Lions Draft Is Concerning (And Not Because They Drafted WR)
By: Eric Thomas
Okay. I have cleaned up my apartment, and the pot has stopped boiling. I have wiped the spit off my screen. I have allowed my head to cool. Of course the destruction was all levied when I heard that the Lions had selected Ryan Broyles in the second round of the draft.
I understand if Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz were surprised at the reaction. Maybe they thought that Lions fans weren’t really paying this much attention. There is significant drop off in viewership from Friday and Saturday night. I am an absolute draft nerd and I cannot watch the second round. I am not so much of a nerd that I can just casually hand over a Friday night to draft coverage. I have a social life. I will watch a game on a Friday night but I can’t watch Mel Kiper. I have lamented this in blogs past, but just for continuity’s sake: GO BACK TO THE OLD WAY!!
Lions fans were horrified at the news. It was almost like the ghost of Matt Millen had come to haunt us. We all thought we paid the short lady from Poltergeist. We have our franchise QB, he managed to not get hurt for a whole season and the Lions actually made the playoffs. We thought we had done the séance and threw the tennis balls. Last year we got a 10 win season, so this house is clear. For a moment fans clapped their hands over their chests in shock. They’re back, as it turns out.
Screaming Millen’s name when you are evaluating the Ryan Broyles pick is ridiculous, and completely unfair. We should not say the name of Mr. Moustache in polite company, and we should certainly not slop it onto the head of the nice man who got you a 10 win season. As far as I am concerned the former President of football operations is Voldemort. That combined with the fact that Broyles is no Mike Williams and they did not pick him in the first round. The former star linebacker at Penn State’s legend is written large in the draft and there should be no comparison. For every person that tells me that the draft is a “crap shoot” ignores that legacy. If it was a crap shoot, one of his 7 drafts would have worked out. One.
The draft was a concerning one, but not because of the Broyles pick. There are serious questions in this group of players. Mayhew has long said “Best Player Available” and that policy is a good one. But when you are evaluating players how can you continue to ignore “durability” as an attribute?
The one theme that runs through the players selected is the questions about their ability to stay on the field. Let’s skip Reilly Reiff who has started every single game he has ever played in college. For an O lineman, that’s a beast of a statistic. But Broyles is recovering from an ACL tear now. “Bill” Bentley has a lot of people interested, but he fell to the 3rd round because scouts doubt he has the size to play DB in the NFL.
Ronnell Lewis, who has been touted as a super steal in the 4th round, has a medical sheet that would make a hypochondriac proud. He has had a long history of nagging back injuries which joins the knee injuries that started last year. Let’s add these guys to the list of players we already have that are going to have trouble getting back on the field. Jahvid Best has been snake bit by injuries the last two years, Kevin Smith, Mikel Leshoure and not to mention the upcoming suspensions for Marijuana arrests.
I hated the idea of Janoris Jenkins. I argued that the guy was going to not be on the field because he had so many problems off it. I argued that it was like drafting an injured player. Had I known that the Lions would be so enthusiastic about drafting out of the ER, I would have begged out loud for Jenkins profusely.
The only thing staying my hand of outrage is Mayhew and Schwartz got us 10 wins last year. That gets a lot of leeway from me. But if Christmas doesn’t come and half the team is on crutches, the Lions will hopefully finally learn this little lesson.