Suh at Number Two! But, Why Not ________?

>> 3.30.2010

Yesterday, I argued that Lions should take Ndamukong Suh with the #2 overall pick.  The reasons the Lions should take Suh are numerous: he’s a remarkable, once-every-five-drafts talent at the Lions’ greatest position of need, he’s by all accounts a great person, he’ll make everyone around him better, and he could be the catalyst that transforms the Lions’ defense from “terrible but trying hard” to “hardnosed and effective”.
Suh’s physical presence will command double teams, make Sammie Hill’s job easier, allow Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch to beat tackles man-to-man, and make Gunther’s beloved B-gap blitzes much more effective.  Rotating with Hill, Corey Williams, and Landon Cohen, the Lions should be able to keep all four fresh, and present a variety of effective defensive fronts.

All Images: Icon SMI

* But, why not Russell Okung?

There’s been a clamoring, again, for the Lions to take the best available left tackle—this time, it’s Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung.  Like Jason Smith, Eugene Monroe, Andre Smith, Michael Oher, Joe Thomas, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Alex Barron, and Bryant McKinnie before him, he’s currently getting all the Lions fan love as Any Left Tackle Who Is Not Jeff Backus.
I've said it like sixty-two times, and I’ll say it yet again because it's apt. Russell Okung is everything that Jeff Backus is not: a massively-sized, incredibly agile athlete with the potential to be an elite pass protector.  However, he’s nothing that Jeff Backus is: a tough-as-nails competitor, a savvy veteran, polished in his use of positioning and technique, or an effective run-blocker.

"Yeah," thinks the Lions fan, "but all that stuff is boring and not awesome.  Having a guy who looks, runs and jumps like Shaq at left tackle is awesome!”  Unfortunately for all of the Okung fans, the Lions don’t want to run four-wideout sets fifty snaps a game—they want to run a balanced, traditional offense that can run and pass equally well.  Okung solves a problem, Jeff Backus’ pass protection, that is far from the Lions’ biggest—and he introduces a whole set of weaknesses Jeff Backus doesn’t possess.

Look at this this way: when the Lions were looking at drafting Matthew Stafford, everyone was ranting, raving, crying, and wailing about how the Lions would be making a huge mistake: Stafford was just a big arm and a head of endorsement-worthy hair!  He played too much from the shotgun, didn’t have great TD-to-INT ratios, didn’t “win the big one” like he was supposed to, and he played with first- and second-round talents at RB and WR . . . the objections went on and on and on, with the same underlying theme: he’s a flashy talent who might not excel in the NFL.

Yet somehow, when it comes to left tackles, all Lions fans want is the biggest, flashiest talent in the room.  Shredded upper body, huge vertical leap, blazing 40 time, OMG THE LIONS MUST DRAFT HIM!  Nobody cares if he played almost exclusively in a two-point stance, as Okung did.  Nobody cares if he can run block at all, as Okung rarely had to.  Nobody cares about his technique base, his game film, his consistency, or his work ethic—if he looks like Hercules in an Under Armour singlet, give him forty million dollars!

Unfortunately, all that flashy talent will not translate into "protecting Matthew Stafford", at least not right away.  A guy who’s almost never come out of a three-point stance is going to get beat like a drum as a rookie starter.  He’ll need some time, some coaching, and some seasoning before the Lions will be able to trust him with Matthew Stafford’s health.

Unfortunately, Okung is so trim, agile, and athletic that he wouldn’t be well-suited for playing guard or right tackle—the natural way to season a rookie LT.  Drafting Okung would mean hoping that either Backus or 2008 first-rounder Gosder Cherilus can slide inside and play well, which may or may not be.  Finally, the Lions would then be paying on Backus’ monster 2006 extension, Cherilus’ 2008 first-round contract, and Okung’s sure-to-be-massive #2 overall deal—and at least one of them will be playing out of position.

Look at the transition Jason Smith had to make in 2009: Smith, an athletic two-point LT like Okung, played mostly RT for the Rams in his concussion-shortened rookie season. graded Smith out as a mediocre-to-decent RT in what time he saw. Impressive for a rookie, yes—but if the Lions got 7 games’ worth of “mediocre rotational RT” out of Rusell Okung in 2010, fans would be despondent!

That all having been said, if the Lions truly believe that Okung, or Trent Williams, is a clear-cut, no-doubt, franchise left tackle, and they also truly believe that either Backus or Cherilus can play guard at a high level, or that both of them will be gone in two years, then they have a very difficult choice to make . . . but they should still take SUH AT NUMBER TWO.

* But, why not Gerald McCoy?

McCoy, like Suh, is an explosive, pass-rushing defensive tackle.  He looks a little faster and more agile than Suh, shows much better leg drive off the snap, and many Mouse-and-Keyboard Scouts say McCoy is a more polished, NFL-ready prospect.  Unfortunately, McCoy simply doesn’t fit what the Lions want to do on defense.

You all remember Cory Redding?  McCoy is what the Lions thought they were getting when they made Redding the highest-paid DT in football.  While the 8-sack season Redding had certainly made an impact, Redding was playing in the attacking, one-gap Tampa 2 system, where stopping the run is the linebackers’ job.  In Schwartz’s system, the DTs have to stop the run—and at 295 pounds, McCoy won’t be able to hold the line.

In fact, McCoy would probably play outside on running downs, filling the Kevin-Carter/rumored-Anthony-Hargrove inside-outside role.  I can’t see spending a #2 overall pick on a rotational ‘tweener like that; I’d rather see the Lions draft Okung, or trade back for Haden/Spiller/Morgan, and then pull the trigger on Hargrove, surrendering the third-round pick.

It's true that McCoy *looks* like a more explosive player.  I watched a little bit of Suh, and agreed with the Keyboard-and-Mouse Scouts: he seemed to play slow and high, standing up off the snap instead of bursting forward.  He’d then use his upper-body strength to throw guards around, shedding blocks after the play develops to make tackles.  That won’t translate well to the NFL; even the Lions’ iffy left guards each go 6’-4”+ and 330+.

However, Suh played a lot of read-and-react at Nebraska.  Often, he wasn’t bursting off the line because his role in the defense was to stand and wait.  Schwartz compared Suh and McCoy's differences, and thinks they're partly due to their college defensive schemes, and not their talents.  Talent, scheme, or otherwise, though, there’s no denying the difference in production: Suh, in his senior season, had 82 tackles and 12 sacks.  McCoy, in his junior and senior year combined, had 58 tackles and 12 sacks.

The Lions have been slowly shedding all of these 290-to-300-pound Tampa 2 pass-rushing ‘tweeners since Schwartz took over; I can’t imagine they blow the #2 pick on a really good one, especially if Suh is available.  And, since either Suh will be available, or teams will be calling about Sam Bradford, they won’t.  Tampa Bay will be loitering at #3, waiting for either DT, so essentially, there’s no scenario where McCoy will be a Lion.  SUH AT NUMBER TWO.

* But, why not Eric Berry?

Because that would be super dumb.

I mean, like, duh.


Technorati Tags: nfl,nfl draft,ndamukong suh,russell okung,gerald mccoy,eric berry,detroit lions


odds75to1,  March 30, 2010 at 4:27 PM  

great points ty -- I don't get the anyone but Suh at 2 if he's there!

Pacer,  March 30, 2010 at 6:50 PM  

Hi Ty-Schwartz has already said the Cherilous is not going to be shifted to guard. Schwartz doesn't think Cherilous has the body type to adapt to the guard position. That leaves left guard (Backus)assuming Okung or another LT is selected and assuming the Lions still struggle at LG as they did last year and assuming that the LT selected this year is ready to play this year. That's a lot of assuming.

I have wondered about the "trade down" we have heard re: the Lions. If what you say is correct about Okung's style of play and recalling Mayhew's mention that there were 2 left tackle prospects they thought highly of, might that trade down talk be about the Lions dropping a few spots to get the other OT they are thinking about? Mayhew mentioned that he was pretty sure he was going to get one offer to trade down. If that offer does not come then the pick will probably be Sue.

I am not sure about Suh. Number one, 2 knee injuries already.

Number two, can he adapt from his college style because he is going to have to to be successful with the Lions scheme. It will take some time for that to happen so I doubt that we will not see that much of him in 2010 assuming he is drafted.

Number 3-defensive tackle traditionally is not a value pick at # 2 in the draft. Sue will have to be a once in a decade DT for that value to be realized if the Lions pick him.

Mayhew has his work cut out for him in this draft. I do think that the acquisitions on defense this year will give him greater flexibility to make moves if the opportunity comes around.

Great articles of late-as usual.

OwenXVI,  March 30, 2010 at 8:43 PM  

Ty, you are way too complimentary toward Gerald McBust. He isn't who the Lions "thought" they were signing when they signed Redding. He IS who the Lions signed when they signed Redding.

OwenXVI,  March 30, 2010 at 8:50 PM  

Super dumb - i.e. drafting a real free safety who actually knocks down passes and/or intercepts them, instead of over-running plays, knocking out teammates with hightlight reel hits, and trashtalking better players who are beating you silly.

Weston Corbitt,  March 30, 2010 at 8:50 PM  

McCoy will work in another system but not ours. Remember, we won't expect Suh to shut down the run like you would think, hes only 307 lbs. We want him in the backfield stopping everything that moves. Okung has bust written all over him. Backus didn't play that bad, and with the money we are paying him, might as well keep him around. I would invest in a guard to help Backus out. Raiola isn't an all star but he usually only gets crap for his slightly off the field behavior with the fans.

Notsince57,  March 30, 2010 at 10:09 PM  


I think your arguments all come down to talent evaluation. If the Lion's brass agrees with your take on Suh then there is no discussion. Whatever they opt to do with the Saint's DL will be the telling issue. If they sign him away from NO then they are going OL since that will mean they are burning their 3rd rd pick which should be a guard or RB depending. There is no way they would lock that much money up in the DL.

Matt,  March 31, 2010 at 12:51 AM  

Anyone who thinks the Lions should draft anyone BUT Ndamekong Suh at #2 is a demented and dangerous person who should be locked up away from productive members of society.

Anonymous,  March 31, 2010 at 3:19 AM  

I think the only situation that I would be truley happy with is a trade down. We have so much money tied up in underperforming players (Cherrylust) that "gambling" in the draft at a # 2 with his attached enormous pricetag is not smart financially. Is Suh a once in a 5-Year talent? I dont think so. that kind of person is good thru their entire college career not just the last season. I pray that StL takes Suh and we can trade down with another team that wants Bradford then we can get extra TALENT on this team.

Cesar,  March 31, 2010 at 12:59 PM  

Actually Okung was a very effective run blocker, sure he wasn't called on to run block as often as some others in the NCAA being in the pass happy Big 12 but when they ran the ball he blocked very well. Well enough that the Cowboys led the Big 12 in rushing for every year since Okung became the starter at LT, and while you could use the excuse that the defenses were soft in the Big 12 in 07 and 08 you can't say the same for 09 when they were more than formidable. The only hurdle for Okung is getting comfortable in that 3 point stance coming from 2 point stance. Now don't take this post as saying that Okung should be the pick, because that isn't at all what I think. Ideally I would love for them to be able to trade down from the #2 spot to say 6 or 7 with the Hawks or Borwns but I also realize how much easier that is said than done, but if they stay at 2 than I also believe the pick should be Suh, more so if they get a competent LG. A LG could be all Backus needs to become a better pass protector.

TuffLynx,  March 31, 2010 at 2:43 PM  

Heya Ty,

I am not sure that the Lions are looking at strictly two-gap defensive tackles for the interior line. Certainly Schwartz likes big, strong guys on the inside. But essentially you are looking at five offensive linemen across from four defensive linemen. If you do the math that means only one of them is expected to eat up a double team and protect two gaps. The other DT can easily be a more agile one gap defender playing out of the three-technique.

This is IMO a superior strategy since it allows for more pressure on the quarterback and penetration into the backfield. It is a more disruptive defense. Playing two big line anchor type DT is more about holding the line and letting the play come to you. To me, that just doesn't seem to be the style of Gunther and Schwartz.

If you are arguing that one of the big DTs can get penetration while the other is eating up the double team I can see that I suppose. I can also see making the other team commit the fullback to helping open holes in the defensive line so that your linebackers are more free to react without playing off blocks. So I am not against Suh. I am just saying that I am not so sure that is now Schwartz and Gunny will think. They tend toward aggressive and disruptive defenses. So I would not write off McCoy if I were you.

NorthLeft12,  March 31, 2010 at 3:07 PM  

Is this the Psychic Internet Chat room? Amazing how all these Lions fans KNOW who is going to bust and who isn't. Reality check:You guys don't have a clue. Okung is something else that Backus is...super durable [47 straight starts]. And you think he can't run block because his team led the Big 12 in rushing for all four years he was there? Did they always run away from him? There is no doubt he needs to get better, and he has all the tools to get better. Is our coaching staff able to help him improve? I hope so.

I still agree with taking Suh at # 2, but if they should trade down [doubtful] to Washington at # 4 I would almost expect Okung to be the pick. McCoy would work too, although I guess you are of the opinion that he is too small and weak. Yeah, ask the Guards and Centers he routinely beat about that.

Anonymous,  March 31, 2010 at 3:26 PM  

suh will blow his knee out and be a HUGE BUST.

Detroit should draft McCoy or Okung.

Anonymous,  March 31, 2010 at 3:58 PM  

The Detroit Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew has been working hastingly trying to acquire an Left Guard to fill the void at that slot. If Mayhew manage to fill that slot before the draft, it'll mum all the talk about moving Backus to left Guard in-order to acquire Okung and the keyboard talent evaluators will have to find another excuse for not drafting Ndamukong Suh at the number 2 slot.

As noted by someone else on this Blog, Cherilous doesn't have the frame to play at that Left Guard slot. But; The right Guard slot is different that that of the Left Guard slot; therefore he can play at the Right Guard slot if he's asked to switch. Well, if we move Cherilous to the right guard slot as a result of acquiring Okung to play the Right Tackle slot ( Okung doesn't have the frame to man that position.. Right Tackles are bigger that Left Tackles); what will happen to Peterman at the Right Guard Slot???? Will we release him as a result of acquiring Okung to man the Right Tackle Slot, moving Cherilous to the Right Guard Slot... Leaving Peterman without a position after we recently re-signing him? I don't know about you guys, but I think it's foolish to acquire Okung without a foul proof plan and evaluation.

Now, if we decided to trade down to select Trent Williams... I'll agree, that this move is a possibility.
Will I recommend it??? NO!!!
Why ? Because Suh is an outstanding prospect.

Suh has florished under the tutorledge of Defensive-Line Guru Bo Pelini. Before Pelini arrived in Nebraske; Suh was bottled up under Nebraska's old read-and-react defense, and had 34 tackles -- six for a loss -- as a sophomore. But; In his first season with the Pelini brothers' attack-and-smother approach in 2008, Suh had 7½ sacks and 19 tackles for loss while coming off consecutive knee injuries. Suh has became the first Nebraska lineman to lead the team in tackles in 35 years, with 76 stops.

He did it despite sitting out of spring practice with a knee injury. The Pelinis were influenced by his enthusiam even then; They knew how good Suh could be. Most injured players drift off to the background, ride a stationary bike, watch the drills from a distance. Instead, Carl Pelini stated that Suh was in his ear and over his shoulder asking questions and going over offensive break-downs. Pelini stated that he could see the wheels churning in Suh's head.

Suh was determined not to fall behind. Carl pelini knew Suh has unique abilities for a Defensive Tackle. Suh was one of the strongest guys Pelini has ever seen on the field. Carl stated that Suh has great explosion, and despite all that, he moves like a basketball player. ( the combine should be evident of that)

Yet, we have Detroit Lions fans who want to by-pass a well-determine and focused prospect for someone who does not fit our scheme on Defense ( McCoy) and a prospect who does not fit our scheme on Offense ( Okung). These same fans look for are willing to lift every rock and stone to find a flaw in Suh's game in order to justify prejudice.

Oh... "Traditionally Defensive Tackles are not valued at the Number 2 pick"... I'll challenge that thought by asking these Keyboard Talent evaluators why? Why hasn't a guy like Suh warranted the number 2 pick?; after he has proven himself to be a very productive collegiate player. Yeah, I'll agree that Suh's production on the field was up against players in the collegiate ranks... But, everyone one of these prospects that we're clamouring over are from teh collegiate ranks and none of these guys are guaranteed pro-bowlers.

Is it because of the knee injury that happen 3 years ago? Well, did these guys stop and think about the 1000 dollar knee brace that someone invented to protect the knees of "ALL" interior lineman ( this knee brace was created because all interior lineman experience knee problems one time or another)

Ty,  March 31, 2010 at 4:00 PM  


Yeah, I don't think Backus or Cherilus is well-suited to guard. I also don't think Lewand or the Fords would be excited about paying either one of them top-notch OT money to play iffy guard.

There would be a smorgasbord of players the Lions would be happy with from 1.4 to 1.10 or so . . . I don't doubt that at least one of the top OTs is on the menu in that range.

On the knees: again, unless they're coming directly off of a major injury (like Artose Pinner), or have chronic recurrences of/complications from the same injury, you can't mark down prospects for medical stuff. If a player is currently injury-free, has no known residual structural issues, and was insanely productive in 2009, you have to assume he's fine.

His development will take time anyway; look at Mario Williams. Rookie defensive linemen VERY rarely make immediate impacts.

Thanks for the kudos!


Ty,  March 31, 2010 at 4:13 PM  

Owen XVI--

I do think McCoy *could* *develop* into an impact starter somewhere, just not here; he is a legit first-round prospect. Suh, though, has the look of a truly dominant three-down disruptor, an All-Pro caliber player. To me it's the difference between Calvin Johnson and, say, Dewayne Bowe--Bowe's a nice player and everything, good tools, great potential . . . but Calvin Johnson is f'n Megatron and it seems inevitable that he'll be dominant wherever he goes.


Ty,  March 31, 2010 at 4:16 PM  


By the way, I couldn't parse how many layers of sarcasm you had going there. Do you see Berry as a 'real' free safety, or as an overrunning showboater? I feel like Berry's upside is basically Louis Delmas, and the Lions already have Louis Delmas--and his downside is Panthers SS/OLB Thomas Davis, and the Lions don't need Thomas Davis . . . so, why?


Ty,  March 31, 2010 at 4:42 PM  


See here's the thing, Suh and Hill at 307 and 330 can stop the run together, much like Kevin and Pat Williams stop the run at 311 and "317". Hill takes up the double-team, and Suh is soloed against the guard--I like Suh in that matchup.

But, if McCoy comes in there at 295, he's just not bulky or strong enough to win one-on-ones in the run game.


Ty,  March 31, 2010 at 4:49 PM  


I actually disagree with you. Signing Hargrove, or not, won't impact what they do with Suh. Suh's going to be maximized as an interior disruptor, where Hargrove can play the Kevin Carter outside/inside role. Picture, against the run:

Hargrove (295), Suh (305), Hill (330), KVB (270)


Hargrove (295), Williams (320), Hill (330), KVB (270)

and then against the pass:

KVB (270), Hargrove (295), Suh (305), Avril (260)


Hargrove (295) Suh (305), Williams (320), Avril (260)

. . . you have to be thinking about rotations and combinations, and you also have to be thinking about how terrible the Lions' defensive line has been. IMO, no signing the Lions make will "mean" anything about the draft, especially not the first pick.

As I said before, you give someone $40M guaranteed, it's not a date, it's a marriage--and girlfriends can be dumped whenever, but wives are 'until death'.


OwenXVI,  March 31, 2010 at 5:16 PM  

I think it would be a huge mistake to overlook drafting Berry solely because we have Delmas. I like Louis Delmas, but he showed a little too much 'Ernie Sims' in his game, for my liking - i.e. out-of-control, always looking for the big hit. I'd like one of my safeties to actually be able to cover recievers and prevent opposing QBs from having career days at my team's expense. Actually, I think Delmas and Berry could be quite an awesome tandem. One guy as a head hunter, and the other as the ball-hawk.

To me, other than Ndamukong Suh, Eric Berry's presence would have the greatest positive impact on our defense over all of the other guys people talk about.

OwenXVI,  March 31, 2010 at 5:22 PM  

People that are acting like Suh's weight (307 lbs.) is too light for Jim Schwartz should keep in mind that Albert Haynesworth only weighed 317 lbs. at his proday. I'm sure Schwartz knows that ...

allstarplaya55x,  March 31, 2010 at 5:44 PM  

its quite simple, if St. Louis picks a Quarterback, you take Suh, if St. Louis takes Suh, you either take Okung or trd back, get Okung and another few picks Berry, not a necessity with pick #2, Mccoy is overrated, stubborn, what was it 26 reps!? pathetic!

Anonymous,  March 31, 2010 at 8:51 PM  


Jim Schwartz recently had this to say about Defensive-Tackles and who you should draft one early if he's available... Quote "You start with the size, the girth, and that's the first [prerequisite] to play the position. That alone makes it hard to locate guys. Then you throw in all the other stuff -- strength, quickness, the ability to anchor [versus the run] -- and it gets even harder."

What was stated refers to the Planet Theory; Coach Jim Schwartz, will influence Mayhew to jump on Suh with the second overall pick; for the reason that the "planet theory" espoused by late New York Giants general manager George Young and Bill Parcells to justify taking Defensive-Tackle Ndamukong Suh.

In its simplest form, the planet theory holds that there are a finite number of 300-pounders on Planet Earth, and that you've got to consider one selecting one at the top of the draft if one becomes available to you; no matter where your selecting.

Richard Seymour anyone???

Pacer,  March 31, 2010 at 11:31 PM  

Anonymous-the quote you gave from Schwartz is contained in the following article. If you read the entire article the rationale for not picking a DT at or near the top of the draft is explained.

Because of the dollars paid out the "value' positions" at the top of the draft are considered to be QB, left tackle, wide receiver and (middle) linebacker. That is because, for the most part, those positions are considered to affect the game more than any other position. Also, the history of picking DT's at the top of the draft is shown in this article to be very spotty.

You have to have a very strong belief a DT at that spot is going to be a once in a decade performer and if you do then, in this case, you pick your flavour-Suh or McCoy. And that is what I think the Lions are going to do-probably Sue.

If this draft had at the # 2 a choice of Sue or say Joe Thomas, both considered to be complete players at their position, you had better believe the Lions would choose Thomas and worry about Backus and his contract later.

TimT,  April 1, 2010 at 8:58 AM  

Ty I disagree with quite a bit of what you're saying, but...


That is all.

TimT,  April 1, 2010 at 9:13 AM  

I had to scour the TLF board for my research last year, but here's a little info on Smith:

Jason Smith: 6' 5" 309
Spent sophomore and junior years of high-school at OT.
Converted to TE in senior year.
Recruited as TE by Baylor.
Red-shirted first year.
Played as TE his rookie year.
Converted back to OT for his final 3 years. (5th year senior)
His 39 college starts are; LT=24, RT=7, TE=8
Played injured junior year.
Was surrounded by a good group of veterans his senior year.

The point to be made on Smith is what? Raw. Talented, athletic, room to grown... yada yada yada.... but he was/is a raw, developmental athlete.

It's unfair to compare him to Okung. I don't have his history as well documented as Smith's, but he has much more experience as an OT.

Anonymous,  April 1, 2010 at 9:44 AM  

Pacer --

The point I was trying to make; coincides with Jim Schwartz's revelations on the issue at hand. Schwartz believes in the Planet Theory and how you "DON"T" pass on a guy like Suh if he's there... The entire article that you posted for us to read is not the opinion of Jim Schwartz, but rather the opinion of a beat writer; someone who does not know how to evaluate prospects on a constant basis.

The money that the top 3 picks will earn should not be the determining factor when selecting a prospect; rather the determining factor should and always will be, because the guy has the potention to be an elite "Prospect" ( Key word here). Therefore your inclination does not hold water here... The entire draft selection process is a crap-shoot; it's not guaranteed. All you can do is rely on your Talent Evaluators to make that assessment; Not key-board talent evaluators. Rather it's a Quarterback, Left Tackle, Wide Receiver or Middle-Linebacker... Missing out on a prospects Like Suh ( A guy with a proven track-record in college -- Set college records for a Defensive-Tackle) for the reason that someone has made up this assinine rule about the top 3 picks... Is retarded to say the least.

Spotty???? Really??? Here's the truth and a brief history on the Defensive-Tackles selected in the top 3 picks.. Since 1990 -- 9 Defensive-Tackles have been taken in the top 1-5 picks. ( Where the Lions will be selecting and what this discussion is bases upon)
Cortez Kennedy 3rd pick 1990 Seahawks -- Played 167 games and 7 time Pro-Bowler
Russell maryland 1st pick 1991 Cowboys -- Played 154 games and 1 Pro-bowl
Steve Emtmann 1st pick 1992 Colts -- Played 50 games and 0 Pro-bowls ( neck injury ended his career)
Sean Gilbert 3rd pick 1992 Rams -- Played in 147 games and 1 Pro-bowl
Dan Wilkerson 1st pick 1994 Bengals -- Played in 195 games and 0 Pro-bowls Wasn't a bust but rather a pre-draft hype because someone televised him jumping over a table to display his athleticism... Solid NFL caliber player, he just didn't deserve the number 1 pick -- more like a top 7-10 pick.
Darrell Russell 2nd pick 1997 Raiders -- Played in 82 games and 2 pro-bowls. -- He started out Fast and extremely good, but drugs took his career. ( Bust because of personal issues not football skills)
Gerard Warren 3rd pick 2001 Browns -- Played in 91 games and 0 pro-bowls -- BUST!!
Dewayne Robertson 4th pick 2003 Jets -- Played in 61 games and 0 pro-bowls -- BUST!!
Glenn Dorsey 5th pick 2008 Chiefs -- Played in the 3-4 as a DE

2 Bust
1 Personal undoing
1 Career Injury
5 Solid players

Anonymous,  April 1, 2010 at 12:28 PM  

I just hope that the Lions pick the best player available from THEIR list with the 2nd pick, who if the media assessments are correct will probably be Suh.

But picking Berry, someone who can play CB and Safety, may offer more from a strategic standpoint, especially if they can also add some effective CBs. Namely, it would open up the entire blitz package (e.g. delayed corner blitzes) for use in games, and therefore reduce the amount of time an opposing QB has to operate (e.g. N.O. vs Indy in last superbowl). The opposing team will always know where Suh is lined up and what they have to do to stop him but a blitz can come from various directions and can be a complete surprise. This is the very reason more teams are going to the 3-4 defense because it makes it more difficult for the offense to pick up the pass rushers.

Good QBs on good teams can always unload the ball before a frontal assault with the 4 defensive lineman can get to them, but constant, effective blitzing can disrupt their timing, lead to mistakes, and lay them on their back. However, a frontal assault on mediocre QBs or good QBs on mediocre offenses will do the same.

Which brings up a point regarding Stafford and protection from the LT. The quicker Stafford learns to unload the football before a pass rush the better off he will be and the better off the entire offensive line will be. The coaches/managers should not just expect any LT to do an impossible job, but rather, should ensure that Stafford has the supporting personnel so he can unload the ball and avoid a pass rush.

Ty,  April 1, 2010 at 2:07 PM  

Okay, Anon, everybody, I'm going to post about the DL, Planet Theory, et. al.

Lots and lots and lots of good stuff in here, folks!


Ty,  April 2, 2010 at 8:56 AM  


"Ty I disagree with quite a bit of what you're saying, but..."

Care to elaborate? Heh, or maybe save it for my next defensive line post, coming soon.

As far as Jason Smith goes, my comparison was based on three factors:

1) Size and body type: huge, lean, athletic

2) College offense: pass-heavy spread, primarily used for two-point stance pass blocking.

3) Talk of taking him at the very very top of the draft when he's not really an all-around, can't-miss Joe Thomas type.


Anonymous,  April 2, 2010 at 9:20 PM  

Yo Ty,

There’s one major reason that today’s NFL has an reemergence of the 3-4 defense. And that reason is simple; the “Planet Theory” of Bill Parcells and the late George Young.

Roughly, there is only a limited supply of athletic big men who are as athletic as Defensive-Tackle Ndamukong Suh on the planet, so according to Bill parcells; those players should be coveted and hoarded for the reason that these Athlete's are the hardest to find.

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