room, and we all thought Ndamukong Suh would be the guy who carries that torch into the future. Now with Suh coming off some very dicey behavior, that isn’t seeming like the safest bet. The Detroit Lions locker room seems to be on the verge of Bengaldom…and adding a player with back to back arrests for pot might just put them over the edge, both now and into the future.
Martin Meyhew and the Detroit Lions front office have a record of picking the best player available. This year with less holes to fill they might just revert to the best player available at a position of need, a natural shift for a team now on the rise. If that holds true then we could all be looking at the very real possibility of another running back. I know, I know this running back thing is getting a little Millen-esque, but the fact is we need a running back who can stay in the game. Being effective is a whole other set of expectations. Jahvid Best has concussion issues…major concussion issues. Mikel Leshoure is coming off an achilles tear, an injury that has ended untold careers in the NFL. So far the team hasn’t signed anyone to fill that role from the shrinking free agent pool, and they don’t have the cap space to go after any one dynamic. That leaves the door open for guys like Doug Martin from Boise State, Lamar Miller from Miami, and LaMichael James from Oregon. All of these guys are more second round picks, or first round stretches. They are all possibilities though if the Lions trade down.
Then there’s Dont’a Hightower. At 6’2” and 265 pounds he is the kind of linebacker we haven’t had here in quite a while. He’s more of a 3-4 guy by all accounts, but he has all the explosive, hard hitting, play making ability that changes offensive strategies. Another important point is both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens are targeting him. The NFL is a copycat league, and when two of the most successful teams with two of the toughest defenses in the game are after a guy you can draft, you have to take a long look at him to see if he can fit into your system. If he can’t fit into our system he can still play a part in our draft. The Ravens want this kid, so much so that Peter King has them trading up to 23 to get him. Another pick is always a plus for a team with cap issues.
The Lions need linemen too. The starters we have aren’t top of the line guys, and a few of them are near the end of their NFL roads. Behind them we have very little depth and even fewer starting prospects. There are a few nice tackles out there, but no one who’s a can’t miss starter at left tackle. Georgia’s Cordy Glenn, and Ohio State Buckeye Mike Adams have been named as possibilities by the mock draft nation, but no one has suggested that either is the best player at their position.
Not so for Minnesota center Peter Konz. He is far and away the best center in the draft. He is that kind of Brandon Petigrew pick who is the best player at his position, and can’t be found in another draft. At 6′ 5” and 315 pounds he has been described as a road grader. He lead the way for Monte Ball all year long, and we all remember what Wisconsin’s running game looked like in the Big Ten Championship. The Detroit Lions have been giving up sacks up the middle for the past few years. The delayed middle blitz, and big strong D tackles are Dominic Raiola’s Achilles heel. The lions center is also 33 going on 34, and while he’s been a staple here in past, loyalty isn’t worth pressure up the middle getting to Matthew Stafford.
With the draft pool winnowed by 22 players, and the Lions with so many needs, it’s next to impossible to predict what’s really going to happen. The Lion’s front office has been unpredictable in the past with their picks past the first round. They have traded up and traded down. They have taken players we didn’t think we needed, and gone after guys who they felt shouldn’t have fallen. If there is one lesson that we as fans can take away from Martin Meyhew’s past drafts, it has to be that we have no idea what he’s going to do with any pick under 2.
Earlier we mentioned that the Detroit Lions are looking to trade up in order to draft Alabama safety Mark Barron. Now there’s a report from the Detroit Free-Press that they may also target South Carolina cornerback Stephen Gilmore if they’re able to move up.
The Lions need to upgrade their secondary and it looks like they’re trying to do so in the first round of tonight’s draft.
This is a solid selection for the Detroit Lions, but I’m not sure it was the right choice. Riley Reiff isn’t a left tackle, which is fine late in the 1st round, but Gosder Cherlius is already entrenched at right tackle. And if the Lions plan on moving Reiff or Cherlius to guard, then why not just take David DeCastro? It’s a questionable choice, but Reiff does have decent value here.
Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson insists he doesn't fear the Madden Curse.
Some Lions' fans, however, are hoping the local star actually loses to Carolina quarterback Cam Newton in the final voting to determine the featured player on the cover of EA Sports' "Madden NFL 13" cover. The winner will be announced Wednesday at 5 p.m.
"I'm not a big...
Calvin Johnson has joined his Detroit Lions teammates for voluntary, care-free workouts this week.
The All-Pro receiver can run, lift weights and catch passes without stressing about contract negotiations or answering questions about entering the last year of his deal.
Johnson had one season left on the contract he got as the No. 2 pick in the 2007 NFL draft when he signed an eight...
Although the NFL Season is still some 4 months away from its official kickoff, Football fever is in full effect for Detroit Lions fans, as the NFL draft takes place. With returning 5000 yard passer Matthew Stafford, all-pro receiver Calvin Johnson, hard hitting Safety Louis Delmas, and a Defensive Line that includes Ndamukong Suh, Kyle Vanden Bosch, and the franchised Cliff Avril...
Calvin Johnson will be the next athlete featured on the cover of the absurdly popular Madden video game series. Megatron defeated Cam Newton in the finals of the 64 player tournament to get the honor. Johnson now gets the privilege of being hounded by questions about if the Madden curse is real and if he will be able to avoid a catastophric injury. Here's the announcement that...
Well Detroit Lions, you had a good run. Your team was solid last season and you could have been a legitimate contender this time around. Unfortunately, the American people hate you. They’ve set your star player up to fall down a flight of stairs, slip on a banana peel and into a mound of glass, or possibly get “accidentally” elbowed by Metta World Peace at a nightclub....
Detroit Lions fans better start rubbing a lucky rabbits foot, carry around lucky coins, and wishing upon a star because wide receiver Calvin Johnson defeated Cam Newton to win the high profile cover for Madden ’13. But what comes along with the cover is something most athletes and fans truly believe exists; the Madden Curse. [...]
Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson beat out Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in the final fan voting for the cover athlete for EA Sports' "Madden NFL 13." "Everybody played Madden coming up. Everybody saw the guys that were on the cover," Johnson said. "I remember when I was in college I was a big Madden player, it's a big deal, it's a big deal...
In the third round, results become less predictable as available players vary and a team's true draft grades on available players become more difficult to accurately assess. Lions' insider Mike Mady evaluates the best possible options for the Detroit Lions at pick No. 85.
I ain’t afraid of no jinx: Calvin Johnson will bravely head into next season as the coverboy for Madden 13.
Detroit Lions receiver CALVIN JOHNSON bested Carolina Panthers QB CAM NEWTON in the final online voting for the honor of gracing the cover of EA Sports’ Madden 13 video game cover on Wednesday in Times Square.
The Megatron cover was revealed on ESPN2 SportsNation Wednesday...
When it comes to predicting the Detroit Lions' No. 23 pick overall in Thursday's first round of the NFL Draft, flip a coin.
There are so many different scenarios that could develop depending on what happens with teams selecting in front of them and which talented players slide down from earlier projections.
"I've been through this process before where you have...
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