It is truly a shame the Lions are not on Hard Knocks every year. It is so much better watching when your team is the center of attention and definitely gets you ready and excited for the year. If anything, we’ve learned that the Lions seem to have a good (if not great) coaching staff in place with a good culture. Last year they had a brutally difficult schedule and I had zero expectations for the team. I cannot say that I expect this team to do much more than win at least 7 games…and hopefully they can surprise us and win a few more than that. One thing is for sure, if Jared Goff goes down, this team could lose every game they have on the schedule and that is a scary thought.
It’s pretty wild that another summer is already in the books and Week 1 is already upon us. Sure, Week 0 happened last weekend but that slate was only for the real perverts (yes, I did watch as many games as possible). It seems like just yesterday Jim Harbaugh was interviewing with the Minnesota Vikings and torpedoing any positive momentum the football program had. I swear, Michigan is the only program in the country that could win their conference for the first time in 18 years and make the College Football Playoff and be in a worse spot than they were before. At least when it comes to recruiting and future outlook. This year they should be able to pick up right where they left off.
It’s impossible to say which teams are truly winners so soon after the NFL Draft, but the whole point is to shoot your shot early on and declare which players you like to see what kind of evaluator you are and to see which GMs got it right. It’s impossible to plan for players that have historically obscure development paths or players that have incredible college careers only to be incapable of handling the professional setting. Either way it’s always fun to take a guess and see if your gut reaction was right or not.
It was difficult this year to pick many outright draft losers. Many teams traded draft picks for wide receivers this offseason so there were quite a few teams without early picks. Don’t worry, there were still some head scratchers that could come back to bite some teams.
Well it’s taken quite a bit of time to get going on this, but real life can often get in the way of blogging. If you want the cliff notes version…I LOVED the Lions draft. Obviously my impression of the class is heavily weighted on the first two selections, but I’m a huge fan of how Brad Holmes moved around the board and was not afraid to be aggressive when the situation called for it.
1st Round, 2nd Overall: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan Nothing like starting the draft off with a bang. Any time the player you want the most can fall right into your lap…man that is a good thing. Is Hutchinson going to be JJ or TJ Watt? Will he be as good as one of the Bosa brothers? Maybe not. But what I do know is that the Lions got one of the most NFL ready players in the entire draft and a guy that is an absolutely perfect culture fit. There probably wasn’t a more Dan Campbell player in the draft than Aidan Hutchinson.
Well it’s almost that time of year again. The Lions actually showed some promise throughout the season despite having an absolute shell of a roster. They competed and played hard for the new coaching staff, which was highly encouraging, and fans should see actual results on the field in time when they add more talent. Brad Holmes did a great job in his first draft as general manager, getting contributors with five of their first six picks and Ifeatu Melifonwu showed some promise before the injury.
So what are our expectations for Brad Holmes second draft? Acquire more talent. Plain and simple. This roster needs contributors in the worst way and they have many key positions that they need to find starters at. My hope is that they do not bother drafting a quarterback this year. With two first round picks next year, and the high probability of missing the playoffs again, they need to wait until next year. They can move up the board and get into a spot to get a real quarterback, instead of throwing a dart at one of the guys from this year’s class. I’m not going to waste time and go on a rant about the QB class here, but let’s just say that the answer to the Lions’ prayers at the QB spot is not in this class. They all have warts and the ones that actually have some tools are going to need quite a bit of time to develop.
I’m not quite sure where to start with this post. After the draft preview and discussing the changeovers in staff and in the front office, this really is going to be a waiting game. I have absolutely no expectations for this team. They have an extremely tough schedule, brand new systems on offense and defense, and a brutal roster. It’s not all terrible, they have some pieces in place that will be great for the future, but there are a ton of question marks and it will be a grind. Buckle up, Lions fans.
Going into this year I can honestly say that I am the most down on Michigan football that I have been during Harbaugh’s tenure. Sure they have quite a few new coaches on staff that can get you excited, but the Mike Macdonald hire is a major question mark…and he is arguably the most important hire of them all. He comes in without a defined scheme or playbook (at least when that’s what it sounded like when he was hired in the spring) and it is hard to know what to expect. This is now Harbaugh’s SECOND time hiring a coordinator that does not have any playcalling experience and I really do not understand the thought process. It is not as though Michigan is some start up college or small conference team and that is all you can get. I know he wanted to make the staff younger to help with recruiting and revitalize the program, but is play calling not important?? There is no doubt that it was time for change. I’m not sure the defense could truly get THAT much worse, but at the same time, my fear is that it absolutely could. Don Brown’s defense had clearly been solved and his inability to adapt or provide a successful solution for its flaws were not helping Michigan. Particularly when they had an offense that was anemic and struggling to put up points. Speaking of the offense, I’m still not a fan of Josh Gattis. I have not cared for his playcalling and he essentially handpicked Joe Milton to be his quarterback and we know how that worked out. Joe Milton was a hype beast that showed after about two games he had not actually improved as a quarterback. Whether it be the touch on his throws or the reads of the defenses…he struggled and flopped and then they turned to Cade McNamara. McNamara will be the starter and I like what he brought last year, but he is not going to take the top off of defenses. Maybe that’s fine. He can get the ball out quick to receivers and backs and they can have their “speed in space.” It’s taken quite a long time for it to show up but maybe it’ll get here eventually!
Grading drafts and declaring winners shortly after the draft instead of waiting three years is always a foolish exercise. It does not make it any less fun or entertaining though to try and shoot your shot early on, instead of having revisionist history down the road. As always, this is more of just picking drafts that I liked (or did not like in the case of the losers post). This year, more than most, are going to be more difficult to choose than in year’s past. With all of the opt outs, the shortened season for some teams and the lack of a Combine/medical history, it seems as though there are far more unknowns than usual. That’s not going to stop us from making snap judgements on classes now is it?
This year I tried to take it easy on the purported losers, and really just call them more questionable drafts. Whether it be drafting players I did not like, not having a lot of draft picks, or just about anything that contributes to a lowered percentage of success.