2011 was a bizarre year for Detroit Lions fans. Matthew Stafford and Co. won ten games, and made a brief playoff appearance in a very successful ‘11 campaign. As fans of the Lions, we have become accustomed to turning our focus to the NFL Draft, usually by late September. However, this year was different.
“This year was different” was a pretty normal phrase for most Detroit fanatics. Winning is an expectation now, and not just a surprise. That mindset has been installed to everyone in the organization thanks to General Manager Martin Mayhew and staff. Mayhew served under Matt Milian, who was completely out of touch and had absolutely no idea how to run a NFL franchise….let alone a fantasy team. Mayhew has done everything right up until this point, and with the NFL Draft less than a week away, I feel very confident.
Mayhew said in his annual pre draft press conference, that they have between 4-7 players they are seriously considering taking their chances on. I have been running through the possible Draft choices for the Lions and i have come up with a very accurate way to make my picks. Magic 8 ball. Here we go:
With the 23rd overall pick, The Detroit Lions Select…
Whitney Mercilus DE – Illinois
Pros: Mercilus fits into the Lions situation very nicely. With the status of Cliff Avril in flux, and Kyle Vanden Bosch turning 34 this season, they will likely have their DE of the future. Plus, Mercilus, 6’3 and 260 pounds, led the nation with 16 sacks and 11 forced fumbles last year.
Cons: Mercilus could just be a flash in the pan with only one year of really stellar numbers. And he’s not a high end cornerback either. Ugh.
With the 54th overall pick, The Detroit Lions Select…
Alfonzo Dennard CB – Nebraska
Pros: Dennard isn’t the corner that Lions fans have been wishing for, but a late second round pick is a steal for Detroit. At 5’10 and 185 lbs, Dennard is a little bit small, but has good hips and is a strong tackler.
Cons: Dennard was arrested for suspicion of assaulting a police officer in Lincoln on Saturday morning. That’s right, 5 days before the Draft. Actually, the Cincinnati Bengals just signed him, never mind. Yikes.
With the 85 overall pick, The Detroit Lions Select…
LaMichael James RB – Oregon
Pros: Unfortunately for James, the stock of RB’s have really dropped over the past few years. However, with the Lions infatuation with speedy scat backs, and the uncertainty of Javid Best’s health, James gets his chance in Detroit. James seemed to be very durable at Oregon too. James rushed for more than 1,500 yards in all three of his years as a Duck.
Cons: James is seriously undersized at 5’9 180 lbs. With the NFL style of football being so much faster and players so much stronger, I have the same concerns about James that I do about Best.
|Lions Pick by Round||Dave D||Chris R||Jason V|
|360 Staff “Expert”|
|Round 1, Pick 23 (23)||D.Kirkpatrick CB-Bama||Whitney Mercilus DE-Ill||J.Jenkins CB N.Alabama|
|Round 2, Pick 22 (54)||Zach Brown LB- N.C||A.Dennard CB-Nebraska||Mike Adams OT OSU|
|Round 3, Pick 22 (85)||Brandon Taylor S- LSU||L.James RB – Oregon||Isiah Pead RB Cincinnati|