Detroit Lions 2015 Draft Recap And Analysis

Martin Mayhew

This was a really good year for the Detroit Lions in the NFL Draft. If I were inclined to give it a grade, it would fall in the B+ range. Nothing truly spectacular or ground-breaking, but they picked up quite a few solid pieces that should contribute right away. This is always the key when you have needs that must be filled and don’t have the cap room to always keep players or sign free agents. Surprisingly, this was also the first NFL Draft that the Lions did not select a wide receiver with Martin Mayhew as GM and it was one of the deepest years at wide receiver ever.

Continue reading

Posted in NFL | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2015 NFL Draft Winners

For me giving out grades at the end of the NFL Draft is a big premature. Even though you can grade drafts on paper based on how you had kids ranked, you still haven’t seen any of these kids play a snap in the NFL. You want to try not to overreact because you don’t want to be one of these people:

Whoops.

Continue reading

Posted in NFL | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2015 NFL Draft Losers

Each year it gets tougher and tougher to pick out the losers. I feel like I’ve said that before, but it’s honestly the truth. There are drafts that I don’t necessarily like, but team’s filled needs, so how can it really be a loss? I’d also say that with the amount of technology that is around these days, it should be getting harder and harder to miss on prospects. Though we all know that isn’t the case.

Carolina Panthers

2015 Draft Panthers

It’s always tough to put teams that pick players you like into a “losers” list. I really like Shaq Thompson and Devin Funchess and the Daryl Williams pick is solid as well. But the issue is people still don’t know where Shaq Thompson is going to play and Devin Funchess has some major issues that he needs to work through. He’s stiff in and out of his breaks, struggles to get separation and has some drop issues. That being said, the idea of Funchess lining up opposite Kelvin Benjamin is pretty enticing. Sure they’re close to the same player, but both of them are good prospects. But the biggest issue is the fact that the Carolina Panthers have a devastating amount of holes on the offensive line and waited until the 4th round to fill it. And no, I don’t consider signing Michael Oher in free agency filling it either.

Buffalo Bills

2015 Draft Bills

It’s tough to win without a first round pick, though I do like some of their picks. I’m a fan of all three of the Florida State players that they selected and John Miller will help out the run game quite a bit. But, they still have holes at nose tackle and at safety. If they shift Darby to try to play safety, then that will help fill one need, but the Bills were a bad team last year and they paid a very big price for trading up for Sammy Watkins last year. Now, this all being said, the Bills have met with La’El Collins. If Collins gets cleared and they sign him, then you can take this draft off of the Losers category. That would their first round pick basically and it would be an absolutely massive pick up.

St. Louis Rams

2015 Draft Rams

I love Todd Gurley and I think that he’s going to be a very good NFL player, but I still wouldn’t have taken him 10th coming off an ACL injury. He was the least of their problems with this Draft though. They did do a lot of work to try to shore up the offensive line, but I didn’t love their picks and taking Sean Mannion in the third round with Nick Foles at starter seems like a waste. They didn’t address their need at wide receiver until the 6th round, if you even want to say Bud Sasser fills that need, and didn’t even give cornerback a look. Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Brian Quick doesn’t exactly strike fear into opposing secondaries. And while they are going to have an improved running game, they’re still missing a marquee wide receiver. One dimensional offenses never get the job done, just ask the Lions what it means to have a phenomenal passing game and no run game.

New Orleans Saints

2015 Draft Saints

The Saints did a good job adding depth at linebacker with Stephone Anthony and Hau’oli Kikaha; while PJ Williams and Garrett Grayson could end up being eventual starters for them. They decided that they wanted to shore up the offensive line, and rightfully so, but I don’t like Andrus Peat. I think that he’s slow and lumbering and gets beat more than he should.

https://vine.co/v/OFnQeEmDvxw/embed/simple

Now you can say that I’m cherry picking a play, but I don’t want my first round left tackle that is supposed to be protecting my franchise quarterback getting blown off the ball like this. Especially when he’s weighing in around 6’7″ 315 lbs. Could he end up being a good player? Sure. But I don’t think he’ll be able to provide an instant impact. And while adding Max Unger and a 1st round pick was helpful, they didn’t do anything to fill the hole left at tight end when they traded Jimmy Graham; I’m not a Ben Watson fan. On top of that, after they traded Kenny Stills for practically nothing, they didn’t fill the hole left at wide receiver. Brandin Cooks showed major potential last year, but I don’t love that Nick Toon and Marques Colston round out your top three receivers. They’ll need CJ Spiller to come in and catch a lot of passes. The Saints are truly paying for being in Salary Cap hell right now and they’re going to have some growing pains.

Boom or Bust:

Green Bay Packers

2015 Draft Packers

I don’t want to call this draft a loss, but it isn’t a win…not yet anyways. It’s an extremely intriguing first three picks and it could end up being a great draft. Damarious Randall reminds a lot of people of Jimmie Ward and he could make for an athletic pair at safety with HaHa Clinton-Dix. Quinten Rollins is as raw as can be and has only played one full season of college football. Rollins was a ballhawk though with 7 interceptions and if he is given time to develop, could end up being one of the better corners to come out of this draft. Ty Montgomery meanwhile, is not one of my favorites, but he will add an interesting element as a return man and almost as a utility player. I would expect them to try to use him as a less dynamic Percy Harvin. Jake Ryan was a great pick for the 3-4 defense that they run and while most expect him to play ILB, I think he is better suited for the outside. Brett Hundley also gives them another boom or bust developmental prospect who can sit for 3-4 years behind Aaron Rodgers and be groomed for the future.

2015 NFL Draft Winners

Posted in NFL | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2015 Detroit Lions NFL Draft Preview and Seven Round Mock Draft

NFL Draft

Like last year, I was extremely open to multiple players that the Detroit Lions could select. Unfortunately last year they selected one of the few players I didn’t want and I’m praying that doesn’t happen again. The Lions are a few pieces from being a championship team and it would be pretty neat if they filled them and didn’t draft another tight end. Their offensive line has holes right now, specifically at LG, they’re missing a #2 DT with the loss of Nick Fairley and a true #1 RB. It’s important to remember that the Lions are a “Best Player Available” team, so don’t be shocked if they don’t fill all of their needs in the draft. I certainly wouldn’t be. I would also expect the Lions to make some deals to acquire more picks throughout the Draft since they only have six right now.

Continue reading

Posted in NFL | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2015 NFL First Round Mock Draft

Now keep in mind that this isn’t a post trying to predict which team is going to take which player. That’s a pointless endeavor because one trade will blow up the whole thing and I have no clue how teams have rated players. This is a mock draft where I’m acting as the General Manager for each team and will be picking players that I would take to fill holes if I were running the show. So without further adieu, let’s get to work.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

For my money, the best quarterback in the entire NFL Draft. There are obviously off-the-field concerns, but you have to take the best quarterback and then treat him with kid gloves. Try to keep him in line and pray that he grows up/stays out of trouble. But if you’re Tampa Bay, you can’t roll into the season with Mike Glennon and expect things to go well. This completes an offense with some seriously talented wide receivers.

Continue reading

Posted in NFL | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions: Western Conference and Stanley Cup Final

Stanley Cup Playoffs

Now that the Eastern Conference path has been predicted, it’s time to take a look at the West. Certainly a new-look west without Los Angeles or San Jose, but an intriguing one nonetheless.

Western Conference

2015 Western Conference

Central Division:

#1 St. Louis Blues vs. #4 Minnesota Wild
Sporting Charts: Blues vs. Wild

The St. Louis Blues had some question marks in net entering this series (as in who was going to be the starter) and have decided to go with the youngster Jake Allen because he has the hot hand. And speaking of hot hands, Devan Dubnyk has been resurrected since being traded to Minnesota and helped carry this team to the playoffs. The Blues score more goals per game and give up fewer per game than the Wild and when you pair that with a 22.3% powerplay, the Wild will have their work cut out for them.

Continue reading

Posted in NHL | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions: Eastern Conference

Stanley Cup Playoffs

I haven’t written on here in a while but with the playoffs and draft season coming along, it’s about that time of year again. I’m excited for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, obviously, but every time I look at the format I still can’t get past how terrible it is. Copying the AHL format to save money and “create rivalries” is such an NHL thing to do. Nevermind giving the bad divisions an advantage by playing against each other until the Conference Final while they good ones beat up on each other. But ANYWAYS, on to the playoffs.

Definitely going to be a weird/different look with no Los Angeles, Boston or San Jose. Those three have seemingly been mainstays in the NHL playoffs the last 6-7 years and it’s going to be strange to not see them in the mix. There is also a heavy dose of Canadian teams this year that should offer a different change of pace. The best part though? This is probably the most wide-open the playoffs have been. There is no clear-cut favorite and that obviously makes trying to predict what is going to happen quite difficult, but here goes nothing.

Continue reading

Posted in NHL | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment