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 Lions 2017 Draft talk 
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Post Lions 2017 Draft talk
Yup, Im attempting to execute a perfectly timed jinx. With the Lions season in apparent shambles having essentially been given 3 opportunities to play into the playoffs and likely facing a 3rd crushing defeat. Im not to crushed by it - the Lions get 3 games at the end of the regular season against playoff opponents and cant beat any of him - it kind of tells you what would happen to them in a true do or die situation on the road in the playoffs.

Team needs

QB Stafford/Rudock/Orlovsky

Rudock must be coming along well behind the scenes as the Lions promoted him to the active roster. Still, NE has a history of not passing on value at QB in the draft. Quinn may try stocking up the rest of the roster first but QB may always be in play for the Lions going forward.

RB Abdullah/Riddick/Zenner/Washington/Burton

The only lock for me is Burton. Abdullah has a potentially career ending foot injury. He should make it back to camp but its unlikely he ll be the same. The Lions should not be counting on him to produce in 2017. Give him a chance yes but anything you get out of him should be considered a bonus or luxury. Maybe he s a glorified 3rd down back, gadget player or KR/PR in 2017 - if he s any of those things then that would exceed my expectations based on his injury. Riddick is a good player, everyone loves him but he s not a great runner. Scrappy but not quite fast or powerful enough. We ve seen what happens to him when he s asked to carry a bigger load - ankle injury + both wrists. Its going to be an offseason of surgery and recovery for Theo and hopefully the Lions FO takes the message that this guy is supposed to be a 3rd down and 2 minute drill player. Zenner has good vision and decent enough quickness, he runs hard but there isnt a lot of power there and he takes some hard hits that seem to really rattle him. Im not sure how much longer he ll last in the league but he can probably continue to make the Lions roster they just cant be expecting a lot out of him. He ll never get to the point where he s as dependable as Joique Bell was for the Lions. Washington has really struggled in 2016 as a rookie. The physical tools seem to be there. He came out of college with a reputation as being kind of a soft runner with fumble issues but big play ability. The Lions seem to have changed him into a straight ahead runner and it seems to have taken away his vision and he does have some power but the challenge will be finding the in between with him. I feel like it might ve helped him to get some more work on the kick returns.

To me the need at the position is for a bonafide bell cow back. Someone like Jordan Howard is the ideal to me bc the Lions have the scatback type guys already on the roster. Of course that was last year s draft but with the Lions OL young and improving its time to fix up the run game and the draft is the place to make this move although Im still not sure the Lions should be making that pick in the first 2 rounds.

WR Tate/Jones/Boldin/Roberts/TJ Jones + Billingsley/Ross/Turzili/Spadola

Boldin was a late addition who helped in the red zone and 3rd downs. I bet he gets invited back. Roberts may have earned himself a role on another team but had some big moments that helped turn the tide in a couple of games. TJ Jones did a nice job in brief option but you wonder if he has enough upside to keep around. Billingsley, does seem to have upside especially the way the Lions favor the short passing game and yards after the catch. Lions could use an upgrade in there somewhere or at least some more potential and speed on the back end. It will be interesting to see what kind of a chance Billingsley can make in this final game as a replacement for Riddick in a safety valve role ie Woodhead/Welker/Edelman/etc. Not a high priority in the draft but possible.


TE
Ebron/Mulligan/Harbor/Lee/Wick/Wright

Ebron continues to make strides in the passing game and might be slightly better blocking but still has some issues in that department though it was more obvious earlier in the year. Mulligan surprisingly didnt make the team but has shored up the blocking from this position in the run game since his return. Of course the problem is that his or Ebrons presence tips off the defense to a certain degree. Lee and Harbor both showed promise and Wick has some tools in the receiving game which didnt show much making a big jump in competition in his first year. Lions definitely would benefit from some help here.

OT Decker/Reiff/Robinson/Lucas

Major decision to be made on Reiff. Let him hit free agency or was Quinn happy with how Reiff did? Reiff will get big money on the open market but Quinn has to decide if Reiff is good enough to be part of an above average OL. Robinson got a couple chances early in the year and then trailed off and Lucas has never been impressive. Lions dont have the means to fill this slot from within should Reiff leave. Look for them to pay Reiff but they ll still need some depth at the position.

OGWarford/Tomlinson/Glasgow/Dahl

Another big decision with Warford. Tomlinson played his way out of his spot and Glasgow took it over. Tomlinson doesnt look like he can be an adequate fill in for Warford should the Lions let Warford part. Dahl will probably get better and better but he s not an upgrade over Warford and this team needs to push over the edge from also ran to division champ. Expecting Warford to re-sign also or at least be offerred a deal.

CSwanson

Swanson had a breakout year. He may have been the teams best lineman this season. They need a backup that isnt starting at another position though. Dahl could potentially learn it.

DEAnsah/Hyder/Taylor/Zettel/Copeland/Bryant

An Ansah rebound will clean up the production out of this position. Hyder had a breakout campaign but how "real" was it really? Will he be shipped out like George Johnson a few years ago or does Quinn believe he s a building block. Taylor hasnt seemed to have done enough to warrant a contract extension to this point barring some late season heroics. Copeland is mostly a special teamer with some versatility and he has value but he s not helping the defense much. Zettel has gotten on the field mostly by default and lack of depth and even though he isnt very good his motor has kept him from playing out of the spot. He ll get another chance but I expect Quinn to make a major addition at this spot and if he doesnt its a major disappointment.

DTNgata/Robinson/Thornton/Walker/Charles

Ngata and his $6m dont seem to be too pricey for another year. Robinson is an improving starter and Thornton has been mostly solid. Walker doesnt seem like the same player as a year ago prior to his leg fracture and Charles is a player they could let walk after being mostly average this year. Lions need help upgrading the talent here.


LB
Whitehead/Levy/Bynes/Williams/Armbrister/Bostic

Lions were getting by with scraps but its seems the position is coming back together with Bynes and Levy back in action and Killebrew getting some snaps. Williams is also improving and has gotten some experience. Armbrister is an expendable special teams player and Bostic never saw the field despite the team having high hopes for him. In definite need of more young depth.

CB Slay/Lawson/Diggs/Bademosi/Butler/A Jackson/A Carter + Washington/Wells/Barnes

Diggs wasnt as good this season as he was during his rookie year but still is a solid nickel on a cheap rookie deal. He s quicker than fast but the lack of speed hurts him sometimes, he makes up for it by being a pretty good tackler and better against the run than you think. The Lions paid the price by relying on Bademosi to be there top reserve defender on the outside whereas he s more of a special team coverage player that they didnt really need with the presence of someone like Don Carey who is better on both defense and special teams. At least Bademosi was solid on special teams. Jackson was brought in to help after Diggs injury but he s been majorly overmatched. It seemed Barnes was better but the Lions went with experience. Carter hasnt gotten much of a chance but has intriguing measurables and seems to be finally working his way out of the doghouse. His role in the final may tell us something about how much of the defense he s been finally able to grasp. Slay is maybe a top 15 corner and is finally making some big plays. Lawson overall had a good year but got overmatched a bit at the end of the year and his habit of getting flagged has returned. The Lions could stand to get a better No 2 or at least better depth outside, which could allow Lawson to maybe help them against certain slot players that maybe have too much speed for Diggs. There s room for improvement but the Lions have much larger needs on the defense.

S Wilson/Quinn/Bush/Killebrew/Carey

I believe Wilson is under contract for another year and has had a decent year playing with a big motor and being pretty good in coverage. The Lions are not in bad shape if he s there starter next year. Bush may have earned himself a better deal than what the Lions will want to give him to be a backup or for his 3 safety look contributions. Killebrew has found a unique roll as a nickel LBer so we ll see what position the Lions want to emphasize him at next season. Quinn s still under contract for another year and is there best player. I figure Quinn will look for another player like Bush but probably not use a priority draft pick at this position unless its in anticipation of WIlson and Quinn being FAs after 17-18 next season.

PMartin - he has fulfilled his potential and is now one of the best in the league and locked up for a few years.
K Prater - another specialist top 10 at his position and a major weapon indoors.
LS Muhlbach/Landes - Muhlbach will still probably be better next season but they may go with the future of Landes and let Muhlbach solve problems that a few other teams had this season.

Top Needs:
DE/RB/DT/LB/CB/S/TE/OL/WR/QB/


January 1st, 2017, 6:53 pm
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Post Re: Lions 2017 Draft talk
Finding a DE will fix the DT depth too. If they are able to find a full time starter opposite Ansah then Hyder can just back up at DE and DT on passing downs. Ngata, Robinson, and Thornton aren't a bad rotation if Hyder is fresh enough to rotate in with them on passing downs. I'm pretty sure Taylor will get an offer from the Lions unless some team stupidly overpays him. Taylor isn't a bad back up and shouldn't cost a lot, he'll be a needed body with how poor the bottom of the rotation is.

I don't think Reiff will be back and I think Warford could be priced out to if a team decides to overlook his injury history. I feel given their likely draft position we will be seeing a 1st round OT again unless something else just falls into their lap.


January 1st, 2017, 7:52 pm
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Post Re: Lions 2017 Draft talk
rao wrote:
Finding a DE will fix the DT depth too. If they are able to find a full time starter opposite Ansah then Hyder can just back up at DE and DT on passing downs. Ngata, Robinson, and Thornton aren't a bad rotation if Hyder is fresh enough to rotate in with them on passing downs. I'm pretty sure Taylor will get an offer from the Lions unless some team stupidly overpays him. Taylor isn't a bad back up and shouldn't cost a lot, he'll be a needed body with how poor the bottom of the rotation is.

I don't think Reiff will be back and I think Warford could be priced out to if a team decides to overlook his injury history. I feel given their likely draft position we will be seeing a 1st round OT again unless something else just falls into their lap.


In Taylor s case sometimes its better for the team to have a player they like not have a big year in a contract year so they can keep them without an expanding price. You are right Taylor might be back on the cheap but I feel they need a bigger addition at that DE spot regardless which I think you agree with.


January 1st, 2017, 8:48 pm
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Joined: November 28th, 2007, 12:50 pm
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Post Re: Lions 2017 Draft talk
The Legend wrote:
rao wrote:
Finding a DE will fix the DT depth too. If they are able to find a full time starter opposite Ansah then Hyder can just back up at DE and DT on passing downs. Ngata, Robinson, and Thornton aren't a bad rotation if Hyder is fresh enough to rotate in with them on passing downs. I'm pretty sure Taylor will get an offer from the Lions unless some team stupidly overpays him. Taylor isn't a bad back up and shouldn't cost a lot, he'll be a needed body with how poor the bottom of the rotation is.

I don't think Reiff will be back and I think Warford could be priced out to if a team decides to overlook his injury history. I feel given their likely draft position we will be seeing a 1st round OT again unless something else just falls into their lap.


In Taylor s case sometimes its better for the team to have a player they like not have a big year in a contract year so they can keep them without an expanding price. You are right Taylor might be back on the cheap but I feel they need a bigger addition at that DE spot regardless which I think you agree with.

Absolutely agree that they need a big addition to come in as a true starter at DE. Ansah really needs someone that can draw attention or make some plays.


January 1st, 2017, 11:34 pm
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Post Re: Lions 2017 Draft talk
Except for Hyder the whole D-line has been a disappointment this year. I don't blame Robinson as he's a rookie. It will be interesting to see if Quinn prioritizes a particular area as he did last year with the O-line. Looks like odds are we'll be picking 21st this year.


2017 First-round Selection Order

*indicates teams will flip for pick

(p) indicates team in playoff position with final draft spot TBD by playoff results
Search:
# Team W-L Opp W-L %
1 Cleveland 1-15 .549
2 San Francisco 2-14 .504
3 Chicago 3-13 .521
4 Jacksonville 3-13 .527
5 Tennessee (from LA Rams) 4-12 .504
6 NY Jets 5-11 .518
7 San Diego 5-11 .543
8 Carolina 6-10 .518
9 Cincinnati 6-9-1 .521
10 Buffalo 7-9 .482
11 New Orleans 7-9 .525
12 Cleveland (from Philadelphia) 7-9 .559
13 Arizona 7-8-1 .463
14 Indianapolis 8-8 .492
15 Philadelphia (from Minnesota) 8-8 .492
16 Baltimore 8-8 .498
17 Washington 8-7-1 .516
18 Tennessee 9-7 .465
19 Tampa Bay 9-7 .492
20 Denver 9-7 .559
21 (p)Detroit 9-7 .475
22 (p)Houston 9-7 .502
23 (p)Miami 10-6 .455
24 (p)Green Bay 10-6 .508
25 (p)Seattle 10-5-1 .441
26 (p)Atlanta 11-5 .480
27 (p)NY Giants 11-5 .486
28 (p)Pittsburgh 11-5 .494
29 (p)Oakland 12-4 .504
30 (p)Kansas City 12-4 .508
31 (p)Dallas 13-3 .471
32 (p)New England 14-2 .439

http://gbnreport.com/2017-first-round-selection-order/


January 2nd, 2017, 12:24 pm
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Post Re: Lions 2017 Draft talk
I agree with rao that Reiff is unlikely to be back. I think he will command average LT money on the free agent market, and that may be just too much for us to pay for what we see as an average RT. Could well be the same with Warford. His first season was huge, particularly given his draft position, but he never seems to have lived up to it since. But I can see someone paying him. Tomlinson just isn't very good either. So I can see tackle or guard being high draft priorities.

On the DLine, again I agree with you both - Hyder and Taylor are good back ups. A high quality DE, via FA or the draft, makes a huge impact on that dline.

I also think we could do with finding a starting calibre LB and CB.

I'm not too concerned at RB - I think RB production is mostly a function of oline play.

I hope Boldin comes back at WR, then I think we are ok there too.

So I think the off-season comes down to what we can do with Reiff and Warford. If we manage to re-sign them on ok deals, then we can use our off-season firepower on sorting the defense and I can see us fielding a potential playoff calibre squad next season. Lose them, and I think we may bet an average talent level squad.


January 4th, 2017, 8:49 am
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Post Re: Lions 2017 Draft talk
UK Lion wrote:
I agree with rao that Reiff is unlikely to be back. I think he will command average LT money on the free agent market, and that may be just too much for us to pay for what we see as an average RT. Could well be the same with Warford. His first season was huge, particularly given his draft position, but he never seems to have lived up to it since. But I can see someone paying him. Tomlinson just isn't very good either. So I can see tackle or guard being high draft priorities.

On the DLine, again I agree with you both - Hyder and Taylor are good back ups. A high quality DE, via FA or the draft, makes a huge impact on that dline.

I also think we could do with finding a starting calibre LB and CB.

I'm not too concerned at RB - I think RB production is mostly a function of oline play.

I hope Boldin comes back at WR, then I think we are ok there too.

So I think the off-season comes down to what we can do with Reiff and Warford. If we manage to re-sign them on ok deals, then we can use our off-season firepower on sorting the defense and I can see us fielding a potential playoff calibre squad next season. Lose them, and I think we may bet an average talent level squad.



I feel like the first thing to look at on that OL is the internal candidates the Lions have. If Quinn is going to make progress with this roster, it is crucial to get guys onto that 2nd contract and then look for other spot s to improve. Look at Mayhew's DL - he had Cliff Avril, Suh, Fairley and Ansah as good internally drafted players but 3/4 are gone with really nothing received in return and what the hell do the Lions have to show for that on the DL now?

When I look at OT, I thought for a moment earlier this season that Corey Robinson was doing a nice job when Ebron was out and he was being used as an extra edge blocker but that sizzled fast and very little else that I ve seen from him has been impressive. Cornelius Lucas is actually behind Corey Robinson and we ve seen his awful performances in past seasons. Its still a mystery to me why they let Michael Ola walk bc he was actually quality depth that could ve helped this year. Joe Dahl maybe is the best internal hope but he s already been moved from tackle to guard and is unlikely to replace Reiff without a major dropoff which the Lions really cant afford. So, if they decide not to secure Reiff who I agree is middle of the pack at RT much like he was at LT then they may be forced to use another high round pick at that spot which is a limited resource.

At guard, Warford is there best player. Guards typically dont command a lot anyway and Tomlinson has done nothing but disappoint. Tomlinson and Glasgow is better depth than what the Lions have at tackle and maybe a guard can be picked at a later point in the draft. On the other hand, Warford is a better guard than Reiff is a tackle and at some point the Lions need to have good players on the roster to keep this thing rolling. Everything isnt about value.

Meanwhile when you look at the other spots on the line - the Lions are getting exceptional value with Decker at LT and Glasgow at G. Even Swanson still has another year on his rookie deal so its not like the Lions cant afford to spend a little on there currently dirt cheap OL.

As for RB, I agree typically the OL is a limiting factor in what the RB can be expected to accomplish. In the Lions case they ve seen Abdullah look ok, Riddick is still a mostly catch/no run play, Washington look completely lost and ineffective and Zenner with the least amount of physical talent of the 3 play the best. With Zenner playing, the Lions look like they can run block but there s a limit to Zenner s upside. He can finish a game for you but he s not going to scare a defense and have them adjust game plans. The Lions line seems like it is good enough to have a legitimate runner completely change the complexion of there offense and the way defenses have to approach them. In the current state, opposing DCs have no fear of the Lions run game and that has a crippling effect on the pass game. They ll give Zenner some runs bc they know he s not going to bust them for a big play and eventually will wear down over the course of a game or a few quarters. I previously didnt think the Lions should chase a good runner but I now think that the line has progressed to the point where that runner can be transformational in helping the Lions offense take its next steps forward - of course that hinges on keeping that line together and developing them further. If they are going to remove two solid stable pieces of that line, young and close to there primes then all bets are off.


January 4th, 2017, 6:34 pm
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Post Re: Lions 2017 Draft talk
The Legend wrote:
UK Lion wrote:
I agree with rao that Reiff is unlikely to be back. I think he will command average LT money on the free agent market, and that may be just too much for us to pay for what we see as an average RT. Could well be the same with Warford. His first season was huge, particularly given his draft position, but he never seems to have lived up to it since. But I can see someone paying him. Tomlinson just isn't very good either. So I can see tackle or guard being high draft priorities.

On the DLine, again I agree with you both - Hyder and Taylor are good back ups. A high quality DE, via FA or the draft, makes a huge impact on that dline.

I also think we could do with finding a starting calibre LB and CB.

I'm not too concerned at RB - I think RB production is mostly a function of oline play.

I hope Boldin comes back at WR, then I think we are ok there too.

So I think the off-season comes down to what we can do with Reiff and Warford. If we manage to re-sign them on ok deals, then we can use our off-season firepower on sorting the defense and I can see us fielding a potential playoff calibre squad next season. Lose them, and I think we may bet an average talent level squad.



I feel like the first thing to look at on that OL is the internal candidates the Lions have. If Quinn is going to make progress with this roster, it is crucial to get guys onto that 2nd contract and then look for other spot s to improve. Look at Mayhew's DL - he had Cliff Avril, Suh, Fairley and Ansah as good internally drafted players but 3/4 are gone with really nothing received in return and what the hell do the Lions have to show for that on the DL now?

When I look at OT, I thought for a moment earlier this season that Corey Robinson was doing a nice job when Ebron was out and he was being used as an extra edge blocker but that sizzled fast and very little else that I ve seen from him has been impressive. Cornelius Lucas is actually behind Corey Robinson and we ve seen his awful performances in past seasons. Its still a mystery to me why they let Michael Ola walk bc he was actually quality depth that could ve helped this year. Joe Dahl maybe is the best internal hope but he s already been moved from tackle to guard and is unlikely to replace Reiff without a major dropoff which the Lions really cant afford. So, if they decide not to secure Reiff who I agree is middle of the pack at RT much like he was at LT then they may be forced to use another high round pick at that spot which is a limited resource.

At guard, Warford is there best player. Guards typically dont command a lot anyway and Tomlinson has done nothing but disappoint. Tomlinson and Glasgow is better depth than what the Lions have at tackle and maybe a guard can be picked at a later point in the draft. On the other hand, Warford is a better guard than Reiff is a tackle and at some point the Lions need to have good players on the roster to keep this thing rolling. Everything isnt about value.

Meanwhile when you look at the other spots on the line - the Lions are getting exceptional value with Decker at LT and Glasgow at G. Even Swanson still has another year on his rookie deal so its not like the Lions cant afford to spend a little on there currently dirt cheap OL.

As for RB, I agree typically the OL is a limiting factor in what the RB can be expected to accomplish. In the Lions case they ve seen Abdullah look ok, Riddick is still a mostly catch/no run play, Washington look completely lost and ineffective and Zenner with the least amount of physical talent of the 3 play the best. With Zenner playing, the Lions look like they can run block but there s a limit to Zenner s upside. He can finish a game for you but he s not going to scare a defense and have them adjust game plans. The Lions line seems like it is good enough to have a legitimate runner completely change the complexion of there offense and the way defenses have to approach them. In the current state, opposing DCs have no fear of the Lions run game and that has a crippling effect on the pass game. They ll give Zenner some runs bc they know he s not going to bust them for a big play and eventually will wear down over the course of a game or a few quarters. I previously didnt think the Lions should chase a good runner but I now think that the line has progressed to the point where that runner can be transformational in helping the Lions offense take its next steps forward - of course that hinges on keeping that line together and developing them further. If they are going to remove two solid stable pieces of that line, young and close to there primes then all bets are off.


I just don't see how they can rationalize keeping Reiff. Unless Reiff really likes Detroit and gives a discount it's going to be really hard to sign him to an even ok deal because of his 5th year option being so high. The Lions will be at a disadvantage in negotiating because his agent is going to expect something in that range per year to re-sign. When he can't get that he will most likely just sign somewhere else on a short term deal or someone will just pay him what he wants and move him back to LT.

Warford I think is probably like a 65-70% chance to return at a reasonable or at least acceptable price. I still worry some idiot GM will ignore his injuries and offer him big money that Quinn will smartly not beat. The other worry with Warford is still will someone be ready to step in when he's injured again next season. I suppose we just have to hope Dahl is ready or Tomlinson finally has something click.


January 4th, 2017, 8:28 pm
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Post Re: Lions 2017 Draft talk
Quote:
I just don't see how they can rationalize keeping Reiff. Unless Reiff really likes Detroit and gives a discount it's going to be really hard to sign him to an even ok deal because of his 5th year option being so high. The Lions will be at a disadvantage in negotiating because his agent is going to expect something in that range per year to re-sign. When he can't get that he will most likely just sign somewhere else on a short term deal or someone will just pay him what he wants and move him back to LT.

Warford I think is probably like a 65-70% chance to return at a reasonable or at least acceptable price. I still worry some idiot GM will ignore his injuries and offer him big money that Quinn will smartly not beat. The other worry with Warford is still will someone be ready to step in when he's injured again next season. I suppose we just have to hope Dahl is ready or Tomlinson finally has something click.


My point is look at it from the standpoint of not signing Reiff. Bob Quinn shouldnt feel good about going into 2017 with Corey Robinson or Cornelius Lucas? There could be a few free agents to pick from but mostly appear to have injury concerns or otherwise priced higher than Reiff. He s only getting $8m on his current 5th yr option deal so I dont see the problem with something like 5y/$45m w a decent signing bonus and likely a lower cap number than the $8m next season. They could even "call it" as high as 5y/55m probably the way they make the NFL deals this year. You have Decker making rookie deal money ($2.5m, $3.0m, $3.5m) for the next 3 years so you have both tackles in tow for the next 3 years at a range of $9-$12m per year after which if someone is developed you can evaluate cutting/trade options. I really dont think its that bad of a situation to be in. I think its preferable to guessing on someone or going with your "hope strategy" and then they can use there draft resource on building up that defense, preferably passrushers early. I just dont think they get ahead by letting Reiff walk and then using another 1st rd pick hoping to get someone at Reiff s level. Maybe if he s willing to take some swings in free agency on impact defenders (who may or may not want to come) but I think you stick with the sure thing in this situation.


January 4th, 2017, 9:44 pm
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Post Re: Lions 2017 Draft talk
The Legend wrote:
UK Lion wrote:
I agree with rao that Reiff is unlikely to be back. I think he will command average LT money on the free agent market, and that may be just too much for us to pay for what we see as an average RT. Could well be the same with Warford. His first season was huge, particularly given his draft position, but he never seems to have lived up to it since. But I can see someone paying him. Tomlinson just isn't very good either. So I can see tackle or guard being high draft priorities.

On the DLine, again I agree with you both - Hyder and Taylor are good back ups. A high quality DE, via FA or the draft, makes a huge impact on that dline.

I also think we could do with finding a starting calibre LB and CB.

I'm not too concerned at RB - I think RB production is mostly a function of oline play.

I hope Boldin comes back at WR, then I think we are ok there too.

So I think the off-season comes down to what we can do with Reiff and Warford. If we manage to re-sign them on ok deals, then we can use our off-season firepower on sorting the defense and I can see us fielding a potential playoff calibre squad next season. Lose them, and I think we may bet an average talent level squad.



I feel like the first thing to look at on that OL is the internal candidates the Lions have. If Quinn is going to make progress with this roster, it is crucial to get guys onto that 2nd contract and then look for other spot s to improve. Look at Mayhew's DL - he had Cliff Avril, Suh, Fairley and Ansah as good internally drafted players but 3/4 are gone with really nothing received in return and what the hell do the Lions have to show for that on the DL now?

When I look at OT, I thought for a moment earlier this season that Corey Robinson was doing a nice job when Ebron was out and he was being used as an extra edge blocker but that sizzled fast and very little else that I ve seen from him has been impressive. Cornelius Lucas is actually behind Corey Robinson and we ve seen his awful performances in past seasons. Its still a mystery to me why they let Michael Ola walk bc he was actually quality depth that could ve helped this year. Joe Dahl maybe is the best internal hope but he s already been moved from tackle to guard and is unlikely to replace Reiff without a major dropoff which the Lions really cant afford. So, if they decide not to secure Reiff who I agree is middle of the pack at RT much like he was at LT then they may be forced to use another high round pick at that spot which is a limited resource.

At guard, Warford is there best player. Guards typically dont command a lot anyway and Tomlinson has done nothing but disappoint. Tomlinson and Glasgow is better depth than what the Lions have at tackle and maybe a guard can be picked at a later point in the draft. On the other hand, Warford is a better guard than Reiff is a tackle and at some point the Lions need to have good players on the roster to keep this thing rolling. Everything isnt about value.

Meanwhile when you look at the other spots on the line - the Lions are getting exceptional value with Decker at LT and Glasgow at G. Even Swanson still has another year on his rookie deal so its not like the Lions cant afford to spend a little on there currently dirt cheap OL.

As for RB, I agree typically the OL is a limiting factor in what the RB can be expected to accomplish. In the Lions case they ve seen Abdullah look ok, Riddick is still a mostly catch/no run play, Washington look completely lost and ineffective and Zenner with the least amount of physical talent of the 3 play the best. With Zenner playing, the Lions look like they can run block but there s a limit to Zenner s upside. He can finish a game for you but he s not going to scare a defense and have them adjust game plans. The Lions line seems like it is good enough to have a legitimate runner completely change the complexion of there offense and the way defenses have to approach them. In the current state, opposing DCs have no fear of the Lions run game and that has a crippling effect on the pass game. They ll give Zenner some runs bc they know he s not going to bust them for a big play and eventually will wear down over the course of a game or a few quarters. I previously didnt think the Lions should chase a good runner but I now think that the line has progressed to the point where that runner can be transformational in helping the Lions offense take its next steps forward - of course that hinges on keeping that line together and developing them further. If they are going to remove two solid stable pieces of that line, young and close to there primes then all bets are off.



I agree with the argument for keeping both Reiff and Warford. Securing both offensive linemen for the foreseeable future is the intelligent move, showing continuity and resolve to keep our good young nucleus together as we build for the future. Both are early round picks and letting those guys walk is not in the teams best interest. I believe Reiff will show improvement in his 2nd year at RT.
To me, selecting a premier back with our 1st pick this year would do wonders for the running game, although I doubt it will happen. Fournette and Cook are this draft's top backs, and I doubt either will still be there at our pick. No knock against Abdullah, who is a talented back. He just can't take the pounding.


January 5th, 2017, 12:03 pm
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Post Re: Lions 2017 Draft talk
Is the problem with Reiff and Warford letting them hit the end of their deals? We should have made them extension offers a year ago, when we could have demanded a discount because "do you really want to risk injury in 2016? This is your first chance to make megabucks - yeah, if you continue to play well and don't get injured you could make a few million more, but sign now and you are set up for life with zero risk".

I'm not sure what we learned from 2016 from either of these guys really. They're the players we thought they were 12 months ago, and we could do with them signed longer term. Should we have signed them 12 months ago?


January 5th, 2017, 12:39 pm
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Post Re: Lions 2017 Draft talk
The Legend wrote:
Quote:
I just don't see how they can rationalize keeping Reiff. Unless Reiff really likes Detroit and gives a discount it's going to be really hard to sign him to an even ok deal because of his 5th year option being so high. The Lions will be at a disadvantage in negotiating because his agent is going to expect something in that range per year to re-sign. When he can't get that he will most likely just sign somewhere else on a short term deal or someone will just pay him what he wants and move him back to LT.

Warford I think is probably like a 65-70% chance to return at a reasonable or at least acceptable price. I still worry some idiot GM will ignore his injuries and offer him big money that Quinn will smartly not beat. The other worry with Warford is still will someone be ready to step in when he's injured again next season. I suppose we just have to hope Dahl is ready or Tomlinson finally has something click.


My point is look at it from the standpoint of not signing Reiff. Bob Quinn shouldnt feel good about going into 2017 with Corey Robinson or Cornelius Lucas? There could be a few free agents to pick from but mostly appear to have injury concerns or otherwise priced higher than Reiff. He s only getting $8m on his current 5th yr option deal so I dont see the problem with something like 5y/$45m w a decent signing bonus and likely a lower cap number than the $8m next season. They could even "call it" as high as 5y/55m probably the way they make the NFL deals this year. You have Decker making rookie deal money ($2.5m, $3.0m, $3.5m) for the next 3 years so you have both tackles in tow for the next 3 years at a range of $9-$12m per year after which if someone is developed you can evaluate cutting/trade options. I really dont think its that bad of a situation to be in. I think its preferable to guessing on someone or going with your "hope strategy" and then they can use there draft resource on building up that defense, preferably passrushers early. I just dont think they get ahead by letting Reiff walk and then using another 1st rd pick hoping to get someone at Reiff s level. Maybe if he s willing to take some swings in free agency on impact defenders (who may or may not want to come) but I think you stick with the sure thing in this situation.


Looking at it again after reading your post I'm warming up to it now. The money looked much worse in my head than when I was reading it. I would still be concerned about Warford and his constant injuries though. With Reiff any money they put in should see at least adequate return, but I guess with all the rookie deals they can afford to waste some money when Warford misses time. Hopefully Robinson and Dahl improve next year also, so that they have some depth too.


January 5th, 2017, 12:46 pm
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Post Re: Lions 2017 Draft talk
UK Lion wrote:
Is the problem with Reiff and Warford letting them hit the end of their deals? We should have made them extension offers a year ago, when we could have demanded a discount because "do you really want to risk injury in 2016? This is your first chance to make megabucks - yeah, if you continue to play well and don't get injured you could make a few million more, but sign now and you are set up for life with zero risk".

I'm not sure what we learned from 2016 from either of these guys really. They're the players we thought they were 12 months ago, and we could do with them signed longer term. Should we have signed them 12 months ago?


The Reiff problem is that he was drafted to be a LT and was mediocre. If he had just been bad at it they probably would have him on a cheap 3 yr deal at RT right now, but he is just good enough to draw some interest from LT needy teams and even mediocre LTs get a significant amount of money. If he had just been moved to RT even maybe a year earlier it could have saved the Lions likely $2M/yr on re-signing him.

One of the biggest factors I see in the Reiff conversation is also going to be if he is even willing to stay at RT. I can't remember ever seeing anything from him about how he likes it. He may just refuse to re-signing to take a deal where he can play LT.


January 5th, 2017, 1:01 pm
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Post Re: Lions 2017 Draft talk
Quote:
The Reiff problem is that he was drafted to be a LT and was mediocre. If he had just been bad at it they probably would have him on a cheap 3 yr deal at RT right now, but he is just good enough to draw some interest from LT needy teams and even mediocre LTs get a significant amount of money. If he had just been moved to RT even maybe a year earlier it could have saved the Lions likely $2M/yr on re-signing him.

One of the biggest factors I see in the Reiff conversation is also going to be if he is even willing to stay at RT. I can't remember ever seeing anything from him about how he likes it. He may just refuse to re-signing to take a deal where he can play LT.


Im sure that is something Reiff's agent is trying to get a feel for right now. The big key is that Quinn hit a homerun in the draft getting Decker, who appears to have the makings of a franchise caliber LT in the middle of Round 1. Assuming he stays healthy, the Lions now have a good LT for rest of Decker's rookie deal (3) + the 5th year option (does that still exist?) for exceptional (1st 3 years) and then good value. It seems there is a 4 year window where the Lions can afford to spend some on the rest of that line whether that is both Reiff, Warford or some combination + a free agent.

What I am excited about going forward really is that this Quinn regime should be starting off its first full offseason in a great place. Stafford is hitting his prime now so QB is set. Millen s regime never even had a QB. Mayhew s at least had a QB but never had LT leaning on average/mediocre Backus and Reiff but constantly mulling an upgrade but never committing the offseason resources to become good at an extremely important position. Decker isnt a finished product by any means and has had some rough spots but Im on the bandwagon. I think he s top 10 at the position right now and I think he could be in the top 5 range for a good stretch of his career. Also the Lions have Ansah, albeit in a down year and Slay. QB/LT/DE I consider the core positions and the Lions have "stars" at those spots for the foreseeable future. Contrast that in the past where it was WR/DT/QB - I love Megatron but the priorities were wrong and everyone was pre-rookie scale getting paid like an MVP. This team is set up much healthier for the future. The next most important position is CB and Slay/Lawson/Diggs is a good group when healthy thank you very much Martin Mayhew. The top priority in my eyes for this offseason is getting that 2nd DE that can be a good starter on that edge to add to the core. I also think a 3 down runner needs to be part of that core at some point. The other positions and depth should not be as difficult to fill in and I do believe that the Lions future should be bright w some of the essentials already in place.


January 7th, 2017, 12:31 pm
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Post Re: Lions 2017 Draft talk
I'd like to bring back both Reiff and Warford but I have a feeling neither will be back. Quinn drafted heavily on the Oline. People have mentioned this before but I can see Glasgow staying at LG, Tomlinson moving to RG. That still leaves a hole at RT where Dahl COULD play but I think he's better inside, leaving us to find a new starter.

As for needs I hope we focus on the defense. As everyone has said another quality starting DE is a must and we also need a pass rushing DT. At least 1 but hopefully 2 LB will be added and you can never have enough corners. We looked terrible with Slay and Diggs down, and most teams would with their #1 and #3 corner out, but perhaps spending some of the cap space on a savy vet to pair with Slay would be a good move. We should have around $50M in space and there are some decent guys out there.

In a perfect world we'd add a three down back and another WR but there's only so much that can be done.


January 7th, 2017, 2:18 pm
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