It's official. We fans are being trolled by the the NFL, the NFL Network, and NFL players.
Via the New York Post:
Tim Tebow might be the No. 2 quarterback on the Jets’ depth chart, but he’s the only one considered one of the best players in football by his peers.
Tebow was ranked 95th on the NFL Network’s list of the Top 100 players in the league as voted on by the players. Jets’ starter Mark Sanchez is not on the list.
The only explanation I have for the vote...
Words fail me. Pictures will have to suffice.
Regardless of the vote, I'm sure the players of at least one NFL team didn't think Tim Tebow deserved to be anywhere near a best players list...
With NFL roster sizes having been increased to 90 players, the race is on for teams to ink undrafted free agents to fill out their training camp rosters. Multiple warm bodies are a must have when in midst of August two-a-days under a withering sun. The Detroit Lions are no different, and have signed 13 players since the draft came to an end on Saturday.
The biggest name the Lions picked up is Boise State QB Kellen Moore, who is expected to become their developmental 3rd string QB. Moore has all the intangibles you want in a QB, but his lacking in size and arm strength is why he made it through all 7 rounds undrafted.
The Lions are a good match for Moore, with their need for a 3rd stringer behind Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan's excellent reputation for developing young QB's.
But Moore isn't the only player the Lions have signed, though by far the biggest name. Including Moore, they have added 13 players to the roster:
- Rodney Austin, G: Elon
- Quinn Barham, OL: Penn State
- Michael Cosgrove, DT: Idaho
- Derek Dimke, K: Illinois
- Patrick Edwards, WR: Houston
- Alex Gottlieb, TE: William & Mary
- Jared Karstetter, WR: Washington State
- Monte Lewis, DE: Jacksonville State
- Carmen Messina, LB: New Mexico
- Kellen Moore, QB: Boise State
- J.C. Oram, OL: Weber State
- Sam Proctor, S: Oklahoma
- Ronnie Sneed, ILB: Kentucky
Will any of these players, Moore excluded, be expected to make any kind of impact, let alone the 53 man roster or practice squad? To be blunt, your guess is as good as mine. Odds are, no one will. But if 1 or 2 diamonds in the rough are found, then the Lions can consider themselves extremely successful.
With the draft over and 13 more players under contract, are the Lions done? Not even close. There could be more undrafted free agents on the horizon. Don't forget there should be veteran players available via the waiver wire as rookies begin to sign their contracts, leading to rosters being semi-purged. The Lions will be on the lookout for any released veterans who could help, especially in the secondary.no comments
The NFL Network is reporting Boise State's star quarterback, Kellen Moore, an undrafted free agent, is expected to sign with the Detroit Lions. With Drew Stanton having moved on via free agency, Moore is going to compete for the now vacant 3rd string QB position, behind incumbent starter Matthew Stafford and veteran backup Shaun Hill.
Mlive's Anwar S. Richardson details Moore's stellar college numbers:
Moore was 50-3 as a college starter at Boise State. Last season, Moore was 326-of-439 (74.3 percent) for 3,800 yards, nine interceptions and a career-best 43 touchdowns. In 2010 as a junior, Moore was 273-of-383 (71.3 percent) for a career-high 3,845 yards, 35 touchdowns and six interceptions. He finished fourth in the Heisman voting (first Bronco ever invited to the ceremony). Moore also earned First Team All-American and All-WAC honors.
So why wasn't Moore drafted? He's thought to be too small for a pro-style QB at 6 foot even, and has an average arm, at best. Looked at in that vein, Moore is the anti-Matthew Stafford. But productivity talks, and Moore was a very, very productive college QB.
The Lions needed a developmental QB. Signing Moore as that player is a win-win. The get a young QB with all the intangibles who should make league minimum as their number 3, and they didn't have to burn a draft pick in order to get him.
Kellen Moore Boise State highlight reel (WARNING: Annoying music and Smurf Turf):
Moore with Jon Gruden: (WARNING: CHUCKY)
Moore isn't the only post draft addition. The Freep's Dave Birkett reports the Lions have come to terms with 2 other undrafted free agents:
Kicker Derek Dimke of Illinois agreed to terms with the Lions, his agent Paul Sheehy tweeted. Offensive lineman Rodney Austin of Elon also has agreed to terms with the team, according to a tweet from Atlas Strategies president Mark Magazu.
And the jockeying for warm training camp bodies begins.no comments
With the 16th pick in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL draft, 223rd overall, the Lions selected Travis Lewis, a 6'1 1/2", 233 pound OLB from Oklahoma. A 4 year starter for the Sooners, leading the team in tackles his first 3 seasons, Lewis posted 83 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack his senior year, which was derailed early on by a broken bone his his left foot.
Lewis started every game of his 4 year Sooners career, is 3rd in OU history in career tackles with 445, 3 time 2nd team all Big 12, and won Big 12 Freshman of the Year. So why was such an acclaimed cllege player available to the Lions in the 7th round? Speed, a lack of it.
Lewis ran a 4.88 40, third lowest among linebackers, at the NFL combine. He ran a 4.75 at his Oklahoma pro day, but it wasn't enough to convince teams he was a mid-round selection, as daftniks had speculated going into the 2011 season.
Tough, productive college linebacker with limited upside. Displays a terrific head for the ball, instinctive and quick to react. Chases the action hard, takes good angles to plays and remains disciplined with assignments. Fluid moving laterally, makes plays out to the sidelines and relatively effective in space. Squares into ballcarriers and wraps up when tackling.
Lewis is a player who may not have all the physical tools (ie: straight ahead speed), but he's a heady football player who has gotten has far as he has on effort. Considering his pedigree and productivity playing at the highest levels if college ball, I wouldn't bet against Lewis making his mark on the Lions on special teams and as a backup linebacker.
Travis Lewis highlights:
Lewis in the 2010 Big 12 championship game:
So the 2012 NFL Draft is finally, thankfully over.
After drafting offensive players in the first 2 rounds of the NFL Draft, freaking out Lions fans worldwide, rounds 3 through 7 were a defensive sweep for Lions. The final draft tally was 1 offensive tackle, 1 wide receiver, 3 defensive backs (rounds 3, 5 and 6) and 3 linebackers (rounds 4, 5 and 7).
The Mlive contingent should be damn happy tonight.no comments
With the 27th pick in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL draft, 196th overall, the Lions selected Jonte Green, a 5'10 1/2", 174 pound cornerback from New Mexico State. A 3 year starter for the Aggies, Green was 2nd team all-WAC as a senior with 64 tackles, 1 interception and 14 passes defended. Reports have Green bulking up since the end of season, and is reportedly at 191 on draft day.
Martin Mayhew has quieted a Detroit Lions fan base screaming for defense and more specifically, defensive backs, by making day 3 of the draft all about that one side of the ball. 3 of those picks are headed to the Lions' secondary, Green being the third after 3rd round pick Bill Bentley and 5th round selection Chris Greenwood.
Green did impress in during college All-Star game season, winning the MVP award...of a game I never knew existed:
Former New Mexico State defensive back Jonte Green was named Defensive MVP of the AstroTruf NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, National Team, played in late January. Green recorded four tackles, three break ups and an interception in the game.
Athletic cornerback who's displayed a variety of skill in his game. Plays with an aggressive nature, works hard to defend the run and makes a lot of tackles up the field. Keeps the action in front of him, gets a nice jump on the throw and displays a good move to the pass. Can burst to the ball out of his plant and works to make plays. Solid return specialist who sets up blocks, finds the running lanes and quickly gets through them.
In other words, he has special teams written all over him, as you would expect from a late 6th round selection. But the reason the Lions took a flier on on Green is raw athleticism, shown by his 4.40 40 time. The one con which the drafniks consistently bring up with Green is he suffers from a dreaded case of "Short arm disease."
But you can't teach speed, which gives Green a shot at sticking with the Lions.
Here's a 2010 New Mexico State interview reel interspersed with DB practice clips. Green turns up at 2:40:
Best I could do, it gets harder and harder to find video the draft drags on...and on, and on.
The Lions have 1 pick left, the 16th in the 7th round, 223 overall. Will it be a clean sweep in the defensive side of the ball, or will Mayhew take a flyer on a RB or QB.?
Mayhew can be such a wild card, a slave to his best player available philosophy, I really have no idea what he will do at this point.no comments
After standing pat in rounds 1 through 3, Detroit Lions GM Martin Mayhew is rolling the dice with trades in day 3 of the 2012 NFL Draft. He made his third deal of the afternoon, moving up 10 spots in the draft. He sent the Lions' last 2012 pick (7th round, number 230) to the Oakland Raiders for their 5th round selection, moving up to the 148th overall pick. With the Raiders' pick in hand, the Lions selected a Detroiter who remained in state to play college ball, Chris Greenwood, a 6'1", 193 pound CB out of Albion College.
Greenwood's career stats at Albion: 27 games played, 27 games started, 62 tackles, 54 solo, 13 interceptions, 4 returned for TDs, 14 pass break-ups, 26 passes defended.
I'll defer to Mlive's Anwar S. Richardson for Greenwood's bio:
Greenwood, the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association defensive player of the year for Albion He had 24 tackles and two interceptions last season, earning a reputation that kept opponents from throwing the ball in his direction. He was an American Football Coaches Association All-American, and first-team all-conference pick for the third time.
Obviously, the big concern with Greenwood is his DIII small college status. Will he be able to adjust to the speed and talent of the NFL? But by trading up in the draft to select Greenwood in the 5th round, it says very loudly the Lions believe he will.
SI has the scoop on Greenwood's upside:
Nice sized defensive back with outstanding measurables. Effectively reads and diagnoses the action, works well with teammates and fights hard to make positive plays. Battles throughout the action, relatively instinctive and easily runs with opponents in every area of the field. Displays a good degree of explosion in his game, has a burst to the ball and effectively times or anticipates pass defenses. Fluid changing direction, plays with a large degree of quickness and aggressive. Reads receivers eyes and gets his head back around to make plays on the ball.
When you get late into day 3 of the draft, the picks are all about possible upside. You likely aren't going to find a star. But these are the selections where you build depth, fill out special teams, and hope a few ultimately develop into legit NFL starters.
Here's video of Greenwood's career highlights straight from Albion College. Unfortunately, their video department can't afford a telephoto lens, thus the loooong shots. But to Albion's immense credit, it was much easier finding video on Greenwood compared Temple's Tahir Whitehead. Albion >>> Big East:
Greenwood playing against Alma:
The Lions have made defense a priority in day 3 of the NFL draft. With 2 picks left on the day in rounds 6 and 7, we'll see if the Lions make it a defensive sweep, or look to add depth on offense. Say a RB or developmental QB?no comments
Detroit Lions GM Martin Mayhew continues to wheel and deal in day 3 of the 2012 NFL Draft. He made his second trade of the afternoon, sending the Lions' 2013 4th round selection to the Minnesota Vikings for their 2012 5th round pick, the 138th overall. With the Vikings' pick the Lions selected Tahir Whitehead, a 6'1 1/2", 228 pound LB out of Temple.
Whitehead was a 2 year starter for the Owls, and was given Big East all-conference honors as a senior. As team captain, Whitehead posted 70 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, forced 4 fumbles with 3 recoveries in 2012.
The draftniks had Whitehead slotted as a 5th or 6th round selection, so he isn't a reach. Whitehead isn't projected as a starter at the NFL level, but is expected to become a depth LB and a big part of Lions' special teams.
Some of the words I see most often used with Whitehead are "leader", "hard-working", "overachieving" and "competitor". All of which sound like code words for "special teams demon". But there's always room for those sort of players in the NFL.
Pro Football Weekly sums up Whitehead's potential:
A motivated, hardworking overachiever, Whitehead is a lean, competitive, college strong-side linebacker who will have to move to the weak side in the pros. Lacks starter-caliber size and athletic ability but has a good football temperament that could enable him to earn a backup job in a 4-3 and contribute on special teams.
After the shock of drafting WR Ryan Broyles in the 2nd round, the Lions have gone all defense in rounds 3 through 5. Lions Nation breathes a sigh of relief.
Whitehead's combine workout highlights, apparently shot by Abraham Zapruder:
Quick video profile of Whitehead from PFW:
After trading down 9 spots with the San Francisco 49ers, the Detroit Lions finally made their 4th round selection. With the 30th pick in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL draft, 125th overall, the Lions selected Ronnell Lewis , a 6'1 1/2", 237 pound (which seems to vary greatly online) defensive end from Oklahoma. He's an early entry, playing 3 seasons at Oklahoma. As his college career progressed, Lewis developed into a DE, but also played a hybrid end/linebacker position with the Sooners. Lewis posted 60 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks and 1 pick as junior, making all Big 12 in the process.
Lewis was rated by the draftniks as a possible 3rd round pick (or higher), so grabbing him in the 4th comes of as an excellent value selection. And hey, he plays DEFENSE!
From following up on the pick, it seems Lewis has gotten smaller as the draft came closer. I've seen him listed as big as 6'2", 257, and down to the 6'1 1/2", 237 as currently reported. 237 pounds is awful light for an NFL DE. 257 is on the light side as well. The Lions' starters at DE, Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Boesch, as listed at 260 and 271, respectively. Their smallest DE, weight-wise, is Willie Young, at 251. But Young is also 4 inches taller at 6'5". I think Lewis will have to bulk up considerably.
Another red flag was Lewis being ruled academically ineligible for Insight Bowl. Not keeping your grades up during the season, and missing out on what's considered an end of the season reward is never, ever a good sign. But all accounts say Lewis is a good citizen with an excellent work ethic (well, maybe not excellent in class), The Lions second pick of the draft without a police record!
Though I am seeing reports Lewis could play OLB for the Lions, common wisdom says the Lions likely have Lewis slotted to be an edge pass rusher, much in the same mold as Avril. But considering he also played a hybrid DE/LB college, with some scouts having projected him as a LB in the NFL, I wouldn't expect Lewis to make an impact early. Not that he will need to, as DE is one of the Lions' deepest positions. But also keep in mind Avril's long-term contract status is still in flux and Vanden Boesch is well on the bad side of 30. The DE depth chart looks fine and dandy going into the 2012 season, but it could be a much different story in 2013. As for playing OLB, it's another position the Lions are relatively solid at the top of the depth chart, but depth is lacking.
On DetroitLions.com, Tim Twentyman confirms the Lions see Lewis as a DE in their scheme:
“(He’ll play) the hammer position,” Lions coached Jim Schwartz said with a smile.
“He’s a productive football player. He’s a little short for our defensive ends but that’s where he played. He’s been very productive. He’s a good special teams player…probably more of a defensive end, but he might find a hybrid role somewhere.”
You can never have too much defensive line depth. Adding a DE is never a bad thing, sespcially one who may be raw, but has a great deal of upside, as in the case of Lewis.
Ronnell Lewis highlights:
Martin Mayhew made his first deal of the 2012 NFL Draft, trading out of the 117th overall pick.
Detroit traded its fourth-round pick (117th overall) to the 49ers for San Francisco's fourth-round pick (125th overall) and a sixth-round pick (196th overall).
The Lions added an extra selection, regaining a 6th round pick they originally lost as a penalty for last year's tampering charges whem Abe Simpson, aka Gunther Cunningham, opened his mouth quite wide.
We'll soon see what Mayhew has up his sleeve...no comments
With the 22nd pick in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL draft, 85th overall, the Detroit Lions selected Dwight "Bill" Bentley , a 5'10", 185 pound cornerback from Louisiana-Lafayette. A 3 year starter for the Ragin Cajuns, Bentley was Sun Belt all-conference as a senior with 71 tackles, 3 interceptions and 6 passes defended.
My first thought when the Lions picked Bentley? "He's not a wide receiver! Thank f'n God."
Second? "About damn time Martin Mayhew started to address the defense."
Third thought? "5'10, 185? Now I now why his nickname is 'Little Bill'."
Fourth? "Keep repeating to yourself, 'Best player available, best player available...'"
And finally, fifth? "Bentley has no police record? WHOO!"
Bentley impressed in off season workouts, standing out at the Senior Bowl. But it's hard to shake off his small size and playing in mid-major conference. Some had him rated a top 10 corner going into the draft, though Bentley going in the 3rd round feels like the Lions getting him for market value.
Bentley should develop into a starter in time, but he's likely slated for nickel duty off the bat. He definitely fills a huge need. How well remains to be seen. But Bentley will play immediately. If he doesn't, the Lions have major issues in the secondary.
Here's video of his Senior Bowl workouts:
A longer set of highlights of Bentley playing against San Diego State in 2011:
On to day 3 of the NFL draft, with rounds 4 thru 7.