First off, I will say when I first saw his name, the very first time, I was like "Meh. Not good, but okay." I heard about the interview and became "Alright, I'm starting to like this guy" then I saw who else we interviewed "Wow. I kinda want Caldwell" then after Whiz didn't come here I was like "Come on Caldwell! Or Quinn, but I doubt it."
After his press conference, I am a really big fan. Even more so than before. I love how he mentioned speed and no huddle/up tempo offense, I love how he mentioned smart and mistake free football and I love how he mentioned motivation and leadership. He seems to be taking an extremely active approach early on which will work out for him later on. I also happen to be a big fan of now-official DC Teryl Austin as well. Great hire by Caldwell. He is known for working with secondaries, and his most recent example of success is Matt Elam, a player somewhat similar in style to the struggling Lions Safety Louis Delmas. I also am happy with the hiring of Ron Prince.
The thing we needed most from our Assistant Head Coach as I mentioned an in earlier update of this was that the most important part of our assistant head coaching position this season was that he had to be able to have some sort of playcall experience. Ron Prince has been a playcalling OC and a Head Coach before (I will expand later) so he clearly seems to be a good hire to assist Jim #2.
I am also Beyond THRILLED with the Hiring of Joe Lombardi as OC! More on that lower on in the post.
This examines Caldwell on some deeper levels. Be prepared for some more optimism, as well as some critiques.
From all accounts that I've heard, Caldwell has used the Shotgun quite a bit, and being a QB coach tends to favor the passing game. I'm thinking that Stafford seems to be a perfect fit at QB for how the up tempo offense as Stafford appeared to be successful when we did run it last season. Also, as Stafford has arguably the best arm strength in the league, generally this is where his guys like to throw, downfield. Reggie Bush and Joique Bell will be fun tools for this offense as Screens can be utilized as well to balance the deep throws. Caldwell never really had a good receiving back, and has always had backs that tend to be power runners if I remember correctly. It's also notable that most of the plays in the Saints system were passing plays, so look for more passes again from the Lions this season, especially having 2 QB coaches leading our offense.
I will not quote, or mention any names as that is rude of me, and some people may have changed there minds.
Common criticism A: Caldwell has worked with good QBs that were good despite their coaching. FALSE. Peyton Manning May have been good with any other team, but I don't think Joe Flacco would have become the richest NFL player at the time had it not been for Caldwell. Criticism B: Now onto the defensive side of the ball, Austin has worked with good defensive coordinators when he worked his best. While he may have been with good coaches, I don't find it a coincidence that the guy has been to 3 Super Bowls with 3 Different Teams. The Seahawks at Ford Field, the Cardinals the year of the Santonio Holmes catch and the Ravens in their improbable run we all know about. It's about time he got his chance to prove defense does help win championships. Criticism C: Caldwell had a horrible career as HC. FALSE! He had a horrible YEAR. The 2 years prior he went 10-6 and 9-7. Peyton got hurt, and then he got fired after a bad year. That was just the Colts not wanting to stick it out. In fact, in his first year, I believe he led the Colts to a Super Bowl loss if I remember correctly. Oh, and also a note on Caldwell; he played DEFENSIVE BACK. Not only do we have the best DB Coach in the NFL as our DC, we have a HC who played DB in college starting in his Freshman year at Iowa. On Lombardi, he has not called plays, and has not been hired as any position higher than QB coach. However, the guy has clearly worked. His way up, and has done great things as a QBS coach and definitely deserves to try as our OC.
Caldwell served as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa, Southern Illinois University, Northwestern University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Louisville, and Pennsylvania State University before being named head coach at Wake Forest University in 1993. Some of these schools he was a WR coach, some a QB coach.
Caldwell had one of the best debut seasons for a head coach in NFL history, finishing with a 14–2 record. The Colts rushed out to a 14–0 start. With the AFC South title and the top seed in the AFC playoffs secured, Caldwell opted (on orders from then GM, Bill Polian) to sit out his starting players the last two games of the season (both losses), drawing controversy to him and the team. He later won his first playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens on January 16, 2010. On January 24, 2010, Caldwell became the 5th rookie head coach to lead his team to the Super Bowl with a 30–17 victory over the New York Jets. Caldwell holds the NFL record for the best start by a rookie head coach, starting his career with 14 wins. The 14 wins also tied a franchise record. On February 7, 2010, Caldwell's rookie season ended with a 31–17 loss in Super Bowl XLIV to the New Orleans Saints. In his second season the Colts reached the playoffs where they lost to the New York Jets 17–16 on January 8, 2011. Going into the 2011 NFL season, it was announced that Caldwell's star quarterback, Peyton Manning, would likely miss the entire season. His starting Quarterback this season was Curtis Painter, along with a few games played by Dan Orlovsky and Kerry Collins. This contributed to the Colts going 2-14 and Caldwell's subsequent firing after the season.
Starting at the top: I'm a big Louisville fan because that's where my dad lives. Just a personal note, but most of these schools were pretty decent programs. Also shows lots of experience.
Immediate success: Something the Lions need. We are in win now mode, which means that we need immediate success. According to what he's done in the NFL, he can provide that.
Fired: The only reason he was fired was because of QB play that year. Had he had Luck, Manning or Stafford he would still be the Colts head coach today and he would not be available for hire.
Lions Officially Hire Joe Lombardi as OC!:
Joe Lombardi was most recently the QBs coach and passing assistant under Sean Payton in the New Orleans Saints organization. He has been a part of multiple playoff runs, including a Super Bowl, a common theme among our coaches. He is a younger coach, who fits under the title of "Up and coming". As mentioned above, he has not been a play caller as of yet, but he can learn on the fly if Caldwell does not assume that role and responsibility on the team. Also, if he learned anything from his grandfather, it's about the Packers, winning in Lambeau, and of course winning the trophy that bears his own last name. As one poster on the POD site who goes by the name of Dr. J who commented on Sean Yuvilles post cleverly and brilliantly stated "If the Lions won't go to the Lombardi, we bring Lombardi to the Lions. Also, a good point by TC Lion is that with 2 first time coordinators, the Lions might look to add some assistants to help them, and speaking of assistants it will be very interesting who our 2 former QB coaches hire as our actual QB coach next season! This guy also has good experience working with Jimmy Graham on his team as well, and although he may not be responsible for his development, I'm sure he values the TE position and should do very well with Fauria and Williams next season. So, while Lazor would have been pretty cool. I like this guy a HECK of a lot better. Here are some various sorts of information on Lombardi:
Finally, we have Teryl Austin!:
The big thing to know about Austin I already mentioned, but he has been a part of 3 Super Bowl teams, including the winner in Baltimore with Caldwell. This means, that Our new staff members have combined for if my math is correct, 8 Super Bowl runs in various positions so far, which is more than all of the Lions head coaches combined the since the Super Bowl era. All before our QB coach as well if we hire one. Here are some stats from Austin's non-Super Bowl year teams:
2004: 4 Sacks, 21 INTs, 5 FF, 250 tackles- Trufant, Lucas, Boulware and Hamlin
2007: 12 INTS, over 400 INT return yards and 5 return TDs. This was in his first year with Antrel Rolle (5 3 TDs), Roderick Hood (5 2 TDs, over 200 yards himself), Adrian Wilson and Eric Green.
2009: DRCs Rookie year: 6 INTs, 3 FF, 1 INT TD, 50 tackles. Rookie Pro Bowler.
Wilson, Rolle, Ralph Brown, Michael Adams, Matt Ware combined for 12 more INTs, 4 sacks, 3 FF. Led Wilson to All Pro, Rolle and DRC to Pro Bowl.
2010: 54% Completion, 175 Yards/ Game Passing. 1 TD/ Game Passing. 1 Rush TD/ Game, 133 yards/Game Average, so slightly higher than 300 YPG in 65 plays per game.
Notable names from this campaign:
Floyd, Gilbert, Easley, Bostic, both Jenkins's as Florida DC.
2011: 11 INTs, 1 Returned for TD, 7 Forced Fumbles (Just counting secondary he coached!) 6 Sacks (Once again just counting secondary he coached during his 1st year!)
2013: 1 Sack, 12 INTs, 5 FF. His team? Ihedigbo, Jimmy Smith, Matt Elams Rookie Year, Lardarius Webb, Corey Graham.
Position Coaches and Assistant Coaches:
Position Coaches will be a significant part of the team this season especially, so these hires are important to watch out for.
Now that we have officially hired Ron Prince, I would like to reflect on my quote from the previous update of this post:
"Also, as far as Assistant Head Coaches go, we SHOULD and in fact, actually I believe MUST have some sort of coach that has experienced play calling. (Prince does!) This does NOT mean they will bring their own playbook with them (He doesn't appear to be!) however, as I believe that the coaches should and will create new playbooks based on our personnel and talent at various positions after the draft. This does mean that somebody that has Head Coaching Experience (Check) or has been a play-calling OC/DC in the past (Check) is crucial, and I believe that this will be a surprise hire that not many people are expecting. (Well, it was a surprise he got chosen for TE coach, does that count?)"
So, if you include my analysis on surprise and count the TE coach, I actually perfectly described what Prince brings in my wish list for Assistant head coach. Kind of funny. I also accurately predicted the hiring of Caldwell on another site 2 days before it happened (a day before the rumors went around) and I predicted Austin about a week before they officially announced it. Not including all the other sports things I've been predicting lately (Wings-Kings SO for example) so you all should listen to me! LOL Anyways, back to the important topic, Prince and his resume.
Personal thoughts first: I like his mustache! Okay, back to resume.
"During the 2006 season, his first as HC or as part of KSU's organization, Prince led Kansas State to its first winning record since 2003 with a 7–6 mark, as well as a berth in the inaugural Texas Bowl. The hallmark win of the regular season was a 45–42 upset of then #4 Texas on November 11, 2006. Kansas State lost the 2006 Texas Bowl to #16 Rutgers, 37–10. Before coaching at Kansas State University, Prince served for three seasons as offensive coordinator under Al Groh at the University of Virginia, and for a total of five years as the Cavaliers' offensive line coach. Prior to first stint at Virginia, Prince also served as an assistant coach at South Carolina State, James Madison and Cornell." He ended up going 9-15 against conference teams, and he ended up going 17-20 overall finishing within a game of .500 every year. According to the Rutgers SB Nation blog, he was a very good recruiter, but he seemed to be a mediocre and over-paid OC. Just so that people know: Prince was the Indy Asst. OL coach during '10 and '11 during Caldwell's HC years. Prince played his college ball as an offensive tackle at Dodge City Community College in 1988 and 1989 and then for two seasons at Appalachian State. The other interesting football part about this hire is that Prince has been an offensive line coach for so long. To explain the TE part of this hire, I go to an ESPN report by Michael Rothstein "Caldwell perhaps saw the blocking struggles of the team’s current tight ends (specifically Joseph Fauria) and figured this might be the best way to turn him into a complete tight end."
I completely agree with this assessment.
Now to position coaches:
Here is our updated chart of position coaches so far:
Head coach -- Jim Caldwell
Asssistant head coach -- Ron Prince
Offensive coordinator -- Joe Lombardi
Defensive coordinator -- Teryl Austin
Quarterbacks -- Jim Bob Cooter?
Running backs -- Curtis Modkins (Retained)
Wide receivers -- Robert Prince (From Boise State)
Tight ends -- Ron Prince (From Rutgers)
Offensive line -- Jeremiah Washburn (asst. Bobby Johnson) (Both Retained)
Offensive Asst. -- Terry Heffernan (Retained)
Defensive line -- Kris Kocurek (asst. Jim Washburn) (Both Retained)
Linebackers -- Bill Sheridan (Houston LB) Worked with Cushing
Secondary -- Alan Williams (Minnesota DC) Worked with Bob Sanders, Antoine Bethea, Tim Jennings
Special teams -- John Bonamego (asst. Evan Rothstein) (Both retained)
Overall, the new position coaches seem to be mostly people who have been retained, which is nice, Bill Sheridan, Ron and Robert Prince and Alan Williams are the confirmed new-hires so far with only QB coach possibly remaining, which could be Jim Bob cooter. I had a feeling earlier that we would wait for a team in the playoffs now to lose for our QBS coach, and I guess I was right.
I am pretty happy with the hire of Alan Williams for Secondary coach. Overall, I'm thoroughly happy with this coaching staff, but... Coaching isn't the only thing the Lions could improve from previous years.
Overall, I like the Cooter hiring as well assuming it happens. Denver was a record setting team this year, and anybody from that offense I'd like to have at any position on our coaching leader.
With that segway, we move to the other topic I had planned, the 2014 NFL Draft.
At this point in the year, the picture is still a little foggy, especially with the combine looming, interviews needing to take place, as well as pro days and making sure no off field events occur such as injuries (see Colvin) not including our possible QB coach which won't matter that much though. We can, however, officially have an educated guess now instead of just a hope on who we could get in the draft. If you want a more broad view on the subject, check out my other Fanpost here as this will focus only on specific players who I see that fit our new projected schemes.
Worst Case-Scenario Mock Draft:
At this point in the 1st round of the NFL Draft, here are the following picks so that people have an idea on who is available. Note: for this mock, I will NOT consider trades that we know could happen, and I will assume the Lions will get a late 7th round Compensatory selection.
10. The Lions pick...
I have them selecting Watkins, Mack and Barr in that order if they are available. In one of the worst case scenarios for the Lions, they are not. So, as much as I hated on him before, after seeing who we've hired, I'm proud to announce the Lions selection of...
Texas A&M Wide Receiver Mike Evans as our 10th overall pick. As I said, I was not a fan at all until I found out who we hired, but, now considering that fact, I believe that Evans is still not a bad pick for the Lions. As I mentioned earlier, I would love Barr, Mack or Watkins, but I'm not projecting us to trade up, and I am also doing a worst case scenario mock draft that still makes sense for us in the 1st (Don't worry, it gets better for us after this). Now, to explain why I chose Mike Evans for this locked-in pick, I go to fellow fan poster on Pride of Detroit Reno09, and his explanation:
When you think of a deep threat WR, normally you think of a guy who can blow by defenders and get behind defenses fairly easily, but Evans isn't much of a speedster. However, Evans happens to have the highest % of catches of 20 yards or more at 25.45%.
He can do this because of his height and leaping ability. Evans wins a lot of jump balls and will most likely have the same success at the NFL level. It's almost impossible to stop, and when he gets near the redzone, you might need to double up on him.
To expand on this with my thoughts, look at who Caldwell has worked with at Wide Receiver. Last year, Flacco put up career year numbers with Boldin as his WR. With Manning he had Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison. Guys who I can see parts of in Evans' game. Drafting Evans could become the next great Harrison and Wayne duo, and under the same OC who lead them no less as their HC/OC. It would also make Lombardi happy that his QB has somebody to throw to, and Rob Prince that he has somebody to work with as he is kind of similar to Marques Colston. I'm sorry Austin, but not everybody can be happy with our first rounder this season in a worst-case scenario mock draft!
In the 2nd Round of the draft, I have the Lions selecting...
Kyle Van Noy or Dee Ford or Trent Murphy or Trevor Reilly! DE/OLB Hybrids from Brigham Young (Like Ziggy), Auburn, Stanford, and Utah respectively.
This pick definitely satisfies Teryl Austin as he can use the new pick to help him with his 4-3 Hybrid Scheme that I am predicting he will be bringing with him to the Detroit Lions. All of these guys are known for their pass rush, and so they could help provide pressure with Suh, Fairley and Ansah. Whoever we take at this now immediate need position (that was a lesser need before) could become the next Demarcus Ware or Mario Williams. As mentioned, in this draft, both Barr and Mack are gone, so if we do get one of them in the 1st round, this pick now changes to whomever the top WR on the board is at the time. I would Like for Moncrief or Robinson to be here, but, in this worst-case scenario, we don't get a shot at a 2nd wide receiver.
In the 3rd round of the draft, we start to get a little interesting. The prior rounds were somewhat predictable picks. Now, we get into the value picks. In the 3rd round, the Lions select:
Ty Zimmerman, Free Safety from Kansas State University! This is one of the cases where I have some options. We can either A. Keep Delmas and get him working with all our coaches to improve, or B. Cut Delmas for Salary cap reasons, and pick up Zimmerman in the 3rd Round. If we choose option A, in this case the Lions will then select...
Weston Richburg! Center/Guard, Colorado State University. This guy is a little known player, who I actually have us taking in the 4th round if we do cut Delmas. Even if we do sign a Center like Alex Mack in Free Agency, we could still use some good guard depth as Rob Sims is an Unkown at this point as far as age and injury, as well as the possibility you have to consider with the new signing or Warford getting hurt as well, which I hope doesn't happen, but plan for the worst.
In the 4th Round of the NFL Draft, assuming we cut Delmas (if we don't it's Richburg), the Lions Select:
Option A. If we resign Pettigrew: Max Bullough! ILB of Michigan State. He's had a very productive college career and happens to be an in-state fan favorite as well. He was a key part of the Rose Bowl winning Spartans Defense, until he got suspended for the Rose Bowl. He would give new DC Teryl Austin full flexibility on Defense to where he could occasionally show a 3-4 look without worrying about not having a 4th Linebacker.
Option B. If we Don't resign Pettigrew: C.J Fiedorowicz or however it's spelled, TE from Iowa University or Arthur Lynch, TE Georgia University. These guys would provide Caldwell and Lombardi with a 3rd TE Weapon to employ, as Tight Ends have become increasingly important in our great game. Also notice, that Caldwell worked with a great TE in Indianapolis by the name of Dallas Clark, so he could work with a Tight End, and as mentioned above, it's likely that Lombardi has worked with Jimmy Graham in New Orleans, as well as both the Prince's working together could provide a great development base for our new TE in this scenario.
In the 6th Round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select...
Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton University. This pick would be for depth purposes in case a worst-case scenario were to happen to Suh or Fairley, and he is a very smart player (Princeton) so he would be a good rotational player if we do not want to get a penalty. In this case I'm going to assume we need DT anyways, no matter who we re-sign.
With our regular pick in the 7th Round, the Detroit Lions select:
Keith Price, QB, Washington. He is the best QB left, and he provides great value as a 7th rounder. Having all these QB coaches around (3 at least plus a possible assistant head coach as well as Stafford can be up to 5) could easily worst case-scenario turn him into a higher pick, solid backup behind Stafford with Kellen Moore, etc. no losses here. Plus, if you add an N between the I and the C in his name, we have now added 3 princes and taken away 1 in Detroit this off-season! LOL :-)
With our final pick (Compensatory possibility) in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select:
Cade Foster, Kicker for Alabama. While he simply had bad luck in the Auburn game, he has made some good clutch field goals for Alabama over the course of his career including in the BCS National Championship games. Every kicker has to start somewhere, and I think providing him with a starting job right away might be a good idea. He reminds me of Mason Crosby of the Packers slightly, just coming out as a rookie, and as with Price, with a compensatory pick especially, low risk- high reward. It could also be another kicker, but everything I've seen says as of now he should be available heading into compensatory selections.
Now that you have seen my mock draft, I'm not done! I also have a couple of positions to watch out for when the draft is over. UDRFA's! I'm not going to get specific with names, but, I will list positions we could go after based on this mock draft:
Whoever the best available player is regardless of position.
Wide Receiver (Depending on development could have a significant role)
Offensive Lineman (Depth)
Cornerback (Just as a camp battle type scenario. Worth the shot.)
Halfback and or Fullback.
Best Case-Scenario Mock Draft:
If that was our WORST case-scenario, how much better could it really get? Well, first of all, if you are looking for somebody to project us trading up to get Watkins, I'm not the person to do that. To be fair, I'm going to keep our current 10 pick and hope for the best, and this is IMO, the best thing that could happen.
COMING SOON! Eh... Nevermind, I'll at least choose my picks now. Depending on how I feel I may do commentary as well now too.
1st Round before our picks:
In this case, We have our pick of pretty much anybody we want that we would have considered drafting anyways, with the exception of Watkins. Plus, Minnesota gets the next Blaine Gabbert, and speaking of Blaine Gabbert, Bridgewater tries to replace him but can't because Gabbert sucked so bad, but Bridgewater is great, and he's from my favorite school without the name Michigan in it.
So, back to our Lions, with the 10th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select...
The better of Khalil Mack or Anthony Barr!
I'm too lazy to do commentary on the difference, and choose one, etc., so I'll just do the Lions portion for now. With Watkins gone, the Lions are going to look for one of the OLBs to fall to us. Why? Because with Teryl Austin bringing in his Hybrid system most likely, we will surely need somebody better on the outside than Tahir Whitehead or Ashlee Palmer on the rush. If we were to actually run a 4-3 this year, we would need an OLB anyways, but having Barr or Mack adds that Hybrid element to our defense that would surely put us over the EDGE (haha! Get it? Edge? Like Edge rusher? Ba da CHHHHH!) Anyways, it would also give Bill Sheridan an important task in his first year here, but he does have some experience working with names such as Lavonte David and Mason Foster, so we shall see how much he can do with a 1st rounder like Barr or Mack.
In the 2nd Round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Lions select...
Allen Robinson, Donte Moncrief, Jarvis Landry, Jordan Matthews or Brandon Coleman!
The Lions still do need a Wide Receiver unless we sign one in FA, but I don't see us getting one. I would love to see Allen Robinson here for many reasons, and I only listed Coleman as a backup in case some claim Robinson won't be there As he worked with Prince in Rutgers and would likely be there pending the pre draft process for our 2nd round pick. Moncrief is a surprise pick who is a great wide receiver other than streak speed, who at this point is very under the radar, and I believe would be a good fit for our team. See more on him in my second WR post, or my post about the Non-First round grade. Here is my Wide Receiver profile on Allen Robinson, my #1 hope for this pick in this scenario:
STRENGTHS: Fluid and flexible athlete for his larger frame with room to get stronger. Deceiving acceleration with sharp cuts to be a dangerous catch-and-go pass catcher. Physical ballcarrier with balance and body strength to shake off defenders and pick up chunks of yards after contact. Does a nice job working back to the ball and finding soft spots in zones. Works well in traffic and tight areas to fight for the ball and win jump-ball situations. Uses his hands to fight through the jam and create room to work. Tough and won't shy from contact. Large catching radius with a good vertical to attack the ball. Willing blocker in run support.
WEAKNESSES: Average vertical speed. Upright route-runner and needs to tighten his footwork in/out of his breaks - will tip off defenders to his intended path and needs to better sell and deceive his patterns. Plays rushed at times and needs to stay under control through the snap, catch and whistle. Focus will run hot/cold at times and needs to be more reliable finishing with his hands - bad habit of making unnecessary body catches. Room to improve his field and spatial awareness along the sideline. Maturity needs to be investigated after a first half suspension in the 2013 season opener for "disciplinary issues."
COMPARES TO: Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers - He doesn't have elite speed, but like Boldin he is a good-sized athlete with deceiving acceleration and strength at the catch point to be both a possession target and big play-threat.
Tighten footwork in route-running? Drop passes with focus issues? Fluid athlete for larger frame with room to get stronger? This guy not only reminds me of Boldin, this guy could be the next Calvin Johnson. Plus, he can come back home to Michigan where he grew up.
In the 3rd Round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select...
Weston Richburg! Center/Guard Combo from Colorado State!
Once again, I am too lazy to do my report on him, but I will say, that the Lions do need a Center and he is the best Center in the draft so far. He could be gone in the 2nd round, so to see him still here in the 3rd is also a qualification for BPA. He could be the next Larry Warford type pick for us if this were to actually happen. He's already said he would like to come here this early in the process, the Lions have already interviewed him, and he seems like he could be a great mauler on the OL for plenty of years.
In the 4th Round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select...
Daniel McCullers! DT from Tennessee!
The Lions do need a DT. Especially if lots of our Free Agents leave. Assuming Ansah, Barr/Mack, Young, Devin Taylor and Jason Jones are our DE's, I would prefer we got somebody for DT. I will continue my analysis when I am not lazy. It will take a little luck for his stock to fall this far after his Senior Bowl week though.
If we can trade LeShoure for a 5th rounder, I would be happy.
In the 5th round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select...
Terrance Brooks! FS from Florida State!
I would love for us to trade Leshoure for a Free Safety, especially a Talented one. He very well could be our actual 4th round pick as well. I'll continue my analysis on him later. Once again, it would take a lot after his Senior Bowl week to get him to fall this far, but hey! Best case scenario mock! :)
In the 6th Round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select...
Chris Boswell! Kicker from Rice University!
Best Kicker in the Draft. Akers is old and his contract is going to expire. We have a good special teams coach, play in a dome, and have had good luck with drafting special team players. Boswell had many 50+ yard kicks not in a dome. I think he will do alright. As long as he's not playing in Soldier.
In the 7th Round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select...
Keith Price! QB from Washington!
See the Worst Case-Scenario Mock draft for analysis. I would also like to add that he is athletic in the pocket, has a strong arm, and would be working with good coaches. Oh, and he is used to playing decent in rain, but wouldn't have to here in a dome!
With a 7th Round Compensatory Selection, the Detroit Lions select...
Ryan Hewitt! FB from Stanford!
The day the Lions draff a FB is near as we finally don't have a quadzillion big holes to fill. This year might just be our year as we already took a Kicker, and QB. He would by far be the BPA in this scenario based on his Senior Bowl week, and he can also play Tight End and Halfback as well.
Note: Do you think I'm missing some positions? Well, here's why. Free Agency. In a best case-scenario, the Detroit Lions can sign Suh and Fairley to contracts, and we cut or trade Burleson and Delmas. To counteract Burleson, we will sign... SOMEBODY. There are too many names to list here. To counter-act Delmas, we take Terrance Brooks. In this scenario we sign Dallas Clark, TJ Ward, Brandon LaFell or Ted Ginn (Cheaper of the 2) and Tracy Porter. To see more on Free Agency possible acquisitions, check out my Draft Fan Post, as those will have a full list.
If you all are looking for a professional mock draft, I recommend looking at this one, because it would be awesome if this worked out like this, a 3-Round Mock for all teams.
This seems to be the consensus mock out there, haha! This is a joke. Some of it. Unless you don't want it to be.
Bridgewater, Bortles, Matthews, Lewan, Robinson, Ebron, HHCD, Barr, and Dennard go before us in not that order.
Lions picks in order: Gilbert (Actually what seems to be the Consensus selection for us. I hate all these people guts who think we have any chance of taking this idiotic fool.Saw a rumor that said Minny had interest in him. GOOD. I hope he goes there. He's going to suck opposite Xavier Rhodes.), Carr (Saw somebody do this in the 3rd before he rose lol), Stork (Saw him in the 2nd to us before he fell. Why not 3rd?), Lawrence (This is actually a current selection to us by Walter.), Boswell (To make sure we don't lose him in the 5th round. We took a Punter in the 5th, why not a Kicker in the 4th? LOL at people who don't know the Lions...), Colvin (Good pick, but we already took Gilbert...)
Also, in this section I will list other information regarding possible Lions targets such as interviews, pro days attended, pre-draft workouts and some Combine information and rumors things of that nature. This will also be my official News section for Free Agency gains/losses as well. Please check back here for updates, as I will be getting them from multiple sources including POD, Fox, ESPN, NFL.com, NFLN, Lions.com and Walterfootball.com
(Open Space for new news as it arrives)
Now that the Senior Bowl is officially over after a nice week of learning more about some prospects, we now have the Pro Bowl tonight, and the Super Bowl coming up a week from today. After this we have Franchise Tag and Movement period, and the Combine!
This is old news now, but the Lions have hired Robert Prince as the Wide Receivers coach, making QB coach the only remaining spot left on our staff assuming we hire one, which I believe we should. Also, if you didn't see my joke in my mock draft on the Price analysis, here it is: What has Detroit lost one of but gained 2 of (so far)? Princes! Get it?! Like Prince Fielder and Robert/Ron Prince?! HAHAHA! Funny.
Weston Richburg and Aaron Colvin are known officially or have interviewed with the Lions. Both are likely candidates to go to the Lions this season, despite the ACL injury Colvin suffered during Senior Bowl practices. The lions seem to like Oklahoma players, and they seem not to mind injuries. In fact, Ryan Broyles is basically the Wide Receiver to Colvin's CB. Weston Richburg has been a Lions Fan Favorite to replace Dominic Raiola at Center in the near future. He is not Travis Swanson and would likely not warrant a 2nd round selection, but he is a good strong CenterGuard from a small school in Colorado State.
Troy Niklas and Michael Sam are both new players that the Lions might look to draft on Day 2, as they are very quickly rising up many teams boards. Michael Sam is a Hybrid DE LB from Mizzou, and Niklas is a TE from Notre Dame, who I believe is the next Kyle Rudolph.
The Lions had multiple scouts at a couple of Florida games, reportedly looking at CBs Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson. I'd imagine based on our new found connection, that we also saw Jaylen Watkins. Watch out folks, because Watkins is now a favorite to land in Detroit and would not surprise me if we managed to get him in the 3rd or 4th rounds.
After becoming the first pick EVER in Pro Bowl history. King Kong has officially left his Agent in hopes of signing with The Lions this off-season. It's a good move for Suh, and hopefully a good sign for the Lions. Of course, if it is Jay Z, we shall wait and see what happens.
The Lions have officially hired Alan Williams, the former Vikings DC! He has worked with many good safeties and quite a few good CBs as well, so he should be an upgrade over Robertson here.
The Lions staff is at the Senior Bowl, with notable names including Lombardi, Caldwell, and Lewand and Mayhew. We have already conducted a couple of interviews with prospects, but the only one known to the public is Texas WR Mike Davis. Expect for more on this front, as the Lions don't have to worry about the pro bowl other than Suh, so they're main focus will be the Senior Bowl this week.
Also, some interesting news from the NFL front in general, according to Goodell himself, there may be no such thing as an Extra Point Kick as early as 2015. There will be an automatic 7 points given to the team that scores, and if they would like to they can risk the 7th point, and go for 8 by running or passing, but if they fail, then there will be a penalty that takes them down to 6 points and they will lose the 7th point. Personally, I would like that system, as to me the extra point is stupid and lame, and the risk reward of running or passing with a penalty would make the game much more exciting, plus it might help reduce some of the commercials. Also, they are considering expanding the Playoffs by an extra team per conference, making only ONE team get the First round bye week. This would be great for the Lions, as it could allow us getting into the playoffs easier. I also like this idea as well.
The Lions have officially hire Joe Lombardi as our new OC! He will certainly have some input on who we draft, our player development and of course our offensive position coaches that we have left to fill out, WR and QB coach.
Alright, everybody, I've got my Super Bowl picks! Last year I was off by 3 points on one team. So, let's see how I pick this time. In case you can't tell by the Seahawks-49ers game thread, I'm absolutely rooting for the Seahawks despite Sherman. So, Hauschka gets the game winning field goal with 2 minutes plus in the 4th as the Seahawks win 24-21. Manning throws for 3 TDs, has 1 INT and 250 yards, Moreno gets 50 yards or less. Wilson gets 2 TDs, no picks, and 300 yards, winning SB MVP. Lynch gets 125 yards, as well as a TD for some skittles! It will be a great game for sure though. Ultimately it comes down to how horrible Denver's secondary is. They were actually just as bad if not worse than our own, and you can't give that up with Russell Wilson.
Also, just because I like seeing that I was the first person to report something, I'm keeping this up until forever!
"BREAKING NEWS: AS OF 10:00 EASTERN TIME WEDNESDAY, TERYL AUSTIN HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN HIRED AS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR OF THE DETROIT LIONS. Detroit News first reported, I'm first with Fanshot and news on POD."
Thank you for reading everybody, I will update as we know more about all of the coaches, get more information during the pre-draft process and as we learn more information from and about the coaches we have hired. Thank you for taking a LOT of time out of your day to read this, and I hope you will appreciate some of the facts and information, as well as my opinions on this offseason. I hope you have a nice day, and GO LIONS!
Note: I'm sorry about deleting all my old previous Fan Posts, but all the ones I'm deleting locked out Comments and the Polls, so I'm going to copy and paste them into a new Fan Post entitled "All My Previous Fan Posts" so that I can reference them and update any of them at any given time, until I create more, and then the older ones then get old, and I can add all of them into a new Old Fan Post, etc.
Here are the Links to my newer FP's: Wide Receiver in Round One Fans Pt. 1, Wide Receiver In Round One Fans Pt. 2, Wide Receiver getting 3rd Rd. Grade Lions should select, and my Old Fanpost Collection version one. Check them all out! I hope you enjoy my posting! :D