Detroit Lions: 2006 What Could Have Been

Joe UnderhillCorrespondent IIIApril 30, 2009

DETROIT , MI - OCTOBER 26:  Chris Cooley #47 of the Washington Redskins gets tackled by Ernie Sims #50 of the  Detroit Lions in the first half of the game on October 26, 2008 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Domenic Centofanti/Getty Images)

It takes thee to four years to truly evaluate a draft class. The 2006 draft class has three full NFL seasons under their belt. As draft grades are being tossed around, I think its time to look back at the '06 draft and see where the Lions could have taken a different (better) direction.

Round One, Ninth Pick: Ernie Sims, LB, Florida State

Sims has compiled 371 tackles, 2.5 sacks, four passes defended, and one interception. Those are decent numbers. I would like to see some forced fumbles, but he's been solid.

My grade on the Sims pick: B+

Notable Players Available at No. 9 Overall

QB Jay Cutler, DT Haloti Ngata, and DE/LB Kamerion Wimbley. If the Lions could have a do over, I think they would have taken Cutler over Sims., Sims has been a solid, but not a game changing LB. Cutler would have provided the franchise the QB they've been searching for.

Round Two, 40th Pick: Daniel Bullocks, DB, Nebraska

Bullocks missed the 2007 due to injury. In two seasons he's compiled, 168 tackles, five passes defended, and 0 interceptions. Bullocks has been a back up. While he's not a horrible player, he has not lived up his second round draft status.

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My grade: D

Notable Players Available at No. 40 Overall

DB Danieal Manning, OG Deuce Lutui, DB Roman Harper, DB Cedric Griffin, DB Devin Hester, and RB Maurice Jones-Drew. Clearly the Lions struck out with their pick. Any of the mentioned players would have been a better pick. My pick would be Harper or Griffin, but an argument could be made for any of them.

Round Three, 74th pick: Brian Calhoun, RB, Wisconsin

Calhoun missed the 2008 season. He has not done much, this, in my opinion is another poor pick.

My grade: D

Notable Players Available at No. 74 Overall

RB Jerious Norwood and OG Jason Spitz. Either of these players would have been upgrades for the Lions. I would have picked Spitz, to help solidify the offensive line.

Round Four: The Lions Did Not Have a Fourth Round Pick

Round Five, 141st Pick: Jonathan Scott, OT, Texas

Scott plays for the Buffalo Bills now, and has played in 20 games over three years, with six starts. This isn't a horrible pick, the later rounds are more of a crap shoot anyway. Scott has been a backup. Adding depth should be the primary goal of rounds 5-7 anyways.

My grade: C+

Notable Players Available at No. 141 Overall

LB Brandon Johnson, DB Dawan Landry, DE Mark Anderson. There are others, Landry seems like the best of the bunch in my opinion.

Round Six, 179th pick: Alton McCann, DB, West Virginia

To my knowledge, McCann has not played an NFL game.

My grade: D

Notable Players Available at No. 179 Overall

DT Johnny Jolly, OT Jeromey Clary, and OT Charlie Johnson.

Round Seven, 217th pick: Fred Matua, OG, USC.

Round Seven, 247th pick: Anthony Cannon, LB, Tulane.

Matua has gone to a couple of different teams, but has yet to play a game in the NFL. Cannon has not made it in the NFL.

My grade: D

I grade similar to a college grading scale (A =  4.0, B = 3.0, C = 2.0, D = 1.0, F = 0.0) and give rounds descending values (first = five credits, second = four credits, third = three credits, fourth = two credits, fifth-seventh = one credit).

Based on this scale, the Lions would recieve a C- from me for their 2006 NFL draft.

Hopefully the 2009 class grades out better.