Monday, February 15, 2010

#2 Pick: Gerald McCoy, DT (Fanball Mock 1)

#2 Pick: Gerald McCoy, DT (Fanball Mock 1)

February 15th, 2010 | by detfan1979 |


Gerald McCoy, DT Oklahoma Sooners (Junior)

This pick was, when I looked at the available players, actually easier than I had thought it would be. The Lions have lacked a dominant DT since Shaun Rogers was shipped off for Leigh Bodden and another blown Millen pick. Even then, Rogers was streaky and oft injured. Couple that with a lack of real players at DE since Porcher retired, and you can guess the Lions’ pass rush has done anything BUT rush the opposing QB’s.

That started to change a little bit last season with new coaches, and the new front office bringing in talent. Cliff Avril showed some promise at time at DE, as did Jason Hunter. DeWayne White is a solid DE who couldn’t get over the injury bug yet again. At DT, the Lions had big old Grady Jackson — but they also had the future in Sammie Hill (the 2009 4th rounder out of Stillman). Hill is a big guy, and has already developed from one of the worst first pre-season games I have ever seen into a decent run-stuffer. His continual and consistent improvement on learning how to leverage his size with technique while making the jump from small school to the NFL cannot be understated. He will possibly never develop above the run-stuffing role, but even that would be huge if there were some dominant pass-rushing DT to put next to him…

Enter McCoy. DT is a need, and McCoy fills it. But the Lions don’t draft for need, so I had to be sure and consider the alternatives.

No, you didn’t hear me wrong. Quick detour — I have written about Martin Mayhew and the style of drafting that the Detroit Lions use. I had been struggling to come up with a good acronym until I saw a picture of my nephew and it struck me (basic logo design copyright DC Comics):


The Detroit Lions are going to look at their board in each level of the draft, and take the most talented player that fills ANY need. Period. Now, at the top of the draft for pick number two, we need to look at the next available guys at any position of need and decide if they are more talented than Gerald McCoy.

There were really only three possibilities jumped out at me: Oklahoma OT Russel Okung, Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan, and Tennesse S Eric Berry. All three have positives and negatives, and fill needs for Detroit.

Derrick Morgan, DE Georgia Tech: Nothing against Morgan, but I just don’t feel he grades out talent wise on the same level as Berry and McCoy, both on the board in this scenario. Coupled with the WR-Like failure rate of highly-drafted DE’s in recent years, and it just doesn’t feel like he is a guy to take at #2 when he could slide halfway down the round.

Russel Okung, OT Oklahoma: He is the best OT in a generally weak class at the position. While he has talent, Backus is playing the best he has in years, and the LG is more of a priority but none of the OG’s grade out near this high. The Lions want a backup to Backus to groom (since their project OT, Lydon Murtha was swiped by Miami off the practice squad last season) but will likely find that inlater rounds. Okung is good, but not #2 good. Toss in how similarly rated OT’s from last year fared, and it is a fair indication that the Lions will feel they can get a tackle of Okung’s ability in later years lower in the first round. I would hazard a guess they are right.

Eric Berry, S Tennesse: Berry came the closest of any player to being considered by me over McCoy. Both are superb against the run. Berry can drop into coverage well and is a playmaker in the defensive backfield. The problem is, the Lions have one of those: Louis Delmas. This will drop the overall rating of Berry on the Lions’ BATFAN board (albeit, not by much). From a need standpoint, I could talk about the Lions’ Dline taking precedent over the d-backfield, so on and so forth. But priority of need doesn’t apply here — it is about talent and depth at the position. The Lions can get a solid Safety in Rounds 2 or 3 this year thanks to fantastic depth at both that and other defensive positions. The drop-off to the next rated DT’s is much higher. Berry is a playmaker, no doubt. But his BATFAN rating will be lower due to the numerous other options at that position as I outlined a month or so ago.

With no other players really coming close, this left me the easy choice of taking Gerald McCoy at #2. If the Rams do something crazy like take a QB at #1, well…then we see the Lions front office really earn their pay as they have to pick from McCoy and Suh…

Rating: 9.4/10 (10 votes cast)
Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • E-mail this story to a friend!
  • NewsVine
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis

Tags: , , , , ,

9 Responses to “#2 Pick: Gerald McCoy, DT (Fanball Mock 1)”

  1. By RamsHerd on Feb 16, 2010

    Logical choice, and one that gives Jim Schwartz a “swiss army knife” on defense to get creative and disruptive with. Also, really dig the analysis on the Lions’ post-Millen draft philosophy. Nice piece.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  2. By Lopper on Feb 16, 2010

    I think that you are probably right that they will take McCoy if Suh is gone. My concern with the pick is that McCoy uses quickness to get into the backfield, so he chooses a gap and runs through it. If I understand the Lions system correctly, it calls for the DTs to stand in front of the guards and wait for the running back either between the guard and centre or guard and tackle. It seems like that would not use McCoy’s biggest strength, his off the line quickness, very well. Maybe my understanding is just during running plays, and they would let him loose during passing downs. If McCoy is only going to be at his best for the Lions during passing plays, they may look hard at Berry who would be an upgrade during every down the defence is on the field. Either way I’ll be happy, and I think that the Lions will only pick McCoy if they think he fits what they want to do, and his pass rush ability would be nice to have.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  3. By Woody on Feb 16, 2010

    As exoected, your analysis of the Lion’s draft philosophy is spot on. I wish other posters would quit talking about need, as that is not a primary concern. Best player available is. And we have soooo many holes (needs) that we “need” good players everywhere. May the best man win!!

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  4. By nocoach on Feb 16, 2010

    totally unrelated note, our boy Ammano re-upped with the titans.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  5. By Woody on Feb 17, 2010

    More on the same theme.

    By my calculation, we have 17 “needs”. Nine on defense and 8 on offense. Delmans and Levy (and maybe Hill) are potentially long term starters. The other nine postions “need” to be upgraded or replaced. None of those players will ever be a pro bowler. On offense only Calvin Johnson, Pettigrew and Stafford are potentially pro bowlers. The other 8 – the entire offensive line, two receivers, and a running back – all need to be upgraded or replaced. None of our current players at those postions will ever be a pro bowler.
    Therefore, when Mayhew drafts, he must select the best available player at any of 17 positions. We “need” a pro bowl caliber player at that many different postions. Thus, Mayhew’s plan to select the best player available (BPA) is the best and only approach.
    He may be able to patch in a few free agents, but none of them is likely to be of permanent (pro bowl) caliber.
    It will take several good drafts of overcome the mess Millen made of his past 8 drafts.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  6. By Clusterfox on Feb 17, 2010

    Great Pick, Great read. I agree with your assessment on the need for talent. One of the names that I keep seeing in mocks falling to the second round is Brandon Spikes. Could this be one of the reasons we’re dragging our heals on Foote and posibly letting JP go. This was an early 1st rd guy if he would’ve come out last year. Just a thought, I’m not sure if the success of Levy would deter us, but I have to believe we would get him for a great price and eliminate 2 big contracts. If he can play SAM it gives us a great deal of flexibility and an even better 3-4 look with Dizon, Levy, Spikes, Sims and McCoy’s ability to play some DE.

    I could just be dreaming, but there is a ton of talent at the top of round 2. So the odds might be in favor of us trading out of that pick but if all the big names are gone from areas of need, and we don’t have anyone willing to trade. I think this would really help solidify our D for years to come. Stud DT, Stud LB first two picks that sounds good to me.


    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  7. By Isphet on Feb 18, 2010

    If the Rams go with a QB (they might since they’ce drafted D line the last few years with their first picks) and Suh is still on the board, I think the Lions take Suh.

    He’s 10+ lbs heavier, and since most other measureables are pretty equal between the 2, his season stats were significantly better than McCoy’s.

    Though it’s also possible that a team will overpay and trade up to the Lions if Suh is still on the board when it comes time for the Lions to pick.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  8. By HitstickDelmas26 on Mar 31, 2010

    I agree with you in two parts, one, we need to draft best player avaliable. Two, Eric Berry is the best player avaliable, but you don’t think he is, you think he is top two. Other than that, you’re points are invalid. McCoy could be a good pro, he will not be dominant because he is simply not strong enough. He plays with good leverage but his bench was too pitiful to be considered a top pick. Clearly, Suh would be a better choice/fit/playmaker at the next level with the way he uses his hands/strength/quickness…I don’t see how everyone says McCoy will be a better pass rushing DT when Suh dominated McCoy in the statbook for pass rush skills. Regardless, I don’t want Suh, clearly our most glaring need now is the secondary. Berry is the best safety prospect I have ever seen. Move Delmas to SS and have them both play half the field. That will help our run game day 1, as well as help our corners in coverage. They can both blitz pretty well too. And your talk about a weak LT class? really? This is the strongest LT class in the history of the draft. Your top 3 talents in the draft, one of them is Derrick Morgan? First off, I’d rather have at least 3 other DE prospects over Morgan, Graham could be the next Dwight Freeney, and he might slip to the 2nd round… And a deep Safety class? Wow… There is one great safety with Berry, two safeties that will be a reach, but both first rounders with Thomas and Mays. Other than the guy from UCF, I don’t see any other NFL caliber safeties in later rounds. My last point… DT this year is really deep as well, when a position is deep, you have to take that into consideration for later rounds, no matter if you draft for BPA or not. So for those simple reasons I believe we trade our pick down, or take Eric Berry or Suh. I wouldn’t mind Okung, he is a stud LT, probably the best overall LT I have seen in recent memory with Pass/Run blocking, strength/quickness. The Lions are talking about trading for that left guard from OSU/Seattle for a 5th round pick. Which would cancel out Okung in my assessment. So take Eric Berry please, or Suh if we must. I hope you were making your points just for a good discussion, because they were not valid.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  9. By detfan1979 on Mar 31, 2010

    While I may like Eric Berry, I’m trying to think like the Lions in my pick on this version. If he were a CB – no problem, easy choice. In this scenario, Suh went 1 to the Rams. If that happens, then I would say there is a high probability that Mayhew trades out of the #2 spot to someone who wants Bradford. At that point, I think that Okung and Berry definitely enter the discussion, along with Williams DT and many others.

    By “weak” LT class I am just going with what I’ve read — there are several first round LT prospects in this draft, but they are in small bunches of players where there is not a lot of differentiation between them. I don’t buy the Backus to LG ploy, and don’t think Okung or any of the others will beat out Backus their first year. There is no Joe Thomas level LT this draft, and there are solid LT prospects to be found in the upper third of the first round almost every year. Even if they beat my expectations, the Lions will be in or near the top 10 picks again in 2011.

    As for Safety, there aren’t a deep 3-4 “elite” S prospects, but from what I’ve been reading there are quite a few solid S prospects — starting caliber, but not your pro-bowl types — quite far into the draft this year. Do we need to pro-bowl Safeties? I’d love to see a Berry-Delmas deep backfield, don’t get me wrong. When it comes to these top players this year we are all splitting hairs. One being good doesn’t make the others bad. My job with this article was to explain my pick made within the parameters of the draft based on what I think the Lions would do and why. Based on my limited information, I may choose differently. Keep in mind as well secondary is a “bigger” need, but they have their own rating system and won’t reach.

    I really appreciate the comments — and hope that you look at other articles on here as well and feel free to comment! I love dissenting opinion when it is well phrased and supported. I think they trade #2 if Suh goes one.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

No comments: