For those of you who haven't found them all, I will start with links to the grades the Lions received from various sporting outlets. I do not agree with many of them, just to let you know, and will be responding to them below. My own evaluation of the draft will be following in a 3-4+ part series over the next week. I also have put out some inquiries to Boston area media outlets requesting information on Gosder Cherilus and the off-field "issues" many have a problem with, and if/when I get more information, I will do a piece on him, including that, as well.
On to the moron "expert" draft grades:
I know that most of you have already read these "grades" -- what I find interesting about this year's draft for the Lions is that the "experts" seem to all be having trouble gauging it. The evaluations range from F to A overall -- this is VERY unusual. Among draftniks and journalists, there is usually very little dissension in draft grades. They all use essentially the same "Kiper Scale" before the draft, and grade teams according to it afterwards.
What is even more interesting is the individual player evaluations what was the worst pick to one evaluator, was the best for the next. They were split on Cherilous, about 30% liked Dizon, and about 30% said Smith is no good. Some loved Avril and thought he "redeemed" them, while others thought he was still a reach. Fluellen is either the next Warren Sapp or will make Shaun Cody look like Warren Sapp by comparison, depending on who you believe.
As I have said many times, the true evaluation of every draft -- if you are looking at how "successful" players are "going to be" -- has to be done 3 years down the road; how the class did or did not impact a team over time is the only way to tell. Carucci had the right idea when he labeled his "bottom group" wait and see...he should have put everyone under that label.
What it really comes down to, is that -- for one reason or another, the Lions pissed off almost every evaluator outside of Gosselin and Dr.Z by NOT taking who that evaluator would have.
The same guys who would pan Millen for taking another Skill player in 1, ream the Lions for "passing up" on Mendenhall (whom Dallas also passed on before Pittsburgh picked him up near the end of the round ). They hit the Lions for not picking Connor in 2 over Dizon, when 3 more LB, including ILB Tavares Gooden by Baltimore at 71, were taken before him.
I could go on and on. Gosselin gave the Lions high grades initially because he evaluates the draft differently than everyone else (wish I had the time and skill to do it his way!). He rates ALL the players he thinks have a shot at getting drafted before the draft. Each one gets a point value. He then uses that players point value in correlation to where they were picked to term it as Value, Reach, Great Value, or Big Reach. The Lions got Value with everyone but Smith -- he was a Great Value. His system doesn't take into account who he would pick, what the team needs are (value to the team) -- it only values the player and where they were picked. This means a team could have an A+ draft from Gosselin and still not fill any team needs -- so using only this type of scale can be misleading (like any scale)
On the whole, I think most writers didn't like the Lions' draft because it wasn't "sexy". As we honed in on before the draft, it was very un-sexy, but functional. Kind of like me buying a mini-van versus a sporty little car. Sure, the sporty little car is "fun" and "exciting to drive" and also would be a pain in the butt and near impossible to use with my 3 kids. My minivan seats 7 with ample room, gets moderately good mileage, and is very utilitarian. Sure, no is going to say "Damn man -- that Windstar is freakin awesome -- it does 0-60, in how long??" -- but it will do everything I need it to do effectively and efficiently. It may not be as fun as a Mustang for the price, but it does what I need it to do.
The Lions got one heck of a Minivan in this draft. Here's to one Lions fan who is glad they finally passed on the sports cars.
(Writer's Note: I will revisit these "grades" in 1, 2, and 3 years to see how they are really panning out. Funny how they all forget saying how "great" a move was that turned out disastrous!)