Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Searching for Derrick Brooks

I'm spread out on the couch Saturday, feeling crap ass with a head cold, flipping channels, waiting for the Lions 1st round pick. Thru the fog of illness, I become aware that Matt Leinart is dropping down the draft board. Then the Pack picks Hawk and the Raiders take Huff. I begin to see things a little more clearly, that Leinart is going to be there for the Lions at 10. Then I hear this from Tags...

"With the 10th pick of the 2006 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions take Ernie Sims, linebacker, Free Shoes University Florida State University."

Yes, I'm aware that the current linebacking core consists of Boss Baily, who's knees are worse than Steve Yzerman's, Teddy Lehman, who was hurt most of last season and is named "Teddy," and a bunch of special team types with nicknames like "Dirty." So front 7 help was needed, especially with Big Daddy Wilkinson pondering retirement. But linebacker was a relatively deep positon in this draft, a solid one could have been found later in the draft. So, do you take an undersized outside linebacker who shoved his girlfriend around, and takes a head shot as well as Eric Lindros, with the #9 overall pick? Especially when a possible franchise QB is sitting there for the taking? If you are Matt Millen and Rod Marinelli, the answer is a resounding "YES!"

Obviously, this pick has Gunnery Sergeant Hartman's Marinelli's fingerprints all over it. Marinelli wants a 2006 version of Derrick Brooks. It didn't help that Millen has to be QB gunshy after the Harrington debacle. No one knows what Mike Martz wanted, as he is under some sort of gag order. So the Lions take the conservative route, and tag Sims. I hate myself for saying this, but they SHOULD HAVE TAKEN MATT LEINART! Pretty boy or not, Leinart is a proven winner. Sims is a proven Merril Hoge in the making.

I would have loved to see what that noted QB mastermind Martz could have done with Leinart. Alas, we'll never know, as the Lions have hitched their wagon to Kitna and McCown. I have this ugly feeling in my gut, and it's not a virus. You know the feeling. It's that Lion fans will look upon Erine Sims the way we looked upon Terry Fair. You know what we all said... "The Lions picked Fair when they could have taken Randy Moss. What were they thinking?" Just replace Fair and Moss with Sims and Leinart.

As for the rest of the draft. I'm far from a draftnik, but I'm still pondering why the Lions took Brian Calhoun in the 3rd round. Sure, he put up great stats at Wisky, but how many Badger RB's have panned out in the NFL? You're more likely to get the next Ron Dayne than the next Alan Ameche. You spend a #3 pick, someone who should compete for a starting spot, on a backup running back? A retrun man? A change of pace 3rd down guy? Millen at his finest. How many halfbacks do you need? At current roster count, the magic number is 5.

Safety Daniel Bullocks in the 2nd? My only thought was that Nebraska's defense sucked, how good could he be? Again, a case of Marinelli looking for hard hitting character guys. But can he cover?

As for the rest of the draft, your guess is as good as mine. The O-line needed help, and 2 linemen were picked on the 2nd day. But both Scott and Matua went on the 2nd day for a reason, correct? They are more likely to be depth guys than starters. In regard to Cannon and McCann, the Hell if I know if they are any good. Go ask Mel Kiper.

The final thought in regard to the Lions 2006 NFL Draft comes from an anonymous caller I heard on sports talk radio. I'll paraphrase...

"When I heard both Hawk and Huff were gone, that meant Millen had to think. I knew then that the Lions were in trouble."


  1. I think two things screwed the Lions up during the draft:

    1) The Philadelphia Eagles taking Winston Justice at #39, one pick before the Lions' selection. So the Lions moved down the board to safety, which was apparently the next highest-rated position (even though they may have gotten one in the third round).

    2) Not having a 4th-round pick. I'm betting that stopped them from trading up (maybe ahead of the Eagles for Justice, the Texans for Eric Winston, or even the Raiders for Darnell Bing).

    In the meantime, I'm just going to cross my fingers and hope that the Lions don't regret passing on Leinart or Cutler because they already had Jon Kitna and Josh McCown. You think Dennis Green considers Leinart an upgrade over McCown?

  2. Green does know QB's, even if he did have John Navarre start a few games. Call that temporary insanity.

    Leinart has a better pedigree, and he sure as hell will sell more tickets than McCown ever would. Leinart would have been the #1 overall ig he left school last season, so there is something the NFL sees. I bet Leinart is starting by game 8. It'll be just like the NY Giants-Manning situation for Warner.