Detroit Lions' Draft Not What Was Expected

Seattle Lion FanAnalyst IIApril 26, 2009

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 24:  Brandon Pettigrew #87 of North Team runs against the South Team during the Under Armour Senior Bowl on January 24, 2009 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Under Armour)

I had planned to write an in-depth article later in the week, but I'm sure those types of breakdowns will be plentiful.

Rather, I am going to ask, right now, as a Detroit Lion fan:

What the hell just happened?

No surprise in the Lions signing Matthew Stafford. Despite the absurdity of $41.7 million in guaranteed money, Stafford is now the latest version of the Lions' savior.

Kid's set for life without ever taking a snap in the pros. But does he have what it takes?

During Saturday's coverage, ESPN commentator and ex-NFL QB Steve Young summed it up best:

"Look, there are metaphorical dead bodies all over the place, quarterbacks that have been drafted No. 1 in this spot that don't have the resolve to live through what they're going to live through.

"Stafford is going to face incredible pressure. If he doesn't have the resolve—and I mean steel resolve—of Peyton Manning or Troy Aikman, he will be another one that will fall by the wayside."

OK, so we made the mistake of taking Stafford; what's done is done. Now we need to protect the "bonus baby" by drafting an offensive tackle.

Hey, look, Michael Oher is still available as our second first-round pick is coming around! Jeff Backus could be moved to guard, and we'll have a 6'5", 305-lb. pure left tackle guarding the blind side of the 41-million-dollar man.

But then Roger Goodell walks up to the podium, and instead of getting what we expected, we hear:

"With the 20th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select TE Brandon Pettigrew from Oklahoma State."

Collectively, thousands of Lions fan all went, "WTF?"

Detroit did need a tight end, but not at No. 20. There were plenty of capable tight ends available, such as Travis Beckum or James Casey, in rounds four and five.

Granted, Pettigrew has the makings of being a great tight end, but did he warrant being taken with the 20th pick, especially with Oher available?

And don't forget that the Lions have already signed TE Will Heller via free agency.

All right then, what about taking a linebacker in the second round? The Lions need all the help they can get in that area; Ernie Sims and Julian Peterson make a great tandem, but we need that one special player inside.

Aaron Curry was snapped up wisely by the Seahawks, but there were some great linebackers left at the 33rd pick. James Laurinaitis and Rey Maualuga were on the board, so there was a great opportunity to craft one of the best linebacking groups in the NFC North.

So, of course, the Lions run in the opposite direction of common sense and pick S Louis Delmas, just worsening the glut of players in the secondary.

What was the need of this pick? The Lions obtained CBs Anthony Henry, Phillip Buchanon, and Eric King via free agency or trade just recently!

When the Lions finally did pick a linebacker, they drafted DeAndre Levy, an outside linebacker from Wisconsin. At best, he will be a developmental linebacker and more than likely relegated to special teams.

I have been in the minority in supporting the new front office and coaching staff, but these choices have me questioning that support.

The Lions' brain trust has a plan. I will give them credit for sticking to it and not simply placating the fans.

But in my opinion, 2009 for the Lions will be nothing more than an extended training camp. I was certain they were not going to duplicate the success of the Falcons and Ravens of 2008, but I was hoping they would at least inch down that road.