Friday, July 11, 2008

Guest Blog: Grading Lions Players

Wanted to share an interesting idea I got in an email -- I've edited out personal information, and with his permission posted it here. Thought it would be an interesting discussion piece over the weekend here (that isn't related to Brett Favre... more on that if I can find the stats I'm looking for) This post does two things: grades players, and tries to predict the final 53. Both are, I think, monumental tasks. I haven't had time to give it my take properly yet, but since I have a bevy of opinionated Lions fans from whom to draw excellent observations, I give you the graded 53, courtesy of lbJackieMoon.

(from this point on is the edited email from lbJackieMoon. I will post my thoughts in the comments with everyone else. Be sure to come back throughout the weekend, and into next week to read the updated comments, and to agree/disagree or expound on new observations)

I just wanted to suggest a post where you grade the Lions individually based on past performance and (for rookies) expected performance. Maybe you could throw in a bit of commentary on why they received their grades or whatever. Granted there probably won't be a lot of A grades but I feel Calvin and K. Smith should contribute significantly towards the Lions success. Take it or leave it It was just an idea I had floating around in my head, and it should make for some great reading. I have posted my grades below and would like to know what you think.

These are based on who I think makes the 53 man roster.

O line
1. Backus B-
2. Scott C
3. Cherilus B (NASTY MEAN AND NICE SIZE)
4. Foster C-
5. Mulitalo B
6. Peterman C+
7. Ramirez C
8. Hulsey C
9. Davis C
10. Raiola B

WRs
11. Johnson A- (SHOULD HAVE A BETTER SOPHOMORE CAMPAIGN)
12. Williams A-
13. McDonald B
14. Furrey C+
15. Moore B-
16. Ellis C

RBs
17. Smith B+ (A LOT IS RESTING ON HIS SHOULDERS)
18. Bell C
19. Calhoun C (DISAPPOINTMENT SO FAR, HOWEVER I HAVE HOPE IN THIS GUY)
20. Felton B-
21. Bradley C

QBs
22. Kitna B
23. Orlovsky C
24. Stanton C+

TEs
25. Campbell B+
26. Gaines C+
27. McHugh C (NICE ROSTER FLEXIBILITY HERE)

D Line
28. Redding B-
29. Darby C+
30. Fluellen C
31. Cody C+
32. White B
33. DeVries C
34. Avrill C+ (LIKE HIS SPEED, HATE HIS SIZE)
35. Francis B- (HOPE FOR MORE PLAYING TIME HERE)

LBs
36. Sims A
37. Dizon B-
38. Lenon C
39. Lewis C
40. Fincher C
41. Campbell C (LOVE HIS SPEED)

CBs
42. Kelly B-
43. Bodden B (LOVED THIS TRADE 6 PICKS LAST YEAR AND NICE SIZE)
44. Fisher C
45. Smith C+
46. Wilson C-

Safety
47. Smith B-
48. Bullocks B (I EXPECT BIG THING FROM HIM THIS YEAR)
49. Alexander C+
50. Pearson C+ (WILL HELP SPECIAL TEAMS)

Special Teams
51. Hanson B- (AGE MIGHT BE CATCHING UP TO HIM, BUT STILL SOLID)
52. Harris B
53. Muhlbach B

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

First - the name "Jackie Moon"...gotta love it.

Second - when do you want our 53 man?

Third - barring injuries, this Jackie Moon guy's list is pretty close to mine.

OLINE (minus Hulsey for me, can't see them keeping 10)
WR (Don't think they keep 6, I think its Ellis or Moore; whoever is better).
TE Maybe FitzSimmons over McHugh, but I don't know yet how they are trying to use either one. McHugh makes a lot of sense too as he was a FB in college.
DT Think Moore may stay, but I think you may be on to something leaving Corey Smith off your list.
LB I'd add Gilbert. or may be a fifth safety (Blue).

Most of what you have and what I think also depend on how these guys are used and what they can do on special teams and who survives camp without getting injured. I don' think either of us are far off, and I would be shocked if others were very much different. You have a very good list.

The other "issue" is, there isn't very much time this year between the two rounds of cuts to go from 80 to 75 (August 26th) to 53 (August 30th). The Lions may need to hunt for a certain position due to injury. They may also sign some free agent, then cut him as he won't work out.

Or my favorite..sign a guy who was just cut from the Lions next opponent, pay him a check for what he remembers from their playbook, then cut him the following week.

-nubs

JJLions20 said...

Before I could give grades on performance, I think we need to set some standards to the grades. Are the Grades in respect to the rest of the NFL? I could ask if we are grading on a curve. The grades LBJackieMoon has posted look to be in relative to the performance of a 7-9 team.

I'd suggest the following:

A = playing at a NFL pro-bowl level, or better than somebody who made the pro-bowl. B = Performing as a solid NFL Starter at his position. C = Average NFL player, excels in a reserve role. D = Below average performance, somebody either young that needs to develop, or one that should not make the team if the Lions want to make the playoffs. E = A player very few teams in the NFL would pick up.

With these definitions I’d differ from LBJackieMoon in the following:
OLINE:
Backus = B ( I really think he is in the top half of the league as a OT and Martz hung his linemen out to dry)
Ramirez = D
Hulsey = D
Davis = D

WR:
Johnson = B- (sorry he just didn’t perform equal to an NFL starting WR. Injuries played a part of that)
Williams = B+ (lose to probowl caliber but a little short of that)
Moore = C- (You can’t expect too much out a 5th round WR, competing for the 5th – 6th WR spot.)
Ellis = D

RB:
Smith = B- (He may start slow and finish as a quality NFL back.)
Bell = C-
Calhoun = C-
Felton = D (he will probably be on the practice squad this season)
Bradley = B-

QB:
Orlovsky = D
Stanton = D

TE:
Campbell = B- (due to injuries last year)

D-Line:
Darby = B-
Devries=B- (he played pretty well last year)
Avril = C- (he is going to be a situational player in 2008, and he has lots to learn before he is productive. C- may be a gift)
Francis = C- (he has potential and is young, but has not shown much yet)

LB:
Sims = B+ (not quite a pro-bowl player yet. Similar to Roy.)

CB:
Fisher = B- (grading as a nickel back not a true CB)

S:
Bullocks = B-

Special Teams:
Hanson = B (think about how many teams would sign this guy if the Lions cut him. He is a solid kicker in the NFL)

Betsy said...

This is great info to know.