As pointed out last week by the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett, only 10 players that were drafted by former general manager Matt Millen are left on the Lions' roster. Here is a breakdown of those 10 players and what year they were drafted:
- 2001: OT Jeff Backus (first round), C Dominic Raiola (second round)
- 2002: None
- 2003: None
- 2004: None
- 2005: None
- 2006: None
- 2007: WR Calvin Johnson (first round), QB Drew Stanton (second round)
- 2008: OT Gosder Cherilus (first round), LB Jordon Dizon (second round), DT Andre Fluellen (third round), DE Cliff Avril (third round), FB Jerome Felton (fifth round), LB Caleb Campbell (seventh round)
As you probably noticed, there is a span of five straight drafts that produced exactly zero players still on the Lions' roster. According to Birkett, the teams from this year's Super Bowl -- Steelers and Packers -- each have seven players still on their roster from drafts over that time.
Part of why there was such a big need to add talent the last two seasons is because the Lions missed on so many picks over that time. At least in 2001 the Lions got two players that are still starting, and in 2007 and 2008 the Lions drafted many players that are starting or at least contributing. From 2002-06, however, it was a complete whiff by Millen and company.