13 January 2011
Between you and me, I can't wait for some legitimate Detroit Lions news. After slaving over a hot laptop daily for the last six months, I do have to admit the lack of any real stories coming out of the Lions' Allen Park HQ has been a relief. It also means things are nice, quiet and most importantly, stable, within the Lions' front office and coaching staff. Which is something we haven't been able to say for the past several years.
But there is something large looming in the distance...the NFL draft.
But the draft is in the far distance! It's on the distant horizon. It's nowhere close. Not that you'd know it by the amount of talk the draft generates.
At The Lions in Winter, Ty rants (yes, rants) about the NFL draft. Specifically over the fact its FAR too early to make any sort of educated guess as to whom the Lions will draft.
The uncomfortable truth is that nobody but real scouts have real grades on these players at this point--anything you hear about players' relative values are just guesses (with varying degrees of education behind them). Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, and pro day results will swing these players up and down many slots; obsessing about whether or not the Lions will have a crack at John Q. Cornerback in the fourth is meaningless, because his forty time could swing him up or down a round (or two). Trying to figure out whether you think the Lions should go offense or defense in the sixth is hopeless, because the sixth-round pick may struggle to make the roster--let alone make an impact.
Here, here! I'm in total agreement! I look at the latest mock drafts...and roll my eyes.
The hype for the 2011 NFL draft is already gaining its inevitable, unstoppable momentum. But it's JANUARY! The draft is three months away! Hell, the college season only wrapped last Monday (which is ridiculous, and a rant for another time), yet fans and draftniks are already trying to peg the upcoming draft.
Because draft talk drives page views, newspaper sales, sport talk radio ears and TV eyes. Period. Exclamtion point.
The thing is, it's too damn early to get caught up in the draft hype. Anyone other than the most clued in NFL scouts can make a truly informed and educated guess as to whom the Lions will draft. Even then, it's still the proverbial shot in the dark. You're kidding yourself if you think otherwise.
For example, I've already heard the drum beat for the Lions to take LSU CB Patrick Peterson and Alabama RB Mark Ingram, to name only two. Would both be a good fit? Of course they would. The Lions need depth at both positions. Peterson and Ingram should both be fine NFL players.
But Peterson plays a position EVERY team wants to upgrade, and even the least educated of fans knows, as things currently stand, he won't be there are 13. (I don't know exactly where Peterson will go...it's TOO EARLY...but it will definitely be before the Lions go on the clock) As for Ingram, the Lions have more important needs than taking a 1st round RB...even if he ends up being the best player on the board at 13th overall.
There's a reason Martin Mayhew recently said the Lions would continue with their philosophy of slecting the best player on the board...within reason. Taking a skill position player with the 13th overall pick is NOT within reason.
Despite the caveats, it doesn't stop the guessing game over the NFL draft. But that's just what a mock draft is, little more than a guessing game. You'd do just as well picking names out of a hat.
For that matter, the actual draft itself is a glorified guessing game, a flip of the coin.
Just ask Matt Millen.
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