FA is over. The draft is over. People are tired of talking about Cliff Avril and that looser Matt Malek. Boredom has set in. All there is left at this point is the upcoming 2012-13 NFL season. Whatever you think of the Lions moves in the off season we have our team and as fans it's time to focus on what is to come and how we will beat the St. Louis Rams in weak one. So lets take a stab at looking at what our 2012 team might look like and analyze the strengths and weakness of each position group. I will be giving an overall grade for the position group a grade for the starters and a grade for depth. I will also rate the position groups ability to change games. Do they have the ability to take over a game and get us a win if necessary. And the Potential Grade is what they are capable of as a unit in 2012. Look forward to your thoughts.
QB(2) Matthew Stafford & Shawn Hill A Starter(Srt) A Depth(Dpth) A+ GameChangeAbility(GCA) A+ Potential(Pnt)A+
We have the best young starter in the game. If he completes 2 straight seasons without serious injury he becomes an A+. Is there a backup in the league we would rather have over Hill? Not in my opinion. Boy this is a good thing.
RB(4) Leshoure, Best, Smith, Bell/Bryant C Srt D Dpth B GCA A Pnt
The talent is there. The questions are too. Who is the starter? Who can stay healthy? These guys can win us games. Will they? This is one of the 2 question marks of our offense. The last spot will be based on talent and the coaches desire to add a fullback. A lot has gone into talking this Bryant kid up. Bell will have to shine.
WR(5) - Calvin, Titus, Broyles, Nate B, Patrick Edwards A+ Str A+ Dpth A+ GCA A+
Think we are going to throw the ball this year? I think so. We drafted and signed two of the most productive WR's in College Football History. Edwards is going to make this team. I think he was a guy would would have taken in the 5th or 6th if we would have went corner early.
TE(3) - Pettigrew, Scheffler, Heller B+ Str A- Dpth A GCA B
We lack an elite player but we are solid all the way through. Does Pettigrew have more than we have seen? Decreased dropped balls and a few more big plays can get these guys into the A territory. But we are solid at the position and consistency in the offense will make these guys continue to look better.
Oline(9) Backus, Sims, Dom, Peterman, Reiff, Gosder, Hilliard, Gerberry, Fox/Culbreth C- Str C+ Dpth C- GCA F Ptn C+
This is the great question mark of the Detroit Lions offense. When the starters are all healthy they are competent. If someone gets hurt? Very glad we drafted Reiff. Expect hi
m to start every game he is healthy his entire career. The fact that Reiff and Hilliard can play guard means we will carry only 1 backup interior player. The great mystery of the off-season is why we didn't get a Guard/C that could play both well and allow us to only carry 9 O-lineman, be happy with it, and take over as a starter for one of the two older guys. Still think we will go with 9 olineman because as you will see later if we don't that means a talented young DB will have to be cut. Fox and Culbreth will battle to the death for the last spot on the offense.
DE(6) - Avril, KVB, Lojack, Willie, Everette Brown, Lewis B+ Str B Dpth A GCA A+ Ptn A+
We know what we have here. Ronnell Lewis will be rusing off the edge here too sometimes. More on that later. Running stopping and consistency is what keeps these guys from an A combined with KVB's age. Lets hope they put it together this year and tear up opposing QB's
Dt(4) - Suh, Fairley, Hill, Williams A Str A Dpth A+ GCA A+ Ptn A+
Its all there. Time to see it on the field. Don't think any team has EVER had the depth we do at DT. Barring injury Fluellen is a goner. Can't keep a guy like him and cut an upside player at a position of greater need. How this unit performs will determine how well our Defense plays and how far this team can go.
LB(7) - Durant, Tulloch, Levy, Hogue, Palmer, Lewis, Whitehead B Str B Dpth B GCA B Ptn A-
Pretty Simple. Solid not spectacular. Hoping extra year of cohesion will make these guys better. Young guys have a lot of potential and should really push Durant and Levy in their contract years. Levy will play inspired or loose his starting job. Durant if healthy will have a great year.
CB(6) - Houston, Berry, Bentley, Lacy, Greenwood, Green C Str C- Dpth B GCA D Ptn B+
This unit now has speed and upside. I doubt we will be getting beat over the top as mu
ch going forward. But there is more than turning and running. Much more. A hopeful fan has enough to be excited about. A skeptical fan can say that we are no better than last year....and maybe even worse. There is much to watch in this unit. I see a lot more hope than despair. If one of the three young guys turns out we are golden. If by chance two of them do.......Mayhew will be on happy man. And so will every Lions fan.
Safety (4) - Delmas, O.J. Otogwe, Spievey, Silva/Lawrence B Str B+ Dpth B GCA B+ Ptn A-
We all want to believe it. We all want Delmas to be dominant and for the guys next to him to play like a pro. Thats why we will sign Otogwe to come home and stabalize the position. If we do that we will roll with a young potential stud in the 4th Safety spot. Can we really afford to have Wendling actually playing on Defense anymore?
Offense A- Str A- Dpth A- GCA A+ Ptn A+
We can have an ELITE offense if we can get a running game going. Stafford is a pimp and Calvin is the best athlete in all professional sports. This is going to be an exciting season
Defense B Str. B+ Dpth B- GCA A+ Ptn A
Will this be a bottom 10 defense? Or a top 10? Your guess is as good as mine. They could be either. The Dline needs to dominate. The LB's need to stop the run. And the secondary needs to limit big plays and be opportunistic when they get chances as they weren't in the playoff game against New Orleans. This is Gunther's defining year for sure.