My Draft Analysis - for what it's worth, hehehe

Well, here we are agian folks, post draft time again. Kind of like the week between Christmas and New Years. The gifts have been unwrapped, some people would like to trade their's in, some are pretty happy, and we all have hope for the future that awaits us. I'll be handing out my pick by pick analysis, as well as a composite grade and analysis of our approach to this draft. Without further ado, here we go.

#1 - Tackle Reilly Reiff, Iowa - I have to give Mayhew quite a bit of credit for this pick. He stuck to his guns on the BPA approach. I know, I know, you're screaming DeCastro, but Reiff has an ability for versatility that could allow him to play four of the five spots on the offensive line. He was a consensus top 15 pick, who fell to the Lions at 23. After making the playoffs, and resigning Backus, it would have been easy and even justifiable for Mayhew to take the osterich approach. Instead he elected to select a guy who, when Reiff hits his maturity in a few years, should be protecting Stafford's blind side for the rest of his career. Reiff is equally competent as a pass and run blocker, something we haven't seen out of a Lions tackle in, well, a really really long time. Grade - A+

#2 - WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma - And here is where the REAL controversy starts. Before we pick apart who could have been chosen here, let's take a look at what this guy brings to the table. A Nate Burleson type skillset with added value as a return man. (In case you hadn't looked, Burleson is entering his tenth, yes, 10 season, and take a look at that 2013 cap number!) The NFL is a business, and with a limited salary cap, bringing in players like Broyles to slowly replace free agents that we were forced to overpay for years ago is just part of the reality that the team has to face if they hope to keep the core of the team together under the salary cap. Finding a superior Center or Guard is something that teams routinely find in the bottom of the first round and in the second. Finding a guy with Broyles skillset at that point next year is no guarantee. Grade - B

#3 - CB Dwight "Bill" Bentley - Finally, a CB! Just not the one most people were hoping for. It may interest you to know that fellow University of Lousiana Lafayette alums include CB's Ike Taylor, David Adams, and Charles Tillman. Despit being labeled "small" at 5' 10", Bentley was productive, and faced good competition in the likes of FIU 2nd round choice TY Hilton. Many fans would have selected another corner here, so I hope Bentley pans out, as I myself may have selected someone else here. Still, at least we're taking a step in the right direction here. Grade - C-

#4 - DE/OLB Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma - Many may not see the significance of this selection. Sure it was a great value pick, but could be a great deal more. I believe that this pick was the first scheme specific selection for the Lions Wide 9 defense (which I call the Prevent Dejour). Lewis is a classic "tweener" that this scheme can take advantage of by splitting him out as a DE and putting him in a three point stance. Decent speed and pass rushing skills combined with a linebackers run instincts, Lewis could help the Wide 9 work somewhat better, and may eventually pave the way for the team to be more flexible with personnel. Great value pick here. Grade - B

#5 - OLB Tahir Whitehead, Temple - Alright, I've analyzed this one backwards and forwards, upside down, and inside out, and I'm absolutely stumped as to why the Lions felt they had to trade away a fourth round pick from next years draft, and a seventh from this years (which they well may have been able to use to select him), just to draft this guy. Whitehead has some positives, he's a hard worker, has shown improvement every year, and is a high character guy. OK, admirable, and we got a guy in the seventh round that matches the same description plus some. Whitehead also has been tagged as a guy who can't shed blocks easily. Too high a price tag. Grade - D-

#5A - CB Chad Greenwood, Albion - ALBION? WTF? Did my first thoughts echo more than a few of yours out there when you saw that pop up on the screen? Once I saw these numbers though, 6' 1" 42" vertical, 4.33 forty, I really really started to warm up to the idea. And in the immortal words of Norm McDonald in the SNL Celebrity Jeopardy skit, I tip my hat to Mayhew and say, "Well played Trabeck." Grade - A

#6 - DB Jonte Green, New Mexico State - During his junior year, Green was torched worse than Freddy Krueger in a game against UTEP and was benched. It apparently served as a wake-up call, as he played much better his senior year. Although the bad tape dogged him, a 6 foot 4.4 guy tends to buy you a shot in the NFL. At this point in the 6th round, why not? Not the greatest pick in the world, but not the worst either. Grade - C

#7 - LB Travis Lewis, Oklahoma - Ok, this guy runs a 4.68 forty at the combine before pulling lame on his second attempt, getting tagged at 4.88, he leads the Sooners in tackles during all four years he played there, and he's available in the seventh round? (Scratching head) Alright, I'll take him! He may project at ILB for the Lions. Not your typical seventh rounder, I think this guy has a serious shot at making the team, and not because we're needy either. Grade - A

My buddy Glen has a saying, "When you can't make knots, make lots.". Since the Lions were unable to secure one of the top three CB's in the draft, they selected three instead. This is similar to the approach they used when they found Chris Houston. They simply threw bodies at the problem and let the cream rise. While some of these guys may take a year to develop, all of them have the raw tools to compete and be successful. In Reiff, the Lions bagged a steal, and hopefully provided Stafford with solid protection for the duration of his career. Broyles brings a great skillset to the table, and along with fellow Sooners Lewis & Lewis, brings great value to the team.

Composite Grade B-

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.

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