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Lions Game-Changing Offseason Moves: House of Spears


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I will admit it, back towards the end of the 2009 season, I was hoping the Lions would somehow end up with the first overall pick yet again, even if that meant taking a loss to the Bears in the final game.  I wasn't actively rooting for a loss or anything, but my feeling was that if the Rams also lost, I wouldn't be too upset with a 1-15 record because it would mean having a shot at Ndamukong Suh, one of the best players in college football and at the very least the most dominant.

The reason I figured it would take the No. 1 overall pick for the Lions to get Suh is because at the time I didn't think there was a quarterback out there that would impress the Rams enough to warrant the top selection.  After all, Jimmy Clausen was not all that impressive, which was confirmed by his drop to the second round in the actual draft.  Then for Sam Bradford, he was coming off a shoulder injury and had lots of question marks that I figured would prevent him from being the top pick.

As the offseason got underway, it started to become more and more obvious that my theory was off and the Lions would have a shot at Suh from the No. 2 position.  Aside from the fact that St. Louis started dropping subtle hints that they were likely going to opt for a quarterback, the Sam Bradford hype started getting bigger and bigger.  Even Adam Schefter reported he would be the top pick months before the draft, signaling that if the Lions wanted Ndamukong Suh, they could have him.

Now that the Lions were seemingly in position for Suh, would they actually take him?  While it seemed like a no brainer to turn Ford Field into the House of Spears, as Rich Eisen said during the night of the draft, that was far from a certainty.  Lots of talk revolved around how defensive tackles shouldn't be drafted so high, giving some people the idea that Suh and Gerald McCoy were not likely targets.  What's more, there was so much talk about how the Lions need to protect Matthew Stafford by drafting Russell Okung that I started to buy into the hype a little bit.  I completely wrote off that possibility after the Rob Sims trade, but a few of you made convincing arguments about why he could still be picked, so a little part of me thought it could happen.

When draft day arrived, all signs pointed to Ndamukong Suh.  I certainly didn't think this was possible back in December when I watched Suh single-handedly destroy Texas in the Big 12 title game (imagine if the rest of his team did anything), nor did I believe that he was going to become a Lion when I watched him at the Heisman Trophy presentation.  Like I said earlier, I was convinced that Suh was so good that the Lions would need the top selection to have a shot at picking him.

In the end, as we all know, the Rams opted for Sam Bradford, and Ndamukong Suh was the second man out of the green room, announced as the Lions' pick.  There was much rejoicing at the Ford Field draft party, and I'm sure many Lions fans across the country started chanting "Suuuuuuuuuuh" at their TVs when the pick was announced. 

Suddenly the Lions' defensive line looked a lot nicer with the addition of a second Nebraska Cornhusker (Kyle Vanden Bosch was the other), and the defense as a whole got a lot better with the pick.  Beyond that, Suh is a high-character, hard-working type of guy who will bring a great attitude to the locker room every day.  He is not someone you have to worry about spouting off to the press or anything like that, and he perfectly fits the attitude Jim Schwartz wants this team to have.

It sounds like a very cliche line to repeat what Rich Eisen said about Ford Field becoming the House of Spears, but it's accurate.  All Lions fans hope Ndamukong Suh becomes a player the rest of the defense can be built around for years to come, and boy do I hope he plays well enough that quarterbacks know they will be entering the House of Spears anytime they play in Detroit.

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