2011 NFL Draft: Detroit Lions' 10 Worst Draft Picks of the Matt Millen Era
The Detroit Lions are well on their way to becoming a winning franchise in the NFL.
They have made some stellar organizational moves and have brought in solid talent to be molded by a pretty good up-and-coming coach.
The NFL draft was always a sore spot for the Detroit Lions, and former general manager Matt Millen will be known as one of the worst drafters in NFL history.
I am convinced that you could have blindfolded an old lady at a grocery store, given her a list of draftees and asked her to randomly point at the list and she could have had better draft classes than Millen.
Now that the Lions have gone in a different direction, the new management seems to have corrected the problem, and I can only expect more of the same from them.
That being said, they always say that you should remember your roots, and you can never truly appreciate your success if you don’t remember the pain and struggles of your past.
The 2011 NFL draft is right around the corner, so the Lions are going to want to learn from their mistakes.
With that thought in mind, let’s take a look at the top 10 worst draft picks in the Matt Millen era.
10. Teddy Lehman
Round 2, Pick 37, 2004
I’m not sure how Millen was able to convince Lion fans that Teddy Lehman was the second coming of Chris Spielman, but I guarantee you the hype was there.
Lehman would be a backup special teams player on most good teams' practice squads.
I believe that says enough about Millen’s drafting ineptitude right there.
9. Ernie Sims
Round 1, Pick 9, 2006
Ernie Sims was supposed to be one of the better linebackers to come out of the draft in years, so of course he had to be drafted by Matt Millen.
I’m not saying that Sims is a complete bust, but I am saying that he makes the list of the worst picks by Millen.
There was tons of pressure placed on Sims to be a leader on an incredibly inadequate Lions defense, and he may not have been the best candidate to handle that leadership position.
He was also hindered by being somewhat undersized to play linebacker, but obviously Millen never took those things into account.
He would have been a steal anywhere outside of the top 15, but as the No. 9 pick he was a bust.
8. Boss Bailey
Round 2, Pick 34, 2003
Bailey’s greatest mistake was never living up to the hype that came along with being Champ Bailey’s brother.
I can see why Millen would want to take a chance on him in the second round, and for a little while he did show promise, but ultimately he never accomplished anything worth talking about.
Seems to be a trend with Millen draft picks.
7. Gosder Cherilus
Round 1, Pick 17, 2008
Cherilus was supposed to be the answer to all the problems on the offensive line for the Detroit Lions.
Instead, he took it upon himself to just add more problems to the mix.
He got beat far too many times for a first-round draft pick and in actuality far too many times for a player that had been drafted at all.
Millen could have drafted me and I would have been able to give a quarterback a few more seconds than Cherilus could.
6. Shaun Rogers
Round 2, Pick 61, 2001
“Big Baby’s” one redeeming moment was when he ran back an interception against the Broncos and consequently entered into a slight cardiac arrest while lying in the end zone.
It’s always fun to watch a very big man run for a touchdown, and I can write this slide because he is indeed still alive.
Other than that Rogers was a cancer in the locker room and seemed to care more about the local “gentlemen establishments” than he did the Lions.
5. Drew Stanton
Round 2, Pick 43, 2007
Stanton may be one of the more polarizing players in Detroit Lions history, and he has done next to nothing to earn the prestigious title.
Drew Stanton gets mad love in Detroit because of his hometown ties and his time spent as a Spartan.
He had a great career at Michigan State, but in no way was he good enough to be justified as a second-round draft pick.
4. Roy Williams
Round 1, Pick 7, 2004
Roy Williams could go down as one of the worst wide receivers to ever be taken in the top 10 of the NFL draft.
I will fully stick by that comment, so bring it on.
First down Lions! Roarrrrrrrr.
Need I say more?
3. Mike Williams
Round 1, Pick 10, 2005
Mike Williams seems to be on the path towards redeeming himself, but he will never be able to redeem Matt Millen, nor should he bear that responsibility.
Williams came out as a huge wide receiver, which was good, but the problem with him is that he never really stopped growing.
The talent was there, but his work ethic never caught up to it.
2. Joey Harrington
Round 1, Pick 3, 2002
Joey “Blue Skies” is probably the most hated nice guy on the face of the planet.
He seemed to be an exceptionally nice person who just had the misfortune of being drafted by an exceptionally bad general manager.
Harrington showed flashes of talent, but never enough to justify him as the No. 3 overall pick.
He suffered tremendously from the lack of protection that Matt Millen put around him, and even if he did have protection, his “happy feet” would generally lead him astray.
On the bright side: He threw a five-yard dump pass better than anybody I’ve ever seen.
1. Charles Rogers
Round 1, Pick 2, 2003
Good ole “Chuck” Rogers has to be a consensus No. 1 on this list.
Never before have I seen a local player with so much potential go to his hometown team and bust so bad.
The lethal mix of a bad attitude and “the munchies” really came back to haunt Rodgers.
As if it wasn’t enough that he broke his collarbone every time he stepped onto the field
Rogers was not only a bust, he literally did next to nothing as a professional football player.