Just thought I would let everybody know what I thought would be a good offseason for the Lions:
My philosophy would be to keep in mind that we are re-building, therefore I would not sign anybody over 30. The Lions have money under the cap to spend but I would only sign one high priced free agent and several mid level free agents.
QB - I would try to re-sign Dan Orlovsky (1.5 million per year) and let him compete to start with Duante Culpepper.
RB - Kevin Smith is our workhorse and I would bring in a veteran presence but nobody expensive or that is going to take carries away from Smith. I would go after somebody like a DeShaun Foster (1 million per year)
Offensive Line - I would go after a guy like G Elton Brown (4 million per year) who was a top backup for Arizona last year and started several games. I would also take a chance on OT Daniel Loper (2 million per year) who was a top backup for the Titans. He has been in the league 4 years and can play any spot on the line except Center, and many think he would be a good starter.
Wide Receiver - I would go after Reggie Williams of the Jaguars (2 million per year). Yes he was a first round bust but has size, a good attitude and is not afraid to go over the middle. He would make a good possession guy opposite Charles Johnson.
Defensive Line - I believe that Schwartz is going to do like the Titans and play a D Line rotation. Therefore we need to build depth here. I would go after DE Michael Montgomery of the Packers (4 million per year) and DT Ronald Fields of the 49ers (1 million per year). Montgomery is stout against the run and Fields has a high ceiling as he was miscast in San Fran's 3-4 defense.
Linebacker - Ernie Sims is solid and we have got to give Jordan Dizon a chance. Both of those guys are 3 down Linebackers. That leaves the middle open. The Lions should draft a 2 down run stuffing Middle Linebacker in the late rounds to develop. In the meantime I would go after former Titan Linebacker Brad Kassell (1 million per year) who the Lions coveted at one time; hi was solid for the Titans but miscast in the Jets 3-4 defense the last 2 years.
Cornerback - This is where I would spend my money for a large contract. I would go after a starting CB. There are three guys I like: Ron Bartell of the Rams, Bryant McFadden of the Steelers and former Lion Leigh Bodden. My preference would be Ron Bartell (7-8 million per year), he is a sure tackler and solid cover guy. I would also go after the Titans Chris Carr (3 million per year), who was the 4th corner in Tennessee but wants a shot at a nickel role. He can compete for us and he is also one of the best kick and punt returners in the league, so he would solidify 3 spots.
I am only going to predict the first 3 rounds as the draft is hard to predict and the later rounds are for depth and a crap shoot.
1 - Matthew Stafford QB - The Lions will finally have their franchise QB. I would sit him the first year and begin the Stafford era right after the last game of 2009.
1 - William Beatty OT - This draft is full of talented OTs and this guy is one of the most athletic. He has size and good feet and has as high a ceiling as any offensive lineman in this draft. I would give him a year to develop if needed and start him by the beginning of 2009 protecting Stafford's blind side.
2 - Evander Hood DT - This guy is good against the pass and run, has a high motor and is a good character guy and team leader. I would immediately put him in the DT rotation.
3 - Mike Mickens CB - This is a good all around CB who played in a small school but has true shutdown corner potential. I would bring him along at his own pace, but would not hold him back if he is ready to start in year 1. By year 2 he would definatley be starting opposit Bartell.
3 - Louis Murphy WR - This guy has size and speed and is not afraid to go over the middle and would play as the 3rd receiver in 08 and be starting opposite Charles Johnson in 09.
The later rounds I would draft: MLB, TE, RB and any upper level prospects that may have slipped
Let me know what you think.