Detroit Lion Draft Day: Certain Uncertainty
The thing everyone must remember about all that has been printed and said in the papers and media is that rarely do teams tell the truth about what direction they want to take in the draft, because it's all supposedly a big secret.
Of course, as fans, we can see where our team's weaknesses lie. We can also see the picks and signings that should, or should not be made.
And just like the rest of the league, the Lions would be open to moving down and garnering more picks. Lets face facts: though the NFLPA is dead-set against it, rookies make more money than they should before they ever prove they have earned it.
That being said, the Lions at pick 15, are not in a horrible position. And there should be a very good player there for the team to select.
The problem is that in these waning days leading up to draft weekend, the poker game being played is more about bluffs than anything else. All of the mock drafts we've read, the visits made by prospects, and all of the workouts coaching staffs have made still make trying to nail down who will be available and when, just like roulette.
The Lions have used free agency and trades to fill some of the gaping holes on the roster and what was once an area of certain attention in round one, the secondary, is now an area that can be addressed on the second day.
Still, rumors run rampant.
The Lions have repeatedly denied any interest in trading wide receiver Roy Williams, yet the stories won't go away. It doesn't help that now when asked about it, Matt Millen simply laughs, and who ever knows what he's thinking to begin with.
It sounds as if head coach Rod Marinelli has his way, Roy is a Lion for life. Does another team want him badly enough to make a deal the Lions cannot refuse?
Doubtful in my opinion, not with the draft so deep at the position.
What of the weakness along the offensive line? Will the change in philosophy, less passing and more of a power running game commitment, mean that the current lineman employed by the team fit the bill, or do they need to make improvements there?
Do the Lions move up? There is talk about the Lions loving Florida defensive end Derrick Harvey, but that with his recent stock rising, he may not be there for the team.
The same can be said about Rashard Mendenhall, who goes to the Lions at pick 15 in many mock drafts, yet the Bears and Panthers are chirping about his potential as well. The same teams have shown interest in the offensive lineman that may be there as well (Jeff Otah, Chris Williams, etc).
Columnists like Sports Illustrated's Peter King also like to shake things up by throwing the latest tidbit out there, such as the Lions moving up to take Matt Ryan of Boston College. Yeah, I believe that. Not.
What is also up in the air is who the Lions would really like at 15.
Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo has been like the team's dirty little secret, and, much like Ernie Sims at number nine, the Lions may like to nab him with their pick, regardless if he is "rated" that high by the "experts."
But in watching "Path to the Draft" last night, someone there has the Patriots taking Mayo at seven, due to his recent workouts that are skyrocketing his draft stock. He is ideal for the middle linebacking position in the Tampa Two. Can Keith Rivers play middle? Will he fall that far or with his recent glowing statements after his visit about the Lions, will they move up to take him?
How about Penn State's Dan Connor, straight from Linebacker U and their all-time leading tackler? Will Millen be moved to select a Nittany Lion alum? The Lions missed out on Jonathan Vilma and Dan Morgan and are in need with the release of Boss Bailey, but who will be there on the shelf for the Lions to take?
Get your popcorn ready and stock the beverages (I've got one of those Subway six-foot subs ordered), the day is coming and your guess is as good as mine, if not better.
The Lions should be able to nail down a very serviceable player at 15, someone who will play and contribute right away. I recently read on a Lions message board that all front offices lie and all sports reporters and broadcasters are idiots. The reason there is so much out there is no one really knows and for the most part, neither do the brass.
Until players start falling off the board, no one knows who is available to them. Its a gamble, a crap-shoot, a shot in the dark, which is why other leagues use the term "lottery."
One thing is certain, that no one is certain. Round and round she goes...
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