I was feeling the giddiness of a 7 year old awaking on Christmas morning after last season's play off run, but what happened since?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
I've read that some analysts believe the Lions have made bad bets after their first picks. I've questioned them a bit - Jahvid Best was out most of his senior year with a concussion; Ryan Broyles missed most of his senior year with a serious knee injury; and trading up on several occasions made me wonder if we were giving up too much.
Obviously it's pretty easy to make good selections when you have one of the first few picks to start the draft, but the best teams find the unsung gems in the second round and on. Titus Young, Ryan Broyles, Jahvid Best, Mikel LeShoure and perhaps Louis Delmas seem to fall in the category of being a questionable pick now more than ever. There's also some debate over whether taking Nick Fairley was such a good idea as well.
After suffering for what seems like an eternity I was ready to feel jubilation over a Lion's front office taking some calculated risks to put this team finally on firm ground, but taking risks and being really smarter than the rest of the crowd in the NFL seems to be two different things.
When it's not one thing it's another. Next season the questions about what will happen to our defensive line and offensive line will start to become even more pronounced. Will Vanden Bosch be back, will Corey Williams be 100%, will Cliff Avril depart, will Lawrence Jackson also depart, and can we afford to re-sign Nick Fairley? On the other side of the ball, is Jeff Backus on his last legs, is Jeff Peterman holding his own, will Gosner Cherilius depart, and how close is Dominic Raiola nearing the end as well, or should the team really invest so much in him?
I've heard some call for the Lions to expend their entire draft on the defense. Is this because Chris Houston and Andre Levy are free agents too? Or, is it with the demise of the defensive line nearing, the secondary continuing to be in shambles, and now the linebacker corp about to lose one its best, there won't be much defense left? I might even consider it a blessing; isn't the team's defense one of the worst in the NFL all ready?
Offensively we can say that the team has had unfortunate losses to key members but these key members are likely gone. Nate Burleson isn't a spring chicken. Jahvid Best is probably not going to return, and even if he does do you really depend on him playing healthy for a whole season? Broyles might not be back at best until mid-season. Young might never be back for one reason or another. Backus probably should retire. Raiola, Cherilius, and Peterman pretty much completes the sweep; are we ready to break in an entirely new line around Sims?
Stafford, Johnson and Suh are the faces of this franchise, but when you look for the rest of the body of this team, it really doesn't look very good. Wouldn't you move on, if you were a player that had a chance to get out from under the dark cloud that Detroit seems to perpetually have hanging overhead? Good bye Levy, Avril, Houston, Delmas, and Jackson. Thanks for stopping by Vanden Bosch, Williams, and Burleson. If we count the losses of players, or even the abilities of who we had counted on as key players this team is in dire straits.
Well... guess I'm not feeling too encouraged better days are ahead...