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 No one is worthy of number 1 
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Post No one is worthy of number 1
So I've grown kind of tired of the "whole LT vs QB debate" and researching stats for that.

I've decided to look up info on individual prospects.

The prospects I've narrowed down to potential top selections are: Mike Oher, Matt Stafford, Andre Smith, Aaron Curry, Mike Crabtree, and Malcolm Jenkins. Other potential prospects called for on this board such as Orakpo, Maualuga, Johnson and Laurinaitis simply lack the talent to be worthy of the top selection.

Oher- From what I've read he has great size, footwork, and talent. A prototypical left tackle. Yet, outside of the posters on this board, he is not well regarded. Most serious analysts and mock drafts have him rated as the 3rd-4th best tackle. Few mocks have him going in the top five; most have him in the top ten--some don't have him picked until around 15-20. The major knock on him is that he is inconsistent, and lacks motivation. If you can't motivate a kid in college, how are you supposed to motivate him in the pros when hes already guaranteed millions of dollars?

Stafford- Only in this list because he is a QB. He has the big arm and can make the throws, plus he has the experience in a pro style offense. But his decisions are questionable, his accuracy is low, and his interceptions are high. Probably wouldn't be here in a different year. Some even have Sanchez rated higher, and Sanchez will more than likely be available at pick #20.

Smith- Outside of this board, he is widely considered the greatest tackle prospect. However, he projects more to be a RT than a LT, and the Lions already have one of those. He does not have the size of a true LT and he has struggled with his weight. If the Lions took him, they might be better off running an imbalanced line.

Curry- Probably the best pure athlete in the draft. Has the versatility to play ILB and OLB in both the 3-4 and the 4-3. Has speed and size. Can tackle and cover. The big question is...do you really take a LB #1?

Crabtree- Has all the talent, but he is a WR. Enough said.

Jenkins- Elite CB prospect. Great coverage ability, only knock is his speed. Similar to Curry, do you really take a CB #1? Perhaps worthy of the selection if he was an elite returner, but he's not.

So, overall, pre-combine, I have to say that there looks to be no prospect truly worthy of the selection right now. The Lions best bet is to try to trade down for even a modest offer, and failing that, offer all these prospects contracts and see who will sign for the lowest amount of money.


January 15th, 2009, 1:08 pm
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Blueskies I agree completely with what you are saying here (for once, lol :)) I'm hoping with Bradford staying home that we are better equipped to trade off the #1 pick.

I was also thinking about what you said about trading down for even a modest offer... If we can't get our value by actually picking at number one, then we shouldn't be offended by a trade with less value... We're kind of screwed either way by not getting full value, right? I'd trade away with a modest offer as well. Lets keep our fingers crossed.


January 15th, 2009, 1:52 pm
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faulkn22 wrote:
Blueskies I agree completely with what you are saying here (for once, lol :)) I'm hoping with Bradford staying home that we are better equipped to trade off the #1 pick.

I was also thinking about what you said about trading down for even a modest offer... If we can't get our value by actually picking at number one, then we shouldn't be offended by a trade with less value... We're kind of screwed either way by not getting full value, right? I'd trade away with a modest offer as well. Lets keep our fingers crossed.


Agreed, good stuff Blue!

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January 15th, 2009, 1:57 pm
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What is your baseline for a career of a 'worthy' #1 draft selection?


January 15th, 2009, 2:07 pm
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Even if we were willing to accept a "modest" offer, or any offer, would somebody in the top 6 seriously trade with us? I'm not asking "should we trade?" That would be an obvious "yes"...I'm asking whether there is any chance whatsoever that a trade would happen? From a realistic perspective, not an "ever-hopeful-during-draft-season" Lions fan perspective.

If there's nobody worth #1-overall money, but there are six guys guys worth #6th-overall money (and one is a WR, so there are five elite guys we'd want), we're better off trading #1 for #5 straight up. If Curry's off the board, Smith would be a fine pick at #5. If Smith is off the board, Jenkins could be our guy at #5...or Stafford, or Oher (order them however you like).

I guess I'm advocating taking whatever trade offer we can get (even if it's #5 overall + a fifth-round pick), and if there is no trade offer...sit there. Don't pick anybody at #1.

Let the crickets chirp on ESPN.

We'll take whichever one of these five guys is there--they all fill a need, but we're paying him #5-overall money, not first-overall money.


Last edited by v1ly4 on January 15th, 2009, 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.



January 15th, 2009, 2:16 pm
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Quote:
What is your baseline for a career of a 'worthy' #1 draft selection?


Look at the top two picks from the last five drafts:

08- Jake Long, Chris Long
07- Russell, Johnson
06- Williams, Bush
05- Smith, Brown
04- Manning, Gallery

Now, ignore what those guys have done since being drafted. Pre-draft, they all seemed to be better prospects than any of the ones I've listed. (Perhaps one you would disagree on is Alex Smith, but we all know how that turned out...)

The only one that is perhaps on par is Curry, but like I said he's a LB, and do you draft a LB number one?

Since whoever the Lions draft will get more money than any of those other prospects, and they were all better, is the draft pick really worth the money? I have to say no.


January 15th, 2009, 2:25 pm
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Blueskies wrote:
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What is your baseline for a career of a 'worthy' #1 draft selection?


Look at the top two picks from the last five drafts:

08- Jake Long, Chris Long
07- Russell, Johnson
06- Williams, Bush
05- Smith, Brown
04- Manning, Gallery

Now, ignore what those guys have done since being drafted. Pre-draft, they all seemed to be better prospects than any of the ones I've listed. (Perhaps one you would disagree on is Alex Smith, but we all know how that turned out...)

The only one that is perhaps on par is Curry, but like I said he's a LB, and do you draft a LB number one?

Since whoever the Lions draft will get more money than any of those other prospects, and they were all better, is the draft pick really worth the money? I have to say no.


Its rather early for you to say these things though pre combine. Mario Williams went from a solid top 15 pick to elite level prospect after the combine. Ronnie Brown was able to show that he had a complete skillset even while being the #2 RB at Auburn. Bush and Johnson ran even faster 40 times than anticipated. I look at Knowshon Moreno for instance, as being on par or better as prospects than Bush or Brown, but he has to have a dazzling combine to move up these charts.


January 15th, 2009, 2:36 pm
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Blueskies wrote:
Quote:
What is your baseline for a career of a 'worthy' #1 draft selection?


Look at the top two picks from the last five drafts:

08- Jake Long, Chris Long
07- Russell, Johnson
06- Williams, Bush
05- Smith, Brown
04- Manning, Gallery

Now, ignore what those guys have done since being drafted. Pre-draft, they all seemed to be better prospects than any of the ones I've listed. (Perhaps one you would disagree on is Alex Smith, but we all know how that turned out...)

The only one that is perhaps on par is Curry, but like I said he's a LB, and do you draft a LB number one?

Since whoever the Lions draft will get more money than any of those other prospects, and they were all better, is the draft pick really worth the money? I have to say no.


Hold on there. First, lets just look at the #1 pick since that is what we have - how many folks were really excited about...

08- Jake Long - he went to Michigan so I'm throwing him out due to all of the UofM homers on this board.

07- Russell - I'll admit I liked JR but not many others here did.

06- Williams - most folks hadn't even heard of MW until the combine.

05- Smith - Alex jumped Aaron Rodgers about a week before the draft as the top QB.

04- Manning - there was a lot of debate around Manning, Rivers, and Roethlisberger

Point is, the #1 pick is rarely a "sure fire" thing worthy of the kind of money these guys get and the last five years prove that out. This year is no exception, shouldn't be a surprise. I'm not sure this group was rated all that higher than this years version, plus some guys will start really bubbling to the top after the Sr. Bowls, combines, workouts, etc.

In fact, I think Carson Palmer in 2003 was probably the last one that the team felt really good about. Keep going back, David Carr (2002), Michael Vick (2001), Courtney Brown (2000), Tim Couch (1999).

To steal a famous quote, the number one NFL draft pick "is like a box of chocolates"

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January 15th, 2009, 3:03 pm
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To be fair, Blue did say pre-combine. I'm sure he is willing to change his mind post combine...

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January 15th, 2009, 3:10 pm
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Blueskies wrote:
Since whoever the Lions draft will get more money than any of those other prospects, and they were all better, is the draft pick really worth the money? I have to say no.


I agree too.

What do you think...should we slide down if we cannot trade down?

It's all a guessing game, anyway. Five elite guys on the same level, but nobody worth #1-overall. The only thing we can know is that we're not overpaying.


January 15th, 2009, 3:33 pm
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Quote:
To be fair, Blue did say pre-combine. I'm sure he is willing to change his mind post combine...


Thank you, Steensn.

Quote:
Its rather early for you to say these things though pre combine. Mario Williams went from a solid top 15 pick to elite level prospect after the combine. Ronnie Brown was able to show that he had a complete skillset even while being the #2 RB at Auburn. Bush and Johnson ran even faster 40 times than anticipated. I look at Knowshon Moreno for instance, as being on par or better as prospects than Bush or Brown, but he has to have a dazzling combine to move up these charts.


I think you are overrating the combine. Yes, it has helped some guys emerge as a top five pick--Mario Williams as an example--and other guys emerge from obscurity to be a first round pick (Joe Flacco).

But most of the draft's top talent is known well before the combine. Russell was known as the top QB right after the sugar bowl. Calvin the top WR--the combine just turned him into a can't miss prospect. McFadden was last year's top talent--unfortunately the teams selecting before the Raiders didn't need him. (The Raiders really didn't either but its Al Davis...)

My point is that if there's going to be a player that everyone says "Take that guy! I want him, don't trade down!" someone is really going to have to have a stellar combine this year. I think this draft will be deep and good, but it lacks a long hyped super athletic guy like Calvin, Bush, McFadden, etc.

Jake Long wasn't super elite, and he wasn't worthy of the top selection. (Total UM homer here but JL isn't a true NFL LT. Here's more of a RT ala Smith this year, and its reflected in the wildcat formation and Miami's frequent use of an imbalanced line) But the Dolphins had Ronnie Brown and they couldn't trade down. So they signed him to a favorable contract. He ultimately was paid less than the number one pick the year before (Russell) and the player picked two spots after him (Ryan). The Lions would be wise to follow in Bill Parcels' footsteps.

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What do you think...should we slide down if we cannot trade down?

It's all a guessing game, anyway. Five elite guys on the same level, but nobody worth #1-overall. The only thing we can know is that we're not overpaying.


I don't know if this is necessary. Like I said, you can sign a player pre-draft to a cheap contract. You could even offer multiple contracts to multiple players and see which one will bite. That would also ensure that the guy is in camp on the first day.

Failing that, I wouldn't mind falling down. The Vikings did it, and it worked out okay for them.


January 16th, 2009, 11:32 am
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Blueskies wrote:
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To be fair, Blue did say pre-combine. I'm sure he is willing to change his mind post combine...


Thank you, Steensn.

Quote:
Its rather early for you to say these things though pre combine. Mario Williams went from a solid top 15 pick to elite level prospect after the combine. Ronnie Brown was able to show that he had a complete skillset even while being the #2 RB at Auburn. Bush and Johnson ran even faster 40 times than anticipated. I look at Knowshon Moreno for instance, as being on par or better as prospects than Bush or Brown, but he has to have a dazzling combine to move up these charts.


I think you are overrating the combine. Yes, it has helped some guys emerge as a top five pick--Mario Williams as an example--and other guys emerge from obscurity to be a first round pick (Joe Flacco).

But most of the draft's top talent is known well before the combine. Russell was known as the top QB right after the sugar bowl. Calvin the top WR--the combine just turned him into a can't miss prospect. McFadden was last year's top talent--unfortunately the teams selecting before the Raiders didn't need him. (The Raiders really didn't either but its Al Davis...)

My point is that if there's going to be a player that everyone says "Take that guy! I want him, don't trade down!" someone is really going to have to have a stellar combine this year. I think this draft will be deep and good, but it lacks a long hyped super athletic guy like Calvin, Bush, McFadden, etc.

Jake Long wasn't super elite, and he wasn't worthy of the top selection. (Total UM homer here but JL isn't a true NFL LT. Here's more of a RT ala Smith this year, and its reflected in the wildcat formation and Miami's frequent use of an imbalanced line) But the Dolphins had Ronnie Brown and they couldn't trade down. So they signed him to a favorable contract. He ultimately was paid less than the number one pick the year before (Russell) and the player picked two spots after him (Ryan). The Lions would be wise to follow in Bill Parcels' footsteps.


Miami was smart last year. They made a limit on what they wanted to spend and the first guy to take it was going to get drafted at that spot. I like the approach of having 5 guys you have rated the same and try and trade the heck out of it to move back a few spots, if not just slide back until the 5th guy is available and take him at the lower amount of money. In fact, then you can justify getting Curry which we could use more than any other position on D.

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January 16th, 2009, 11:43 am
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I have a question about Aaron Curry. I have read in several places that he projects as a SAM more than a Mike. Does he become less valuable to the Lions as a SAM even though we need one of those as well? Is there a risk that the Lions would try to force him to play the middle simply because that position is more important? Do we have any idea what type of system Schwartz will be running and how Aaron Curry would fit into the scheme?

I watched Curry plan in their bowl game and I have to admit that I wasn't that impressed. He seemed a little bit hesitant and uninvolved during the game. However, he seems to be very highly rated by all of the "experts". I was just hoping that someone on this board would be able to tell me a little more about him and how he would fit in with the Lions if we drafted him. Thanks.


January 16th, 2009, 2:19 pm
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Quote:
Hold on there. First, lets just look at the #1 pick since that is what we have - how many folks were really excited about...

08- Jake Long - he went to Michigan so I'm throwing him out due to all of the UofM homers on this board.

07- Russell - I'll admit I liked JR but not many others here did.

06- Williams - most folks hadn't even heard of MW until the combine.

05- Smith - Alex jumped Aaron Rodgers about a week before the draft as the top QB.

04- Manning - there was a lot of debate around Manning, Rivers, and Roethlisberger


I think this argument is perhaps a bit "tilted" to fit your hypothesis.


08 - Jake Long was one of only about 4 players to really be mentioned as a #1 overall pick last year, even before he did well at the combine. And, he had FEWER questions surrounding him than any of the top rated OLTs in this draft (A. Smith - weight, Oher - inconsistent, J. Smith - weak, Monroe - durability).

07 - Russell was in the mix early as mentioned already, and Calvin Johnson and Joe Thomas were the only other players really mentioned as possible #1 guys.....but not to the same extent as JR. There were 3 players who would have been "worthy" as #1 overall selections.

06 - This was a year that could have seen as many as 5 guys who could have gone #1 overall. Although Williams emerged a little later, it was more of a surprise because he did pass several other "big-time" prospects that were considered worthy of the #1 overall selection.

05 - This was a year when I was thankful we had the #10 pick. There was NO PLAYER in the top 10 that was head and shoulders above the others. It was much like this year's group.

04 - This was a LOADED CLASS. There were plenty of players "worthy" of the #1 overall. However, there was little doubt that Manning was going to be #1 in this class despite plenty of competition.


Also..........I think the MAIN POINT here is that the 2009 class doesn't have any ELITE PROSPECTS that could justify the MONEY of #1 overall, much like the 2005 class.

The draft classes of 2004 and 2006 were LOADED with potential #1 overall talents. In 2007 and 2008, there were a few prospects "worthy" of the #1 overall pick.


We are unfortunatley in the same position that the 49ers were in for the 2005 draft. I believe Stafford is a better prospect than Alex Smith, but I'm not sold on him either. I'd much rather trade down.


January 16th, 2009, 10:56 pm
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phunnypharm wrote:

The draft classes of 2004 and 2006 were LOADED with potential #1 overall talents. In 2007 and 2008, there were a few prospects "worthy" of the #1 overall pick.


And Millen still blew it...

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January 16th, 2009, 11:04 pm
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