With the NFL regular season over and the playoffs on the way, the only thing teams like the 0-16 Lions have to hope for is the NFL Draft.
This year's draft class has an underwhelming senior class lead by Wake Forest OLB Aaron Curry. In fact, seven of my top-10 rated players are underclassman.
The deadline to declare for the draft is not for several weeks so we are still in wait-and-see mode to finalize draft boards and wish lists for teams.
The talent in this year's class lies mostly upfront. There are four or five tackles who will be first-round picks and there are probably 10 defensive lineman who will go in the first round. In fact, this is one of the deepest defensive tackle classes in recent memory.
Unfortunately for the Lions, there is no proven quarterback in the Matt Ryan mold, or can't miss offensive lineman prospect like Jake long, OR a guaranteed offensive game changer like Darren McFadden.
In fact, the Lions will have an extremely difficult decision to make when they pay someone tens of millions of dollars to be the new face of their franchise. I hope for his sake the fans take the bags off their heads by the time whoever that player is sees the field.
Like every year, there are a few teams who, for whatever reason, underperformed and wound up with high draft picks. Teams like Seattle, Green Bay, and San Diego will end up will quality players to go on already solid teams.
Interestingly, all three of those teams became successful by building through the draft (See Aaron Rodgers, LaDanian Tomlinson, and Marcus Trufant)
My Top 32 looks as follows (Not the Draft Order)
1.) Andre Smith OT Alabama **
2.) Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma **
3.) Mathew Stafford QB Georgia **
4.) Michael Crabtree WR Texas Tech **
5.) Aaron Curry OLB Wake Forest
6.) Malcolm Jenkins CB Ohio State
7.) Vontae Davis CB Illinois **
8.) Jeremy Maclin WR Missouri **
9.) Eugene Monroe OT Virginia
10.) Aaron Maybin DE Penn State **
11.) Brian Orakpo DE Texas
12.) Rey Maualuga ILB USC
13.) Terrance Cody DT Alabama **
14.) Everette Brown DE Florida State **
15.) Peria Jerry DT Mississippi
16.) Knowshon Moreno RB Georgia **
17.) Jermaine Gresham TE Oklahoma **
18.) B.J. Raji DT Boston College
19.) Michael Oher OT Mississippi
20.) Chris "Beanie" Wells RB Ohio State **
21.) Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma **
22.) James Laurinaitis ILB Ohio State
23.) Michael Johnson DE Georgia Tech
24.) Brian Cushing OLB USC
25.) Brandon Pettigrew TE Oklahoma State
26.) Tyson Jackson DE LSU
27.) Mark Sanchez QB USC **
28.) Sen'Derrick Marks DT Auburn**
29.) LeSean McCoy RB Pittsburgh **
30.) Percy Harvin WR/RB Florida **
31.) Jason Smith OT Baylor
32.) Brandon Spikes ILB Florida **
- * denote underclassman