Monday, March 10, 2008

draft picks/position

Problems with the NFL Draft Coverage. Actual survey on NFL.com. Notice anything missing?

"Franchise building"

"If you were a GM, what offensive position would you build your team around?"
QB
RB
TE
WR

Yup. The most important one. Offensive Line!! I read the intro and immediately said out loud "O-Line" - only to discover it wasn't there. Sad, sad day when the official site of the NFL doesn't include the line when listing offensive positions.

Interesting quote from Peter King that I thought would be appreciated:

"Just because a team has $30 million in cap room (Jaguars) is no reason to let it burn a hole in the cap guy's pocket. In studying a lot of the free-agent contracts Tuesday morning, I've seen a few of these. The Lions had annual trouble getting Damien Woody to be serious about his weight, and they ended up throwing a parade when he left town; the Jets guaranteed him $11 million after four hugely disappointing years in Detroit. I realize teams are trying to improve. Sometimes I think they fall too in love with a player and go beyond what makes sense, even in a senseless market."

Glad the Lions finally sat out the senseless part and made fiscally sound signings that make sense in filling team needs.

Lions picks in the 2008 draft:
1st Round (15)
2nd Round (45)
3rd Round (76)
3rd Round (87)
4th Round (107)
5th Round (136)
6th Round (167)
7th Round (198)


Compensatory picks will change these numbers, but I doubt the Lions will get one this year. I do think they will next year.

Thanks for the updates once again. Tonight, I decided to tackle an exercise I may revisit again a time or two before the draft. It is based on the premise that when and where the Lions actually pick on draft day will look nothing like what is currently posted on this site.

Background: There is one talent (as I mentioned yesterday) essential to be a great GM that Millen has down pat: the art of the Draft Day Trade. While the players he has taken with his picks can be debated, his ability to move around the draft board is uncanny, and only NE sees to be able to move around as well as Det right now. Take 2007 as the prime example of Millen at his best.

* He traded BMW and McCown (both players likely to be cut) and offloaded them to Oak for a 4th rounder. NE gave up a 4th for Randy Moss. Oakland gave up a 4th for the above.

* With the James Hall trade (another person who was likely to be cut - and has been already this offseason from his new team.) he got a 5th.

* In other, similar trades he picked up 4 more for a total of 6 5th round picks.

* He also picked up an additional 3rd.

In the end, the draft board looked like this (From Detroit Lions official website):

Round - Pick - Player
1 - 2 - Johnson, Calvin
2 - 34 - Choice to Buf
2 - 43 - Stanton, Drew(from Buf)
2 - 58 - Alama-Francis, Ikaika(from NO)
2 - 61 - Alexander, Gerald(from Bal)
3 - 66 - Choice to NO
3 - 74 - Choice to Bal
4 - 101 - Choice to Jax thru Bal
4 - 105 - Davis, A.J.(Choice from Arz thru Oak)
4 - 117 - Ramirez, Manny
5 - 139 - Choice to StL
5 - 145 - Choice to NO
5 - 154 - Choice to StL
5 - 158 - Baldwin, Johnny(from Den)
5 - 176 - Choice to Min thru Den
5 - 212 - Choice to Dal thru NYJ
6 - 255 - Robinson, Ramzee

Millen turned a bunch of 5ths and one extra 4th into 3 2nds, 2 4ths, and one 6th. If I told you last March "Yeah, well, I think the Lions are going to pick a DE, a QB, and a S in the 2nd" I'd have been laughed out of town for A. the Picks and B. Three picks in round 2? Like any team is gonna pull that off.

4 picks in the first 61. Don't be surprised to see Millen move around again this year. After the picks he got last year, I can see him trying to turn the extra 3rd and a 5th (like with NO last year) into an additional 2nd rounder.

I have some thoughts on the subject, but they are only half formed. I'll let the next questions I ask stew a while, and would like to hear how you answer them. In a future post I will revisit what everyone says, and clarify my feelings.

1. Is there "value" for any position of need for the Lions at pick 15?
-- If yes, which players do you think fit that spot in the draft, and fill one of the Lions' key needs (where they need a guy who can start this year): DT, OT, MLB, DE, RB and can they get a similar option later, thus causing the later pick of similar talent to have more value for that position?

2. If No --- Which of the following would you do?
A. Package a 3rd (or other realistic trade scenario please - no Madden style trades) and move up to get one super-impact player a la Jake Long, Glenn Dorsey, or Vernon Gholston if they drop out of the top 5?
B. Move down and pick up another extra 3rd or late 2nd? And if you take the 3rd, would you package it to move back into the 2nd, or possibly even the end of the first, to get someone? Who/what position? And what position would you target with the lesser 1st round pick?
C. Screw "value" and take whatever guy is best at whatever position you need if you can't get a reasonable trade down and give Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock heart attacks with your "galling" reach. Who would you take?

In case it wasn't obvious in option 1, I'm talking about if Stewart and/or Mendenhall are available, is it better value to take them there, or go with option 2 and pick up a back who is almost as good later and bolster the rest of your roster? If the Bears, as I think they will, take Mendenhall or Stewart at 14 and the other runner falls to Detroit -- then I think the 15th spot will have a lot of value as there is a string of RB needy teams a few picks below the Lions. They know Millen will take him and critics be darned, and all it takes is for him to get one team to bite...and he has shown he can do it.

Can't wait to see your responses, and I will update with my thoughts as well.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

New to your blog, but great insite. As for the subject, IMO it also depends on what other positions are available. Some team might jump at Jenkins, LB, if he slips or jump at one of the top CB's, not just a RB. The 15th spot this year could have great value. It will have more value than the 2nd pick last year because of the lower price tab. Even if you stay put at 15 you can get a instant starter. Keep up the very good articles. Some of the ones on Mlive are so negative that it is nice to find a site that actual discussion can take place. THANK YOU.

Anonymous said...

IF, and thats a big if, One of those super three (Long, Dorsey or Ghoulston) slips ot of the top seven, which is unlikely, I would probably try to move up. However, it would have to be out of the top seven, as we need to conserve cap space for the future. If none of the serious needs fall to 15th I would definitely be game to move down and grab another 2nd or 3rd. We could grab Connor and then another back like Forte or Smith in the late 2nd or 3rd. Then we could use our 2nd for an OT.

DetFan1979 said...

You're right about the cap hit. It is around the 7th - 10th pick that the contracts become more reasonable, it seems. Thanks for pointing that out!

Comment 1, I think you are spot on about the 15th holding greater trade value. Teams seem to really trade more starting around 15 and down into the 20's. Good addition about teams wanting to trade up for someone other than a RB.

Riley said...

Of all the bad things we could say about Millen's management of the lions, I don't actually think drafting has been one of them. I think he's just been extremely unlucky in that regard.

At the time of the draft, most people thought Millen's picks were better than average.

In 2001, his first year, Millen did what you'd expect a GM wanting to rebuild a franchise to do, he drafted linemen: OT, Center, and DT. Everyone thought these were great picks and they didn't turn out too bad. Backus has been somewhat disappointing, but Raola and Rogers turned out better than expected.

In 2002, Millen did the next thing you'd expect a GM to do to rebuild a team, he drafted a QB. No one questioned Joey Harrington's talent to be a quality starting QB at the time of the draft, in fact, the only question seemed to be whether or not Quentin Jammer would be a better pick. DE, Kalimba Edwards was considered another solid pick, both based on talent and the needs of a rebuilding team.

In 2003, Charles Rogers looked to be the perfect 3rd piece to add to the rebuilding team. And most everyone thought Boss Bailey was a steal in the draft, while Corey Redding appears to have really been a steal in the third round.

In 2004, picking up Roy Williams, Kevin Jones, Teddy Lehman, and Alex Lewis should have capped off a solid looking team full of talent, but the foundation was crumbling because to everyone's surprise: Harrington and Kalimba weren't starting quality players and Charles Rodgers never got a chance to even play more than a down or two.

Less of a surprise, but still unluckily, Boss Bailey couldn't seem to stay healthy, then Teddy Lehman gets injured after a very promising first season, and soon after that Kevin Jones, who was emerging as a superior RB gets seriously injured.

The 2005 Draft was the only draft that, at the time of the draft, Millen's draft choices appeared to be below average.