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 Kevin Smith's injury means Lions may have to think offense.. 
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Post Kevin Smith's injury means Lions may have to think offense..
MLive wrote:
Kevin Smith's injury means Lions may have to think offense in early rounds of NFL draft
By Tom Kowalski
December 16, 2009, 12:30AM

ALLEN PARK -- When you have a defense that is as thin, as weak and as talent-poor as the Detroit Lions, it only makes sense to spend most of your upcoming draft picks on the defensive side of the ball.

After all, the Baltimore Ravens, who had not scored more than 20 points in any of their previous five games, rolled up 48 points against the hapless Detroit defense.

The Lions' wish list for the draft is two defensive ends, one defensive tackle, two cornerbacks and a safety.

They can't fill all of those needs in a single draft, of course, but they've got to do the best they can.

However, in a twisted bit of thinking and some convoluted reasoning, perhaps the best thing the Lions could do is forget about drafting defensive players at the top of the draft board.

Perhaps the quickest way for the Lions to be a competitive team in the NFL is to concentrate their draft on offensive players.

The loss of running back Kevin Smith has to change the Lions' philosophy going into the 2010 draft.

It's very likely that Smith won't be ready at the start of next season, and it would be foolish for the Lions to count on Smith at all next year. He eventually will return from knee surgery, but he probably won't be 100 percent healthy until the 2011 season.

That means the Lions will have to get a running back in the draft and they need one with some real playmaking ability, not just a plugger. That means taking one in the first, second, or perhaps, third round.

If the Lions are going to take a running back, why not fill the hole on the offensive line and make it a complete offensive unit? Instead of adding a little on one side and a little on the other side, the Lions could build a strong offense that could score some serious points, and then concentrate on the defense in following years.

If the Lions keep the fourth overall pick in the draft, they could go for either Oklahoma State left tackle Russell Okung or Clemson running back C.J. Spiller.

Okung (pronounced oh-Coon) is a dominant pass protector who could start at left guard until he's ready to replace Jeff Backus, who could then move inside. That would go a long way toward solidifying that line.

If Spiller runs a 4.3 40-yard dash at the scouting combine, he might vault into the top five and must be a consideration. He's only 5-foot-9 and 195 pounds, but he's a gamebreaker.

Regardless of which way the Lions go, they can hit the other position in the second round. If they go for Okung, they might have a shot at California running back Jahvid Best, who's about the same size as Spiller and runs a 4.4.

If the Lions go with Spiller in the first round, they can take a look at a guy like Rutgers' Anthony Davis in the second round. Davis is 6-6 and 330 pounds and is a former guard, so starting at left guard as a rookie wouldn't be an issue. He has the pass blocking skills to eventually move to left tackle.

If the Lions go for an offensive tackle and also a defensive player in the first two rounds, they might still have a shot at Stanford running back Toby Gerhart in the third round. Gerhart doesn't have great speed, but he's an excellent runner and can move the chains.

The Lions should have a lot of options if they decide to draft for offense. This strategy would seem even more appropriate if two of the big-name defensive tackles -- Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy -- are gone by Detroit's No. 4 pick.

The Lions already have Matthew Stafford at quarterback and Calvin Johnson at receiver, and it might be best to surround them with as much talent as possible. This league is geared for offense and points, and the Lions might be wise to fortify that side of the ball first and see what kind of damage they can cause.

Drafting for offense might give the Lions a fighting chance to stay in some games and maybe, just maybe, actually win them.

http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/20 ... _lion.html

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December 16th, 2009, 9:43 am
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Haha, i was just going to post a question regarding that possibility when I happened to see that on Mlive.

If Spiller is the smartest choice, i say why not. Were gonna need one anyway. We desperately need defense, but as of Sunday, we really need a RB now too.

Wouldnt be too bad if we could get Spiller in rd1, then Iupati in Rd2.

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April 22nd, 2010 @ 7:44p.m. "The Detroit Lions select...Ndamukong Suh". Those are some beautiful words.


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December 16th, 2009, 10:08 am
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While I like C.J. Spiller as a college RB, I can't help but think of Reggie Bush. They're both small, quick, fast, and play their best in space. Can Spiller become an every down back in the NFL, or will he be the next Reggie Bush? I just don't know and can't say one way or the other. On the other hand, I felt the same way about Chris Johnson, and I was completely wrong on that one. The question then becomes, can the Lions afford to take that chance with a top 5 pick?

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December 16th, 2009, 10:20 am
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Spiller has too many questionmarks to be a top 5 pick. I see him more as a 10-15 guy. I really can't see him going that high unless he has an amazing combine, or puts on some weight and retains his speed. It's nice that he can return kicks and punts, but picking him in the top 5, IMO, is crazy.

I do, however, like that KS's injury has opened up the idea of drafting offense with our first round pick though. I'm not saying that we should draft offense hands down, but I think it is bad strategy to completely ignore 1/2 of your team when considering who to take. BPA at a position of need (which is nearly all of them) will satisfy me...


December 16th, 2009, 12:03 pm
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Unless its AP, first round RBs are a waste of a draft pick.

If you have a decent O-line, you can plug in any 2/3/4th round RB and put up good numbers. You can even possibly find a decent one in the garbage heap (ala Grant) or take an old veteran like the Bengals have been doing this year.

I really don't see any superstar RBs coming out of the college this year, so I think it would be a huge waste for the Lions to draft one. If they want to go to offense, go o-line.


December 16th, 2009, 12:07 pm
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Blueskies wrote:
Unless its AP, first round RBs are a waste of a draft pick.

If you have a decent O-line, you can plug in any 2/3/4th round RB and put up good numbers. You can even possibly find a decent one in the garbage heap (ala Grant) or take an old veteran like the Bengals have been doing this year.

I really don't see any superstar RBs coming out of the college this year, so I think it would be a huge waste for the Lions to draft one. If they want to go to offense, go o-line.


Ya i agree now that you mention it.

If we stay at #4 and we DO go offense, it HAS to be LT. If not, ya gotta go defense or trade down.

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April 22nd, 2010 @ 7:44p.m. "The Detroit Lions select...Ndamukong Suh". Those are some beautiful words.


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December 16th, 2009, 12:16 pm
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If the Lions decide to go OL or RB in the 2nd round, I guess I'd be OK with that, but I'd prefer defense. However, if the Lions' draft position remains about the same, I don't see an offensive player that could be considered the BPA at that point. A case could be made for Okung, but is he better than than the top defensive linemen or Eric Berry? I don't think so.

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December 16th, 2009, 12:37 pm
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Good point Sly.


Man, if the Lions stay at #4, they have a really tough decision to make (assuming no trades are offered).

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April 22nd, 2010 @ 7:44p.m. "The Detroit Lions select...Ndamukong Suh". Those are some beautiful words.


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December 16th, 2009, 12:47 pm
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If a runningback emerges to be like Adrian Peterson, I will have no argument against taking him. But if he isn't anything like him then there is no reason to take him at No. 4 or whichever we end up with. Obviously with this lack of talent, BPA is the best way to go simply because we need playmakers but how the hell are we ever gonna get this defense fixed with all these problems?

Also, Ronnie Brown ( I believe ) is supposed to be a free agent, but I simply cannot imagine why Miami would ever let him walk. If for whatever reason they do, offer him a check and let him fill in the numbers.

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December 16th, 2009, 1:18 pm
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As I've mentioned before, if there isn't a new CBA extension, it will take 6 years to become an UFA and most of the good players will be restricted. But, if they do come to a new agreement, there could be several quality RBs available. They include Ronnie Brown, Cadillac Williams, LenDale White, Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, Chester Taylor, Leon Washington, and Willie Parker. I know that several of those aren't true #1 RBs and/or are on the decline, but I think most of them could help the Lions.

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December 16th, 2009, 1:29 pm
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Personally... I'd take either Suh or McCoy whichever one is available in that order if we stay at #4... then 2nd round we can go OL and in the 3rd or 4th we can find our RB.

Also, FWIW.. I read today that the 'original' Adrian Peterson maybe on his way out in Chicago(last year of contract) and I'd give him a look since he can play RB and also can be used in STs.

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December 16th, 2009, 1:33 pm
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Gerhart in the third? lol

Keep dreamin' killer.

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December 16th, 2009, 2:10 pm
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i think that dwyer will make a better nfl back

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December 16th, 2009, 3:13 pm
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Killwill25 wrote:
i think that dwyer will make a better nfl back


Personally I think that Dwyer, Joe McKnight, and Jhavid Best are all better pro prospects than Spiller. Are any of them coming out this year?


December 16th, 2009, 3:50 pm
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if we took a RB and OL with 1/2 I'd give up hope for next year once again.

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December 16th, 2009, 3:54 pm
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