Detroit Lions 2012 NFL Draft: Why Taking Oklahoma WR Ryan Broyles Was a Mistake
The Detroit Lions have once again invested in their wide receiver corps by taking Ryan Broyles in the second round. While he is a very solid player, it stinks of an unnecessary pick. The Lions already have a deep and talented bunch of wide receivers led by Calvin Johnson. However, it also includes Titus Young and Nate Burleson. This is not a great need of the Lions.
Also, there were some very good players still available. Lavonte David was a first-round talent in a 4-3 defense with the speed, instincts and playmaking ability at the outside linebacker position.
There were also some good cornerbacks on the board like Casey Hayward and Jamell Fleming, who have the skills to be first-year contributors and long-term starters for a patchy secondary. Both can support the run and were playmakers and shut-down corners in their final college seasons.
Finally, Kelechi Osemele or Brandon Brooks—two monster offensive guards who have the mauling size and athleticism to be great run-blockers and pass-protectors as right guards in the NFL—are both arguably better than Broyles, and also fill a major need.
I will temper this negativity, though, as Broyles is a very good player. He is the best slot receiver in the 2012 draft, and can beat zone coverage with his awareness, route-running and quick cuts. He also has very safe hands and is a shifty runner after the catch. He also showed surprising speed at his pro day, when he ran a 4.57 40-yard dash just five months after a serious ACL injury.
However, this injury is a question mark. It was a major ACL injury, and if it recurs, then the Lions have wasted a second rounder. In all, it seems that Martin Mayhew is trying to "complete" positions. Last year he took Nick Fairley and Mikel Leshoure to end need at defensive tackle and running back, and this year he has got a complete wide receiver corps.
We will see in a few years if this was a good pick but, to me, an offensive guard or cornerback would have been a better move.
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