So I recognize that this comparison is a real stretch, and that the situation probably doesn't apply, but it's a thought that I want to put out there for you guys to save in the back of your mind.
This is the story of two players eligible for the draft. Both hugely praised, both play the same position, both "for sure" top 5 picks in the draft. The "more praised" of the two played college ball for a BCS school but not a real contender, and he puts up out-of-this-world stats. The scouts go nuts for his abilities, and there are hours of game tape of him destroying the competition. He seems like a good, fun-loving guy. Slam dunk type player. The "less-praised" player isn't really less praised, he's just less hyped. Everyone knows he's a complete stud, but he doesn't get quite the same accolades, and his highlight reel isn't quite as impressive. He didn't win the award given to the best player at his position (the other guy did). That said, he spent 4 years playing for a legit contender, made appearances in the BCS championship game during his career, and played outstanding football at every level. Also a slam dunk, right?
Well, we Lions fan know this story a little too well. This is the 2003 draft, and the first "more hyped" player is Charles Rogers. The second "less hyped" player is Andre Johnson. Seven years later, we know this to have been arguably the worst decision of the Millen-era, the kind of move that arguably set us back 3 years (not counting the years of setbacks from the other awful deals). Johnson is a perennial Pro Bowler who leads the league in receiving yards even though he's playing for a mediocre team with a mediocre QB. Rogers is in a jail cell somewhere.
If this situation sounds familiar, that's by design. This also applies to Ndamukong Suh (more hyped) and Gerald McCoy (less hyped) in this years draft. Now, I have no reason to think that Suh will turn out like Rogers. All I'm saying, though, is that if we do end up with McCoy, well, perhaps that's for the best. Given the Lions' track record, I don't think I'd even be that sad about it. Just a thought.