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 Position by Position Breakdown 
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Color Commentator - John Madden
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Post Position by Position Breakdown
Here is the current roster, starred are not on the active roster.

QB- Matt Stafford, Shaun Hill, Drew Stanton, Zac Robinson
RB- Jahvid Best, Maurice Morris, Aaron Brown, Kevin Smith*
FB- Jerome Felton, Jake Nordin*
WR- Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Bryant Johnson, Derrick Williams, Stefan Logan, Tim Toone*, Michael Moore*
TE- Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Will Heller, Ed Dickson*
T- Jeff Backus, Gosder Cherilus, Jason Fox, Corey Hilliard
G- Rob Sims, Stephen Peterman, Donald Thomas
C- Dominic Raiola, Dylan Gandy

DE- Cliff Avril, KVB, LoJack, Turk McBride, Willie Young, DeVries*
DT- Corey Williams, Suh, Sammie Lee Hill, Andre Fluellen
LB- JP, DeAndre Levy,Ashlee Palmer, Landon Johnson, Bobby Carpenter, Isaiah Ekejiuba, Vinnie Ciriciu, Follett*, Jordan Dizon*
CB- Chris Houston, Alphonso Smith, Brandon McDonald, Nathan Vasher, Aaron Berry*, Jack Williams*
S- Louis Delmas, Amari Spievey, CC Brown, John Wendling

K- Jason Hanson, Dave Rayner
P- Nick Harris
LS- Don Muhlbach


QB- Lots of money is wrapped up in Matt Stafford. He is the proverbial savior of the franchise, but unfortunately, cannot stay healthy. We know what Shaun Hill is, just a backup. Stanton is on his way out of town and Robinson may be PS fodder for next year.
Draft Worthy? I can see the Lions using a late round pick on a QB to use as a developmental guy, but they have lots of other needs elsewhere where depth is sorely needed.

RB- Who is Jahvid Best? Is he the guy that Jim Schwartz lusted after before the draft? The guy who was the Offensive Rookie of the Month in September? Or is he a backfield Fred Astaire who will only succeed if he has a good line in front of him? His development and health is key to this position group for the next 5-7 years. Kevin Smith is a decent complement when he's healthy, but definitely not a starter. Morris has made plays on special teams this year and Brown really hasn't gotten a shot to prove anything.
Draft Worthy? After a first rounder last year on Best a pick is highly unlikely, unless Smith isn't brought back.

FB- Jerome Felton... not much to say about him or the position.
Draft Worthy? No

WR- CJ is the most talented offensive weapon the Lions have. Burleson has been a great #2. Other than that the rest of the guys on the depth chart are unproven (Toone, Moore) or just plain bad (Williams and BJ)
Draft Worthy? Unfortunately, yes. After the Millen propensity for drafting WR's, it is still a position of need. A good #3 could be a great addition to the offense, but it could be addressed in FA instead of the draft.

TE- Using a 1st round pick on Pettigrew in 09 means that he's going to need to continue to produce at a high level. The addition of Scheffler was a good move. Heller is a good but not great blocker.
Draft Worthy? No

T- Backus is getting older and his skills are diminishing. He has played decent this year, but is far from a top flight LT in the league. He's got one more year on his deal; he'll play it out and then we'll see what happens. Cherilus has improved this year, but is still just ok. May have a better future at RG. I don't know what to expect from Fox, especially with his injury history. Hilliard has seen some spot duty and may push Cherilus, if only to keep him from getting lazy in training camp
Draft Worthy? I would like to see a successor to Backus brought in to learn from Backus. Whether Fox can be that guy is yet to be determined. A Mid Rounder might be spent on another Tackle.

G- Rob Sims has been a good addition to the left side. Stephen Peterman has been atrocious this year. However, both are here for a while. An upgrade at RG and some depth would really help this line out.
Draft Worthy? Yes, but with a caveat. If Peterman playes the last 5 games penalty free, his seat may cool down, and they may just opt for FA again.

C- Raiola is a locker room leader and a captain. Unfortunately, he gets beat more often then a red headed step child. Not to mention his false starts and bad penalties. He has been a constant on this line for almost a decade, but has never been a great center. He lacks the strength to get push in the middle, and he's starting to miss more and more assignments and blitz pickups.
Draft Worthy? Petermans issues may be partially because of his neighbors poor play. I think finding a C in the draft to develop needs to be a priority.

DE- KVB is no spring chicken, but has brought an attitude to the D-Line we haven't had in a decade. Avril has gotten better the last two years, but his fast approaching his ceiling. LoJack, McBride, and Young are young guys with potential, but are never going to be feared pass rushers. DeVries is old.
Draft Worthy? Yes. While not a position of need right now, it will be in 2 years. Bringing in a guy like Da'Quan Bowers who looks like Mario Williams could make that D-Line even better. They would definitely get to the QB more often.

DT- Suh and Williams are a very good combo and SLH is a great guy to have in the rotation. Fluellen isn't really that good, but he can play both T and E, which is to his credit.
Draft Worthy? Not with the amount of money at the position already.

LB- Julian Peterson's play has really regressed this year. He's got 2 years left on his deal and is overpayed for his production. Levy, when healthy, is a starting quality LB. There is no clear starter at Will. The others on the roster are backups and special teamers and should stay that way.
Draft Worthy? Most definitely. Maybe take 2 or 3 if possible. Levy is the only player on the roster with any sort of future. Peterson may get cut before the end of his deal, leaving big holes at that position.

CB- Houston and Smith have exceeded expectations, but considering those expectations at the beginning of the season, that isn't saying much. It would be great if these guys could eventually be our #2 and nickel CB's. McDonald is better than Vasher, but whats better, a punch in the boys or a punch in the face? Aaron Berry is a guy this coaching staff likes, but who knows what he's got. Jack Williams just can't stay healthy.
Draft Worthy? Yes. A shutdown corner is something this team hasn't had in ages. It would be a great compliment to this defense.

S- Delmas is good. Spievey might turn out to be ok at that position, but he's missed a lot of tackles this year. CC Brown is garbage and Wendling is a ST-er. Randy Phillips might have the opportunity to push Spievey at SS in camp next year, but he currently resides on the Practice Squad.
Draft Worthy? Maybe. It never hurts to have quality players in the defensive backfield. Mid to late round pick.

K- Jason Hanson's successor needs to be found sometime
Draft Worthy? Not with the holes that need to be filled.

Thoughts? Suggestions for who would fill the needs at certain positions? Have at it.

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December 1st, 2010, 5:15 pm
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Post Re: Position by Position Breakdown
Pretty good breakdown. I need to take a look at who may be available in free agency next year. I think our biggest need is at linebacker where we need probably 2 starters. Then I would look at o-line or corner. We need replacements/potential replacements and C and LT and maybe a new RG. We actually have some young talent at corner but they aren't consistent and are probably better suited to playing one spot back from where they are (Houston at #2 instead of #1, Smith at nickle instead of #2). I''m interested to see what Berry and Williams offer if they can stay healthy. A true number one would make this group look really good.


December 1st, 2010, 7:39 pm
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Post Re: Position by Position Breakdown
Berry didn't participate much in camp, played a half of a game, then was lost for the year. They put him on IR because they like what he brings to the table. I see him being the Nickel next year.

I think Fox has a shot to be a decent LT, but I don't think he'll ever be elite. Unfortunately, they won't find an elite LT in this draft.

The positions that I think we most need are: Will, #1 CB, Sam, C, RG, SS, #3 WR

I think Levy could move to Sam and they draft/acquire a true Mike. That would help too. I don't see them having to be too concerned with where a LB plays before they draft him because they have holes at 2 spots, plus Levy could move.

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December 1st, 2010, 7:46 pm
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Post Re: Position by Position Breakdown
nice thread wayneO.

i would say that lb is our biggest need. but i believe there are no lbs worthy of a early pick. not to mention there is a wealth of good lbs coming out just not that special guy that warrants a top pick. I kniow your not that big on him wayneO but i like peterson no matter where we pick at. i almost think that he is that freakishly good player in this years draft. his size, speed and abilities are almost un real for a cb. i could be a little off there i havent done much research just watched a few highlights and he just looks freakishly athletic correct me if im wrong wayneO because i havent done my homework. but i think he looks like the calvin johnson of cbs.

oh and i hope you dont mind me calling you wayneO i mean no disprespect by saying it.


December 1st, 2010, 10:16 pm
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Post Re: Position by Position Breakdown
Definetely a nice post, Fontes. I especially like your team priority order, because in my opinion, that is exactly the order of the Lions needs.

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December 2nd, 2010, 2:04 am
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Post Re: Position by Position Breakdown
Vank,

WayneO is fine. As for Peterson it's hard for me to get a real good take on the guy because a lot of teams throw away from him. The issue is that he doesn't seem to want to come up in run support as much as I'd like to see. Against physical receivers I just foresee him getting pushed around and out-muscled for the ball, especially in jump ball situations. Now, I think he would be can be a great man coverage guy and is an athletic freak.

A CB at #2 seems to be quite high for the position and the expectations that accompany it. Will he be able to make an impact on the game the way Suh has? What about CJ? If he's going to be the #2 overall pick, then he's going to be expected to come in and play at a damn near Pro Bowl level. The transition from college CB to pro CB can be a hard one (see Spievey, Amari). You want him to be a shut down corner from jump and if he can't get on the field beyond nickel situations, then the "bust" tag will get pulled out way too early.

All that said, I would like to have Patrick Peterson on my team. I would just prefer to get him at #7 or #8 instead of at #2.

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December 2nd, 2010, 1:32 pm
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Post Re: Position by Position Breakdown
Wayne Fontes wrote:
Vank,

WayneO is fine. As for Peterson it's hard for me to get a real good take on the guy because a lot of teams throw away from him. The issue is that he doesn't seem to want to come up in run support as much as I'd like to see. Against physical receivers I just foresee him getting pushed around and out-muscled for the ball, especially in jump ball situations. Now, I think he would be can be a great man coverage guy and is an athletic freak.

A CB at #2 seems to be quite high for the position and the expectations that accompany it. Will he be able to make an impact on the game the way Suh has? What about CJ? If he's going to be the #2 overall pick, then he's going to be expected to come in and play at a damn near Pro Bowl level. The transition from college CB to pro CB can be a hard one (see Spievey, Amari). You want him to be a shut down corner from jump and if he can't get on the field beyond nickel situations, then the "bust" tag will get pulled out way too early.

All that said, I would like to have Patrick Peterson on my team. I would just prefer to get him at #7 or #8 instead of at #2.


FYI: Joe Haden was named defensive rookie of the month for November.

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December 2nd, 2010, 6:43 pm
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Post Re: Position by Position Breakdown
Good job Wayne. I agree with your assessment that LB is the biggest position of need, I'm confident they will address it with at least 2 picks in the next draft. I feel it's imperative to improve the O-line, but don't think they can wait til mid rounds to get a tackle. Fox just might be the ticket at LT, he doesn't have to be elite to be an improvement. Guard and center are priorities in my book. Can they get starting quality linemen in the middle of the draft? Maybe at guard, the top centers will probably be gone by the 3rd to 4th rounds. In regards to the secondary, although it has improved, a #1 corner would be nice. Agree that Smith may be better suited to nickel. Spievey was a wasted pick unless he develops into a corner, if they were drafting for safety they wouldn't have taken him. Don't know if the Lions would want to take Peterson at 2, if they end up there. Have seen him play several times this year. He was terrible against Bama, Julius Jones had a field day. He does have great size, speed and ability. Maybe upside too. If the Lions draft position turns out to be top 4 and they can't trade. They might be drafting to a position of strength, defensive line. There may be no other option.


December 2nd, 2010, 6:50 pm
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Post Re: Position by Position Breakdown
Great post Wayne. I will add tidbits later (and I wont talk about drafting a QB, that is a whole diff discussion/argument).

As for Petersen. I agree. #2 is too high for a CB, and def too high for him. As the season has played out I am not even 100% sure he is the top CB. He is as well known for his returning ability.. and any team drafting him int he top 10 is unlikely to use him as a Returner AND a #1 CB.. so that decreases his value. Id rather see a CB taken with our 2nd round pick, and focus on the "Normal" glory positions LT/DE/etc if we are picking top 5 for the 1st round.

IMO the best shot would be to trade down (praying for rookie wage scale) that would net another 2nd round (top 110 if 2nd rd) pick and maybe a 3rd or 4th depending where we trade down to. Let someone else have a shot at drafting Luck, and give us enough picks to get a top 40 pick on all 3 of LB, CB, and C/G (I want a Strong Center Capable of playing Guard for a year or 2.. see Alex Mack, Nick mangold, Ryan Kalil of the last few drafts).


December 2nd, 2010, 7:15 pm
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Post Re: Position by Position Breakdown
wayneO I have to disagree with not being able to select him there. if we select at 2 i believe peterson is right now rated as the 2nd or 3rd best in the draft. it falls right into BPA. but in all reality the rankings right now dont mean sh!t, they will be totally different by april.

corners are suppose to make more mone than defensive tackles according to the league franchise tag player salary. just a scenario for you with suh this year, if you were the best defensive tackle in the league, and a team aplied the franchise tag on you the league says that it would be fair to pay you around 7 mil. i cant remember what a cbs was but i believe it was around 9 or 10 mil. now thats a scale for the top players in the league which your suppose to get high in the draft. so if we can pay suh as much as we did we should have no problem paying a shut down corner more. but i think there will be no cba without a way to limit rookie salaries


December 2nd, 2010, 8:59 pm
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Post Re: Position by Position Breakdown
I guess I see where you're coming from. This past year kind of broke the mold of the traditional thinking that DT's weren't top 3 picks. Perhaps the conventional wisdom will be a thing of the past, especially if and when the rookie salary cap comes into play. That would be great, because teams could draft the best players for them, regardless of position and having to think about the amount of cash for the pick.

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December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Post Re: Position by Position Breakdown
This list is going to have to be re-evaluated after the season is over. After watching Spievey play this weekend I'm starting to think that he's not going to be the answer at the other safety position.

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December 6th, 2010, 3:53 pm
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Post Re: Position by Position Breakdown
liontrax wrote:
Good job Wayne. I agree with your assessment that LB is the biggest position of need, I'm confident they will address it with at least 2 picks in the next draft. I feel it's imperative to improve the O-line, but don't think they can wait til mid rounds to get a tackle. Fox just might be the ticket at LT, he doesn't have to be elite to be an improvement. Guard and center are priorities in my book. Can they get starting quality linemen in the middle of the draft? Maybe at guard, the top centers will probably be gone by the 3rd to 4th rounds. In regards to the secondary, although it has improved, a #1 corner would be nice. Agree that Smith may be better suited to nickel. Spievey was a wasted pick unless he develops into a corner, if they were drafting for safety they wouldn't have taken him. Don't know if the Lions would want to take Peterson at 2, if they end up there. Have seen him play several times this year. He was terrible against Bama, Julius Jones had a field day. He does have great size, speed and ability. Maybe upside too. If the Lions draft position turns out to be top 4 and they can't trade. They might be drafting to a position of strength, defensive line. There may be no other option.


I definetly agree with you about Peterson. I like him, but not at #2. I've watched him several times also, and unfortunately, the game against Julio Jones. Trading down is a must. But if we cant, like you said, we might have to draft to a position of strength.

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December 6th, 2010, 4:07 pm
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Post Re: Position by Position Breakdown
If the Lions are sitting at #2, and can't trade down, they will opt for Bowers. Which really wouldn't be all that bad, Suh+Bowers combination could make the defense deadly for years to come.


December 6th, 2010, 6:20 pm
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Post Re: Position by Position Breakdown
to many holes to be taking a de. jim scwartz is gonna lose his job if they pick a de. martin mayhew may follow him out the door if they pick a de. i dont see the defensive line changing 1 bit from what it is right now. we need linebackers, corners, safety, center and guard. if they go and take another defensive lineman im starting the fire mayhew bandwagon.. i said this last off season, the best defensive line doesnt make up for a suspect secondary. just imagine if we had some corners that could press and cover with our pass rush. it totally eliminates all them quick short passes and would create more sacks.


December 7th, 2010, 4:12 am
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