Bold NFL Predictions, Vol. 3: Debunking Detroit Lions Draft Decisions
The "Roar" needs to be put back into the Lions. Right now the roar sounds more like a muffled toilet flushing than a Lion.
With my immature attempt at humor out of the way, we can get serious. Yes the roar needs to be fixed but so do a lot more important things.
The draft is pretty much the only way to get talent into Detroit and it will be able to address those important problems, like the lack of a defense that will give up less than 30 points a game. Like a running game that isn't just Kevin Smith up the gut for two yards. Things like a passing game that consists of the quarterback running for his life and heaving it over the head of Calvin Johnson down field.
The Lions have possibly the worst defensive line in the NFL today and must address it in this draft. No, they shouldn't bring back Shaun Rogers. He was the epitome of a Lions defense that was lazy, showed no effort, and consistently played poorly.
I know everyone has fond memories of him returning an interception for a touchdown when the Lions went 6-2 in the first half of the season. What people forget is that he was on the field for at most three plays at a time and would then sit out the next two to three plays. Shaun Rogers is an expensive, overrated, lazy player that would undermine all the work the Lions have been doing to leave that culture behind them.
So, with Shaun Rogers out of the question, the answer is free agency or the draft. the draft is the much better option this year because of the huge pool of talent on the defensive line. Ndamukong Suh, Brandon Graham, Gerald McCoy, Terrance Cody are just a few of the defensive linemen that could become quality NFL players.
So here is my opinion on what the Lions should do for the first couple rounds of the draft.
Trade Down. As much as I want Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy, I would rather have a later first round pick and another second round pick. Both of these guys are going to be great players but the Lions need lots of good players and picking up a great player is not the best scenario here for the Lions.
If trading down is not an option, take a defensive lineman. The Lions added Sammie Hill last year and the addition of either McCoy or Suh would make the Lions inside presence considerably better and maybe even respectable. I would take Suh over McCoy and pair him with Hill to solidify the middle of the Lions defense.
Traded Down First Round Pick
Go for Eric Berry if he is still there. This pick applies to a traded down first round pick if the Lions manage to trade with San Francisco or Seattle.
With Berry and Delmas roaming the Lions 'outfield' the Lions would be able to lock down some receivers and stop getting burnt for the long play. Delmas has already shown that he is an explosive player and the addition of Berry would provide a solid pair of safeties for the Lions.
If we don't trade down and draft Eric Berry, then take a CB or S. There is the possibility that Taylor Mays could fall to the second round but it is doubtful. The Lions are in desperate need of a secondary that can stay with receivers and allow the defensive front some time to get to the quarterback.
Or take an offensive lineman. The line desperately needs help and the addition of another young lineman to compliment Gosder Cherilus would be nice. This pick would protect the biggest investment in NFL history, Matt Stafford, who is the key to the Lions' future success.
Go for an explosive running back. If Jahvid Best is available, take him. His explosive running style would be a welcome escape from the running style of Kevin Smith. He would be able to let Smith heal and make sure that he can give his all in each game without worrying about the next week.
Smith looks like a pedestrian, taking his time, even when he is trying to turn the corner on a toss play. He lacks the ability to make men miss, something that Best is very good at. A backfield rotation of Kevin Smith and Jahvid Best wouldn't be the most feared in the league but would at least give Detroit a respectable running game.
The Lions aren't probably headed for greatness next year, so they need to draft for two or three years down the road. Fill the holes on your team and develop players right and you never know where you could end up.
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