Whenever the Detroit Lions have a draft selection coming up, players usually hold their breaths and clasp their St. Christopher tokens because a career in Detroit over the past half-century has been a career not worth having.
The management of Detroit has never been consistent. For every one good move, there are six horrendous.
Barry Sanders' true greatness was shown because he went to Detroit and ran for the second-most rushing yards in history, with lead blockers who should have stayed in college. But that's normal for any newcomer heading to the Lions.
The Lions are literally cursed after trading Hall of Fame quarterback, Bobby Layne, to the Steelers in 1958. Afterwards he stated that the Lions "wouldn't win for 50 years."
The dreadful 50-year curse was concluded in 2008. While Detroit did show some life last season, they continued their awful streak of losing close games again last season.
Detroit must restore their franchise. This will only take place by drafting smart players with loads of talent and potential. Teams are built with great picks from beyond the first round, so no more early selections on wide receivers.
That said, I think that they need to draft Gerald McCoy. He's got the capabilities of being a great defensive tackle in the National Football League and he's the next best avaliable, with Suh likely going to St. Louis.
MCoy has great speed, running a 5.05 40-yard time. He's a constant threat that he's almost always double blocked. He's also an excellent pass rusher and was a tremendous bother to Colt McCoy in the Red River Shootout, laying five hits on the opposing quarterback.
The Lions haven't had a front four player worth mentioning since Shaun Rogers, who was traded to Cleveland —and later became a free agent. The Lions inevitably got the slightly better end of the deal.
Defense starts on the line. The line has to keep the running back from going through holes and it puts pressure on the quarterback, making him throw sooner than he would like to. That was a colossal problem for the Lions, allowing opposing quartebacks to survey the field while seemingly eating a cheeseburger and tieing his shoe lace in the process.
The Lions' defense allowed 2,025 yards rushing, 4,249 yards passing, and 494 points last season.
That's 25th against the run, 32nd against the pass, and 32nd overall.
Their defense is porous and completely lackluster. This is Pepé Le Pew stinky!
Gerald McCoy is a very good tackler, he makes big plays on his own, he can be the focal point of the line and help free up the linebackers to create pressure or tackle better.
Its a no-brainer. Draft him. If they don't draft Suh —if somehow he's avaliable —McCoy, Eric Berry, or any defensive guy and decided to go out on a limb, picking Russell Okung, then I can understand. The Lions are in need of a better set of offensive linemen, but the defenive front is a must, especially with the rest of the division improving their offenses.
I think the Lions are okay on offense though. They have a new young quarterback in Matt Stafford, a great receiver in Calvin Johnson, a developing tight end in Brandon Pettigrew, and a decent running back named Kevin Smith, who despite his injured ACL, should be able to make a comeback.
If they really want to improve on offense, they should look to free agency. All-Pro guard Logan Mankins would be a great pickup for the Lions. They could even look at Terrell Owens for a year-long contract to help out Matthew Stafford.
The draft however, has a glut of defensive talent and they should go for McCoy. The best choice for the second round is LB Navarro Bowman of Penn State, a former Lion already. It is really essential that they get this right, and Gerald McCoy seems and feels like the right pick.