I have been horrible about commenting on your comments - my apologies. I do read them as they float in during the day, but usually don't have time to respond. (They come to my work email, so they are a nice quick break during the day between appointments.)
First of all, I am glad that pretty much all of you realized that my last post was not what I would do, but a scenario I can see the Lions doing and why, based on what we know their opinions of their current personnel are. Most "mocks" are a mockery - to logic and thought. Especially on fan sites who seem to think the other 31 teams are Morons (which, unless you are a Raiders fan right now, is at least 1/31 correct.)
After reading your comments, developments around the league, etc. -- I thought I'd update a few things. First of all, despite the somewhat negative scouting reports (thanks to whoever posted those - very helpful) I still think a player like Benedict is who the Lions will target in round 3. While it may not be him, it will be a player like him. someone who has the ability to compete for the RT position, but could be a possibility for LT. If not, they target one next year to upgrade over Backus.
Also, remember I assumed Williams and Mendenhall were both gone. Should Williams be there, I would not be against the Lions taking him. HOWEVER -- I think (personally) that DT Balmer and Lofton are two player the Lions want. Balmer will be gone before the end of round 1. If Mendenhall or Williams is there at 15, I think the Lions will be able to find a trade partner.
Trading into the 2nd with their #2 3rd and 5th is a possibility, as well as getting back into the 3rd by packaging their 4th and a 6th.
I was also looking at the latest statements coming out fo the Allen Park Asylum, and think I may have been wrong about the Oline -- the Lions may not even target it until round 4+ again...
I talked before about how they feel the current line can start. I think they also want a season to see how the current line performs when they are not always defending 7-step drops so they can tell where the real strengths and weaknesses are, and what type of O-lineman they need -- and what position(s). Again, just what I'm projecting the Lions may do.
I can see DT, MLB, OLB, RB as their top concerns. They could do this:
1. Balmer DT
2. Lofton MLB
3. RB (forte, rice et al)
3. Woodley OLB
I have seen on recent mocks that with Stewart out of the picture, Rivers has actually been falling toward the end of round one, possibly into the beginning of round 2. So what if the Lions can trade back to say, 22 with Dallas for the 22nd and 3rd. Package the 2nd and 4th to get into the 26-28th pick, then package the second 3rd and a 5th to get a 2nd 2nd again.
1. Balmer DT
1. Rivers OLB
2. Lofton MLB
2. RB (Johnson?)
Now I'm dreaming, but even though it lacks an additional O-Lineman, that draft would put the Defense on one heck of a solid footing, as well as filling the need at RB. And those trades are realistic -- think of the Roy W. -KJ year. Millen started that year with only one pick each round, and there is little hope of trading out of the top 5. He still got two ones without giving up future picks, or his 2nd rounder.
Draft scenarios can be fun, but it is still all speculation.
As for the supposed 10 mil in cap space, did anyone else notice at least two of their FA signed the same day the Lions released Kennedy, Kalimba and Jones? Now, I said last week I wasn't sure where they were getting all the cap space from to sign those guys (even though it wasn't a large amount.) Now I think we know. I wouldn't plan on spending that 10 mil yet.
I don think they want to have space to bring in guys that are june 1 cap cuts. While there have been a few years of slim-pickings in that market, there are a few guys who will be formerly too high-priced for their current team (such as KJ) out there on the market to be had this off season. I think June 1 is getting to be a better time because of the stupidly huge contracts being given to mediocre guys who don't turn into above average players, just stay average players with fatter wallets.
Good quote I like to see:
The Detroit News, March 17: "None, zero – he is here," Marinelli said when asked about the possibility of trading Williams.
Marinelli expects Williams and Calvin Johnson, the Lions' first-round pick last year, to be one of the league's best receiving tandems.
"I think of them being elite players in the league," Marinelli said. "I see those two guys taking off."
In the past few years, it seems like the Lions (and their fans) figured everyone under contract who was any good would leave Detroit. This sends me the message that Rod is serious about winning, and knows that other teams have managed to keep two top receivers on their Roster, and that the Lions can too. If they progress like I'm thinking and have a shot at the playoffs, they will not only want to keep Roy, he will be more inclined to stay.
I hope they at least start negotiating with him soon, even if they don't get the deal done til later into the season, just so he knows they care and so that he is still contract-year motivated.
I did see the ridiculous article indicating over "20 teams" interested in KJ. I have posted my opinion on Mlive, but will briefly do so here: 20 teams may look at him...for the Veteran minimum. Oh, maybe a few voidable (by the club) years thrown in, with lots of playing time incentives that will never be earned, or -- if he looks like he is recovering well, will be renegotiated. Basically, a contract that pays KJ the minimum unless he fully recovers and becomes the back he showed flashes of in Detroit in the half dozen or so games he played in uninjured. Period. Numbers do not mean dollars. There will be no "bidding war" for his services. Obviously, the Lions looked at what he would produce, knew he would be at the end of his contract next year, what he was costing and made the right call for once regardless of where he was drafted. It's about the team now, not the draft in the past.
I also agree with nobsnubber who indicated (I think rightly so) that they used KJ on the roster to drive down Bell's price, even though they knew they would be cutting KJ in a day or two. For once, they bargained to their advantage, and then dropped him.
At 2.4 mil a year and not being able to pass a physical -- no team was trading for him. Not even a 7th.
I'm not surprised they couldn't trade Kalimba, but I was a bit taken they didn't try to peddle Kennedy. My guess is they did and there were no takers, and not enough interest to warrant keeping him til draft day. Millen has done well with draft day trades, and getting picks for marginal players -- so if there was anything to be gotten, I do actually think the Lions would have done it rather than get nothing in return.
Well, This post was kind of all over, and I'm not sure how many of your comments I really hit. I'm still a bit tired (as I'm sure you can tell.)
Lots of good thoughts on possible players to fill holes on the Lions for their draft slots, so I have been re-reading those. Good thoughts on Marinelli and his approach and personality. Think I'll write a bit more about "the plan" sometime this week. As soon as my super-secret Lionel from Allen Park arrives with the documents...(I'm not an "insider" - that was purely a joke, just like this Blog is purely fact-based logical speculation. Something I am told is being introduced into Allen Park with varying degrees of success by this guy named Rod...)