Sunday, January 24, 2010

Safety 2 Detroit? Think again…

Safety 2 Detroit? Think again…

January 24th, 2010 | by detfan1979 |

Louis Delmas is really the only player in the secondary right now that would unquestionably start for quality teams. However, I don’t think that we will see the Lions taking his backfield mate at Safety at #2. I am just as big an Eric Berry fan as anyone, but lets look at this from a depth of talent standpoint.

At the top of the DT class are McCoy and Suh. One of them will be there at #2. DT is a “high priority” position. They are both considered head and shoulders after what will be avialable later. Both are also near or at the top of every talent board. McCoy, who is more likely to be available, is considered more of a pass-rushing DT which fits next to big Sam Hill. Unless the Lions get good trade offer (Say, two ones, or a high one and two – which is possible, though not probable) they will possibly be taking one of the two.

While Berry has been talked about as well that high — including what will be endless debate about whether he can also play CB, Nickleback, and fly (just kidding on that last one) in addition to S, there is something else that will keep him from a #2 grade on the Lions’ board — depth.

One part of BPA-FAN (Best Player Available, Fill Any Need) is their overall grade in relation to the grades of the next ten guys, and what the dropoff in talent level at that position is expected to be based on where other players will be available. Do you take a Laurinitis at 20 who is graded at say an 8 on your board, when you can get a Levy whom you may have graded 7.9 in the middle of the third — two full rounds later? You do if you need a guy at a position who is graded an 8 (assuming 8 was your rating number for the pick) where the drop off to the next round is, say, a 6 or 7. Clear as mud.

According toprofootball scout, this is a very deep draft class. Since there isn’t a “direct link” (its a blog entry) – I’ll post it here:

2010 Safety Class

It’s a position that used to be taken for granted, but the safety position has gone from the forgotten two players defending the last line of defense to playmakers that can mean the difference between wins and losses. And for teams that need playmakers at the safety position, the 2010 draft is shaping up to be the deepest and most talented safety crop in the history of the spring spectacle.

You know it’s a special safety class when for the first time in the history of the draft six underclassmen have declared and one of the six has received No. 1 overall consideration. Tennessee’s Eric Berry is considered a top-two prospect, but since the St. Louis Rams hold the No. 1 pick, it’s unlikely that Berry will become the first safety ever be selected with the top pick. But he has a chance to be the second safety drafted with the No. 2 pick. The Cleveland Browns selected Eric Turner out of UCLA with the 2nd overall selection in the 1991 draft, and the Lions could make Berry the 2nd overall pick this year.

In addition to Berry, the other five safeties that declared early for the NFL are Morgan Burnett (Georgia Tech), Chad Jones (LSU), Reshad Jones (Georgia), Earl Thomas (Texas) and Major Wright (Florida). All six will likely come off the board in the first three rounds of the draft.

The six underclassmen make this class special, and when you add in the senior talent it becomes elite.

The senior safeties are headlined by USC’s Taylor Mays, the most gifted athlete at the position and a sure first round selection. At 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, Mays offers a team at the next level tremendous versatility and an intimidating prowess that hasn’t been seen in quite some time. Other senior safeties that will generate interest in the first three rounds are Nate Allen (South Florida), T.J. Ward (Oregon), Darrell Stuckey (Kansas) and Kam Chancellor (Virginia Tech).

To think that 11 safeties could be selected in the first three rounds of a single draft is unheard of, especially since there’s only been four years this decade (2000, 2007, 2008 and 2009) where more than 11 safeties have been taken in an entire draft.

2010 is a great year to have a need for a safety
Mayhew showed us through his actions last year that he takes a methodical, logical, consistent approach to the draft. While he certainly won’t hit on every pick (he is human, after all, as are the scouts and people they are picking) he will follow a set methodology and be fully prepared for the draft when it arrives. With the depth at safety, I can easily see them taking a guy in the 2nd or 3rd round. Since I think one or both picks could be traded, it makes it hard to say who or where — but my money right now is on one of those safeties going to Detroit before round 3 is over to pair with Delmas and secure Detroit’s two starting safeties with talented young players.
(Note: be sure to check out Ty’s latest research project including lots of film clips at the Lions in Winter. Great stuff on the D-line!)
Rating: 10.0/10 (6 votes cast)
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5 Responses to “Safety 2 Detroit? Think again…”

  1. By British Lion on Jan 25, 2010

    I totally agree about not taking a Safety at the top of the draft. We already have a player at the position, and the draft is literally loaded with safeties.

    Also to anyone who replies the maybe Berry can play CB too, you don’t draft someone in the top 5 with the plan to change his position. Playing CB and Safety are too disimilar. He might make a good CB but he is in the top 5 as a safety.

    However, everything I read also says the draft is deep in DT players. Couple this with the type of DT Cunning-Shwartz is looking for (run stuffing two gapper), these bigger guys with who score lower on the blockbuster measurables tend to be found lower down in drafts. There are defnately a bunch of bigger DT in the second tier.

    There currently is not a DE or CB rated as high as the second pick, which are two areas of high need where the talent level will matter maybe more. (Ie I think it would be better to get the best DE or CB and the 3/4th best DT as opposed to the other way around.)

    Which leaves only one other position of real value OT.

    Now I have seen alot of positive reports on the Lions line, essentially saying that if everyone stays fit and we find a LG we could be set. LG should be addressable in FA so go Line later on in the draft.

    But all these articles also acknowledge the age of Riola and Backus. We need more youth on that line.

    Thus if I was picking, I would target the best ranked OT (so long as one is worthy of a top 5 pick [Okung is there is most mocks at the momment]). Start him at G and move him out later, or if he beats out backus all the better. Then you have two young book end tackles who if they don’t pan out might be moveable inside.

    I just don’t think we need a safety at number 2 and i don’t think Suh or McCoy fit the profile of a Cunning-Schwartz DT. No DEs or CBs crept up that high yet, OT IS a need and there is currently an OT up that high…

    This will all change as stocks rise and fall (alot…) but I think OT is a much of a need/value as DE and CB at number 2 and more than DT or Safety

    Rating: 2.0/5 (2 votes cast)
  2. By Clusterfox on Jan 27, 2010

    “you don’t draft someone in the top 5 with the plan to change his position.”

    Not that I’m disagreeing with the thought its just that it looks funny when you follow it up with.

    “Thus if I was picking, I would target the best ranked OT (so long as one is worthy of a top 5 pick [Okung is there is most mocks at the momment]). Start him at G”

    As a former lineman, I do believe its silly that everyone assumes that all OTs can play guard then we will just move him out to tackle when we need to. I think the lions need a Young talented Guard via FA or the draft(one that could play center maybe)and a Tackle to develop from the draft. that is atleast 2 oline, one interior one tackle.


    Rating: 4.0/5 (3 votes cast)
  3. By DetFan1979 on Jan 27, 2010

    I don’t think the Lions are locked in on DT as the bigger need. Keep in mind what they will lock in on is combination of best talent and attributes (mental and physical) and take that person. Unlike the solid scheme coaches Detroit has had in the recent past, this front office is all about getting talent, and using it. No square pegs in round holes.

    As doran OG/C that is young – that is yet another reason I want them to pursue Eugene Amano as their #1 free agent. Not only is he a proven LG, but he is also a converted Center. Talk about value! This would allow them to take a developmental tackle in the later rounds, and also an OG/C later on that can back up both Peterman (who has had some injury trouble) and Raiola.

    Remember: FA is to fill need. For Martin Mayhew, the draft is all about themost talented players at a position of any need. With the dearth of depth and quality starters intje Lions, don’t look for this to change any time soon

    Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)
  4. By David M on Jan 28, 2010

    Im glad you made this point about value and its relation to depth at the position.
    This draft most certainly is knee deep in quality safeties. In fact, I would think a player like Myron Rolle would be a great pick up after round 2.
    You have to ask yourself, which scenario sounds better to the Lions:
    -picking a guy like Gerald McCoy in round 1, and getting a Myron Rolle in round 3, or…

    -selecting Eric Berry first, and trying for someone like Geno Atkins from Georgia in round 3-4.

    We need to generate a pass rush. If we can’t pressure opposing QB’s, it won’t matter if we have Charles Woodson roaming the defensive backfield.

    Mike Mayock said it himself, that the top two DT’s are head and shoulders above any other players in the draft.

    And one final note, I really like Delmas as an instinctive player and as a leader for our defense. Berry offers similar qualities, which may overlap with Delmas’s. This could diminish his value in the eyes of Mayhew and Schwartz.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  5. By detfan1979 on Jan 29, 2010

    A backfield with a healthy Bullocks, Delmas, Simpson and a 3rd rounder like Myron Rolle would look much better if you had a Dline with Sammie Hill and Gerald McCoy in the middle, and a DE rotation of White, Avril, Hunter, and Brandon Graham. That is a distinct possibility if the cards fall right. The Lions can make a weak defensive backfield solid by adding a player or two from the mid rounds (due to depth at S especially) and getting the top pass rushers in the first and second rounds. There is still a long time to go before the draft, but depth of position and who is available is an issue — and trade back is almost ALWAYS on the table. Trade up — not so much.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

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