Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day 2 Review

Too tired to go over a full review of Day 2 right now. I'll break it down piece by pice over the coming weeks, and look at the position groupings. I'll also pull bakc out our mocks, and take a look at how well we did, and where players actually went as well!

I will say, my initial gut reaction is that this could be a great draft -- only time will tell, but they stuck to the Marinelli philosophy from yesterday, and got 2 great steals, and a guy they knew they wanted, in the 3rd. (Smith, Fluellen,Avril)

We really won't know how good this draft really is for a few years, but my gut right now says "great draft!"

Go Lions!


Mark in az said...

Hay detfan1979 could you put up a poll for draft grades??

love this blog


JJLions20 said...

Did the Lions get the best combination of players at RT, MLB, & RB with there first three picks? Given those were their three greatest needs that needed to be filled in the first three picks. ? A lot of "fans" are criticizing the Lions for their picks, but I went back and looked at the combinations that would have been available to them. So lets look at it. The following are the combinations as well as the pick the player actually went at:

17: RT - Gosher ** Other RT available at the time, Otah(19), Baker(21)
45: MLB - Dizon ** Other MLB available at that time, Gooden(71), Connor(74)
64: RB - Smith ** Other RB available at the time, Charles(73), Slaton(89)

People may argue Otah over Gosher as they are both at the same level now, but most will say Otah is limited, and Gosher has a greater upside potential. Some teams were concerned regarding Oath's durability.

Regarding MLB, not many had even talked about Gooden, and he was taken 26 picks after the Lions pick. The Lions liked Dizon, and knew the MLB's were slim after he was off the board.

Regarding RB in the third, the Lions obviously wanted Smith over Charles, and most of the experts agreed with that pick. Smith was rated a lot higher than Charles or Slaton. Other teams agreed because Charles lasted 9 more picks, and Slaton 25 more picks.

So If the Lions had decided to go RB, OT, MLB, who would have been their choices and combinations:

17: RB - Jones(22), Mendenhal(23), Johnson(24), Forte(44), Rice(55),
45: OT - Greco(65), Collins(112)
64: MLB - Gooden(71), Connor(74)

If they had gone MLB, RB, OT

17: MLB - Lofton(37), Dizon(45), Gooden(71), Connor(74)
45: RB - Rice(55), Smith(64), Charles(73), Slaton(89)
64: OT - Greco(65), Collins(112)

When looking at the combinations of three players, and how far down the board their next option slid, I think the Lions did the best they could possibly do, given the board fell the way it did. Only time will tell, but I don't see how anybody can criticize the Lions for how they filled their three biggest needs with their first three picks.

Lets hope time proves this out. We'll come back after 8 games into the season and see how this looks, and then another look next April.

JJLions20 said...

Explaining the Moore pick....

It's a one word description. Flexibility. Moore can give the Lions more than simply the #6 WR. This kid played his entire JR season at RB when injuries hit his team. I can see the Lions using this kid as a third down back. He could put some real pressure on Calhoun and Cason. He may not unseat them this year but a year or two down the line he could be the #3 RB, #6 WR, PR/KR. occupying multiple back-up positions can allow the lions to carry a specialty back like Felton, or an extra TE.

JJLions20 said...

A few comments about Avril...

I've had kids enrolled at Purdue for the past 8 years, so I've gotten to see my share of Purdue football and Joe Tiller Defense. I'll admit I where my UofM t-shirts under the Black and Gold when I'm at the games. It drives my kids crazy.

Here's the thing about Purdue Defenders, they are typically undersized but very quick. When your whole defense is undersized, and your offense runs the 2:00 minute drill all game, well it's not a good combination statistically for a defense. So most people don't think their they have good defensive players. But Pudue defenders usually translate well to the pro's, because of the speed factor, and when the whole defense is undersized, you better be good tacklers.

As far as Avril, he was a jack of all trades. He was a LB that was moved to DE as he bulked up, but even in his senior year, he was moved back to LB at times. He was disruptive, shooting gaps, and using his speed to get into the backfield. Put this guy in a pro weight program, put 10 lbs on him and just work on his speed rushing, and he will be real good.

Tiller moved him around at Purdue, so it was hard to account for him. I suspect the Lions can do the same.

JJLions20 said...

The Colletto Factor:

Jim Colletto had connections I'm sure were used to tap into the evaluation and influenced the Lions draft. First Colletto was the Head Coach at Purdue, and has many friends in West Lafayette, still close to the Purdue program. You have to believe that the Lions would use every angle to get information and film on a guy they are interested in.

Also the Offensive Coordinator and RB coach at USF is Tim Salem. Salem coached with Colletto at Purdue and Arizona State. That relationship had to be leveraged to check out the RB the Lions eventually drafted.

Remember how much Marenelli stresses to get players you know. Well if you don't actually know the college player (which is typical) then find somebody you know who who knows the player. Find out what type of person the player really is.

Anonymous said...


Great analysis. I have 251 picks, and just found my boo-boo. I missed Gooden way up un round #3. My bad; take him off the boards.

Sorry to hear about the P-U thing. I have family in West Lafayette and love visiting that area.

All of these guys are Marinelli guys and have "positional flexibility". Some vets better get ready. DeVries, FitzSimmons, Middleton, Alex Lewis, and Greg Blue better get ready


Anonymous said...

Here's some analysis on each player from

Gosder Cherilus

Strengths: feet, nasty streak, size

Areas for improvement: intelligence and technique

Minor off field incident needs to be addressed. Big athletic guy with good feet, balance and body quickness. Worked almost exclusively from a 2 point stance. Will come off the ball and strike, but overall wasn't a big finisher. Was disappointed in his playing awareness (stunts, blitz pick ups and awareness at the second level). Has some nasty in him and looks like superman, but something (playing awareness) appears to be missing. Round # 2.

Jordon Dizon

Flash Analysis: Dizon is an aggressive, speedy linebacker that can play inside or outside, making him the perfect fit in Detroit's Tampa 2 system beside fellow heatseeker Ernie Sims. He will also provide immediate, ample value on special teams.

Adam Caplan's Take: We noted earlier this week that Dizon was moving up draft boards with teams that ran a cover-2 defense. Detroit runs a cover-2 and Dizon could compete for the MLB job while backing up WLB Ernie Sims.

Strengths: Instincts, Tackling, Vision
Areas for Improvement: Size

An outstanding football player who makes a ton of plays. Plays well in traffic keeping excellent leverage on the ball. Surprising ability to slip blocks and make plays. Excellent playing instincts and the ability to locate the football on the inside. Very good wrap up tackler. As productive a player as there is in the game. His only true negative I could find was his lack of size. Great special teams potential. Has late 2nd to mid 3 potential.

Andre Fluellen
(I'm skipping Kevin Smith because there isn't much info on him that isn't already known)

2005: Shined in his first season as a regular on the defensive line in 2005, starting 12 of 13 games at the defensive tackle spot opposite Brodrick Bunkley...tied for second on the team in tackles by a defensive lineman with 26...his 7.5 tackles for loss ranked sixth on a Florida State team that led the nation in that category with 126...tied for third on the team in quarterback hurries with 12...had two tackles, 1.5 for loss, including one sack and three hurries in the season opener against Miami...notched career-highs in tackles (eight) and tackles for loss (two) against NC State...given the Second Effort Award and was also named the most dependable defensive tackle by the coaching staff in the spring.

2006: Started 11 of the Seminoles' 13 games at the nose guard position and two at the defensive tackle position...first two starts (against Miami and Troy) came at the defensive tackle position ...was moved to the nose guard position as a starter after the game two injury to Paul Griffin...finished seventh on the team in tackles, and first among all defensive lineman, in tackles with a career-high 28 stops...eight tackles for minus yardage ranked fourth on the team...season-high of six tackles came against Boston College with multiple tackles coming in eight of 13 games...tied his career-high with two tackles for minus yardage against Florida...recorded at least one tackle for minus yardage in six games...won the Bill McGrotha/ Spirit Humanitarian Award at the 2006 football banquet.

Cliff Avril

2006: Started all 14 games, first four at linebacker and last 10 at defensive end ... averaged 1.07 tackles for loss per game which ranked ninth in Big Ten ... second on team with 15.0 tackles for loss, tied for second with 6.0 sacks (also Ryan Baker) and six pass breakups (also Anthony Spencer), and third with 84 tackles (51 solo, 33 assists) ... had two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception ... came up with first career interception to go with seven tackles, including 2.0 for loss, vs. Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 9.

Kenneth Moore

2004: Was hampered all season by a lingering foot injury... played in just five games... made one catch against North Carolina A&T for six yards.

2006: Named ACC Offensive Back of Week on November 27 for his performance against Maryland... would have ranked second in the ACC with 13.0 yards per punt return, but did not have enough attempts to qualify... led the team with 951 all-purpose yards... began the year as a starting wide receiver... was called into emergency action at running back in early November prior to the Boston College game after injuries decimated the running back corps... played in all 14 games and started 12 of those... got the call at wide receiver seven times and his last five starts came at running back... became the team's third-leading rusher with 507 yards on 105 carries with two touchdowns

Jerome Felton
(taken from an article)

-freshman numbers: an amazing 10 touchdowns on 66 carries
-Felton became known as one of the most effective goal-line threats in the nation -- a real problem for opposing defenses in the red zone. In 49 games with the Paladins, Felton carried the ball 575 times for 2,652 yards and an incredible 63 touchdowns.
-Felton rumbled for several runs of over 30 yards, and put up a career-high 60-yard run last season.
-Those few long runs begin to reveal what may be Felton's key to NFL success -- he may be even more dangerous alternating as a big, Jerome Bettis-style tailback in the pros...
-I do feel that I could play tailback in the NFL. There have been a lot of very successful big backs, and I feel that I have the athleticism to do that...Wherever I can fit in to help a team win, that's what I'll do.
-he put up 225 pounds 30 times (at the combine), tied for the most by a non-lineman. "but I had done 32 the week before, so I was hoping to push it a couple more and get into the 34-35 range".
-Felton was less pleased with his 40 time -- used to running in the high 4.5-low 4.6 range, he saw times outside the norm. 4.68 on

*Caleb Campbell was unlisted

Since this was so long I'll post my actual analysis of the picks in a separate posting.

***BTW, if anyone has an insider subscription on that could come in really handy right about now.


Anonymous said...

(WARNING: Since I was busy over the weekend I haven't posted much analysis so this is a very lengthy post. Sorry in advance and read at your own risk)

That first round was a definate heartbreaker. As soon as I saw that Mayo was picked up by the Pats (who honestly saw that one coming) and that the Jags had traded up for Harvey I knew we were in trouble.

Millen did the right thing by trading back which added some good value picks in the 3rd and 5th round while still addressing our OT need in the 1st round.

A lot has been made about not taking Otah. I don't think he was right for us for one reason - the zone blocking scheme. Otah is a big mauler who has great strength but a lot of difficulty with his speed and ability to move quickly (which it a must for tackles in the scheme). The main issue is that, since he hasn't been playing for very long, he may have more upside in the long run. However, that also means he'll become another project on a team that is full of them. No thanks.

Cherilious seems to have similar attributes to Otah. A big guy who doesn't do a great job getting to the next level. This is a bigger concern for me than not drafting Otah. Run blocking is his specialty though so he and Kevin Smith will become a great tandem on the offensive side of the ball.

After reading the analysis I'm pretty happy with Dizon. It seems that a lot of cover-2 teams liked him, so if anyone's wondering why we chose him over other LB's at the time, it's probably because he suits the system better. Also, it's nice to see that they're adding an outstanding tackler - 297 tackles over the past two seasons and eighth best in NCAA history over his career! WOW!

My biggest worry is that the Lions will have a severely undersized LB core with Sims and Dizon eventually suiting up at the two primary LB positions in the Cover 2 (WLB,MLB). Also, this note on worries me: "he's not an elite [athlete] and it'll be asking a lot to hold up in a 16-game schedule at just 5-11 and 229 pounds." He'll be a great tackler, but going strictly on size he may have some problems with blitzing and shedding blockers, as well as with covering receivers downfield in my mind.

Kevin Smith I'm very excited about. I'm not making a direct comparison to Barry because he can't fill that void, but it's interesting that he nearly beat Barry's rushing record and now he's going to the team that set Barry's legend in stone. The big worry for K. Smith is overproduction. The short lifespan for RB's in this league is a bit overstated, but it's not just superstition either. That being said, Kevin Smith is the main reason that UCF went from unknown to #1 mid-season last year. Lets hope he can set a similar ideal for the Lions.

I'm not too high on Fluellen or Avril, but they address two key D-line needs: a DE pass-rusher and a run-stopping DT. Still Avril may push 5-0 if he doesnt perform and Fluellen should help challenge Cody to step up his game.

The Kenneth Moore pick was iffy but I can understand why it was made. Most of the comments on Mlive were rediculous, he was added to help beef up our return game (punt returns in particular) not as a WR. As I said on Mlive, a returner is the difference between an 80 yard drive and a 60 or 70 yard drive so addressing this need was helpful. However, I'm doubtful as to whether Moore has proven himself as a legitimate threat in college (much less that he will be in the NFL).

Felton was a huge addition in my eyes. People who were crying about losing Duckett are now bemoaning this pick because they see FB listed and assume that he's here to replace Bradley. To some extent this may be true, but he's really here for short yardage situations. Scout had him ranked 2nd at FB above Owen Schmitt. I've noticed a few Jerome Bettis comparisons and my posting on the last article said that he is a runner in the mold of Bettis, only faster. He's from a small school so his numbers are inflated, but he has tremendous upside on a team that sorely needs a goalline bruiser of a back.

I have a hard time believing Landon Cohen will make the team. We already added a DT in the draft and I don't think he's going to push Shaun Cody or Langston Moore to make the Roster. He'll be lucky to make the scout team. Kowalski does mention though that "he's quick off the ball and the kind of aggressive player the Lions are looking for in the Tampa Two scheme".

Lastly, is Caleb Campbell. I think he has a shot at making the roster on ST. At the very least he should make the scout team. He's such a feel good story it's hard not to be happy that the Lions drafted him. He can bulk up and add depth at SLB then (same height as Lenon, only 6 pounds lighter). He'll probably send Buster Davis (Davis is only 5'9 if anyone was wondering, severely undersized .


Overall, I think this is one of Millen's best drafts to date. He addressed all needs and made very few sexy picks (ala Kevin Smith). It's easy to call him out but he was stuck between a rock and a hard place on the first day. Everyone we wanted was off the clock (Mayo, Clady and Williams in the 1st; Lofton in the 2nd), but he still managed to improve our position on the 2nd day by trading back. Without doing so, there was no way we would have seriously addressed all of our needs this offseason (OT, RB, MLB, pass rushing DE, run stopping DT, KR). For a draft where the cards were stacked against us, I have to admit he did a pretty damn good job. He gave Marinelli some good pieces to fit the puzzle that is the Detroit Lions.


Anonymous said...

One last note for the day that I found on This is from an article by Tony Pauline about some of the drafts "steals" and "reaches":

Cliff Avril/DE/Detroit/3rd round: Avril was criticized for underproducing as a senior and not meeting expectations. He'll find a niche as a pass rusher for the Lions.

I'm still not incredibly excited about him, but seeing that makes me a bit happier. We desperately need a solid pass rusher so hopefully he'll help fill the void in that regard.


Anonymous said...


Just wait brother. The back side of the draft is what really is going to surprise people. Felton and Campbell are going to surprise people.

Also, I did spend a lot of time looking at Cherilus. There is night and day difference between his Junior year (RT) and his senior year (LT).

The reason he doesn't rate very high, is because he struggled against the PREMIUM players he went up against this past year.

His junior year, no one could get around him; he was very solid.

My point is this. Otah was a RT this year who people "think" can play the other side. Brandon Alberts is a GUARD who people "think" can play Tackle.

Cherilus is on tape; the other two only flirted with the position in a few games,or none at all.

For all the idiots out there who thought Brandon Alberts was the better pick, who had the better junior year? Hands down Cherilus.

Who is going to be a better LT? No one knows that answer. Cherilusis at the RT this year. The other two may never make the switch. And I got a feeling that Otah is a bust. Just MHO.


Anonymous said...

I agree that Otah may be a bust. I enjoy reading your posts. I do not always agree, but I always enjoy.
I am one of the people who you are callling an "idiot" because I feel the better pick was Alberts.
I am offended by such an immature name calling by a seemingly smart individual because I have a different opinion than you. You disappoint me.


DetFan1979 said...

hollyweed -- he's not referring to you, nor your preference for Albert. You gave the reasons why you preferred Albert over Cherilous, but you can also see why they took him. He is referring to the "draftnik" crowd that says Kiper and Mayock had Otah and Albert rated higher, and thus the Lions erred by not taking him, without looking at the differences in players and the need they will fill. At worst, Cherilous will be a solid RT for 8-10 years, and at best, move over to be a great LT for said period. the other two were more "projects" with "potential" - so even if they "could" be better, the Lions went with who had it on tape.

You and Nubber, and everone on here, can agree to disagree civilly and the discourse thus created is what I love about this blog. He was not referring to fans, but the medai-types who are blasting the Lions as "stupid" for passing up Otah and Mendenhall after trading down - because it isn't what they would have done.

I think that's why he pointed out the WR vs CB in round 5 (which I agree with too) -- to show that you fans fo this site are happy with some picks, and wish they would have gone in a different direction with others; overall, we all seem generally pleased with this draft.

Just a future note posters, lets try to be a touch mroe careful (I know everyone is most of the time) to be specific, so we don't inadvertantly hurt the feelings of others.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the explaination. I am very glad I was wrong. I really enjoy nubsnobber's posts. I apologize to him for misunderstanding. He has very good reasons for his feelings.
I hope you continue this entertaining site for a long time. You have many smart posters who can back up their thoughts with good reasons.


Anonymous said...


I wasn't pointing fingers at you. I didn't relate you personally picking Alberts as opposed to Cherilus.

It was intended for the draft "gurus" who have bragged Alberts up as a great tackle, yet Alberts has NEVER played the position. I get very technical with linemen, and for Kiper and Mayock to slap the righteous paint brush around that linemen are linemen was the point I was getting at.

Remember, I was the "idiot" who said last year Paris Hilton would never start over Teddy Lehman.

JJLions20 said...

I'll say this, and probably repeat it many times. Every college player will have to be coached up to play in the NFL. There are some who have enough talent to step in and play in the NFL. But to be successful in the NFL you have to accept the coaching, learn and get better. Some simply can't do it, as they have always relied on their talent.

So to be a star Linebacker, Dizon is going to have to be coached up farther than Mayo. Because Dizon has less size and speed. But if his make-up is to accept and learn from the coaching more than another player, he could be better NFL Linebacker. Talent, size and speed help (a lot), but they don't count for everything. None of these guys have performed at a pro level yet, so for most all of them, if they don’t improve at all, they will be cut within the first year. They have to improve. If they don't improve then they will be out of the NFL soon. Just ask Mike Williams.

This was one of Rod’s characteristics of football character. Which guys have the right make-up to be coached up. If they don’t have the make-up to be coached up, the Lions will pass over them because they would be a wasted pick.