Like a herd of cats, my mind is wondering a bit far afield tonight. Soccer night, so this will be short. (plus 3 posts yesterday and today already!)
Things are really taking off this year as the draft approaches faster and faster -- St. Louis is no the clock, Jared Allen is now a Viking while KC has added the 17th pick to the 5th in round 1, and now has more 3rd's than the Lions do. PacMan Jones is a Cowboy, which significantly diminishes the chances of Dallas trading up with Detroit for a CB (one would think).
On the whole, not a lot of positive developments in regards to impact on the Lions, as far as I can tell. One things seems for sure thought right now -- there is a trend for big trades involving early draft picks going on -- and as the preference of voters on this blog was Mayo or Trade Down, the Trade Down part of that looks more likely. It also seems there at least a half a dozen teams so desperate to get a proven #1 WR in a very weak draft year, that they are starting to throw out stupid trade offers for WR that aren't even on the block, and that their respective teams have no intention of trading! Johnson, Boldin, and Roy W. are the big three, and Larry F. earlier this month. Wowsers! I have also heard a rumor that the Lions have secured at least a 4th round offer for McDonald, and are holding out trying to work it up to a 3rd. No credible source yet on this one, so I'll let you know when I know more.
My take? he has good hands, but bad awareness -- he never seems to know where the 3rd down marker is, or think to get out of bounds -- both things Furrey is great at. With more involvement from the tight ends, there will be a lot fewer 4 WR sets, so I think McDonald is the best trade option, and if he is indeed at least worth a 4th -- I would take it, but agree a 3rd would be even better. Considering the thin WR market and the cost of those WR available, I see the Lions realistically getting either a low 3rd or high 4th for him. Anything less than than a 4th I would say just keep him, and roll with the last year of his contract. Furrey is signed for two more years, and both are quite affordable (another reason McDonald has trade value -- they don't have to give up the pick AND a huge contract.)
As for my take on the Allen trade...high risk move for the Vikings, and very expensive. In case anyone is panicking about how Allen will set up shop in the Lions' backfield, consider this: The Lions can negate him and the Williams Wonder Twins in the middle by the simple expedient of running outside straight at Allen while making the big boys in the middle chase after him. Why? Because Allen is a sack artist, but as we discussed in the specialist blog, he is not very good at all against the run. As soon as they pull him out, what do you do? Why pass of course. Right into the freakish-awful Vikings secondary. You'll tire out Allen and the boys in the middle, and by the 4th quarter, the Vikings D will be worn out -- and unless their Offense becomes more than Adrian Peterson, they are going to be shut down as easy as it was to shut down the pass only Lions last season. The Lions Secondary has improved enough that I would dare the Vikings to beat me through the air -- because I don't think they can do it. And with the addition of Allen, they have one 2nd rounder to add in the first 3 rounds to fill their other holes. And Bernard-I-Drop-60%-of-my-passes-Berrian is their #1 wideout. #2? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Also, the fact that they got a 1 and two 3rds for a disgruntled franchised player says loads for what Roys value would be next year, should they choose not to re-sign him long term. At least Roy is smart enough about the business side to know the deal he gets, and the Lions get, will be a lot better if he keeps on talking...about how business is business, and he understands, and just wants to play his best whereever he ends up. As long as he keeps that line of tact out there, he will either get his payday (rightfully) from the Lions, or he will get it from another team -- while bringing the Lions a couple of first rounders. Maybe all this news out there isn't so bad after all.
Other thoughts: Mock drafts are still varying widely, and this is one of the most free-for-all drafts I have seen in a long time. Should be exciting. I will say, right now, it appears the Lofton, Connors, and Mayo could all be gone by pick 45. One guy I would say to look at later would be Wheeler.
I did see what I thought was a great article by Stewart Mandel, who covers college football for SI, regarding over and under valued college players. It confirms my gut feeling that I see Kevin Smith as the best back in this class. No stats to back it up, or film, for me. Just a feeling. At this point, assuming Mayo at 15, if the "big 3" MLB and 2nd tier OT are gone in 2, then go with Smith. Take Wheeler, Goff, or Dizon to be your MLB in 3a or 3b. Poss Pick up Langford for the DE, and Fluellen in the 5th.
If Williams OT is there -- I say take him PLEASE -- smart OT, good mature kid, and could really challenge Backus for the LT this year or next; and Backus would upgrade the right side - ugrading the whole line.
There I go again...if if If IF -- only two more days.
If one thing is certain with this year's draft for the Lions, it is that nothing is certain.