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 Lions Pre Draft roster 2018 
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Post Lions Pre Draft roster 2018
QB: Stafford/Cassel/Rudock likely Stafford/Rudock or Stafford/Cassel

My first thought when the Lions signed Cassel was some kind of unpleasant curse word about Bob Quinn but after leaving a lot of holes on the roster yet again this might be a move that allows Quinn to shop Rudock for a draft pick.

RB: Blount/Abdullah/Riddick/Green/Zenner/Washington should be Draft pick/Blount/Green/Zenner

Im expecting one of both of Abdullah or Riddick to be traded. Im not sure the Blount signing makes much sense after Green emerged last year but we should be better in short yardage than a year ago when the Lions didnt sign Blount, cut Asiata and failed to work in Green while being awful in key situations in short yardage. Would have been nice to win that night game against Pittsburgh. Anyway, the Lions are expected to take a RB fairly high in the draft somewhere in the first 3 rounds. Ideally that runner replaces both Abdullah and Riddick and works in tandem with Blount. Green is a good special teamer who takes Blounts role in 2019 and Zenner is the reserve jack of all trades runner ready to step in in an emergency. Washington better be having an exceptional offseason bc he really needs to have a breakout camp to make the team that is if he even makes it to camp. Currently a very weak position on the roster and the outlook is very dependent on the draft pick the Lions are able to snag.

FB: Bellore/Barrett ie none

TE: Willson/Roberts/Toilolo/Barnes/Valles

Very weak position at the moment. Patricia admitted there s a need here but Im not sure they can afford to draft for this position again. Willson has suspect hands, isnt a blocker - sounds like Ebron but cheaper except Ebron is a good route runner who was a major mismatch down the stretch last season. Roberts made some strides but is more of a slow passcatching TE with inconsistent hands whose stuck in a blocking TEs body than he is an all around TE. Should get better but not sure he s ready to start. Toilolo is a blocking TE they were lucky to get was though of highly a year ago hopefully just had a bad year.

OT: Decker/Wagner/C Robinson/Mihalik/Skipper

Colossal fail in 2017, Lions will hope that take 2 is much better. If Quinn is smart he ll get better depth options. I didnt think Mihalik was embarrassing but he was behind some of the others they had last year who were.

OG: Glasgow/Lang/Dahl/Wiggins/

Glasgow stayed on the field and has been versatile and solid. Lang s good if he plays but needs a team of trainers, massage therapists, etc to get to game day. Wiggins hasnt played quality ball his whole career, have to hope Dahl can step up his game in year 3. When Quinn took the job he said the Lions needed to improve the middle class and depth. Not sure he s done that really at all despite major focus on the OL by him. He ll have another chance to get depth here also.

C: W Johnson/Koloamatangi

Lions need to either draft another C who can start or a G who can and Glasgow takes the other spot. Johnson at his best is Swanson in a down year. Johnson isnt a starter to be happy about but he s there in case whoever the Lions draft is a major flop. Extremely weak position at the moment.

WR: M Jones/Tate/TJ Jones/Golladay/Billingsley/Ford/Marquez/Andy Jones

Lions played some games with TJ this offseason but brought him back after making a lot of crucial tough catches with contact last year. He s not a high upside 3/4 WR but if he plays like he did last year he s all you need. This position is a need if they dont think they can re-sign/extend Tate. Billingsley is in that mold but hasnt been able to see the field much. Golladay has major breakout potential if they can expand his route tree otherwise he remains a dangerous deep threat. One of the better position groups on the team.

K: Prater

P: Martin

Down year for Martin who looked like the choke artist he was his first couple years again but probably no roster movement here has to rebound after injury.

PR: Agnew
KR: maybe TJ Jones or Agnew

S: Quinn/Wilson/Killewbrew/Washington/McClure/Milligan

Diggs also looked really good at the position last year. Lions probably go with same starters or why else would they have re signed WIlson. Killebrew went from intriguing to disappointing and his position may be forced out especially if they draft someone thats a potential free safety to replace Quinn in another year. Eric Reid is an outstanding player still available but Martha Ford hate silent peaceful protest a lot more than a ton of other BS that is worse but tolerated.

CB: Slay/Lawson/Diggs/Shead/Tabor/Agnew/Barnes

I would bet Lawson continues his reign as the No 2 corner but Shead is good depth who can matchup against bigger receivers and was good against the run. He s 30 so mostly a stop gap in case Tabor doesnt catch on better in year 2. Agnew will be given a chance at the nickel role and has serious speed obviously but beating out Diggs would be a surprise unless Diggs ends up another position. They could draft a real No 2 CB here bc Tabor hasnt been good, Shead is a stopgap and Lawson holds up but seems like it shouldnt be this hard to upgrade from. Maybe Tabor and Diggs both end up at safety down the line and they need more help at corner.

LB: Davis/Jones/Kennard/Maybin/Bellore/Freeney/Longa/Chubb

Lions got bigger at this spot. Kennard can be a DE/OLB hybrid and they seemed to emphasize that when he was signed but I dont see the track record of being an impact passrusher. Davis' had growing pains as a rookie - known as a big hitter in college he saw that not really translate to the NFL as he tried to beat the NFLs stronger OL and lead blockers head on rather than slipping a move and his big hits on RBs without wrapping up were missed tackles. He has a lot of technical aspects of the game to work on, on top of learning Patricia s scheme. Lions went out and got Jones to help as well but I think he s also more of a stopgap as is the rest of the depth although I really like Longa on special teams. LB is a major part of Patricia s defenses so they are probably drafting another one this year and will be a couple years before he has the group he really likes. Not sure Maybin fits in and probably a trade candidate but not sure you get anything in return.

DE: Ansah/Zettel/Hyder/Washington/Cam Johnson/Valoaga/Barrett

Arguably the most important position on any defense and the Lions are mostly a mess. Ansah was too talented to let walk but too often injured to extend. At his best, he s the teams best player but how often will we see that. Zettel was a major breakout player last year after transforming his body and appearing much more explosive and powerful. He seems like a legitimate starter and hopefully is still getting better. After that Hyder is a hustle and effort player without a lot of strength, speed or athleticism and thats usually not the type of player that can make it back from an achilles tear. Typically its the premium athletes who can stand to lost a half step or a little power and still be a superior athlete. The average guys become below average, washout and are easily beaten out. Washington is a mediocre rotational piece who plays hard and is a better run defender than much of a passrusher. Barrett has some edge speed and pass rush potential but the Lions favored Valoaga who had better size but less explosive. Not sure either has much of a future with the Lions but Barrett skill set seems a better fit for most NFL teams. The Lions need to draft a starting DE and another than can at least become a rotational piece with Ansah unreliable and Zettel being the only other player thats even average.

DT: Robinson/S Williams/Spence/Ledbetter/Ringo/Toby Johnson

An even worse position group. Robinson still flashes and I think he s talented but with Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson landing in the NFC north the best Bob Quinn was able to do was land Sylvester Williams. Williams will help against the run with Akeem Spence rotating in passrush situations. Ledbetter has a chance to play in the rotation again but didnt show much as a late round rookie but has some talent and some versatility where he could fit some 3-4 or hybrid schemes. Im not sure Ringo belonged on an NFL field last year but he s pretty quick and I suppose has a shot much like Hyder a couple years ago. Probably still need upgrades at 2 spots


Positions of strength - QB, WR, CB, S, K, PR
Crossing our fingers - T, G, P
Could be ok but need help - LB, TE
In need of major help - RB, C, DE, DT


April 14th, 2018, 2:34 pm
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Post Re: Lions Pre Draft roster 2018
Good overview of the roster. Just a few things I think are a bit different, but maybe I'm being to optimistic about some of the players.

I agree TE is still a weak position overall for the Lions, but IMO your undervaluing Wilson. He's an adequate blocker for a pass catching TE and isn't a liability when playing inline like Ebron. He's not going to be a difference maker or as dynamic as Ebron, but he's a good athletic TE.

Glasgow belongs with the OC group unless they sign another one. If the season started right now Wiggins or Dahl is starting at LG. Wiggins wasn't good starting for the Chargers last season, but he was still a starter on a top Oline and is getting paid like a stop gap in case they can't draft a good interior guy.

Your LB assessment seems pretty spot on except for Maybin. He's the only Will on the roster and they need him for 4-3 looks. He can be a solid role player that comes off the field in 3-4 looks, maybe he has added enough weight to continue playing the Will as an ILB in the 3-4 too.

I'm curious as to what you think Legend or anyone else for that matter, but with Patricia coming in, I don't think DE is going to be a position for the team anymore. You are either a pass rushing OLB or a DT in his scheme. I think they kept Ansah because he is to gifted to ignore when he's on the field, but if he can't show the ability to stand up or hold a gap in a 3-4 he's gone after this season.


April 15th, 2018, 2:43 pm
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Post Re: Lions Pre Draft roster 2018
rao wrote:
Good overview of the roster. Just a few things I think are a bit different, but maybe I'm being to optimistic about some of the players.

I agree TE is still a weak position overall for the Lions, but IMO your undervaluing Wilson. He's an adequate blocker for a pass catching TE and isn't a liability when playing inline like Ebron. He's not going to be a difference maker or as dynamic as Ebron, but he's a good athletic TE.

Glasgow belongs with the OC group unless they sign another one. If the season started right now Wiggins or Dahl is starting at LG. Wiggins wasn't good starting for the Chargers last season, but he was still a starter on a top Oline and is getting paid like a stop gap in case they can't draft a good interior guy.

Your LB assessment seems pretty spot on except for Maybin. He's the only Will on the roster and they need him for 4-3 looks. He can be a solid role player that comes off the field in 3-4 looks, maybe he has added enough weight to continue playing the Will as an ILB in the 3-4 too.

I'm curious as to what you think Legend or anyone else for that matter, but with Patricia coming in, I don't think DE is going to be a position for the team anymore. You are either a pass rushing OLB or a DT in his scheme. I think they kept Ansah because he is to gifted to ignore when he's on the field, but if he can't show the ability to stand up or hold a gap in a 3-4 he's gone after this season.


I think when you look back at the Patriots of the last 2 years or so its pretty shocking the lack of talent they had on defense in that front 7, particularly after they let Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins go. They were however pretty strong on the back end with 2-3 good corners and good safety play, and adapted with varied looks and confusing teams protection schemes with free rushers coming from unexpected spots. I think watching the Lions O line the last couple of years we ve seen how effective that strategy can be. How will this translate to the NFC north? The coaching staffs are more stable, the QBs are worlds better. The Patriots were able to outcoach a lot of teams along the way but you have to consider that the philosophy failed them on the biggest stage as the Patriots D was pretty much embarassed two super bowls in a row.

Before 2 years ago though the Patriots fronts had more talent, more speed and were more explosive up front. Quinn came from that era and perhaps his vision is more closely aligned with the Pats 2015 and earlier team defenses. You are right that the personnel preferences will evolve and I think we already are seeing a difference in the types of players coming in that front 7. Getting a LB like Kennard who can get maybe 5 sacks, and then 1-2 each out of some of the other LBs and maybe even some from your DBs might make up for that missing 10 sack DE that we usually would want to have in a classic 4-3. We might be looking at more of some of the tweener type DTs/DEs and OLB/DEs and drafted guys coming into positions or roles that didnt really exist in there college schemes. As for Ziggy I think he s a bit underrated in his ability to play the run and hold up on the edge. I think injuries are the only thing that can hold him back from being a great one. All that said, I still think the best way to go for the Lions is to acquire passrushers, although they probably have more flexibility in the type of player they can get to fit in. A year ago you and I debated Melvin Ingram - my thought was he can rush the passer go get him while you didnt see him fitting in the Lions 4-3 as a traditional DE. This system potentially allows them to fit in a players like and match them w someone like Ansah or a more tradiional DE on the other side.


April 16th, 2018, 11:38 pm
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Post Re: Lions Pre Draft roster 2018
The Legend wrote:
I think when you look back at the Patriots of the last 2 years or so its pretty shocking the lack of talent they had on defense in that front 7, particularly after they let Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins go. They were however pretty strong on the back end with 2-3 good corners and good safety play, and adapted with varied looks and confusing teams protection schemes with free rushers coming from unexpected spots. I think watching the Lions O line the last couple of years we ve seen how effective that strategy can be. How will this translate to the NFC north? The coaching staffs are more stable, the QBs are worlds better. The Patriots were able to outcoach a lot of teams along the way but you have to consider that the philosophy failed them on the biggest stage as the Patriots D was pretty much embarassed two super bowls in a row.

Before 2 years ago though the Patriots fronts had more talent, more speed and were more explosive up front. Quinn came from that era and perhaps his vision is more closely aligned with the Pats 2015 and earlier team defenses. You are right that the personnel preferences will evolve and I think we already are seeing a difference in the types of players coming in that front 7. Getting a LB like Kennard who can get maybe 5 sacks, and then 1-2 each out of some of the other LBs and maybe even some from your DBs might make up for that missing 10 sack DE that we usually would want to have in a classic 4-3. We might be looking at more of some of the tweener type DTs/DEs and OLB/DEs and drafted guys coming into positions or roles that didnt really exist in there college schemes. As for Ziggy I think he s a bit underrated in his ability to play the run and hold up on the edge. I think injuries are the only thing that can hold him back from being a great one. All that said, I still think the best way to go for the Lions is to acquire passrushers, although they probably have more flexibility in the type of player they can get to fit in. A year ago you and I debated Melvin Ingram - my thought was he can rush the passer go get him while you didnt see him fitting in the Lions 4-3 as a traditional DE. This system potentially allows them to fit in a players like and match them w someone like Ansah or a more tradiional DE on the other side.


If Austin wasn't so stuck on never playing Ansah as the closed end I would have been all for Ingram in the past. Your absolutely right about Ansah being good against the run and it's sad they never tried swapping him to the other side while putting a smaller speedier guy in his spot. I would love to see an Ingram type in Patricia's system. I see Kennard as more of a Sam in a hybrid system. He can rush a bit and hold up well against the run. I don't see anyone currently on the roster that can play the Jack in 3-4 looks. If they could land a guy like Landry or Lorenzo Carter in the draft it could fix the pass rush significantly. It's possible they could also look to use Ansah as the Jack for 3-4 looks, but then you still have a problem of not having a guy to pair with Ansah in 4-3 looks.


April 18th, 2018, 11:41 am
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Post Re: Lions Pre Draft roster 2018
Kind of surprising that Tion Green would get cut especially if they wanted a power runner beyond just this season. Green is good on special teams and is decent as a runner particulary with the supposed improvements/health of the line.


May 11th, 2018, 9:44 pm
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Post Re: Lions Pre Draft roster 2018
The Legend wrote:
Kind of surprising that Tion Green would get cut especially if they wanted a power runner beyond just this season. Green is good on special teams and is decent as a runner particulary with the supposed improvements/health of the line.


I was surprised too. I thought they would at least try to practice squad him instead of releasing him this early in the offseason. I guess his lack of ST ability kicked him off the team. He was going to be far down the depth chart, so no ST equals no roster spot.


May 11th, 2018, 10:49 pm
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Post Re: Lions Pre Draft roster 2018
I dunno he looked really good on special teams last preseason on coverage units.


May 12th, 2018, 8:15 pm
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Post Re: Lions Pre Draft roster 2018
Surprised with that move too. Green looked like he had potential at the end of the season. Especially surprised he got cut ahead of Washington.


May 22nd, 2018, 8:29 am
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