It would be virtually impossible for any living soul not to be able to improve this ball club via the 2009 NFL draft this April. Only someone with the stature of incompetence such as Matt Millen could pull that one off—as history tells us. But there definitely is a strategy that should be adhered to in addressing the massive holes throughout the void that is the Detroit Lions roster.
Having five solid picks (including two first rounders), the 2009 draft can set the foundation for years to come IF done correctly.
First and foremost, the team should not even be tempted to draft a QB at No. 1, let alone in the first three rounds! Forget sexy and let's focus on reality. Mark Sanchez was listed here as being a more solid pro prospect than Stafford. Nearly every USC QB stays until graduation. The only reason Sanchez is leaving early this year is because, although another year would help him tremendously, his big name brethren (Bradford, Tebow, Mcoy) will all declare for 2010. He wants to AVOID that at all costs, as he should, and declare before they do & cash in (which he's entitled to do).
There should be NO motivation/reason for the Lions to go QB at No. 1, nor No. 20, and I'd go so far as to say not in the first three rounds—full stop.
Just look at Russell. That cannon of an arm that's now attached to a head that is so messed up, another year like that & we're looking at Ryan Leaf, Part ll. You cannot have your franchise saviour playing scared. * Note to Lions, it all starts at the L-I-N-E .
Make a solid core & add depth at the line, then move on from there. Hey, who knows, maybe Drew Stanton could very well be the next Brett Favre if he gets some solid protection.
** No.1 ** The Detroit Lions Select...an O-Lineman. Who cares who it is? (Just put the top three names in a hat & let a monkey pick.) This automatically bookends two young potential anchors at RT & LT. It also allows Backus to slide back to guard. (At last!) You can still go for the face Franc. QB in 2010, and it'll give these guys some time to learn how to protect him when he arrives.
** No.20 ** The Detroit Lions Select...another O-Lineman! Kidding, not really, but they should go D-line here. The top DE, or QB pressuring LB. We gotta have the guys up front to put at least some heat on the opposing signal caller. White is solid, and I like that we plucked Avril last year in the third round, but we need to sustain feasible pressure on the QB. Not going to accomplish that with what we have now. That's for sure.
** Round Two ** Add another top D-man. A top-ranked DL to plug the middle or yet another DE/OLB to bring heat on the opposing QB.
** Round Three (two picks) ** No. 1: At least one DL/MLB to plug the middle if you couldn't get that in round two—or visa versa. If you did get that in round two, go for another DE/OLB to go after the QB. No. 2: I'd like to go back to sexy here and grab a CB or WR, but again, let's get back to reality. Think depth, go for another O-Lineman—best value pick. We'll be glad we did when, I'll say again WHEN, a piggy on the O-line tweaks something.
** Round 5, blah, blah.** Go for the character guys (like last year's pick in Callum). And in 2010, go for the QB baby that'll be the face of the franchise, but not until you implement this draft strategy and build a solid foundation to work from.
Detroit Lions 0-16 in 2008, and 5-11 or 6-10 in 2009 (then we get baby face & win the Super Bowl).
Still, it's a long road to trek.