Monday, March 9, 2009

Curry for your Draft?

With Mike Mayock today stating he would go with Curry or one of the top two tackles if he were the Lions because there are too many questions about Stafford, Curry fever is in full swing in Detroit. However, as usual, I like to take a bit different view on things.

This article also talks about the pros, cons, and economics of the first pick overall and is a good read.

NetRat and I (among others) have been having an interesting dialogue on this subject -- in particular the salary ramifications of the first pick. While I already summarized this in brief before FA started, I feel it is good to look at again:

As Per NetRat:

Any non-QB a 5 year, $60+ million contract with $30 to $32 million guaranteed.
It will start off in the $4 to $5 mill cap hit range year one and escalate upwards of $16 to $17 mill in year 5.

Just take the average though, $12 mill a year for 5 years (that is NOT what he will actually get paid, that is his average)

ALL linebackers in the NFL get an average of $9 mill or less per year.

Now, forget the Lions' needs and forget who your fav draftee is... just look at the contracts in the draft from last year and then look at ALL the linebackers in the NFL... now be honest, where does Curry get drafted at, based on salary?

lets take another different view. Narrowing down to Stafford and Curry -- both are gambles in different ways.
Stafford is a gamble because he is not the best player in the draft, he is an underclassmen QB which adds a statistically significant increase to the already high bust potential for 1st round QB's. But, the salary is more in line with QB money -- albeit Peyton Manning range.

Curry is a gamble because he is above the Ray Lewis range by a couple mil a year. But by the end of his contract, where will that number be? If he works out, that number could end up right or even below average for a top LB. But he would have to be a top LB in the league almost right out the gate. As with all draft picks, the bust factor is there, but isn't as highly probable in first round LB.

So which gamble do you take? The higher-stakes, but more in-line with tradition QB pick and hope he is the next Matt Ryan and not the next Joey Harrington? Or do you gamble on the unorthodox and say defense is just as important as offense, and it's about stopping people not just sacks?

I looked at the At numbers for salaries, and while the #1 money doesn't put him above the top QB's by a couple million, it would put Stafford in the Brady/Manning/Rothlisburger range.
So do you overpay a LB by a couple mil a year and hope he's a HOF caliber, or do you pay Stafford like a future Pro-Bowl QB and hope he lives up to that? And if both come in a notch lower, or even in the good but not great department, which puts you further behind?

You can't ignore the cap -- but I think that is the real gamble with Curry --- are you comfortable with the salary. If the answer is yes, then you should have no problem taking him. Stafford or one of the LT's have a similar salary conundrum as either would become the highest paid LT in the league.

Just getting to a point that if you are OK with the salary, you will be fine with Curry at 1. If you are not okay with a rookie LB making 2 mil a year more than the Ray Lewis' of the NFL, then you will not be considering Curry at 1.

So really, it DOES all come down to salary because you have to be okay paying the right LB that kind of money before you can even look at if Curry is the right LB. If you aren't ok with the salary, you won't waste time looking at does he fit.

Kinda like having 100k to spend in one spot. If I'm not okay with a 100k price tag on a car, I'm not going to bother wasting time comparing cars to other purchases I can make because I have already eliminated "car" from the list. So the salary argument has merit. However, it is not the be-all-end-all. It is merely one more thing to take into consideration when you are weighing who to pick at #1 overall in 2009...


nubs said...

And that is down should be the choice. QB, underclassman, played mediocre with two awesome receivers and a first round draft pick RB. Stafford doesn't rate very high, and he shouldn't. He reminds me of Jeff George. Canon for an arm, but the rest of the package isn't there. I hate to say this, but he reminds me of Derek Anderson. It's the scramble, underneath, and touch passes in his game that worry me. He can force the ball into a tire swing at 15 yards, but I want a guy who can also drop the ball into a barrel from 35 feet away.

Curry is not a middle linebacker, he is a straight SAM. I agree with Mayock on this point. I think he is athletic enough to play in the middle for a spell or two, but he is a SAM. Do you want to pay a SAM what a MLB makes? Don't rate him with Lewis, go with Dansby and Porter.

The two tackles don't rate as high as the Lake Erie Fisherman, and shouldn't get paid more than what Joe Thomas made last year either.

The only other option the Lions DID have, is the Crabapple hype. Before Michael's injury, the Lions were waiting for another team to jump up and steal this cat away from the Seahawks or Bungles.

There is great depth in this draft at certain spots, but I don't think it's as talented as experts say either. ESPECIALLY (other than linebacker) where the Lions need them.

Jeff Backus to left guard. Why is this being talked about? There are no good guards worth drafting in the first round. There are only two I feel are worth a second round draft pick.

Pat White (yes the QB from WVA) should definately be on the Lions radar in the third. I don't think he goes much higher than this, but with no Furrey you need a slot guy. Plus, I think he could do the PR/KR role and a little Wildcat. Beats the Cason re-signing from today.

Raji-please, no please. I've also heard this as an option in the chat rooms. 1. Cory, and 2. Grady I don't see the Lions drafting ANY Dline in the first three rounds. Especially if Vonnie signs while in town this week. Time will tell.

CHIEFGER139 said...

they brought in smith yesterday-
my reaction-oh boy another boring tackle again-they got chelious last year-youd think they learned there lesson-sure cherlious is ok but is he what you come to see play on sundays-the guy who you cant wait to see the hilite films on-no-mostly you remember him getting another holding penalty or for that cheap shot he gave that guy when he was laying on the ground-
at least curry brings some excitement-a linebacker who can hit and intercept passes-now I can see why so many want stafford-hes almost worth the huge gamble-because if he does turn out to be half way decent you finally got someone to hang your hat on-and if not-well youve got someone you can really gripe about-but culpeper will do just fine in that department-no wonder the pack loved farve so much.

RIP said...

I agree that Curry should stay at his natural position at SAM. The question that the Lion's need to answer for themselves is is he an every down linebacker. In a 4-3, he is a SAM, but is he LB that also plays in thier nickle and dime packages? If he is, then the 11-12 million does not look so bad.

The team already has fast OLBs on there roster. What they do not have is size at those positions. Having Curry on the roster would not only add size, but rare athleticism and strength with speed. Give Sims a breather, move Curry to WILL, and bring in Dizon would change the balance of the defense.

Agree with NUBS in that no OT this year is worth more money that Joe Thomas is making. The talent just does not appear to be there. It is like when Backus was a free agent. He was the best at that time, so he was franchised.

Another sour note I keep hearing is how bad Backus is. Statistics show that he has given up alot of sacks the past three years. In defense of him, he has proved to be a warrior, playing through aches and pains knowing that he gave the Lions the best chance to win for there was no backup. DETFAN also had stats about 9 months ago on where our strength of the offensive line was when running the ball in 2007. It was running to the left, where as most teams had most success going up the middle. Then as far as sacks go, we have to consider who was at quarterback, and the type offense used. For the past three years, Kitna started 2 years and 5 games. Kitna had very little pocket awareness. Also for 2 years he was part of the Mike Martz offense, which was a consistant 7 step drop with no chip blocks to help out. Then we add in how many times of defense put us down 2 or 3 touchdowns before half time. Is the opposing them looking for the run from the Lions? Did Martz even like the run while with the Lions? Then we look at who was the only o-lineman to play every single game. He gave up about one fifth of the team's sacks. Not good, but still better than his stats indicate.

As fans, we need to get off of the Jeff Backus bandwagon bashing. That is my opinion and hope others join in.

Anonymous said...

I do really like Curry, but I've got some worries about the Lions picking him. If he had come out last year, he would have been 3rd round talent. Now picking him this year, they would have to pay him more money than any MLB in the history of the league. It's still uncertain whether he can plan in the middle. In my perfect scenario, the Lions trade back to 4-10 spot and get an extra pick in the 3rd. With their 4-10 spot, they either take a top OT if they really like a guy that is still there, or I'm hoping, they get their top rated true MLB. That would take away some of the risk of overpaying.


Anonymous said...

Has the NFL ever had an uncapped salary year?

Is the uncapped year next year, or the year following?

Regardless an uncapped year is in the not too distant future, as well as the potential for the owners locking out the players until a new deal is done.

So with that in mind, my opinion is that all this value for the pick talk is irrelevant in these years leading up to the new bargaining agreement.

So, the Lions as well as the rest of the league while still somewhat be looking for value, the far overreaching parameter, especially with these drafts leading up to the lockout season, and most especially for the again rebuilding Lions {complete with new uniforms} will be the value on the field that the draftee brings to the team.

Will the Lions put a premium on J. Smith?

Will the Lions put a premium on Curry, then subsequently resign Lenon to play outside LB?

Will the rebuilding Lions put a premium on a franchise QB?

Will the Lions put a premium on Monroe?

Will WCF override all internal Lions evaluations and draft board rankings and tell Mayhew to draft player X?

My preference would be to draft Curry, then at 20 if Maruaga or Laurentis are there draft either of them with that pick.

But I have no clue what the Lions will do.

Sure wish Netrat would change his "google" blog to one of these blogger sites, as I don't like google and the possibility of them being able to monitor each of my keystrokes.

Go Lions

Ty said...


Actually, Google bought Blogspot quite a while back--basically, Blogger IS Google. The big upside to that is that of course Google favors Blogger sites in its own search engine; I have been amazed at how high my own blog ranks on some searches . . .

Ultimately, it's all part of moving to an information-based economy. I can get a free blogging site, free templates, a robust commenting system, many appealing side gadgets and plug-ins--not to mention ads and analytics--all for free.

The bummer is in order to get those information-spreading services, I have to give up some of my own information. It's obnoxious sometimes, but it beats having to code this all from scratch!

As far as the pick of Curry goes, DF79 is all over it. However, I think salary is one of the primary reasons you take Curry! Given his background and family situation, I believe that he'll sign before the draft for a little bit less--but if you draft Stafford, he and Tom Condon are going to want a massive, capbusting deal. No sir, no thank you, no way.

And the question "if Curry or Stafford is 'good but not great', which puts you further behind?" I think is definitely answered with "Stafford". A QB can lose games for you with one bad read, one bad play, one bad outing. If you hitch the entire team to Stafford's bandwagon and he's like an 80-passer-rating guy, you have capped your offense at that level. But if Curry is only a pretty good starter at SAM, he'll be a massive upgrade over Alex Lewis and a solid contributor for years.

Ty @ The Lions in Winter

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ty, let me think about it for a couple of days. I do have your site bookmarked, visit daily, don't think I've posted.

Yep, we know the defense is bad. Yes we know the lines are bad. But depth chart with Culpepper, Stanton, and Henson doesn't give me goosebumps, even if they add a veteran free agent. My hope is that Stanton will have a breakout year and the Lions pass on a QB at 1.

To that end, regardless, of your opinion of Stanton, I would encourage you to encourage him at:

Go Lions,

Ty said...


Thanks for the nice words, and the bookmark!

I am so glad for your link to the DS site; I immediately signed up--plan to see me there often! I'm a huge DS supporter. In fact, my four-year-old daughter's introduction to football fandom pretty much revolved around good old "Green Number Five". It didn't hurt that my mother taught her to say "Drew Stanton, what a babe!" well before she turned three . . .

Anyway, it's been one of my most fervent hopes that DS catches on and becomes the franchise QB of the Lions. I think that a QB at 1.1 would be a complete waste of both that pick, and DS's talent. Again, you'll plenty of me the DS site (and everywhere else, for that matter!)