I was doing some thinking over the last few days about our first round pick debates. Here is my scenario for 2011.
The draft is going ahead without a CBA in place, so no Free Agents have moved prior to Draft Day and trades are restricted to other draft picks. For the first time under Martin Mayhew, there is no consensus among the Lions FO, Scouts, and Coaches as to who should they select at # 13. As the draft begins, Mayhew realizes that the decision will be his, and not everyone will be happy in the Lions camp and Fan Base.
AJ Green goes at # 1 and Denver quickly follows picking Peterson at # 2. As the picks continue a couple of excellent Defensive Linemen fall closer and closer to the Lions. As Minnesota goes on the clock, the phone rings and Denver wants to move up to our spot. The Vikings take Cam Newton QB, and Mayhew reaches a deal with Denver.
Detroit trades the # 13 pick and # 75 picks to Denver for # 36, # 46, and # 67. Denver gets the D Lineman they covet.
# 36 - Leonard Hankerson WR - his draft stock has shot up tremendously in the offseason. The Lions get a first round talent to take over the # 3 WR and provide some depth for Nate and Cal.
# 44 - Curtis Brown CB - an excellent cover corner who the Lions have as their # 3 corner in the draft.
# 46 - Mason Foster OLB - an outstanding LB that just makes plays in every part of his game. Not flashy, but the coaches [add soon the fans too] love this guy's mentality and effort.
Mayhew sees another guy they like still available late in the second, but doubts he will make it to the # 67 pick. He gets on the phone and after much discussion, pays the price. The deal is with New England and the Lions move up to their # 60 pick for the Lions # 67 and their 2012 Fourth Round pick.
# 60 - John Moffitt C/G - Raiola's or Peterman's replacement is on the team. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
# 106 - Vincent Brown WR - more depth for the WR corps and a KO back up for Stefan Logan.
# 137 - Henry Hynoski FB - Not happy Jerome? He'll be even less happy seeing the Lions pick up a real fullback.
7TH Round pick - Mario Fannin RB - a big, strong short yardage guy that can block and catch too. Practice Squad.
After the CBA is reached, Martin gets busy on the Free Agent front, looking for players to fill the holes on this up and coming team. The eighteen game season is reluctantly agreed to and a long lock out is avoided. The NFL increases the roster size by one and modifies the Practice Squad rules to mollify the Union.
First FA - George Wilson FS from Buffalo. A solid veteran player who is better than Donte Whittner and costs half as much. The Lions have a guy who could start, but is okay waiting for his chance if Delmas or Spievey falter.
Second FA - Michael Bush RB from Oakland. The Lions get a power running back who can get the short yards that this team has not been able to the last couple of years. He will be 27 without a lot of mileage.
It has not been a happy off season at some teams around the NFL. Especially Washington. Which leads us to......
Third FA - Albert Haynesworth DT . The Lions get him cheaper than expected, and Big Albert makes a point of saying that he wants to show everyone who doubted him that he can still dominate, even if he does not play full time.
RESIGNINGS: C. Houston, D. Stanton, C. Avril, T. McBride, A. Palmer, B. Carpenter, L. Johnson, C. Hilliard, A. Fluellen, and Corey Hilliard. I don't have Nathan Vasher on my list but the Lions should retain him IMO. Kevin Smith is a toss up, but may end up a casualty.
Well, there it is. I feel good about this group. It will have the depth and talent to withstand the grind of the eighteen game season, especially on the D Line, Quarterback, and on the O Line. They might want to do more with the Linebackers, but I think Carpenter and Palmer give the Lions some depth and competition beside or behind Levy and Foster.
What do you guys think? Don't worry about sparing my feelings [LOL]. I have thick skin.