Tuesday, May 8, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: The Lions should have picked...

The Lions could have grabbed cornerback/returner Jayron Hosley in the third round
Since it's the off-season and there's not much to talk about regarding Michigan right now, I thought I would share my thoughts on my second favorite football team, the Detroit Lions.  I'm more of a college football fan, but I still catch a Lions game whenever possible and have been rooting for the guys in Honolulu Blue almost as long as the Maize and Blue.

1st round: Pick #23
Who they did pick:
Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff
Who they should have picked: Reiff.  I generally think teams should pick the best player on the board and figure out how to make them fit.  Reiff was a borderline top ten pick and slipped to #23 because teams overvalued skill players and defensive ends.  The Lions got lucky here since protecting Matt Stafford is paramount to their success.

2nd round: Pick #54
Who they did pick:
Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles
Who they should have picked: Oklahoma cornerback Jamell Fleming.  While Fleming wasn't the best overall prospect available, he would have addressed a serious deficiency at cornerback.  Detroit's secondary was abused against New Orleans in the playoffs, and playing Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers at least twice a year, you can never have too many cornerbacks.  Fleming is also good in run support.  Broyles is coming off of a knee injury and the Lions had a good receiving corps already.

3rd round: Pick #85
Who they did pick:
Louisiana-Lafayette cornerback Dwight Bentley
Who they should have picked: Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley.  Grabbing Fleming in the previous round would have been a good idea, and getting Hosley one round later would have given the Lions some insurance.  I would pick Hosley over Bentley, anyway, but this would give the Lions three decent corners and Hosley is a potential big-play guy to put in the slot.  This is a bit of a luxury pick for a good team without many serious deficiencies.

4th round: Pick #125
Who they did pick:
Oklahoma outside linebacker Ronnell Lewis
Who they should have picked: Penn State defensive end Jack Crawford.  Crawford is a big body who could be a developmental pick to take over for Kyle Vanden Bosch, who is getting up there in age.  The way things are shaping up, Crawford could develop and the Lions might be able to use a high pick on a defensive end in 2013, when they might need more immediate help.

5th round: Pick #138
Who they did pick: Temple outside linebacker Tahir Whitehead
Who they should have picked: Florida State offensive tackle Zebrie Sanders.  Sanders is one of the best prospects still available, and for a team that likes to spread it out, his pass blocking would potentially be helpful as a backup offensive lineman or a developmental prospect to take over one of the tackle positions.

6th round: Pick #196
Who they did pick:
New Mexico State safety Jonte Green
Who they should have picked: Boise State defensive tackle Billy Winn.  The Lions have pretty good depth at defensive tackle, but again, Winn is one of the better prospects available.  He also has the speed to play defensive end in some packages, which would be a helpful skill.

7th round: Pick #223
Who they did pick:
Oklahoma outside linebacker Travis Lewis
Who they should have picked: Lewis.  This was a good pick.  Lewis was a four year starter at Oklahoma, and while he probably won't be a frequent starter in the NFL, he's good enough to help on special teams and land a job as a backup linebacker.


  1. With Kirkpatrick and Claibourne gone, I was hoping for Hosley. I'm shocked he slipped to the 3rd round.

    I almost think the Broyles pick was for trade value later on.

  2. You should change this from "Who they should have picked" to "Who I think they should have picked" One makes it seem like you know what you are talking about, the other does not. And clearly you don't know much as an NFL GM.

    1. Feel free not to visit if you don't like the content here.

  3. Good read. You forgot one of the Lions 5th rounders: Chris Greenwood.I had the same thought about Hosely...maybe us Michigan fans are overrating him a bit based on how he did against our WRs.

    You talk about generally thinking teams should take the best player on the board, but most of your picks listed seem to conveniently fill team needs. Not that the two are mutually exclusive. Many talent evaluator had DeCastro rated above Reiff.

    GM Lankownia would have taken:

    Round 1: DeCastro OG (Stanford). Best player available and would help immediately without trying to move Backus or Cherilius to OG.
    Round 2: I'dve tried to trade up to get Martin OT (Stanford), otherwise settled for Adams OT (OSU). Would hate to take a Buckeye, but Lions are a passing team and Adams is supposed to be an excellent pass-blocker.
    Round 3: Bentley or Hosley both fit a need. I like the toughness Pahokee kids bring, but Hosely has more upside it seems.
    Round 4: Crick (DE) Nebraska. Not a great fit for Lions but a steal this late. A versatile DL who would provide depth, at worst.
    Round 5: Najee Goode (LB) WVU & Chris Rainey (RB) Florida. Rainey can return kicks and be a 3rd down back - provides insurance for Jahvid Best. Goode is a tough, hard-working kid, son of an NFL player, former QB, and DPOY at WVU - he can at least be counted on to help special teams.
    Round 6: Greenwood. This is cheating, since he went higher, but I wonder if anyone else was going to take him where the Lions did in Round 5. I do like him as a sleeper pick.
    Round 7: Jeremy Ebert (WR) Northwestern. Lions apparently want a slot WR. I think spending a 2nd rounder on Broyles was not a wise decision. A guy like Ebert or Virgina Tech's Coale (5th rounder) could do the job for less. Pats got a steal in Ebert who was a stud at Northwestern..."Ebert, who didn't receive an invitation to the NFL Combine, ran his 40-yard dashes in the high 4.3's and low 4.4's, showing better-than-expected speed for the 20 teams in attendance. He also impressed with his numbers in the other drills, including the vertical jump (33 inches), broad jump (9'4) and short shuttle (4.15). Also, Ebert's time of 6.70 in the 3-cone drill would have ranked him third among all receivers at the Combine. "

    Generally, anyone the Steelers or Pats draft is worth a shot IMO.

    1. From what I can tell (generally), the only guy I picked who's a team need (but not necessarily one of the best players available) is Jack Crawford. I wouldn't have minded Goode or Ebert. I wouldn't waste my time with Rainey, though.

    2. Regarding needs: it just seems convenient that the Lions biggest needs (CB and OT) happen to be the picks in the first 3 rounds. Saying 'pick talent over need' has just become such a cliche lately to the point people think team needs should be ignored. Obviously, you don't want to reach, but the 'tier' value concept isn't new or hard to understand. You look at both. I'm just saying, lets admit that NEED matters too. Smart teams consider needs, even if talent is more important overall. If you're draft picks are sitting on the bench, you're not getting full value out of them, so you damn sure need them to pan out later.

      Regarding Rainey, you're probably right. I just had to throw a RB in there, since I hate the pursuit of Ryan Grant, and no one else stuck out to me as a late-round steal. Plus, Bryoles seems to have been drafted in part to return kicks, so maybe Rainey helps there.

  4. I thought they should have taken Molk in the 7th round.....an extremely undervalued player given where he was taken in my opinion

  5. I thought they should have drafted Molk in the 7th round....extremely undervalued given where he was taken. Hes around 6' given him great leverage, hes build is stout and hes one of the strongest people out there, I think he will have a productive NFL career if he stays healthy

  6. For what its worth PFW's pre draft guide was not a fan of Housley (ranking him in "best of the rest") while generally liking Bentley. The fact is that for CB's rhere were four top talent's (@The Big Three and JJ) and a whole mess of guys in the middle. The Lions had a strange draft that will make Mayhew out to either a genius or a fool (I say fool no one was even talking Whitehead or Green as draftable prospects).

    1. Hosley looks to me like one of those guys you can play in the slot and he'll be very good, but maybe not as a #1 or #2 corner. Remember Terrell Buckley? He was not a good corner on the outside, but he was a bit of a terror when playing in the slot.