Considering the draft is over and the owner's seem to have the upper hand, I figured I would get in one more post before I shut er' down for a while.
This weekend all I heard was how the Lions drafted talent over need and some say they completely ignored their biggest needs. The funny thing about football is that it takes a very long time to fill needs and what every ESPN analyst seems to forget is that Martin and Jim took over a boat with a lot of holes in it... maybe even a boat that probably shouldn't even be in water because of the damage. I however think the Lions DID draft based on their needs.
Check it out...
First and foremost it should be known that the 2011 draft started for us a year ago. Killer broke it down in one of his articles yesterday on MLive.com. Shaun Hill, Alphonzo Smith, Chris Houston and Lawrence Jackson. Ring a bell? We traded lower round picks in this year’s draft for those guys… did anyone of them not play a significant role on the team last year? Nope.
Let’s start with Nick Fairly. Yeah I know, I was holding my breath for Amukamara too and it seemed almost a sure thing considering 4 QB’s had been taken in the first 12 picks. I guess it didn’t really occur to me until about 5 minutes what we just did. It’s almost as if Mayhew really does have the “investment for the future” in mind and ultimately wants to turn this team into a 21st century version of the ’85 Bears defense. My first thought was “Why a DT? We have Corey Williams playing next to Suh and Sammie Hill.” But then I thought “Are you sure that’s the best your DLine can be?”
I played The D Line in High school, NT to be specific on a 3-4 defense. I was probably in better shape than anybody on the Line and yet and I can remember the long drives where a few 3rd downs were converted and the chains kept moving and even I was winded and physically worn out at the end of the game. Keep in mind we also had 3 other guys who earned some PT and were rotating in from time to time and I can’t imagine what it would have been like if it was just me and the other two playing the whole game. The point of this reminiscence is that you can never have enough D Lineman and the value of adding Fairly was twofold. We made a D Line ultimately more tenacious than it was before; and we also added more depth to establish a good rotation. This was a NEED and we addressed it.
Moving forward to Young. Did we not say we NEEDED a 3rd receiver? Adding Burleson to the mix was a start… it gave somebody else for the opposition to worry about but still, they knew Calvin was the guy they needed to worry about. How are they going to do that now with Young? They can’t! We just created another problem for other defenses when we play them. This was a NEED and we addressed it.
Lastly a lot of people were wondering why we drafted a RB... we basically did the same thing we did last year which was trade a few picks to move up. This in my mind was our best pick. Some of the most successful teams in the NFL have multiple threats at RB with different running styles. Remember the '05 Steelers? Willie Parker and Jerome Bettis where a very effective group together.
By adding another running back with a different style of run and play, it now gives a team yet another problem to prepare for each week. Let me elaborate with a rhetorical questions...
How do you prepare for Calvin Johnson when you have to worry about Nate Burleson and Titus Young, along with one of the best TE duo's in the NFL and now Javid Best who can kill you with his speed and a pass in the flats and now Mikel Leshoure?
You can't! This is going to drive teams crazy and we will seriously be able to score some points and create a lot of problems.
For the sake of argument, let’s pretend Mayhew did what the fans wanted. Let’s say we took Prince at #13 and then traded up for either Akeem Ayers or Bruce Carter. Keep in mind they were both off the board in round 2 so we would have had to trade up. Ok the positive thing is we would have potentially plugged 2 holes on defense... the negative thing is that what if they don't pan out? Failey has KVB, Williams, Suh and Avril to mentor with and to learn from. Leshoure has Best and Morris who are both established. Titus has CJ and Nate, both established WR's. Who would Akeem or Carter have? What about Amukamara? Maybe Houston? Well sure, but we don't even know for sure if he will be on the team.
I love what Mayhew did and go ahead and check out Kipers draft grades today on ESPN. He gave the Lions an A- and he believes they drafted the best out of everyone and I agree with him.
The funny thing is that Mayhew didn't really keep it a secret on how he was going to draft, he just didn't let out what positions he was going after. Check out Killers article this morning on MLive.com; two stories about Matt Millen's preparation.
In 2008, Rod was getting pretty upset with Millen because Rod thought everyone knew the Lions were going for a LB in the 2nd round and Millen was basically a sleep at the wheel and ultimately settled for Jordan Dizon. I guess even Dizon thought he was drafted high...that’s sad.
A few years before that, the entire war room was arguing for about 14min and 50 seconds about whether or not they should draft Max Jean-Gilles, a Guard. Finally when they decided not take them, there was virtually no contingency plan. With only seconds remaining, "Someone" in the room said "Take Brian Calhoun." Who said it? the Janitor?! Bottom line is I think even Max would have been a better pick!
I could go on all day about how bad and unprepared Matt Millen was but why? What is the point? It doesn't change the fact that the son of a bitch never learned his lesson and probably would have still been employed had Junior not said something on national TV. Do you think Ford Sr. would have done anything had it not? He didn't seem to have a problem with the idiot before.
I applaud Mayhew and Jim working together, sticking to their game plan. I know we are all results driven and we expect huge changes over night but it just isn't realistic. They are building a team that in due time, will be one serious contender in the NFL and I can't wait.
BTW. How many times do you think Goodel threw up in the back before having to face "his beloved fans" for the first time? God I love New York!