2011 NFL Draft Results: Final Grade for the Lions Two Second Round Picks
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So here we go again. Another two picks that not many saw coming.
I love the Detroit Lions and I'm sure that Jim Schwartz (head coach) and Martin Mayhew (GM) know exactly what they are doing. But it sure left me scratching my head for a while.
Did the Lions need another WR to compliment Calvin Johnson and to put Nate Burleson back in the slot? Yes.
Did they also need another RB to help take some of the weight off of Jahvid Best? Yes, especially since they have decided that Kevin Smith is not ever going to be that guy.
But what happened to the enormously glaring needs at OLB?
I'm no GM but I thought they would have focused on CB, OLB or OG/C with these picks and then gone for the best WR and RB available. Of course that may be exactly why I am just a fan and not a GM.
My take? They must be looking for young talent at certain positions and will either get the rest through free agency (which we don't even know if we'll have) or are confident that they already have all the players they need on the roster.
How would you grade Mayhew and Schwartz on their two second round picks?
The last scenario would actually be a testament to how much faith Mayhew and Schwartz must have in the current nucleus of the team, because it is this core that has to be able to hold up the weaker parts of the whole.
This wouldn't be a new idea. It's one of the main reasons you keep quality veterans on the team. They become the force that holds all the other players to a higher standard. We saw that with Kyle Vanden Bosch last year.
This year KVB and Ndamukong Suh will have to help our first round pick, DT Nick Fairley, learn how to tackle legally in the NFL and not drive his head into players or put late hits on QBs. I have full confidence in their ability to coach him up. Fairley really is a beast and can have a huge impact on the other side of KVB.
Nate Burleson will be mentoring WR Titus Young.
Maurice Morris will mentor RB Mikel LeShoure.
Okay, that all sounds good, but who will be working the OLB position? Who will the Lions have to lead the decreasing group of linebackers on the roster? Bobby Carpenter?
I'm not knocking Carpenter at all. I saw him improve vastly last year.
Ultimately, I know it is early and our first and second round picks could easily end up joining the list of many of the other great draft picks from the past two years.
I am a still a little baffled about not filling the OLB position because we don't have many players in reserve. Julian Peterson is gone. Zack Follett is a huge question mark for next season.
Maybe the plan for the puzzle of the missing OLBs is to ask other players to switch to the outside.
I'm on the Schwartz and Mayhew bandwagon when it's all said and done and I know that Mayhew and Schwartz have already figured out how to address any perceived weaknesses on defense.
I will eagerly wait to see what happens tomorrow.
For today, with the two picks in the second round, I give Mayhew and Schwartz an A-/B+. Yes, I grade on a curve so I always leave some room for improvement.
For their stealth-like ways, I give them an A. That was a straight-up grade. No improvement needed there.
The overall picks grade is due to the pure value of the players chosen and out of a belief that there must not have been a player that impressed them enough at the OLB or CB positions to get them in the early rounds.
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