(find all complete answers from the full panel here.)
1. If Matthew Stafford is our pick at 1.1, how many games does Daunte Culpepper start next season?
Way too early for me to answer this question. Can Stafford step right in? I’m not so sure of that. How dedicated is Culpepper, really, at this point? He played his best under Linehan and seems very motivated to take advantage of the opportunity he has stumbled into in Detroit to possibly get back into the League again and attempt to recapture his fallen star. But I think that the coaching staff is just as clueless as we are when it comes to who will start how many games. My hunch says that unless the Lions are playoff bound, Culpepper starts out the year, and then Stafford takes over after week 8 if the Lions aren’t in the thick of the hunt. They may even wait til mathematically eliminated – which wouldn’t be any sooner than week 7 even if they went winless. So my gut says final answer: Daunte starts 10 games, Stafford 6.
2. If Jason Smith/Eugene Monroe is our pick at 1.1, where does Jeff Backus play next year?
Someplace else. Despite the talk of moving Jeff to OG, lets face it: he has always been an emotional player and I’m not sure if he could mentally and physically play OG at a higher level than either Daniel Loper or Stephen Peterman, whom I have penciled in as starters at LG and RG respectively. What to really do with Backus is why I don’t think OT is on the top of the Lions’ priority list, despite what many fans feel. If he doesn’t beat out Loper and Peterman at OG, or the rookie at OT (I can’t see them sliding him to the right and benching Cherilus) then he is a very expensive backup. Assuming they pick either Smith or Monroe, I look at them to move Backus for likely an additional 3rd rounder draft day to a team that loses out on one of the top young OT’s. There are, sadly enough, plenty of teams for whom Backus would be an upgrade at tackle. The only thing I don’t like about taking an OT this year is that you are upgrading a position that is filled with an average player right now, versus one of the roster spots that is essentially empty.
3. If you could bring back any former Lion (not named Barry Sanders) to be a part of this team, who and why?
This is a really tough one – but I’d have to go with Chris Spielmen or Robert Porcher. MLB and a dominant DE are things the Lions haven’t had since either of those men took the field for the Lions – and both would immediately upgrade the team.