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 HB's Draft Strategy 2009 v1.2 
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Post HB's Draft Strategy 2009 v1.2
rev .2 changed 4th round pick to 5th rounder

I will take a two fold approach at creating a draft strategy. First of all, try to read what the front office and coaching is doing, and interpret their priorities. Secondly, I will target players at each pick using Scouts Inc. to determine the feasibility of the pick. I will also provide alternatives at each pick. I will use a offset value +/- of where we pick them, versus their ranking in the top 100. For picks outside of the top 100, I will state their position ranking and use past drafts to determine the number of picks used on a certain position by that point in the draft to gauge the feasibility of the pick.

The Quarterback

Schwartz on the quarterback position. "I think obviously the most important position on the team is quarterback. It’s probably time to find a replacement for Bobby Layne. Quarterback is the trump card of all positions in the NFL. If you have a good quarterback, you can cover up a lot of other areas on your team. If you don’t have a great quarterback, you have to be really good in a lot of other areas. So I think if you ask anybody in the NFL the most important position, it’s going to be quarterback. … People always ask when there’s a young quarterback, ‘Do you play him right away, or do you let him sit on the bench?’ And the answer is: It depends.”

Is this an indication that we are drafting Stafford? Who knows. At the time I thought this was a coach going through an interview process using a pretty saavy tactic demonstrating his knowledge of Lions history to endear himself to the media and the fans. Nevertheless, it is apparent that the Quarterback is the most important position in Schwartz's eyes. Although he did preface what he said by first of all saying, “I think the important thing is finding the right person. I don’t think you tie yourself in to positions. Obviously there’s a lot of needs." So that first overall pick should be fair game.
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Interestingly, Mayhew and Lewand speak nothing of a QB. And Linehan's comments only pertained to who was on the roster. “I want to speak on behalf of all the quarterbacks here because they all need to have a very fair evaluation because we’re all kind of coming in, really, the same,” said Linehan. “(It’s) kind of a clean slate kind of deal and we’re coming in with the idea that everybody’s going to have a fair opportunity to be evaluated for potentially playing that spot."

Linehan seems content to work with what we have for now.

Get Bigger and More Physical

Martin Mayhew started out with a vision, even before he hired a coach.
"We’re a small football team,” said Mayhew. “We might call the right defense and might have a free hitter in the hole and instead of 2nd-and-10 it’s 2nd-and-6 because we’re not big enough and we’re not physical enough. So that’s going to be part of our plan.” The plan was to get bigger and more physical on both sides of the ball. This is a huge departure from the Tampa Two, which had quicker smaller players. And the Zone Blocking running schemes that required smaller quicker line men. So as the coaching staff was put into place, men were hired who had the same vision. Starting off with Jim Schwartz.

“You build teams to run the football and to stop the run. I know that Ford Field is a great place to play, but I think that when you start a team, particularly in the NFC North, you’ve got to be built for January football, December football, and you’ve got to be big and strong and be able to run and stop the run. You’re going to play an important game in Green Bay in December, or you’re going to play an important game in Chicago in January or in the Meadowlands. I think you need to be built that way.”

The very fact that Schwartz mentions 'building' the team that way, shows where the emphasis of those building blocks will be: In the trenches. Linehan mimics that when he says, “I really believe power football has to be a big part of what you do and an initial phase of what you do. It develops toughness as a football team and you say that, but you have to do it. I think our running game will lend to what our personnel can do best."

At the same time, he recognizes that there may be a transition period so he doesn't scrap the zone blocking schemes altogether. “We’ll do - not a little bit of both (zone and power running) - but a lot of both. Then we’ll have those one, two or three different types of schemes that you may try because of your personnel. I don’t want to call it an old fashioned running game, but you’re going to see one that’s going north and south towards that endzone.”

On the defensive side of the ball, Defensive Coordinator Gunther Cunningham also concurs with the importance of the trenches when he said of the back seven, “They can all run. I think the biggest thing is up front, how do they play? You can have players as good as you want in the back end (but) if you can’t put pressure on the quarterback, (it doesn’t matter). (There is a) size factor, but the front makes those other guys play a lot better, meaning the linebackers and DBs.”

With good reason too. Cunningham cites a couple of smallish fast playmakers who will benefit from a stronger line: Cliff Avril and Ernie Sims. "You have to make sure you protect guys like that so they can make plays," says Cunningham. "You have to be able to make some guys that may not measure up physically size-wise make plays that other people that may be bigger can't make. You use a guy, an undersized linebacker, as a blitzer. You have to have the ability to cover them long enough for those blitzers to get there."

Who else can occupy blockers freeing up ends and outside backers to make plays than a big stout defensive tackle?

It seems pretty apparent, that the primary focus of the draft will be in the trenches. Offensive Line and Defensive Line.

Offense or Defense?
In addition to the quarterbacks, Linehan cited a few players who he feels comfortable with. Running Back Kevin Smith, and obviously Wide Receiver Calvin Johnson. Not so obvious, Left Tackle Jeff Backus and Center Dominic Raiola. He also mentions the other bookend RT Gosder Cherilus. That's quite of bit of pieces in place compared to the defense. Remember, Cunningham only had nice things to say about Avril and Sims.

I think this will be a defense oriented draft.

Player Types

Martin Mayhew notes, “I think we have a good core (of) blue-collar, hard-working guys on our team now,” he said. “What we need are some impact players and difference-makers. Those are the kinds of the players we need to sign and draft.”

Cunningham needs his playmakers as well. “One of the things that I really believe in is to be aggressive and turn the ball over and, we always say, hit you in the face and get after people. (Playing) fast is really important to me and closing on the ball and separating ‘ball’ from ‘the offense’ is really important"

It's safe to say that we won't be targeting Tampa Two Players anymore.

"I've gone through three years of playing zone defenses because I was loyal to Herm Edwards," Cunningham said. "That's what he wanted. People here in town knew that I was different than that. My idea is to put a lot of pressure on the quarterback -- always has been, always will be."

How will this be achieved? According to Schwartz, this can be done in two ways. You can blitz like he and Gunther had to do early in their Titans days. But as they were able to provide pressure with just the front four with Haynesworth and Vanden Bosch, that freed up blitzers to cover more.

Formulating the Strategy
It's clear that there are few positions we can rule out, so it's fair game. However, there are positions that clearly need to be filled. With the loss of Bodden, we have a nickel and dime cornerback for our starting secondary. I think the loss of Shaun Rogers was the biggest reason we went 0-16. We no longer had a guy who occupied all the blocks and occasionally wreaked havok crushing the pocket allowing guys like Ernie Sims and Cory Redding to make plays. Our middle line backer position has been a hole for a decade, and with the loss of Boss Bailey, our Strong Side Linebacker went from being at least serviceable to a weakness. Our safeties at the very least are serviceable, but could be upgraded. I think I just went through the entire defense.

On offense, we need bigger stronger guards. Ramirez may be one guy who has at the very least, tools to be a mauler, but we need another one. Coming from Texas Tech, Ramirez is probably a better pass protector, so we can slide him to the left guard. Jeff Backus was cited as a being a good laugh tackle, (haha, pun wasn't intended, but it sure is appropriate), but we can't run to the left with that guy. He was also a pretty bad pass protector. If we can upgrade it, we should do it. Otherwise, let Linehan have him for a year. Tight End is a need, but with the amount of other needs, it's a luxury at this point. On special teams, we need a kick and punt returner. We may need to eventually replace Hanson.

Let's divide them in tiers:
1) Gaping Holes: Cornerback (x2), Defensive Tackle, Middle Linebacker, Right Guard, Kick and Punt Returner
2) Holes: Strong Side Linebacker, Tight End, Left Tackle, Left Guard, Center, Defensive End (Premier Type)
3) Stop Gap: Safety, Quarterback, Fullback, Kicker
4) Serviceable: Weak Side Linebacker, Wide Receiver, Running Back, Punter

The Draft
Name/Position/College/Grade/Offset
The grade is the value Scouts Inc. assigns to the prospect.
Offset (os) is overall rank (or) minus pick number (pn) . or - pn = os
Basically the bigger and more positive the number, the more feasible that the player will be available. The more negative, the less likely they'll be there. It also helps to identify which are steals (red) and how much you are reaching (green). Blue means that where we pick matches where they are ranked. PN - OR = Zero (0).
For players outside the top 100, I put their position rank and the number of players that went at that position last year at the spot.

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1a (1). BJ Raji DT Boston College 97 +2
The single biggest way we can make an impact on the team is with a dominant defensive tackle. As Cunningham says, protect the rest of the team, and they can make plays. I doubt Haynesworth or Marcus Tubbs will come on board, so the best place to get that guy? No. 1 Pick in the draft. Raji has shot up the charts after he verified he belongs with the elite in the Senior Bowl. He fits all the criteria of a big playmaker. DraftParty Scouting Video

Aaron Curry OLB Wake Forrest 98 +1
He's the best defensive prospect in the draft. He would probably be most effective on the weak side, although that would render Sims useless. I would not put him in the middle. That would not be utilizing his talents best. He's best rushing off the edge, or lining up against tight ends, and on occasion slot receivers. If they do go with Curry, that means we solved our DT problem in FA, or they can target one with the next couple of picks. DraftParty Scouting Video

Matthew Stafford QB Georgia 97 +2
He's the best quarterback in the draft. He has all the tools needed. And he has that mentality of a franchise quarterback. Nevertheless, as an early entry QB, he's a large risk, who you'd feel a lot better about taking if he had one more year under his belt. Draft Party Scouting Video


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1b (20). Michael Oher LT Mississippi 93 0
An opportunity to address the other side of the trenches like this would be like a best case scenario. Flashes brilliance at times, but he's not as polished as the other top three tackles. He does have the highest upside of all. The knock on him is his inconsistency. There is no doubt in my mind that he would beat Backus out for the job. Amazing that a lot of people have him rated here, and it would be an absolute steal if he fell this far. DraftParty Scouting Video

Vontae Davis CB Illinois 94 -9
I see a lot of mocks having him go to us here. He's the 11th ranked prospect, second best cornerback. He may be the best because there's talk that Malcolm Jenkins may be best suited as a safety. This guy has all the tools to be a shut down corner, but he's deemed undisciplined. To make him fall a whole 9 places off his ranking would mean a lot of people are worried about him. DraftParty Scouting Video

James Laurinaitis ILB Ohio State 92 +5
I'll admit that I don't like this pick. His poor senior year made me sour on him. But he's noted for his instinctiveness and good technique. My personal grade for him wouldn't let me touch him til the end of the 2nd round. If we take any linebacker here, I would rather have one of the USC linebackers. DraftParty Scouting Video

Peria Jerry DT Mississippi 92 +6 DraftParty Vid
Rey Maualuga ILB USC 94 -5 DraftParty Vid
Tyson Jackson DE LSU 93 -1 DraftParty Vid
DJ Moore CB Vanderbilt 92 +2 DraftParty Vid
Brian Cushing OLB USC 93 -3 DraftParty Vid
Clay Matthews OLB USC 92 +3 vid
Brian Orakpo DE Texas 94 -4 DraftParty Vid


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2 (33). Sean Smith CB Utah 89 0
He's quickly becoming my favorite cornerback prospect. He fits the bill of bigger, measuring nearly 6'-3" and weighing 212 pounds. But his production was off the charts. Notably his 5 interceptions for 151 yards. You might argue that he didn't have tough competition, but he did lock down one of the SEC's biggest and best recievers, Alabama's Julio Jones in their BCS game. And if I that doesn't sell you on him, here's a sample of one of the many amazing things he can do.


Clint Sintim OLB Virginia 88 +2
Has prototypical size for the position. DraftParty Vid

Josh Freeman QB Kansas State 90 -2
He's been compared to Joe Flacco, but not as good a decision maker. DraftParty Vid

Ron Brace DT Boston College 87 +6 DraftParty Vid
Alex Mack C California 90 -1 DraftParty Vid
Louis Delmas S Western Michigan 89 +1 DraftParty Vid
Paul Kruger DE Utah 88 +5
Ebon Britton OT Arizona +10


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3a (65). Michael Johnson DE Georgia Tech 84 -19
Obviously it's a stretch to think that he can fall to our third round pick. However, he's rated right smack dab in the middle of the 2nd round. The only rationale I can think of is that he is the 7th rated Defensive End. Do I see seven DE's going in the first two rounds? Not likely. What is more likely is that someone take him sooner than he's rated, and with good reason. He has the frame and athleticism of Julius Peppers and Mario Williams at 6'-7". He falls because he does not have their weight or the production. I think it would be worthwhile to trade up to get him in the second round. People will see his jaw dropping game versus Georgia, his ability to bat passes and block kicks and he will blow people away at the combine. So there's a possibility that someone may even nab him in the first round. But I would absolutely love to bring in another Tall Athletic Johnson from Georgia Tech. The other one we got has been very good for us. DraftParty Vid


Duke Robinson LG Oklahoma 76 +3
Top rated Guard slots nicely with our first third round pick. DraftParty Vid

David Veikune OLB Hawaii 77 +1
I watched him personally, and he played Defensive End for us. So I assume they're projecting him to be an OLB in a 3-4. But I know from firsthand experience and watching him, that he's cut from the same cloth as Maualuga. He's agressive and flys all over the place. Jumps out on the tape everytime. It would be like duplicating Avril though.

Victor "Macho" Harris CB Virginia Tech 76 +2
Very aggressive corner, who is not afraid of throwing his body around. Has that cocky mentality required for the position. DraftParty Vid

Fili Moala DT USC 78 -3 5 technique tackle in the mold of Haloti Ngata DraftParty Vid
Kevin Ellison S USC 78 -2 Big Hit
Phil Loadholdt OT Oklahoma 81 -10 DraftParty Vid
Max Unger C Oregon 80 -9 DraftParty Vid
Captain Munnerlyn CB South Carolina 76 +4 Picks off UK Woodson
Cody Brown OLB Connecticut 76 +5
Andrew Levitre OG Oregon State 75 +7 ALevitre Vid


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3b (85). Gerald McRath ILB Southern Miss 69 +10
He is the third rated middle linebacker behind Maualuga and Lauranaitis, but the drop off is huge because he's undersized at 220 pounds with average speed. What he is though is an instinctive tackling machine. He's got the height at 6'-3" and if he can put on 25 to 30 pounds without turning into a slug, he can become a solid starter. May have to reach because of the low supply of quality ILB's.

Chip Vaughan S Wake Forrest 73 -4
Has prototypical size with adequate range. Decent production. Not a playmaker in coverage.

Nic Harris OLB Oklahoma 71 +2
Will be a tweener. Played safety in college but is to slow to play that position at the next level. Projected as an outside linebacker. Horse Collar

Alex Magee DT Purdue 73 -6
Natural athelete that needs to add bulk. Quicker than stout. Good pass rusher. His production doesn't match his tools.

Tyronne Green RG Auburn 70 +3 Better for zone blocking DraftParty Vid
Pat White WR West Virginia 72 0 Stubborn about QB, maybe good for wildcat
Mohamed Massaquoi WR Georgia 70 +4
Jonathan Luigs C Arkansas 72 -1 Third ranked Center
Andre Brown RB NCState 70 +6 Big back who plays small


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5 (129). Don Carey CB Norfolk St 50 rank 22nd 08-22
Good production from small school corner with good size and speed. Good recovery speed. East West Shrine standout.

Scott McKillop ILB Pitt 65 rank 5th 08-5 Outstanding college player, limited upside as pro because of marginal athleticism, but has intangibles to be a solid starter Vid
Arian Foster RB Tennessee 60 rank 12th 08-12 Injuries derailed senior season, but has tools and potential to be a feature back, could be steal Vid
Dorell Scott DT Clemson 54 rank 14th 08-9 Big slow space eater
Tim Jamison DE Michigan DE 53 rank 15th 08-15 Room to grow on frame, marginal speed, shows good instincts
Tyrone Mckenzie OLB South Florida 63 rank 11th 08-8 Strong leader, instinctive playmaker in space Fumble Forcing Hit
John Phillips TE Virginia 62 ranked 9th 08-9 Average pass catcher, above average blocker, not a deep threat
Demetrius Byrd WR LSU 62 ranked 19th 08-20 Vid
Rhett Bomar QB Sam Houston St 64 rank 5th 08-5


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6a (161) Herman Johnson OG LSU 61 rank 7th 08-8
By this time last year, 8 Guards went off the board. Herman is the 7th best this year. People worry about his weight problems and his slow speed. However the film shows him being the primary hole maker, making the key blocks that spring running backs. DraftParty Vid

Coye Francies CB San Jose State 58 rank 17th 08-26
Excellent prospect, with exceptional tools, size and speed, questionable character. If he can answer questions about character, he can be bonafide starter.

Ramon Foster OG Tennessee 59 rank 8th 08-8 Bulky guard, but top heavy
Jasper Brinkley ILB South Carolina 59 rank 8th 08-5 Prototype size, with adequate speed, good instincts, hard hitter, had bad injuryVid Destroys Tebow
Pannel Egboh DE Standord 51 rank 16th 08-15 Excellent size, frame and athleticism but Raw, like IAF.
Quan Cosby WR Texas 59 08-22nd McCoy's favorite target, on the old side
Alexander Boone OT Ohio State 56 rank 13th 08-14 Mammoth Tackle with serious character issues DraftParty Vid
Curtis Taylor S LSU 59 rank 10th 08-7 Prototype size and speed, but production didn't match tools


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6b (181)Sammie Stroughter WR Oregon State 57 rank 23rd 08-24th
Sammie Stroughter is an undersized receiver who has game breaking ability in the return game. Returning Punts

David Bruton S Notre Dame 57 ranked 11th 08-10
Excellent athelete good tackler, could one day develop into starter

Adam Leonard OLB Hawaii NR ranked NR 08-14
My sleeper. Injuries made him fall off the radar, but I know that he was on pace to be the next solid NFL starter from Hawaii in the mold of Pisa Tinoisamoa and Jeff Ulbrich

Aaron Brown RB TCU 52 ranked 16th 08-17 - Change of pace scatback, possible returner
Jason Watkins OT Florida 47 ranked 15th 08-15
Greg Isdaner OG Vest Virginia 56 ranked 9th 08-8 Pat White protector
Cedric Dockery OG Texas 52 ranked 11th Colt McCoy's blind side protector
Sammie Lee Hill DT Stillman 46 ranked 17th 08-15 Huge DT, Small School, big production
Rulon Davis DE California 42 ranked 20th 08-17 Prototype size, good produciton, on the old side, excellent character ronenlish1 vid
Mortty Ivy OLB West Virginia 59 ranked 14th 08-14 Good athelete undersized overachiever
Ryan Palmer CB Texas 54 ranked 20 08-ranked 26th nickel? returner Int off tip
Morgan Trent CB Michigan 55 ranked 19th 08-26 Big corner, decent speed, production not in line with tools
Louis Sakoda K Utah 44 ranked 1st 08-1 Possible Hanson successor
Solomon Elimimian OLB Hawaii 30 ranked 25th 08-14 Scouts Project him outside because he's small, but I know he played inside, and was a tackling machine who plays better between the tackles. minesone808 video


Summary

When I made this draft, it assumed a lot of things. For example it assumes the worst case scenario where we don't fill any needs in free agency. Obviously, FA will clarify the draft, and will change the strategy. Compensation picks have yet to be awarded. Under Millen, a lot of wheeling and dealing occured in the mid to late rounds. We have yet to see if Mayhew is the type to stand pat or will he try to make some draft day trades. I also assumed that QB will be deferred to next year, utilizing the Stanton/Kitna/Culpepper/maybe Orlovsky combination as a stop gap for now. If we get 4 to 6 wins next year, we should be in good position to take a Senior Franchise QB in the 2010 draft. Finally, we haven't had the combine or pro days, and that will change the player rankings, and clarify where the prospects stand. When that information comes to light, this long draft strategy exercise will bear revising.

If I get my first choices

1a. BJ Raji DT Boston College
1b. Michael Oher OT Ole Miss
2. Sean Smith CB Utah
3a. Michael Johnson DE Georgia Tech
3b. Gerald McRath ILB Southern Miss
5. Don Carey CB Norfolk State
6a. Herman Johnson OG LSU
6b. Sammie Sloughter

Then it primarily addresses both sides of the lines: two sizeable Olinemen. Oher and Johnson; A pocket crusher DT Raji and a guy you can groom to be a Premier DE Michael Johnson. If need be, I'm willing to trade 3a, 5 and even a future pick to move up several spots into the second round for Johnson. McRath plugs the middle, and we get a returner. Smith can jump in and start at corner. Don Carey is a guy who'll need some grooming. The gaping holes are addressed, and half of the other holes are filled. It leaves us with deficiencies at Tight End, Center and Strong Side Linebacker. We can address those the next year along with the stop gaps: primarily Safety and Quarterback.

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Last edited by Honolulu_Blue on February 8th, 2009, 8:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.



February 8th, 2009, 5:58 am
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Dallas has our fourth round pick. Where did it come from in your analysis?


February 8th, 2009, 10:01 am
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Also I expect almost all of those players to go higher then scounts inc indicates. Also I see Smith as more of a FS


February 8th, 2009, 10:42 am
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We have a 5th rounder that you didn't include, and as stated previously we don't have a 4th this year.

I like the thought process here and the way you arranged everything and while I don't agree with all the picks some of them would be awesome if the draft fell that way.


February 8th, 2009, 12:04 pm
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inheritedlionsfan wrote:
We have a 5th rounder that you didn't include, and as stated previously we don't have a 4th this year.

I like the thought process here and the way you arranged everything and while I don't agree with all the picks some of them would be awesome if the draft fell that way.


You're right. 4th is supposed to be 5th. I originally had it with Urbik and McRath switched. McRath free falling. But somehow during my analysis, I accidently thought the 5th was a 4th... and it then made more sense to draft McRath first and Urbik second. I will have to look at prospects rated for the 5th round. Too bad cause there's nice depth in round 4.

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February 8th, 2009, 2:16 pm
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WOW that had to of took some time and nicely done but like others have said I also think most of those picks will be drafted sooner than where you have them. If the draft did fall that way I wouldn't be disappointed.

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February 8th, 2009, 4:51 pm
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Quote:
Let's divide them in tiers:
1) Gaping Holes: Cornerback (x2), Defensive Tackle, Middle Linebacker, Right Guard, Kick and Punt Returner
2) Holes: Strong Side Linebacker, Tight End, Left Tackle, Left Guard, Center, Defensive End (Premier Type)
3) Stop Gap: Safety, Quarterback, Fullback, Kicker
4) Serviceable: Weak Side Linebacker, Wide Receiver, Running Back, Punter


I liked this piece the best out of your entire post.

But I would slide Center up and wide receiver down, both to "stop gap". I really don't think Raiola is as bad as people make him out to be, and with Furrey and McDonald leaving, the Lions need to add at least one new WR.


February 8th, 2009, 5:59 pm
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Quote:

Let's divide them in tiers:
1) Gaping Holes: Cornerback (x2), Defensive Tackle, Middle Linebacker, Right Guard, Kick and Punt Returner
2) Holes: Strong Side Linebacker, Tight End, Left Tackle, Left Guard, Center, Defensive End (Premier Type)
3) Stop Gap: Safety, Quarterback, Fullback, Kicker
4) Serviceable: Weak Side Linebacker, Wide Receiver, Running Back, Punter


I liked this piece the best out of your entire post

I couldn't agree more. This is a great way to break down the Lions biggest needs.

I also agree with several others on the board that a few of these players will not be available where you have them being selected. Most notably, I believe the Lions will need to select Michael Johnson with the first pick in the second round if they want to get him. I fear that he will put up monster numbers at the combine, which may even push him back into the first round. I don't think that Herman Johnson will last past the third round. He may even go in the second.

If the Lions were to draft Raji #1 overall, would he be the highest paid D-tackle in the league? Would his contract be bigger than the contract that Haynesworth will be signing? I am concerned that drafting him first overall would instantly tie him to a contract that he would never be able to live up to.


February 8th, 2009, 7:59 pm
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Raji is borderline top 10 with his past issues and on and off motor on the field. He's basically the '09 version of Shaun Rogers or a guy that can be dominant when he wants, but a waste of a roster spot when he shuts it down. He also struggled academically, has that weight issue to deal with and has some stamina problems, to go along with some questions about his maturity. At this point if defense was the way they were going and only defense with the #1 I'd rather they go crazy and draft Curry or Jenkins before they even think about Raji. I think Raji's downfall as far as where he goes in the draft is going to be the interview process.


February 8th, 2009, 8:13 pm
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Revised included with prospects targeted in the 5th round.

Majority of the comments are about how prospects won't be available where slotted, but other than "I think they'll be gone by then," and mimicking things I've already admitted, no real substance as to why they won't be there. Come on guys, I put some thought in this, at least dignify me with some thought and research into your replies. I'm targeting them based on Scout's Inc's initial evaluation and as it will be adjusted as they clarify it with the combine and pro days, so will my projections. Even if these initial targets are selected before our picks, all it means is another higher rated prospect is made available.

I understand the knocks on Raji, but my selection of him is based on reading what the front office and coaches have prioritized. As long as a DT, dominating preferred, is procurred, I'm happy going with Curry. I also don't understand what's the worry about making a player the highest paid at his position. That's the Lions stigma for sucking so much. No matter who will be their, they will be overpayed, so you might as well get over that. It's a line of reasoning that will force you to ignore someone who can really help your team. Example: The year we drafted Calvin Johnson, Patrick Willis was the best defender, but people were so hung up on him not being worth a top 5 pick. In retrospect, I think it's safe to say that he'd be worth a top 5 pick. At the time, I would've only been happy selecting him at no. 2 if we didn't take CJ. I am sure the Raiders would rather have Willis over JaMarcus Russell right about now. Don't overthink this, you'll overthink your way into avoiding a player who can truly make an impact.

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February 8th, 2009, 9:06 pm
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History shows that players slip much more than people tend to believe prior to the draft. Many OL prospects end up sliding back 1-3 rds from where they are projected. Lots of people thought Elton Brown would be a rd 1 pick at OG, but I think he ended up in rd 4. Don't discount the possibility that the teams will find players they like better than the names we know today from the internet scouting lists. There are always surprises, and I think that this year we will see the same.

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February 8th, 2009, 11:24 pm
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1)
Raji-He is shooting up the draft boards. The reasoning behind this is he tore up senior bowl practices in 1 on 1 drills. I didn't see the game but I heard he didn't show up in the actual game becuase he couldn't handle doubles teams. Also he had some problems in school, is decently short for DT and has extremely short arms. Overall not the type of guy I want 1st overall. Another reasoning I dont like Raji is next years draft is much much deeper at NT then this years.

Others
Aaron Curry-I believe you have Curry wrong. HE is a better fit at Sam and MLB then Will. HE is great and coverage and can shhed blocks. He does everything you could ask.

Stafford-I believe the front office and coaching staff aren't making statments about the QB spots future becuase they aren't sure yet. I think at the end of the day the QB is the playmaker and most important position.

1B)
Oher-I honestly think he is a much more well rounded OT then the other top OT's. He like the others have risks but I have him rated higher then Monroe and Smith at this point. I highly doubt he drops this far exspecially given the needs for high quality tackles in the league right now. In addition Mayhew has said he doesnt want allot of dead money on the books. Oher would have to start off at OG becuase Backus isn't goign anywhere this year

Davis-He has some major concerns. However I believe he has the highest potential out of all secondary players in the draft. I personally think if he tries and is put into a decent situation he could rise ot the top in the league.

Laurinitus-Most know how I feel about him so Ill leave it alone

2)
Smith-I like Sean Smith as a prospect but as a FS. Smith isn't as fast as most would like and seems a little tall to play CB.

Sintim-Hate Sintim unless we are switching to a 3-4 and even then there are other guys who are much better

Freeman-I love Freeman as a prospect. He has everything you loove for in a QB although some question his desire and smarts.

3a)
Michael Johnson-I think Johnsons will really have some problems making the switch to pros. However I think a team will take a shot on him prior to the 3rd. I really want to see him in OLB drills at the combine.

Duke Robinson-I feel he is overrated but not bad. However I think he will go mid 2nd. OG are always tricky though.

Victor Macho Harris-I said early n the season I liked Harris and I still do. It will be interesting to see how he times.

Davis Veikune-unless he surpises at the combine I don't think he goes this high. He is small and slow (from most numbers I've saw)

Fili Moala and Haloti don't belong in the same sentence. Ngata is argueably one of the best in the business.

3b)
Gerald McGrath-Like you said needs to add weight.

With all this said I think it is a must that we get
1 OG
1 LB
1 CB
with the first 5 picks

I also feel Freeman and Stafford are better then the QB's coming out next year so I would like to grab one now.


February 9th, 2009, 12:50 am
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jrd66 wrote:
History shows that players slip much more than people tend to believe prior to the draft. Many OL prospects end up sliding back 1-3 rds from where they are projected. Lots of people thought Elton Brown would be a rd 1 pick at OG, but I think he ended up in rd 4. Don't discount the possibility that the teams will find players they like better than the names we know today from the internet scouting lists. There are always surprises, and I think that this year we will see the same.


I remember a few years ago when a lot of people wanted Ernest Shazor as our second round pick. And not just lions fans. Other teams fans targeted him there. What a big shock to see him go undrafted after being projected so high. Teams Reach, and prospects fall. It's the nature of the beast.

Quote:
Oher-I honestly think he is a much more well rounded OT then the other top OT's. He like the others have risks but I have him rated higher then Monroe and Smith at this point. I highly doubt he drops this far exspecially given the needs for high quality tackles in the league right now. In addition Mayhew has said he doesnt want allot of dead money on the books. Oher would have to start off at OG becuase Backus isn't goign anywhere this year


For whatever reason, Oher has been consistently rated the 4th best tackle. Personally, I have no preference for any of the four. Each of them impress me in some way or another. Even reading up on Jason Smith, who is probably the toughest to find video on, I'm very high on certain things about him. He seems very intelligent. That's not something I get from the other tackles. I would like to have any of the four if possible, and if Oher is so bad that he would fall to our 20th pick, that's perfectly fine with me. Because regardless of his stock, I think he could help, based on what I've seen of him.

Quote:
Smith-I like Sean Smith as a prospect but as a FS. Smith isn't as fast as most would like and seems a little tall to play CB.


Nnamdi Asomougha is the same size, and is neither a burner. What makes Nnamdi a great corner is all technique. Fluidity of hips, recover speed, explosiveness. The question is if Smith has that. Not saying he's the next Asomougha but Smith has shut down the competition in a aerial offensive oriented MWC, and neutralized a 6'-4" burner in Julio Jones. I would like him as a corner, but if that doesn't work out, there's nothing wrong with upgrading our safety position. (See Antrel Rolle)

You say Smith is too tall to play Corner, which I disagree. But you also project Michael Johnson as an OLB? I think 6'-7" Is too tall to play OLB. I just don't think his lanky legs are ideal for a linebackers sideline to sideline lateral movement or for backpedaling and turning without tripping over himself. But he does look like he can easily add 20 to 30 pounds of muscle without loss of speed, because he is very lean. It's much easier to mold him into a prototypical end than turn him into a linebacker.

I'm don't have a clear opinion on Freeman. He looks good when he has time. However I've heard that he doesn't look that good on a consistent basis. Defenders of him say his oline sucked really bad so they're at fault.

Quote:
Lucas (NY): How much does Josh Freeman remind you of Joe Flacco? Or is it just a popular comparison?

Steve Muench: Both are big and have strong arm. I think Freeman is slightly more mobile though Flacco made better decisons.


Regarding Moala, the comparison was by virtue of his position per Pat Kirwan.
Kirwan wrote:
For teams with 3-4 defenses, USC's Fili Moala looks like a perfect "five-technique" player. He has room for growth in his big frame (6-4, 303) and the long arms to lock up on an offensive tackle and control the line of scrimmage. He's the cousin of Haloti Ngata, who lines up at nose tackle, or five technique, for the Ravens. Moala is versatile and brings the height that teams such as the Dolphins, Browns, Patriots, Steelers and now the Packers are looking for with their defense.

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February 9th, 2009, 6:32 am
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Quote:
Nnamdi Asomougha is the same size, and is neither a burner. What makes Nnamdi a great corner is all technique. Fluidity of hips, recover speed, explosiveness. The question is if Smith has that. Not saying he's the next Asomougha but Smith has shut down the competition in a aerial offensive oriented MWC, and neutralized a 6'-4" burner in Julio Jones. I would like him as a corner, but if that doesn't work out, there's nothing wrong with upgrading our safety position. (See Antrel Rolle)
there are multiple pure CB's who will be available here or our second first. CB is to big of a need to take the gamble.

Quote:
You say Smith is too tall to play Corner, which I disagree. But you also project Michael Johnson as an OLB? I think 6'-7" Is too tall to play OLB. I just don't think his lanky legs are ideal for a linebackers sideline to sideline lateral movement or for backpedaling and turning without tripping over himself. But he does look like he can easily add 20 to 30 pounds of muscle without loss of speed, because he is very lean. It's much easier to mold him into a prototypical end than turn him into a linebacker.
I feel that for most kids coming out of college that if they could so easily gain weight they would have in those 4 years. Johnson needs to gain weight in a hurry and who knows how that will effect his game. Also I was "projecting" Johnson at OLB I would like to see him in OLB drills to see if he can move like a LB without tripping over himself becuase I don't think he will be able to add the weight to be an evrydown LB.


February 9th, 2009, 8:52 am
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Blueskies wrote:
Quote:
Let's divide them in tiers:
1) Gaping Holes: Cornerback (x2), Defensive Tackle, Middle Linebacker, Right Guard, Kick and Punt Returner
2) Holes: Strong Side Linebacker, Tight End, Left Tackle, Left Guard, Center, Defensive End (Premier Type)
3) Stop Gap: Safety, Quarterback, Fullback, Kicker
4) Serviceable: Weak Side Linebacker, Wide Receiver, Running Back, Punter


I liked this piece the best out of your entire post.

But I would slide Center up and wide receiver down, both to "stop gap". I really don't think Raiola is as bad as people make him out to be, and with Furrey and McDonald leaving, the Lions need to add at least one new WR.


Serviceable WR's are a dime a dozen. If there is 1 position where we will be able to get a free agent to visit us, it would be WR.


February 9th, 2009, 1:41 pm
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