Drafting is what makes the NFL better. When you have a big draft you can see it on the field the next year. When you draft in the first round you're supposed to get a starter, same goes for a second-round player as well as most of your third rounders! This is something that the Lions under Matt Millen did very poorly.
Millen screwed this team up so badly that without some sort of outside-the-box thinking the Detroit Lions may never be able to turn it around in my lifetime.
Okay, I might have exaggerated a little there, but it looks bad for the Lions. They have some strong players and they have some why-are-they-even-in-this-league players as well.
Here is where I play GM. I would be on the phone right now with Roger Goodell, asking him for help. And the only help I want is this: let Michael Vick serve his suspension from the league while he is in jail. We want him to be our quarterback and we want to put him on the roster during the 2009 season.
Picture that—Vick as a Lion. He can run or pass and when he gets out he will be hungry to be on a team. The Lions should get him interested now. Put an offer on the table for him that he can't walk away from and make Goodell understand that's what you need to be successful.
Imagine that, not having to use either of your first-round picks in the 2009 draft on a quarterback. Why not trade the first round pick (because it's going to be a top five) and get some more picks and have something that looks like this:
First round: two picks
Second round: one, maybe two picks
Third round: two, possibly three picks
That's a draft that could help a struggling team out, getting five or six starters that could contribute now. The rest of the picks can be used for guys who could hopefully start in a year or two.
Defense, defense, defense—that is what I would do as the GM. Get a safety as well as a defensive end, plus a corner and still have a few picks to fill in holes that still need to be fixed.
I know this all rests on whether you can get Goodell on your side or if Drew Stanton or Dan Orlovsky turn out to be diamonds in the rough. I don't foresee that happening.
None of this happens, by the way, because whoever they bring in will try to draft a quarterback and fix the team piece by piece and that won't work and doing so could make the team better in five to 10 years from now, but not anytime soon.
The Lions will never win a Super Bowl without some out-of-the-box thinking.
I know Matt Millen is gone, but he did a number on a team that will never be forgotten, at least not in my lifetime! I will always remember Mike Williams, Charles Rogers, and all the other busts of the Millen Era!
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