not looking so bare this year
Those of you who’ve been reading for a while have, I hope, been waiting for my Old Mother Hubbard series, where I review the performance of every Lion on the roster with a chance to make the next roster. It begins soon, enhanced with film grades from Pro Football Focus. I do my own film review, too, but they grade every snap—and moreover, they do it for the entire league. As the Lions’ roster has improved, it’s vital that we compare it to the rest of the league for context.
Before, we knew that the Lions were at the bottom of the NFL in terms of talent. We knew the roster was flatly awful. But it’s been so long since we’ve seen truly competitive football in Detroit, judging the Lions against only themselves no longer makes sense. So, this year’s Old Mother Hubbard will try to compare every Lion’s 2010 performance to their counterparts across the NFL. If I do it right, it’ll be like a statistical combine, for veterans.
Ah, that’s right, the NFL combine—it’s this weekend. All of this year’s prospective draft picks—save a few at the very top, and a few at the very bottom—will be doing drills and jumps and lifts and sprints this weekend in Indianapolis. More importantly, they’ll be getting their medical evaluations, and be doing their personal interviews.
All of your favorite writers and reporters are down there to cover it live, from Michael Schottey to Dave Birkett to Peter King. Also, follow Will Carroll, who besides being awesome knows Indy—and everyone in the industry. Also, follow me, @lionsinwinter—because if you like my blogging, you’ll likely like my Tweeting. Don’t forget to read Tom Kowalski’s articles (and watch his vlogs) at Mlive.com, and for general NFL-wide combine updates, the folks at Scout.com just kill it every year.
As for the NFL combine, you can follow it live at NFL.com, as well as on NFL Network. I always make time for the OL and DL position drills, and I suggest you do, too. Also, the bench presses are fun to watch; the strength coach who usually oversees it is a real character.
As for the Lions, well, I haven’t built out their shopping list for this season yet. But, for the first time in years, they’ll actually be drafting for depth instead of for starters. They’ll be drafting players to sit and learn instead of step in and start. They’ll be drafting players now to be major parts of their future—you know, like real teams do. In a way, it’s not as exciting; without free agency, we’ll be desperate to hear about lots of new starters coming in the door. In another way, it’s much more exciting—it means the cupboard isn’t bare anymore.