[As I indicated, I will be answering questions from the email-bag for the next few days, tackling a question or two at a time. Today's topic is briefly WR, and then it's all MLB...]
Looking at our recievers, CJ mentioned them on the Lions website as big bodies, but also like they were the top four. The four he mentioned were Bryant Johnson, Chris Hannon, John Standeford....and himself. What are your thoughts about these receivers and their potential, as well as Steve Sanders whom he did not mention?Also, do you feel Dizon has enough frame to add maybe 15-20 pounds to make him a "bigger" LB and maybe a MLB candidate? ~~ Patrick
I think there is more potential in the Lions WR corps than most. While they are sorely lacking a returner out of that bunch, I think it is much stronger than it appears. Also, remember that Linehan likes two TE formations, so look for the Lions to have fewer 3 and 4 wide sets. CJ can be a dominant #1, I think Bryant Johnson is a solid #2 guy, and Standeford played very well once he was finally given a chance. The others are a little sketchier, and I forsee them drafting a WR/KR at some point this draft, or bringing in a ton of return guys for mini-camps and camp. They may have resigned Cason, but I'm sure Kwan has nightmares about actually having to start another season with him as his return man...
As for Dizon, I'm not really sure if he has the right frame to add a lot of bulk. I think he has a chance to be a solid backup, and ST player on this team, but not a lot more. See next question for more...
Where is the Lions biggest area (position) of need? I know they need a ton of players to become a playoff team but what is the weakest position on the team right now? IMHO it would be MLB. Dizon however appears to be a typical Millen bust ala Teddy Lehman.~~ Ibjackiemoon
It is by far MLB. The Lions have bodies at every single position at this point except MLB. While other positions will be upgrades (and some of them will be very easy to make big upgrades to) there is no real MLB on the roster right now. Schwartz wants a 3 down MLB and will do his darndest to be sure they get one in this draft. It is one of the reasons I think Curry is still in the mix for #1 overall.
As for Lehman, he was fantastic his rookie year -- but he fell on draft boards due to durability/injury concerns and they proved, unfortunately, to be well founded. He is a great LB when healthy. Unfortunately, he hasn't been healthy since his rookie season and likely never will be again. Boss Baily was a lack of tackling ability and again, durability (Millen seemed to takes durability risk most often, and he always lost. See also, Calhoun, Brian.) Dizon was a reach pure and simple because the Lions needed a LB badly, and they were so inept at hiding their draft plans that the Pats felt they had to snag Mayo early to get him -- and they did. Imagine if Mayo had fallen to Detroit? The Lions panicked and took Dizon VERY early, instead of taking BPA or even close and waiting to take a chance on a MLB til the 3rd or 4th.
Interesting idea about Dizon....IF we took Curry with #1 does anyone think that a Sims, Curry, Dizon, and Peterson LB core, that would be put in sometimes under that Hybrid 4-3/3-4 that the DC seems to be leaning towards to put pressure on the opposing QB, would be as killer as I think it would be??? ~~ DesertLion
I don't think Dizon plays significantly into the Lions' plans unless he really starts bulking up and working his tail off. He was a pretty instinctual player when he was on the field (limited though that time was) but lacked a lot of polish. As I said, he can be a solid backup at LB and ST player, but I don't see him becoming any more than that. Alex Lewis, when healthy, is a better SLB and has a better chance of making the team as Peterson's backup. When they do shift to a 3-4 at times, it will be Avril or White dropping into an OLB possible pass rush position. Both can cover decently, and with Peterson able to rush the passer and Sims on the other side, not matter which DE they drop into the 4th LB spot, the other team will have a very hard time telling if the rush will come from one or both OLB. Dizon is not necessary at all for that to work.
Just having Sims-Curry-Peterson if they pick up a good DT will be frightening for opposing offenses. It would move the Lions from laughing-stock to fully-stocked at LB as one of the best trios in the league. And for what they would be paying for it, it darn well better be!!