Monday, April 30, 2007

Underwhelming + Strange + Odd + Confusing - Common Sense = The Detroit Lions 2007 Draft

Matt Millen is an idiot. That's a given.

But he's also an idiot savant. He's the Rainman of the NFL. Millen is capable of doing one thing well, and one thing only. He has an innate talent for maneuvering up and and down in the draft, gathering extra picks as he goes. Somehow, someway, Millen was able to end up with 3 picks in the 2nd round, yet still keep the 2nd overall.

Unfortunately, a problem then arises with those extra picks.

The problem? He becomes an idiot again. A flaming, short bus riding, helmet wearing, mouth breathing idiot.

I have no issues with the Lions taking Calvin Johnson. Millen's normal brain fog lifted momentarily, allowing him one moment clarity over the weekend. He just as quickly lost all lucidity, reverting back into his Millen-fog, going by the results of the later rounds.

With 4 picks in the 1st and 2nd rounds, you would expect 4 starters, right? Not so fast, Lions fans. Every pick from the 2nd round on appeared, to my eyes, to be either a reach, a project, or both.

Millen parlayed those 4 picks into...

1. A starting WR, Calvin Johnson, who was a no brainer pick. Plug Johnson in the starting lineup, and pencil him in for a Herman Moore-like 100+ catches, 1200+ yards, and 10+ TD's every season. (One quick aside. For those who wonder if there will be enough balls to go around to keep Johnson, Roy Williams, and Mike Furrey happy, just look at the stats for the 1995 and 1996 Lions. If it can be done with Scott Mitchell under center, it can with Jon Kitna.)

2a. Drew Stanton, a QB that has ability, but whose coach at MSU was nearly as big a buffoon as Millen. Stanton shouldn't see the field for a good 2 years. If he even sniffs the field during the regular season, the Lions have issues. What am I saying? The Lions already have issues.

2b. Ikaika Alama- Francis, a defensive end from that defensively stalwart school...Hawaii? Francis is so raw that he makes Kalimba Edwards look polished. Look under "Project" in the Wikipedia, and you'll see the pict...Hell, you already know the joke...

2c. Gerald Alexander, a corner turned safety who is supposed to be a prototype Tampa 2 DB. A safety that is a prototype Tampa 2 player? Where have I heard that same line before? I know, I know! Last year, when Daniel Bullocks was drafted. The Lions 2nd round pick from 2006, who plays the same exact position! The Lions now have a big money free agent (Kenoy Kennedy) and 2 high draft picks at safety. That's all well and good, but who in the living Hell is going to play corner? Or linebacker, for that matter?!

This would be a great draft...If you were a playoff team that could afford to take chances, and wait on your picks to develop. A 3 win team doesn't have that luxury.

For a GM going into his 7th season, with none previous even remotely close to finishing .500, you would think that he needs to win now. But this draft leaves me with a question.

Where is the urgency?

The fanbase is out of patience. They have been for decades. So is the MSM. Yet the Lions draft as if they are getting a pass for this coming season. They might be getting a pass from the old man, William Clay Ford. In fact, I'm sure Ford is giving them a pass for this season.

From everyone else? Millen and Marinelli are on notice. Win, or else. Unfortunately, the only opinion that matters is Ford's. Which means at least 1 more season of a coach spewing platitudes about character and hard work, and weird ass drafting by an idiot savant GM.

Sgt. Marinelli claims he can "Coach up" his kind of players. Marinelli continually keeps preaching that he wants players with "Football character."

It would help those players actually had talent to go with that "Character."


  1. As an outsider, I'm excited to see what Martz does with those awesome receivers.

  2. That pretty much echoes my problems with the first day selections, Al. Johnson was a given at #2 and honestly you could try to blame Millen if CJ busts somehow, but there are 31 other NFL teams that would kill to have him who all think he's going to be a perennial Pro Bowler.

    Stanton, the Hawaiian and Alexander? Ugh. What about a CB? Davis (the fourth rounder) might be able to step in as a nickelback, but who the hell is going to be the other starting CB. And THAT assumes Fernando Bryant stays healthy.

    I WANT to believe Marinelli and Barry know what they're doing with the defense, but I'm skeptical. If the OL stays even relatively healthy, I think the offense could be special. And if we win a bunch of 37-31 games I could certainly deal with that, but I'm very, very, very scared about this pass defense. Very scared.

  3. This year, the #2 pick probably wasn't as obvious as in past years, so I suppose Millen does deserve credit for picking Johnson.

    But on the whole, I don't think any GM with a top five selection should get credit for a good draft pick because they're supposed to be good players. Unfortunately, Millen is the counter-argument to that theory. So okay, he gets a cookie for taking the best player in the draft.

    GMs make their reputation later in the draft, and for everyone who said Millen had to get extra picks, he showed just how inept he is when he has those opportunities to build a team.

  4. Have people thought about the fact that it will take at least three years to turn this team into a winner AFTER Millen leaves? At least Calvin Johnson might make them fun to watch. Still, the thought of four or five more years of high draft picks, bad seasons, and embarrassments on Thanksgiving don't sound too fun...