Whew! With the first half of my roster breakdown completed, it's time for some quick site news: I will be one of two blogs representing the Lions in the Next Season Sports (a Seahawks blog with an awesome name) Interblog Mock Draft!
I was invited to participate by Steve at www.detroitlionsblog.com, who writes himself some mean Lions analysis, and the head honcho at NSS, Aaron. I'll be handling the 20th pick--and let me tell you, the board is not shaping up the way I'd hoped! I really fear this will play out like last year, where all the Lions' targets go just a little be earlier, and there will be no cookies left for our Lions when the clock strikes 1.20.
Steve bravely handled the 1.1 duties--and fell victim to the ever-fickle swirling winds of Internet draft info! His selection of freak DE/OLB Michael Johnson of Georgia Tech--currently viewed as a late-first/early-second type by the footbal 'blog glitterati--with the first overall pick raised some eyebrows. However, Steve was spot-on with his reasoning and thought process. First, niether he nor I think that Matt Stafford grades out as a #1 Overall Pick kind of quarterback, nor does he possess the consistency, toughness, and leadership that I think Mayhew and Schwartz are looking for (over and above arm strength, 40 time, etc.). Further, Steve correctly notes that all signs out of Allen Park indicate that they are just fine with Jeff Backus and Gosder the Gozarian at OT, and therefore probably have no desire to shell out cap-busting money for a third OT. That leaves the Lions with an interesting mix of players to choose from, none standing out, few addressing needs. I think the Lions' most pressing need is that of a physically dominant DT--however, there is no Big Daddy Wilkinson or Kevin Williams sitting there waiting to be taken. IMO, the Lions' next most pressing need is that of a legitimate linebacker with size and speed, a big athletic tackler who could fit in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 (as the Lions' base alignment is still up in the air). Johnson would be a DE/OLB, but I'd look hard at Wake Forest's Aaron Curry, 6'-3", 247, an incredibly fast, athletic, and aggressive linebacker, who could play inside or outside in a 4-3 or 3-4. He'd be an instant upgrade over Paris Lenon in a 4-3, would be amazing pair with Ernie Sims, and would be a firey leader that could set the tone for the defense--I'm not saying he'll be just as good . . . but he could be the Patrick Willis we DID draft.