And the 2009 BTSC Community Mock Draft is officially under way. Many thanks to steelerark, one of the site's longest standing readers. I'll be interested to hear the feedback on the selection, not to mention eager to see what the Lions will actually do this coming April now that Matt Millen is no longer in the picture to botch things in Motown. Many thanks to steelerark for the thoughtful write up. That means the St. Louis Rams and PsychoSalameh are on the clock. For those who don't have it, be sure to stow away my email address of firstname.lastname@example.org for when it's your turn to select. Thanks! - Blitz-
When looking at the Lions, it's hard not to see failure just about everywhere you look. There are so many holes on this team it's hard to imagine how Matt Millen kept his job for so long. Very few teams have had as many draft busts as the Detroit Lions over the years. I decided to just round it off and go back 10 years through the draft to see just how they have done. It is not pretty. Discounting the 2008 pick Gosder Cherilus, only 3 first round picks are starting. As a matter of fact, those three are the only three that are still on the team.
Mike Williams, Charles Rodgers, Stockar McDougle and Chris Claiborne are not even in football any more. Joey Harrington is considered one of the all time busts, mainly due to the enormous expectations placed on him at the time. Roy Williams was successful and was dealt to Dallas for several picks, including the 20th pick I will use later on in this draft. Jeff Backus, Millen's first pick, has been a good tackle for the team, starting in 128 straight games since joining the team. He has no Pro Bowls, but still has provided consistency and stability at the left tackle spot for most of the decade. Ernie Sims has been great at linebacker, and of course, everyone who follows football knows who Calvin Johnson is.
The Lions have had the same lack of success with the second round with three second rounders still on the team. And as for third round picks, literally no one besides 2008 pick Kevin Smith (and again, I'm discounting the 2008 draft since it's too early to assign bust/success status) is left on the team. The poor quality of the Lions drafting process is astounding, and it showed in the won/loss column. No team was worse than Detroit in the last ten years. In the seven years Millen was president, the Lions set several dubious records including posting the first 0-16 season (although Millen was fired 3 games into the season) and being the first team in NFL history to lose every road game 3 seasons in a row for a streak of 24 games.
So that's what I'm dealing with. A team coming off of an historically horrible season with literally nowhere to go but up. There are just so many holes that it was hard to know where to begin. I can tell you where I am not going, and that is quarterback. My pick will not be Matthew Stafford. I've seen Matt play up close and have watched many Georgia games on TV being an SEC fan. While I believe that he has a chance to be successful in the league, I just don't think that the Lions can afford to take a chance on a guy with so many question marks. He is very inconsistent. He's got a 57% completion percentage in 2+ years. At the collegiate level, even in the defensively stout SEC, that's not a high mark.
Now don't get me wrong. Again, I'm not saying that Matt won't be successful. I'm just saying that a team that has had so much draft failure for so long just can't afford to reach concerning the most important position on the team.
Going back to the '99 draft, 29 quarterbacks have been drafted in the 1st round. 12 of those started last year. That's 42%. 2 of those starters were rookies, Ryan and Flacco. Russell is still struggling to gain respect in Oakland and even Cutler's future in Denver is hazy (although he will definitely start wherever he ends up). The list of busts is huge, Harrington, There is just too much uncertainty at quarterback for the Lions to spend this first overall pick on a guy like Stafford.
This has been labeled a draft with no clear cut superstar that stands out as a definite #1 overall. That's why I'm going to go with a guy who has looked like a sure fire, can't lose prospect.
Jason Smith - OT, Baylor
I had been planning to go with Curry since the combine, but last week's trade for Julian Peterson threw a wrench in my plot. It seems as if they are really setting up to draft elsewhere and I believe that they will now go with Smith or Stafford However, I think that they should draft Curry and move him inside, where he has publicly stated that he has always had a desire to play MLB and that he would love to play with Peterson...
I just don't think that they will. Acquiring Peterson has really pissed me off, as I've done all my research on Curry and how he would affect the team. But, it is what it is. Jason Smith weighs in at 6'5", 310lbs.
I'm not going to pretend like I know a lot about him since he is from the football powerhouse that is Baylor, so here is his NFL.com proflile...
Next up: St. Louis Rams - PsychoSalameh