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 Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James? 
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Post Re: Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James?
m2karateman wrote:
Drafting a running back in the high rounds again takes us right back to being Millen-esque, only with backs instead of receivers.

Backs don't have to come out of the first round to be productive. Plenty of productive backs in the NFL are taken in the middle rounds. And also, there are usually pretty good backs available in free agency, where as quality offensive tackles are not. The Lions have to upgrade their offensive line. We have LeShoure, we have Keiland Williams, we have Kevin Smith, we have Mo Morris. We have enough backs.


You are right about the capital the Lions have spent on the RB position lately, with limited success. However, this need thing is kind of overblown. I agree the Lions need more OL players who are starter material. The trick is, however, for those folks to line up with the draft as it happens. They look to be picking in the 20s this time, and a Joe Thomas player is not going to be there. When the Lions picked Cherilus, people griped about Albert not being the choice. The truth is that neither one has been a stud honestly. I think myself the best chance for a true value/talent pick later in the round will be for an OG or a C next year, provided they feel that player is the right fit. I do not see, however, the FO passing on a a man they feel is a stud RB to reach for the 4th best OT they feel is just OK in round 1. Need or no need. The Lions truly have become a BPA team in the draft, in my estimation. I think that is good, to tell the truth.

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December 22nd, 2011, 11:56 pm
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Post Re: Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James?
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When the Lions picked Cherilus, people griped about Albert not being the choice. The truth is that neither one has been a stud honestly.
true, but I like Cherilus. He reminds me of Jarmon Bushrod in that he pretty much sucked his first couple seasons and he seems to get better each year. I'd build around him and Sims on the OL

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December 23rd, 2011, 12:12 am
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Post Re: Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James?
Killwill25 wrote:
Quote:
When the Lions picked Cherilus, people griped about Albert not being the choice. The truth is that neither one has been a stud honestly.
true, but I like Cherilus. He reminds me of Jarmon Bushrod in that he pretty much sucked his first couple seasons and he seems to get better each year. I'd build around him and Sims on the OL


You LIKE Cherilous??

If he was cut today I wouldnt be upset.

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December 23rd, 2011, 12:33 am
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Post Re: Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James?
I like James, I just dont think he is a solid 1st round talent and I wouldnt want the Lions drafting him unless it was 3rd down. IMO they need a back that can take some of the punishment to preserve Best


December 24th, 2011, 11:52 am
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Post Re: Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James?
m2k

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Drafting a running back in the high rounds again takes us right back to being Millen-esque, only with backs instead of receivers.


No, big difference being that when Millen did his nonsense there were a lot of needs elsewhere on the team which mostly are filled now. Mayhew has not even used his highest pick on a RB once yet.


Quote:
Backs don't have to come out of the first round to be productive. Plenty of productive backs in the NFL are taken in the middle rounds. And also, there are usually pretty good backs available in free agency, where as quality offensive tackles are not. The Lions have to upgrade their offensive line. We have LeShoure, we have Keiland Williams, we have Kevin Smith, we have Mo Morris. We have enough backs.


agree with the first sentence but for that to work the line has to be above average which would require more than the one draft and probably more than one offseason. I think the Lions need to do both, ie improve the RB talent and the OL. Your last two sentences I completely disagree with:

LeShoure: is a big if to be a productive runner in the NFL again after tearing his Achilles. We dont know that he was a high level runner to begin with by NFL standards but he will never be 100% of what the Lions drafted. The Lions will have some idea of where he is at in the winter months but wont really know until training camp and by then it may be too late to find a FA and too expensive to trade for another runner.

Keiland Williams: seriously? this guy is garbage, its fine to have him as the 4th guy but he doesnt fill the short yardage role very well and isnt a dynamic runner; by no means would anyone be comfortable with him as the top back.

Kevin Smith: He s an all around player which I admire him for and I d be okay with them going into a season with him as the No 1 back but he really is an injury prone player, constantly dinged up. I think he s better served as either a top backup or part of a tandem backfield.

Mo Morris: Morris is a 3rd down back who runs hard but doesnt have power and is more of a vanilla hit the hole player who doesnt have very good vision at the LOS or the ability to move the pile. Good blocker, good receiver but not a threat as a RB.

I think ideally you need an every down back which could be Smith but generally you want someone either a little more powerful or someone with a little more speed than Smith; if we cant find a runner like that than Smith is the guy but his durability has not been impressive. Could LeShoure be that guy? Possibly but like I said he is damaged goods with a career threatening or at least altering injury for a runner. You just cant count on him being anything more than depth. Morris/Williams at best are role players. Hopefully we have Best but he needs another runner with him or he s shown he WILL get hurt and needs to be used in spurts. Not opposed at all to taking another runner, doesnt necessarily matter where in the draft or if we bid on a FA (Matt Forte, Peyton Hillis, anyone else?) instead. RB is a definite need.


December 24th, 2011, 12:13 pm
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Post Re: Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James?
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If Mayhew has taught me anything, its that he's going to take the best player on the board, regardless of depth. Now I don't think they'd stretch for a RB, but it will have to depend on how our scouting department and front office ranks the players. We might view someone higher due to what we believe is a need, but they won't reach for that player if they have him ranked much lower


Its nice to have the mantra of BPA but its obvious that Mayhew picks out a list of players that he wants and maneuvers in the draft to go get them. These players Best, LeShoure, Titus Young that he has traded for have also been big needs. I dont think he is truly drafting BPA at every spot in the draft. I think he did that when he had the very early 1st round picks w Stafford and Suh and I think he does it very late in the draft but he s shown that he uses trades to maneuver in the late 1st - middle rounds to maneuver to grab specific players that he has targetted.


December 24th, 2011, 12:20 pm
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Post Re: Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James?
I'd like to see Leshoure come back and utilize Kevin Smith with a 50/50 split.

I hope they do not even sniff a RB, I'm in the mind set that we need to get younger and stronger on the oline and the RB position will take care of itself.

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December 29th, 2011, 11:04 pm
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Post Re: Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James?
Leshoure will come back to camp, there is no question of that but how effective will he be? there s no reason to roll the dice on him being effective. he had a DEVASTATING injury and cant be counted on. alternate plan ie another healthy talented back in addition to Kevin Smith needs to be available.


December 31st, 2011, 11:38 am
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Post Re: Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James?
Legend....
drafting BPA is fine, but you don't do it year after year at the same position simply because that's the way the draft "lined up" for you. As a GM, Mayhew can maneuver the Lions up or down to get a player they want, as opposed to simply waiting and seeing who they land as BPA at their spot. While I agree that the draft is about adding talent, it has to be done with some sensible decision making as well. The best drafts are the ones where teams take the best talent AND fill a need at the same time. Remember that the Lions traded up in 2010 and 2011 to get their running backs. Neither worked out. I agree that we don't know what we have with LeShoure. But there are a number of starting RBs in this league who came to their teams in later rounds than the first or second. Looking at the teams in the playoffs this season, I'd say that most of them use RBs that came from second and third day picks, not first day, first round picks.

ATL - Michael Turner (5)
NO - Pierre Thomas (U), Darren Sproles (4)
GB - James Starks (6), Ryan Grant (U)
NYG - Ahmad Bradshaw (7), Brandon Jacobs (4)
SF - Frank Gore (3)
NE - Danny Woodhead (U)
PIT - Rashard Mendenhall (1)
DEN - Willis MacGahee (1)
HOU - Arian Foster (U)
CIN - Cedric Benson (1)
BAL - Ray Rice (2)

Here are all the playoff teams, their contributing backs, and the rounds they were selected in. Only one back in the NFC came from out of the first three rounds. When it comes down to it, the likelihood of getting a contributing offensive tackle out of the later rounds is far less than getting a contributing running back. This team has, for the most part, treated the offensive line AND cornerback spots as afterthoughts in the draft in the last decade. Interesting that those are two spots most folks feel need to be addressed this off-season. No coincidence there. Cornerbacks who can play well become available in free agency far more often than franchise offensive tackles. Really good centers or guards are even rare finds in free agency, because of the fact that teams realize they are getting good production for a fair price at those positions. Unless that guard or center is demanding a ridiculous contract, they usually get extended. Same for an offensive tackle.

That isn't the case with running backs so much any more, unless said back is VERY special ala Adrian Peterson. With a strong QB like Stafford, AND an elite receiver like Calvin Johnson, the Lions would be best suited to shore up the offensive line and then plug in a back later. Taking a highly rated back, and then backfilling the offensive line isn't the way to do things for this team, in my opinion. Backs are plentiful, quality offensive lineman are not...whether in the draft or in free agency.

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January 4th, 2012, 2:00 pm
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Post Re: Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James?
yeah i agree with what you wrote, not sure why you think otherwise. as i said in the last sentence - we need another runner, i dont care what part of the draft we do that in or if we go after one in free agency.


January 4th, 2012, 9:01 pm
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Post Re: Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James?
Quote:
ATL - Michael Turner (5)
NO - Pierre Thomas (U), Darren Sproles (4)
GB - James Starks (6), Ryan Grant (U)
NYG - Ahmad Bradshaw (7), Brandon Jacobs (4)
SF - Frank Gore (3)
NE - Danny Woodhead (U)
PIT - Rashard Mendenhall (1)
DEN - Willis MacGahee (1)
HOU - Arian Foster (U)
CIN - Cedric Benson (1)
BAL - Ray Rice (2)


just commenting on your list, i agree with the sentiment that you dont need to necessarily take a runner in the first round or high in the draft and I never insinuated that but this list is a little misleading bc it doesnt really reflect the resources spent on the RB personnel (ie late rd pick at one time that was later obtained in FA with big money is more or at minimum equally costly as using a 1st rd pick) or that there are also high picks on those teams.

ATL - Michael Turner - yes he was taken late in the draft but by the time ATL got him he was established and they spent big in FA to get him.
NO - yes thomas is undrafted but just the same they did just draft Ingram in Rd 1 and Sproles established himself elsewhere and they had to spend to get him as a FA
GB - GB has no running game and both of their backs especially Grant are below average players. I dont think their run game is anything to model oneself after.
NYG - This team has done a good job of plugging in backs, the strength of their OL when healthy is mostly responsible and they showed a good amount of patience in finding and developing Bradshaw and Jacobs as well as Derrick Ward before them. Best example of a team using very little resources (draft or money) on RB personnel to get a good run game.
SF - Yes Gore is a former 3rd rd pick but he was a NFL talent coming out of HS and only injuries dropped him in the draft. Anybody who saw him and McGahee at the U knew that Gore was the more talented player. Great draft pick in Rd 3 which I dont consider late but at this point he s on his second contract and is getting paid big.
NE - yes they are using Woodhead and Ellis but they Woodhead more as a receiver out of the backfield than as a true runner. Plus they dont appear to be totally happy with their personell as they just spent high picks on Vereen and Ridley in the past draft.
PIT - Mendenhall 1st rder with 4th rd talent but they spent a first to get him and Mewelde Moore isnt playing for free. I dont know how they are getting by w an awful OL and average at best runners. Its mostly Roethlisberger extending plays to allow his wideouts open and a strong D.
DEN - McGahee was a 1st rder as was Knowshon Moreno. Also they got McGahee as a FA though I dont believe he was overly expensive.
HOU - Foster is ridiculously good, one can only wish to find a back like him. Tate though was a second rounder.
CIN - Benson was both a high pick and required the Bengals to get him on his second contract.
BAL - Rice was a great talent, great pick though it was a high pick, they ve been fortunate w him being durable but also spent on Ricky Williams a former 1st rd pick.


January 4th, 2012, 9:45 pm
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Post Re: Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James?
m2karateman wrote:
Legend....
drafting BPA is fine, but you don't do it year after year at the same position simply because that's the way the draft "lined up" for you. As a GM, Mayhew can maneuver the Lions up or down to get a player they want, as opposed to simply waiting and seeing who they land as BPA at their spot. While I agree that the draft is about adding talent, it has to be done with some sensible decision making as well. The best drafts are the ones where teams take the best talent AND fill a need at the same time. Remember that the Lions traded up in 2010 and 2011 to get their running backs. Neither worked out. I agree that we don't know what we have with LeShoure. But there are a number of starting RBs in this league who came to their teams in later rounds than the first or second. Looking at the teams in the playoffs this season, I'd say that most of them use RBs that came from second and third day picks, not first day, first round picks.

ATL - Michael Turner (5)
NO - Pierre Thomas (U), Darren Sproles (4)
GB - James Starks (6), Ryan Grant (U)
NYG - Ahmad Bradshaw (7), Brandon Jacobs (4)
SF - Frank Gore (3)
NE - Danny Woodhead (U)
PIT - Rashard Mendenhall (1)
DEN - Willis MacGahee (1)
HOU - Arian Foster (U)
CIN - Cedric Benson (1)
BAL - Ray Rice (2)

Here are all the playoff teams, their contributing backs, and the rounds they were selected in. Only one back in the NFC came from out of the first three rounds. When it comes down to it, the likelihood of getting a contributing offensive tackle out of the later rounds is far less than getting a contributing running back. This team has, for the most part, treated the offensive line AND cornerback spots as afterthoughts in the draft in the last decade. Interesting that those are two spots most folks feel need to be addressed this off-season. No coincidence there. Cornerbacks who can play well become available in free agency far more often than franchise offensive tackles. Really good centers or guards are even rare finds in free agency, because of the fact that teams realize they are getting good production for a fair price at those positions. Unless that guard or center is demanding a ridiculous contract, they usually get extended. Same for an offensive tackle.

That isn't the case with running backs so much any more, unless said back is VERY special ala Adrian Peterson. With a strong QB like Stafford, AND an elite receiver like Calvin Johnson, the Lions would be best suited to shore up the offensive line and then plug in a back later. Taking a highly rated back, and then backfilling the offensive line isn't the way to do things for this team, in my opinion. Backs are plentiful, quality offensive lineman are not...whether in the draft or in free agency.


This list seems to make the argument that the Lions shouldn't draft a RB at all and just get one in FA.


January 4th, 2012, 10:21 pm
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Post Re: Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James?
The Legend wrote:
just commenting on your list, i agree with the sentiment that you dont need to necessarily take a runner in the first round or high in the draft and I never insinuated that but this list is a little misleading bc it doesnt really reflect the resources spent on the RB personnel (ie late rd pick at one time that was later obtained in FA with big money is more or at minimum equally costly as using a 1st rd pick) or that there are also high picks on those teams.

ATL - Michael Turner - yes he was taken late in the draft but by the time ATL got him he was established and they spent big in FA to get him.
NO - yes thomas is undrafted but just the same they did just draft Ingram in Rd 1 and Sproles established himself elsewhere and they had to spend to get him as a FA
GB - GB has no running game and both of their backs especially Grant are below average players. I dont think their run game is anything to model oneself after.
NYG - This team has done a good job of plugging in backs, the strength of their OL when healthy is mostly responsible and they showed a good amount of patience in finding and developing Bradshaw and Jacobs as well as Derrick Ward before them. Best example of a team using very little resources (draft or money) on RB personnel to get a good run game.
SF - Yes Gore is a former 3rd rd pick but he was a NFL talent coming out of HS and only injuries dropped him in the draft. Anybody who saw him and McGahee at the U knew that Gore was the more talented player. Great draft pick in Rd 3 which I dont consider late but at this point he s on his second contract and is getting paid big.
NE - yes they are using Woodhead and Ellis but they Woodhead more as a receiver out of the backfield than as a true runner. Plus they dont appear to be totally happy with their personell as they just spent high picks on Vereen and Ridley in the past draft.
PIT - Mendenhall 1st rder with 4th rd talent but they spent a first to get him and Mewelde Moore isnt playing for free. I dont know how they are getting by w an awful OL and average at best runners. Its mostly Roethlisberger extending plays to allow his wideouts open and a strong D.
DEN - McGahee was a 1st rder as was Knowshon Moreno. Also they got McGahee as a FA though I dont believe he was overly expensive.
HOU - Foster is ridiculously good, one can only wish to find a back like him. Tate though was a second rounder.
CIN - Benson was both a high pick and required the Bengals to get him on his second contract.
BAL - Rice was a great talent, great pick though it was a high pick, they ve been fortunate w him being durable but also spent on Ricky Williams a former 1st rd pick.


You are kind of making my point. Sproles, Turner, Moore, McGahee.....all were free agent pickups by their current teams. McGahee was a first round pick, but outplayed by Rice. Moreno, Mendenhall, Benson.....all first round picks, all basically busts when you think about their draft status compared to their production. I did say that good running backs can be available in free agency, did I not?

Now, that said, you state that some of these teams have used high picks on the RB position, like NO with Ingram. What's your point? He wasn't all that productive, and their last high pick on the RB position got shipped to Miami. I think we can all agree Reggie is a bust. The Lions HAVE used high picks on the RB position, if you consider the first, second and high third round as high picks (Top 100 picks). Smith, Best and LeShoure....most recently. Best and Smith aren't producing, even when healthy. LeShoure? Well, that was unfortunate. But the fact is, the Lions have spent high picks there, and it hasn't worked out. For whatever reason. It's time to stop thinking that another pick is needed in the top two or three rounds for filling that spot, and they should concentrate on the line....at least in regards to draft picks. Overall, I think the offensive scheme needs to be tweaked, the line blocking assignments refined, and the offensive playcalling MUST be improved.

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January 11th, 2012, 2:42 pm
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Post Re: Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James?
well i guess we agree then, time to take a look at the FA market


January 11th, 2012, 7:03 pm
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Post Re: Possibility of Lions drafting LaMichael James?
Which FA running backs are available this year, that actually have a chance of hitting the FA market? I would have to agree that if we do try and pursue a RB, I would rather do it in Free Agency. If it comes down to the Draft, please wait til after Round 3.

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January 11th, 2012, 7:30 pm
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