chapter IV: a new hope

>> 4.03.2009

Obviously, everyone's long since heard: Cutler was on his way here to become a Lion, but the plane ran out of gas and had to land in Chicago.  Jerry D'Angelo hopped the fence at O'Hare and commandeered one of those luggage-hauling golf carts.  He swooped past the airplane stairs, snatched Cutler off his feet, and together they drove for seven hours to the airport bar.  D'Angelo called up the Broncos leadership (by the way, are there any employees other than the owner and coach?  Where was the GM in this whole mess?) and offered them the moon and the stars, and the deal was done.

I'm kind of confused about where this puts the Lions.  They've successfully convinced everyone that they're taking Matt Stafford #1 overall.  It might be a brilliant ploy to hoodwink everyone, but let's face it folks: they might well be taking Matt Stafford #1 overall.  It's in their interest to create a trade market for the #1 pick, sure, but putting out the word that you're going to take the guy nobody else wants doesn't really accomplish that.  It's been suggested that the Broncos could package their #12 pick and new #18 pick and get the #1 overall from the Lions, but if that's what they wanted to do they could have just done that with Cutler to begin with, and they'd have kept their #12 to boot.  It doesn't look like a setup or a smokescreen or anything like that; it looks like the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one: the Lions really need a QB, and they have the #1 overall pick, and there's a half-decent QB prospect available, and that's that.

 The Lions' situation at quarterback hasn't changed.  They still have Duante Culpepper, who is wretched but can be propped up to the media and fans as a quasi-legitimate starter, and Drew Stanton, who's a very talented quarterback, outstanding young man, and local favorite, but is also in the doghouse for reasons no one understands.  They still have the #1 pick, and there's still Matt Stafford right there.  The question is, do the Lions believe in Matt Stafford?  Can a private workout answer all ot the many questions surrounding Stafford and his game?  Unfortunately the only people who know the answer to that aren't telling.

This brings me to an important point: we are now in the "BS Zone" for the draft: anything we hear from this point out is almost certainly leaked misinformation.  With yesterday's USC Pro Day concluding the circus of private workouts, teams are now going back to their bunkers to hash out and finalize their draft boards.  Once the scouts and coaches and GMs and player personnel folks have all had their say, and every team has their final grades done, and the draft board is set, nothing else can happen between then and the draft, except gamesmanship .  Most of the time, the "late risers" and "late fallers" and "trade rumors" we hear about in the media are mularkey.  Sometimes, yes, real info slips out, like the Vikings having Troy Williamson about a full round higher up on their draft board than most other teams.  In a lot of cases, the dramatic rise and fall of certain players's stock is just that real info correcting the speculation of the fans and media.  However, with the amount of disinformation, speculation, and fan hysteria going on, trying to pick out what is "real" and what is noise is so difficult that it's almost not worth trying.


It's disappointing to lose out on Cutler, of course, but the reality is that the Lions are better off with our 1.20, 3.1, 2010 1st, and whatever other value we would have had to part with to get that deal done.  This team has so many holes, so many needs, and so many chances to fill them; it would be foolhardy to deal off all that value and all of that potential for just one player--one who may or may not be any more talented than the guy the Lions will probably acquire for just the 1.1 all by itself: Matt Stafford.  We may yet see a dramatic move from the Lions, possibly a trade down from 1.1, or possibly a trade up or down from 1.20.  But, by far, the most likely scenario is that the Lions will to the obvious thing, the boring thing, the lame thing, the thing we all don't want them to do: take a QB number one overall.  Get your credit cards ready, folks, for your brand-new Stafford #7 jersey, on sale at less than ten seconds after the pick is announced.  A new hope, a new savior, another Skywalker.  Let's hope this one is more Luke Stafford and less Anakin Harrington . . . 


David M,  April 3, 2009 at 2:23 PM  

I think Stafford is more than half-way decent. I just would rather have Monroe instead.

Captivating Introduction too. I like the Deangelo heroism.

Ty,  April 3, 2009 at 2:37 PM  

I'm still not sold on him. He's got all the tools to be the greatest ever, but hasn't shown it on the field in nearly 40 starts. I'm not convinced he has the toughness, the attitude, the leadership, or the instincts to be great. Still, I'd much rather see him out there throwing balls through recievers and being ineffective than Daunte Culeppeper.

I'll still weep for Curry, though.


Anonymous,  April 3, 2009 at 4:19 PM  

I just think that a QB(Harriington Part Duex), is a bad idea. I still hope and wish for Cury, or Either OL.
Great read, Ty.
This is cool blog, man.

Ty,  April 3, 2009 at 4:34 PM  

Thanks, man!

Yeah, I think that between Curry, Smith, and Monroe, any one of those dudes would represent a huge upgrade at a position of desperate need.

It just so happens that if Stafford pans out, he'll be a huge upgrade at a position of desperate need, too . . . and arguably of the highest possible need.


Anonymous,  April 3, 2009 at 8:32 PM  

i know this much - schwartz will NOT draft stafford first overall if there's even a tad bit of doubt that he can be our franchise QB. if stafford is the pick, i have faith that he'll be our bobby layne replacement. just saying.

Anonymous,  April 3, 2009 at 11:57 PM  

I keep reading it's a foregone conclusion Stafford, or a LT, will be the Lion's pick at 1.1. The reasoning is typically financial, theory being choosing Curry at 1.1 is too much of a dollar commitment due to his playing LB.

Perhaps I'm deficient mentally, but I'll throw it out there come it's prudent for KC's new Oh So Wise GM, Scott Pioli, to select Curry at 1.3, yet if we take him at 1.1 we’re dimwitted? The difference in guaranteed money due the player picked at 1.1, versus the one at 1.3, is not all that substantial...after all, we're talking about NFL play money here. The argument would make sense if Curry was projected to otherwise be chosen at 1.9 or 1.10, as is typical for linebackers, but most of the mocks I've seen have him going to KC at 1.3.

Also, if money is such an issue, why not let our draft time run out, drop down, let St Louis take the LT they so desire at the 1.1, and then take Curry at the 1.2? We were 0-16 last year, has there ever been a team more in need of the best available player more so than the 2009 Lions?

Let’s say we take Stafford, who then signs a megabuck deal, spends half the season on the sideline, with no guarantee he ever becomes the franchise QB we desperately need. In addition, most projections have him falling to SF at 1.10 if we pass on him, making me wonder if we're drafting strictly for need, versus the best player available.

One last point I make, and have seen others make, next year we're likely drafting in the top 5 again, so why not just wait and take a QB then?

Sorry for the long winded post...kudos’ on the blog, and keep up the great work!!

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