It appears Martin Mayhew, Jim Schwartz and the rest of the Lions front office have done it again.
The 2009 draft proved to be no fluke as Detroit seems to have landed another impressive class to add on to an already impressive offseason. Mayhew managed to fill positions of dire need and made the right moves to ensure he picked the guy he wanted.
Final Grade: A
I’m not alone when it came to being unable to recognizing this year’s Mr. Irrelevant, a white dreadlock-sporting speedster from a small school. But on film, he looked like a quick, shifty receiver who could challenge for a role as a kick or punt returner. There was a surprising amount of other players projected to go much higher such as home-state college products Donovan Warren (CB, Michigan) and Blair White (WR, Michigan State University).
Average mock draft position was the mid-fourth round but he did crack the third round in a few. He looks like a muscular power forward with an outstanding wingspan, but instead of blocking shots he can disrupt passing lanes.
Whether he bulks up a bit more and lines up at defensive end or they plan try him out at linebacker remains to be seen.
Grade: B+ (I like Young’s upside, but there were still some very talented players remaining they bypassed.)
Size and experience are the two traits NFL teams are drawn to with Fox. He was dominant in the ACC and many mock drafts projected him as a late second or early third-round pick. He’s been listed by at least one publication as the No. 49 overall prospect. He’s anchored the Hurricanes offensive line for the last few years. He doesn’t wow you with athleticism but he plays 100 percent on every snap, lives in the gym, and has impressive film-study habits.
He fits best in the NFL in a zone blocking scheme, similar to what Miami ran.
Scouts Inc. rated him at No. 71 overall and had he returned for his senior year, Spievey could have broke into the first round in the 2011 draft.
He’s a tough, hard-nosed prospect who shows nice pop in his hitting ability.
The most intriguing development in Spievey’s progression was his recent 4.47 forty, which only adds to his skill-set as a physical press-cover quarterback.
I hate to put such high expectations on him, but Detroit has lacked this kind of elusiveness at running back since No. 20 was ripping off moves never seen before in the NFL. What’s scary about Best is the breakaway speed (4.3), which Barry never had.
He averaged 8.1 YPC as a sophomore on his way to a 1,580 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. He was a Heisman candidate heading into last season before suffering a serious concussion and back injury. C.J. Spiller might have better overall speed—even though Best “bested” him at the combine—but Best accelerates into high gear just as quickly, if not sooner.
This is another piece to the puzzle and makes everyone—especially Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson—that much better. He’s my dark horse candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
His name means “House of Spears” from the Cameroon tribe on his father’s side. I’m not sure the Lions could have asked for a better prospect than this unassuming, powerful, and disruptive force in the middle of the trenches.
The Lions were one of the worst defenses last year and Suh’s presence will make all 10 players around him much better. As one of the most dominant defensive players—let alone tackles—to come out in quite some time, early comparisons to pro-bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour are fair.