So the draft is this Saturday. Yet another chance for the Detroit Lions to show the world their monumental incompetence. I was looking at some of the Lions’ and the Buccaneers’ draft history today. And I put together some information, and a wish list of the players that I hope the Lions and Bucs will take in Round 1. If you don’t like football, read no further. In fact, you probably shouldn’t have read this far. Sorry.
Bucs’ 21st Century Attempts at drafting offensive lineman (not counting most second day picks):
2007 Arron Sears, G Rd2
2006 Davin Joseph, G Rd1
Jeremy Trueblood, T Rd2
2005 Chris Colmer, T Rd3
Dan Buenning, G Rd4 (beginning)
2003 Sean Mahan, G Rd5
2001 Kenyatta Walker, T Rd1
2000 Cosey Coleman, G Rd2
Hopefully Joseph and Sears will stay at the guard positions for a while, and neither will become another Cosey Coleman. And hopefully Trueblood won’t become another Kenyatta Walker. If, by some miracle, Sears, Joseph, and Trueblood all become as good as their potential, then the Bucs have a solid offensive line for the next decade.
The Bucs’ 2007 draft class might prove to be one of their best, if Gaines Adams (1st rd), Arron Sears (2nd rd), and Tanard Jackson (4th rd) work out like it seems they might. Adams and Jackson, along with Barret Ruud (Rd 2, 2005), make up a young and talented defense.
2008 Top Need: DT They only have Hovan, and though good, he’s past his peak. They need someone to fill up the middle so that Adams can get around the edge. Another DE might be nice also. Spires and Carter, eh.
CB, WR, and LB are all solid for this year, but will be needs soon. A young player in any of those positions would be good. RB might be a top need depending on Cadillac’s health. If he’s healthy, then they’re fine along with Graham and possible Pittman if he resigns. If his career is over, then they need another RB to complement Graham. Since Gruden only likes old QBs, no point in considering that.
Lions’ search for a QB through draft, 1986-2007:
2007 Drew Stanton Rd2
2005 Dan Orlovsky Rd5
2002 Joey Harrington Rd1, pk3
2001 Mike McMahon Rd5
1998 Charlie Batch Rd2
1990 Andre Ware Rd1, pk7
1989 Rodney Peete Rd6
1986 Chuck Long Rd1, pk12
After getting burned twice with high QB picks in ’86 and ’90, a long gap until Batch was tentatively selected in round 2. We should have stuck it out with Batch. Then came another debacle with Joey. Drew Stanton has been our second highest QB selection in the draft (behind Joey) in 17 years. I have no idea what his current status is with the team (on IR ALL of last year).
This year they won’t select a QB, probably because Stanton is still the quiet hope behind Kitna who has shown he is just capable enough to keep starting despite his turnovers.
2008 Top Needs (1 isn’t enough): RB, T, G, DE, DT, LB (maybe G and DT as most critical)
Lions’ Offensive and Defensive selections in Rds 1-2 (parenthetical number refers to first rounders only, and place in first round), bold faced players are ones whom I consider to be good, productive picks for Detroit. Hartings, Scroggins, Claiborne, Bailey, Batch were all decent, but didn’t stay with the team or weren’t as good as their potential suggested.
2007 Calvin Johnson (2), WR Ikaika Alama-Francis, DE
Drew Stanton, QB Gerald Alexander, FS
2006 Ernie Sims (9), OLB
Daniel Bullocks, SS
2005 Mike Williams (10), WR Shaun Cody, DE
2004 Roy Williams (7), WR Tedy Lehman, MLB
Kevin Jones (30), RB
2003 Charles Rogers (2), WR Boss Bailey, OLB
2002 Joey Harrington (3), QB Kalimba Edwards, DE
2001 Jeff Backus (18), T Shaun Rogers, DT
Dominic Raiola, C
2000 Stockar McDougle (20), T Barrett Green, LB
1999 Aaron Gibson (27), T Chris Claiborne (9), LB
1998 Germane Crowell, WR Terry Fair (20), CB
Charlie Batch, QB
1997 Bryant Westbrook (5), CB Kevin Abrams, CB
Juan Roque, T
1996 Jeff Hartings (23), G Reggie Brown (17), OLB
1995 Luther Ellis (20), DE
1994 Johnnie Morton (21), WR Van Malone, DB
1993 Ryan McNeil, CB
1992 Robert Porcher (26), DE
Tracy Scroggins, OLB
(Jason Hanson, K)
1991 Herman Moore (10), WR
1990 Andre Ware (7), QB Dan Owens, DE
1989 Barry Sanders(3), RB
John Ford, WR
The numbers suggest equal attention to both sides of the ball:
21 Offensive, 20 Defensive players selected in first two rounds since 1989 (and one special teams player).
9 Offensive, 9 Defensive selections since 2001.
Only 1 first round Defensive player selected (Ernie Sims, 2006) since 1999.
15 Offensive first rounders since 1989; 6 Defensive first rounders since 1989
Note: There were NO notables from later rounds, unless you include Reuben Droughns as notable. None. The Lions might be the most unsuccessful team ever in the draft, considering these high picks are mostly crap also.
They seemed desperate for an offensive line from 1996-2001. Six years, and six lineman in the top two rounds, including three first round tackles in three consecutive years (1999-2001). Backus and McDougle were at least servicable. Backus and Raiola both entered in 2001 along with Shaun Rogers. The three have started just about every game for the Lions for seven years. Rogers is gone this year; but the other two will still be back and starting.
On defense, Ellis and Porcher were good picks back in the ‘90s. Well, Porcher was a great pick. He played for Detroit his entire career, 13 years, starting just about every game for ten of those thirteen years (29th on all-time sacks list).
Porcher, Barry Sanders, Backus, and Raiola have all spent their entire careers with Detroit after being drafted there. Then comes recent history: Their second round defensive picks from 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 ALL left the team this year. Not good. Plus, I think all four of them looked good. Rogers and Bailey even looked great at times.
Likewise, four of their first two round, offensive picks from 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 are gone (Roy Williams is the only one here, at least for a year).
Wish list in the first round:
Detroit, 15th selection:
DT Sedrick Ellis, USC (but he won’t fall that far)
T Chris Williams (Vandy), Ryan Clady (Boise St) or Jeff Otah (Pitt)
G Branden Albert (Virginia)
DE Derrick Harvey (Florida)
[RB Jonathan Stewart, if they can get back into the first round to get him, a la 2004’s move to get Kevin Jones]
Tampa Bay, 20th selection:
WR Devin Thomas (Mich St)
RB Rashard Mendenhall (Illinois)
CB Domonique Rogers-Cromartie (Tenn St)
DT Kentwan Balmer (NC)
LB Jerod Mayo (Tenn)
Wish list in the second round:
Detroit, 15th selection (45th overall):
RB Chris Johnson (E Carolina)
QB Joe Flacco (Delaware) or QB Chad Henne (Michigan) (unlikely)
DE/LB Jeremy Thompson (Wake Forest)
G Chilo Rachal (USC)
Tampa Bay, 20th selection (52nd overall):
RB Jamaal Charles (Texas)
DT Pat Sims (Auburn) or DT Marcus Harrison (Arkansas)
CB Brandon Flowers (VaTech)
WR Jordy Nelson (Kansas St) or WR Malcom Kelly (Oklahoma)