I know all of you are familiar with how long I think it is before a draft can be fully evaluated. However, as I outlined last month, there are a couple of methods that I will use immediately following the draft to see how A. The Lions did getting guys based on "projection" and "potential" (two words that end up wrong 50% of the time.) and B. How the GM did running the draft.
In Part 1, I addressed the GM. Part 2 will addressed rounds 1-2. Part 3 will addressed rounds 3-7. Part 4 is my final overview of the big picture.
After this, it will be on to the off season and information from mini-camps, off season moves, and new position evaluations as the players/situations change.
This summary will actually be quite short -- mainly because I was so thorough in the first 3, that I really don't have a lot left to say. I agree with those who think that 8 of 9 are on track to make the roster at this point, although it's hard to say -- I'm thinking that it could be 7 of 9 (with Cohen and Moore going to the practice squad). It really depends on camp.
I am also on board that they filled needs. Looking back on my pre-draft assessments in the 2 months leading up to the draft, through the off season, one thing has become very apparent: There is, after this draft, competition at almost every position in one form or another. And, as I said would happen if the Lions had a good draft, it appears for the first time since Millen took over, the impossible has a chance to occur:
By all rights, once the camp battles shake out the Detroit Lions will have average or better players, with some fantastic players, at every position. If they are lucky with injuries, and rework contracts right at the end of the season, they will go into FA and the draft looking to improve the quality of starters, instead of filling gaping holes.
I said before the draft I was looking for them to fill the major holes with guys that had more "play" than "potential" -- guys that could step in and at least push to start, elevating the play of the vets in front of them. the Lions exceeded my somewhat limited expectations by doing this not only in the early rounds, but right through the last pick.
On the whole, Millen and Marinelli ran the most organized, focused draft the Lions have had in the last 10 - 15 years hands down.
Whats Ahead: I've got some new story ideas from the off season news coming in, and will begin giving my take on the upcoming position battles and how the roster is looking right now. I'll even reference back to my earlier takes, and see where I was right (and wrong) about how they would go in the draft.
It appears most of you agreed with my feelings: Excited - Filled Needs for Once.
Go Lions!! Here's to turning "potential" into "production".