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Old 02-27-2013, 01:43 PM    (permalink
fredder
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Default The questions that need to be answered before the draft

In my opinion who the Lions take at #5 and in the draft in general is going to be determined by a set of questions that need to be answered.

1. Is Dee Milliner an elite CB prospect?

There's been a lot of talk about this draft lacking elite players at the top which is unfortunate because that's what you look for in a #5 pick. As much as CB is an obvious need for the Lions I would only take Milliner if I thought he could be an elite starter in the league. He answered questions about his speed but I'm not sure that he's an elite prospect and the depth at the position in this draft is good enough that I think they can get a solid starter in the next couple of rounds. If you do see him as an elite player though this pick becomes easy for them and I can't imagine any Lions fan complaining about this selection.

2. Is there an elite pass rusher in this class?

I was going to include a question of whether or not they keep Clint Avril but I think it's obvious that they need to keep him and unfortunately overpay him as they desperately need pass rushers at DE.

The two names I'm focusing on here are Werner and Jordan. For Werner I think he obviously fits into their scheme but I really don't see him being an elite player in the league. He has a very good first step but he's limited athletically and that will prevent him from being a dominant pass rusher. Jordan clearly has the athleticism to be a dominant pass rusher but the question with him is whether he can add the weight to play DE. If they believe he can and that he can hold up against the run then I think he would be a great pick at #5. I could see some people questioning the use of another first round pick on a DL though.

3. Is Riley Reiff a long term solution at LT?

In my opinion the answer to this question is no and this leads to an interesting option for the #5 pick. As I said before I want an elite player with my #5 pick and to me the most sure-fire elite players in this draft are Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher. If we assume that Reiff isn't going to be a LT then I think the Lions could choose to let Cherilus go and draft whichever of the two LTs is available at #5. Solidifying your LT position is one of the best things a team can do especially one with a young QB that threw over 700 passes and has a history of injuries.

These are the 3 realistic choices I believe the Lions have for the first round and it all depends on how they answer these questions. Personally I like the 3rd option the most but I feel it's the least likely to happen.

As for the rest of the rounds I haven't done a ton of deep scouting on this class but there are some interesting names I've considered. As much as I hate the idea of using a high pick for a WR it's obviously a need and I really like Robert Woods. He's not physically dominating but he's a very smooth athlete that runs good routes and makes plays after the catch. I also like the 2nd and 3rd round CBs especially if they don't take Milliner. The guy I really like is Slay. Shamarko Thompson is also interesting as a replacement to Delmas if they let him go.

Thoughts?

Last edited by fredder : 02-27-2013 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:21 PM    (permalink
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1) Right now I think Milliner can be classified as elite. The only concern for him is that he played on such a good defense that his short comings were hidden. He is used to playing press off the line, something Gunther should like. He also answered his biggest question and that was top line speed (which he answered).

Right now I can't fathom anyone being able to build an argument against Milliner being considered elite.


2) I think there very may well be some elite rushers in this draft. However I think they are all Raw and all need development and atleast 2 years before getting there. Ziggy, Mingo, Jordan are all intriguing prospects that under the right coaching I think can easily be 12+ sack guys in the league. Problem for me however is that all of these guys can also be a major bust because the questionmarks around them.

Currently, only way I see us taking a DE is by trading down, or trading up from the second.


3) This is the opinion I think I differ from a lot of people. Honestly, I don't know if Reiff can handle LT full time. However, I do not think that after one year of getting spot treatment is a good enough sample size to make this determination. This is the biggest reason I am not in favor of drafting a LT at 5. I'd rather draft Warmack.

This time last year we were all talking about how Reiff is our LT of the future. Reiff played spot time all year and I thought looked decent overall, for a rookie of course. Now we have a shot at 2 elite looking LT prospects and we want to jump ship on him already. I think we need to give him a year to play at RT and continue to learn from Backus. Let's make this decision when we KNOW the answer to this question. IMO it beats making it now, passing up on some serious CB help and continue to invest in our Offense. LT's are in every draft. Fixes will be there if Reiff doesn't show his ability to handle LT.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:22 PM    (permalink
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The knocks on Milliner is that he can't catch the ball and he's having shoulder surgery. While he should be fine for the season, Bill Bentley had shoulder issues, wasn't the same player afterwards and had to go to IR. There is a question of risk management at the top of our draft due to our recent risky failures.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:31 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
The knocks on Milliner is that he can't catch the ball and he's having shoulder surgery. While he should be fine for the season, Bill Bentley had shoulder issues, wasn't the same player afterwards and had to go to IR. There is a question of risk management at the top of our draft due to our recent risky failures.
A healed torn labrum is of zero concern. I do understand the issue of not catching balls. Honestly it doesn't overly concern me, as long as the WR isn't catching the ball either
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:38 PM    (permalink
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I do think Milliner will be fine for the season.

The bigger news: Mel Kiper has Eric Fisher at #3 on his big board and Joeckel at #5...just throwing that out there.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:02 AM    (permalink
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(Hey everyone. Long-time reader, but first post! Nice to meet ya'll.)

1) I'm hesitant to call Milliner an elite CB prospect. I don't see the shutdown ability I saw in Peterson or the playmaking ability in Hayden. He's just solid. However, I'm a little concerned that some of Milliner's shutdown ability came from playing on a top-3 defense in the nation and having studs like Mark Barron or Haha Clinton-Dix playing behind him. It would be interesting to see how Milliner would have done in a situation like Desmond Trufant in Washington where he's basically the man in the defensive secondary as oppose to a really nice cog in the machine.

2) I think Ansah has the potential, even Carradine or Okafor in the second could do the job. Werner never struck me as a pass rusher. Jordan could be as well, but I think he's a better fit coming off the edge in a 3/4.

3) It would be nice if Reiff was the long-term answer, but I am more comfortable with Joekel or Fisher and then having Reiff manning the ROT. Of course, this whole point would be moot if they had taken DeCastro last year when he fell into their lap. /bitter :)
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:34 PM    (permalink
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I think Reiff can be just as good of an OG(or a RT for that matter) as Decastro
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:31 PM    (permalink
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Reiff gave the Lions versatility. DeCastro the Lions either would have to pray Fisher or Joeckel fall or they would have gone out and paid Bushrod. Or reach for Lane Johnson barring a trade down.

All the defenisve guys available at 5 will have some issues. Ansah(experience/raw), Jordan(scheme),Milliner(surrounding talent overvalued him). Hopefully it works out for Detroit. I'm glad the draft is deep at DE though. I wouldn't mind Round 1 DE, DE Round 2 honeselty given Young/Lewis as backups and Jones might be a better rotational DT.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:34 PM    (permalink
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Outside perspective.

Can't pass on Fisher if he's there.

Jordan doesn't fit - he's a LB.

They'll take Ansah over Milliner BUT might actually take Lane Johnson over both. Probably would... he's not a reach at No. 5.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:35 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpngc View Post
Outside perspective.

Can't pass on Fisher if he's there.

Jordan doesn't fit - he's a LB.

They'll take Ansah over Milliner BUT might actually take Lane Johnson over both. Probably would... he's not a reach at No. 5.
I agree on points 1 and 3 completely.

But I would hesitate to say Dion Jordan doesn't fit. He is a beast of a pass rusher and is only 12 pounds lighter than Avril was playing DE in our system.

While I think they'd take Ansah over Jordan, I certainly do not think Jordan is out of the question at 5.
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