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2012 Lions Draft: Complete Madness

Kazu McArthurContributor IIISeptember 26, 2016

2012 Lions Draft: Complete Madness

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    Most mock drafts from here until draft day will point out what need each team has and what player they should choose. It’s conventional thinking.

    However, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned about the Detroit Lions’ front office over the last few years, it’s that they are anything but conventional.  Other than Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh, each pick since has been a head scratcher.

    But, upon further review, each head scratch is followed by an overwhelming “Ahaaaaa.” The following are a list of possible “Ahaaaaa” picks in the upcoming draft. I don’t expect any of them to actually happen but, then again, I’ve come to expect the unexpected from this Lions front office.

Romanowski 2.0

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    Vontaze Burfict, MLB


    Could This Happen?

    On pure talent and tenacity alone, this guy could be the next Ray Lewis. Mentally, he could be the next Charles Manson. The dude is insane. If I were to compare him to another player, it would probably be Bill Romanowski.

    During his career, Romanowski was one of the most feared LBs due to his out-of-control mean streak.  Burfict may be in the same mold. Burfict is without a doubt, this year’s boom or bust player. In fact, he may be the biggest boom or bust player over the last few seasons.  

    His reckless play and penchant to do his own thing on the field will drop him down draft boards. However, his physical gifts are undeniable. The key will be to see who can harness his aggression and channel it into something productive.

    If the Lions brass think they can harness the power and intensity that the Former Sun Devil brings to the field, don’t be surprised if they pluck him up in the first round. Of all the slides in this article, this is probably the most likely in my opinion.

     

    Why This Makes Sense:

    The Lions are in the middle of contract talks with a bunch of key free agents this offseason.  I’ve mentioned before that I would prefer keeping Avril and letting Tulloch walk. Not that Tulloch is a bad player, I just believe that his asking price will be too high for the Lions to swallow.

    If Tulloch isn’t back next year, the Lions will be scrambling to find a replacement in the middle. The front office is known for drafting talent over need. Burfict is a top-five talent with some immaturity issues.

    Fairley dropped to the Lions last year because of the supposed dirty player tag. The Lions drafted him anyways.  If Tulloch walks, the Lions will fill both talent and need with this pick.

JetBlue Airways

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    Alshon Jeffery, WR

     

    Could This Happen?

    Justin Blackmon is widely regarded as the best WR in this year’s draft. Up until about halfway through the season, Jeffery and Blackmon jockeyed for the best receiver title. Ultimately Blackmon won out.

    Blackmon and Jeffery remind me of the A.J. Green/Julio Jones competition last year.  That doesn’t mean Jeffery is a second-rate receiver. He possesses great size, speed and playmaking ability.

    For some reason, many drafts have him dropping down draft boards for one reason or another. If he falls to the middle of round one, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Lions taking the former Gamecock.

     

    Why This Makes Sense:

    There has been much talk of the contract negotiations between the Lions and Calvin Johnson. The Lions would love to have Megatron signed long term (who wouldn’t?).

    However, if this pick goes through, it could signal that contract talks aren’t going so well and the Lions are looking to find a replacement for the All-Pro wideout. Or, it could mean that the Lions continue to draft the best player available.

    As a Lions fan, I hope it’s the latter. Green Bay has proven that you can never have enough quality receivers. Johnson, Jeffery, Burleson and Young would make for one of the most dangerous units in the league. 

    If the Lions are looking to free up cap space, they could release Burleson and draft Jeffery. Jeffery would not replace Burleson but, it would provide the Lions with three legit deep-ball receivers.

Old Faithful

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    Randy Bullock, K


    Could This Happen? 

    Randy who? Kickers are rarely drafted high or at all for that matter. He will be available later in the draft.

     

    Why This Makes Sense:

    I love Jason Hanson. He is the closest thing the Lions have to a Hall of Fame candidate at this time. The reality of it all is that he will be 42 by the time the season starts.

    The new kick off rules have helped the ageless wonder but, at this age, he could go down at any time. He hasn’t done anything to lose his spot but, you never know. Bullock is the recipient of the 2011 Lou Groza award after going 29-33 during 2011.

    Will it happen? Not unless Jason says so.

Thunder and Lighting

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    Trent Richardson, RB and Lamichael James, RB

     

    Could This Happen?

    In my humble opinion, Trent Richardson is leaps and bounds better than last year’s top RB prospect, Mark Ingram. He’s bigger, stronger, faster and comes with less injury concerns than Ingram. 

    The only reason he falls out of the top 10 is due to the emergence of the passing game. With the league throwing the ball more and more and running the ball less and less, teams are less willing to pay top dollar for a lesser used commodity. 

    Rumors swirled last year that the Lions were trying to move up draft boards to acquire the services of top cornerback Patrick Peterson. If Richardson somehow falls out of the top ten, I wouldn’t scoff at the notion that the Loins move up to nab him.

    Lamichael James has been one of the most talked about college stars over the last couple of seasons. He possesses great quickness and deceptive speed. The man is always a play away from SportsCenter’s Top 10.

    The knock on James is his size. He enters the draft at 5’9”, 185 pounds.  That fact alone will probably drop him down draft boards. The player he will be constantly compared to is Darren Sproles.

    James will probably never be an every-down back but, if used correctly, he can be a key cog in the offense.  If James is there around the third round, don’t be surprised if the Lions move to grab him.

     

    Why This Makes Sense:

    The injury bug has seemed to have found a nest in the offensive backfield. The Lions have drafted three RBs within the first three rounds over the last four years. It’s not that any of those three lacked talent, it’s just that they haven’t been healthy enough to make an impact.

    Kevin Smith has flashed glimpses of brilliance, but has not been able to complete a full season. With concussions dating back to his college days, Jahvid Best’s career may already be over. Mikel LeShoure has yet to take a single hand off in an NFL game due to an injury sustained during last year’s shortened training camp.

    I fully expect him to return, but it is unknown if he will heal completely or if his game will transition well to the NFL level.  Much of that is speculation but, one thing is for sure: The Lions need to find a running game in order to progress.

    Though much of the league has converted to a pass-heavy offense, there is still a need for effective running. Matthew Stafford and company proved that point. Even with a 5,000+ yard passer under center, the best receiver in the league, and a plethora of receiving targets, the Loins failed to progress past the first round.

    If the current Lions RBs can't kick the injury bug, a Richardson/James tandem would prove to be a more than adequate one-two punch out of the backfield. The tandem would keep defenses honest and provide more weapons to an already dangerous offense.

3-4 Transition

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    Michael Brockers, DT

     

    Could This Happen?

    No. This probably has less than 0.00000001 percent chance of happening. It’s pure hogwash, but what the hey? Why not?

    If Brockers bombs at the combine, he will see his draft stock drop. However, much like Burfict, based on his physical tools, someone will pick him up.

     

    Why This Makes Sense:

    It doesn’t. It’s pure insanity. Sandwiching Brockers between Suh and Fairley, and Hill coming off the bench would provide the Lions with the youngest and arguably most talented front line in football. 

    The 6'6" LSU behemoth is still young and has a high ceiling. These three may re-invent the three-four defense altogether. The Lions would re-sign Tulloch and Levy and move them in the middle, keep Durant on the outside, while also moving Avril to the other LB position.

    Who am I kidding? This will never happen but, with Mayhew in charge, you can never tell.

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