2021 NFL Draft Winners

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?

Check out the 2021 NFL Draft Losers here

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2021 NFL Draft Losers

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.

Check out the 2021 NFL Draft Winners here

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2021 Detroit Lions Draft Recap

It’s not often that you’re excited about your entire team’s draft…but here we are. The new Lions organization clearly took a hard look at the roster and decided that they needed building blocks and needed to go back to build through the trenches. The offensive line was one of the team’s strengths, despite the holes on the right side, and they decided to go ahead and make it an elite group.

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2021 Detroit Lions Draft Preview and 7-Round Mock Draft

Well here we are again. Another year, another new Lions regime. I’m going to hold off on passing judgement on either hire this time around. I was far too bullish on the hiring of Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia, which very clearly did not work out. Looking at a broad scope, the Rams have been pretty good at drafting despite not having a first round pick in quite some time. They often use their draft capital in a questionable manner (repeatedly drafting running backs and wide receivers early spring to mind), but so far it has not seemed to hurt them. Not to mention we do not know if that has all been at Les Snead’s direction or Brad Holmes’. Everything I’ve read so far indicates that Brad Holmes was a great hire, and I cannot say that I remember the same praise when Bob Quinn was hired. It’s going to be interesting to see how the first draft plays out for the new group, but I’m intrigued by what I’ve read about Holmes. The roster is absolutely abysmal so they’ve got a long road ahead of them and hopefully they do the prudent thing and trade down and acquire more capital. In a situation like this, the best solution is to give yourself as many bites as the apple as possible. When your team sucks, you need more than six draft picks.

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2020-21 Michigan Football Season Preview

What a whacky offseason/summer for college football. I almost forgot to write this because the season has basically snuck up on everyone. You’ve got over half of the college football teams playing right now, in what feels like a mirage of a season, and then you still have the Big Ten, Pac 12, Mountain West, and MAC working their way back. As it turns out, science and caution did not really prevail. The daily testing obviously helped get football going again for these conferences, but you can see just how unreliable the results can be and how many false positives there are if you’ve been following the NFL.

So what’s the squad going to look like? Well, no spring ball, opt outs, graduation, attrition, have caused a big time turnover of this roster. Frankly, I do not know what it is going to look like other than very inexperienced and young. Hell, the entire backup offensive line is going to be redshirt freshmen and a true freshmen except for maybe one player. At any rate, let’s dive in and make some wild predictions and take some guesses.

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2020-21 Detroit Lions Season Preview

I almost did not go through and write this post. I’m less excited for football than ever before this year. Something about not having Michigan football playing makes the fall not seem like the fall. Nothing about 2020 seems normal…obviously…so that’s why I ultimately decided to fight the urge to skip this post and return to some semblance of normality.

Sports have been on TV for a few months now, but I’m not sure things will ever look the same. College football looks like a bizarre high school football scrimmage on TV. And for some places to play and have fans and others to not play at all? It’s times like these that show you just how little pull something like the NCAA has. But that’s another blog post for another time.

The NFL’s decision to go with zero preseason games has resulted in very little hype for the season beginning…not to mention the fact that we know less than ever before going into a year. Undrafted free agent superstars might not emerge this year because they did not have a chance to play. Someone like Victor Cruz or Austin Ekeler may never have gotten their shot and turned into bonafide players if they did not have the preseason. So do not hold your breath and expect some diamond in the rough to appear for the Lions. This year, the healthiest and most talented teams are going to be the ones that win it all.

Alright, fine. That’s not that different than normal.

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2020 NFL Draft Losers

Maybe it’s because I’m bored from being locked inside for so long. Perhaps that has put me in a more negative mood. Or perhaps I’ve just paid closer attention to the draft this year than in past years…unlikely, but possible. What I am sure of is that some teams had a real tough go drafting virtually this year and made some pretty critical errors.

You can check out the 2020 NFL Draft Winners here.

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2020 NFL Draft Winners

As always, it is hard to give out draft grades and pick winners and losers so quickly after a draft. Many people like to complain about them, but what else does anyone have to do right now anyways? Normally, I say something like it’s hard to pick only a few winners and pick any losers, but this year I think some drafts stood head and shoulders above the rest. And more importantly, some teams like the Packers threw up some absolute trash can drafts to make picking losers even easier for a change.

You can check out the 2020 NFL Draft Losers here.

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2020 Detroit Lions Draft Recap

To say that the Lions had an interesting draft would be putting it mildly. The whole weekend for the entire NFL was strange and new, but it was not bad. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I know more than Bob Quinn or Matt Patricia when you get into Day 3 of the NFL Draft…but I’m not sure they did anything to assuage fears that they are in over their heads.

Do not get me wrong, I think the Lions had a solid draft. If we were grading it, I would probably give it a B…but there were just some picks that kept it from being a slam dunk and kept people wondering what they were doing.

First and foremost, based on the players they drafted, it is clear that they do not think defensive line and EDGE is as big of a weakness as everyone else seems too. Drafting D’Andre Swift at 35 over Yetur Gross-Matos, AJ Epenesa, and Ross Blacklock certainly shows that. I’m sure they are counting on a guy like Austin Bryant being able to perform this year as well. Secondly, their draft showed that they’re committing to a nasty, power run game. Drafting Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg shows that they’re not concerned with athleticism so much as strength and playing powerful. And lastly, it’s unfortunate the Lions were not able to trade down and acquire more picks, but you cannot manufacture trades out of thin air. I thought Bob Quinn did a good job moving around the board to get the players he wanted and it did not end up costing him any picks.

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2020 Detroit Lions Draft Preview and 7-Round Mock Draft

To say that this year has taken a strange turn would be the complete understatement of the century. We have already surpassed 30 days without sports and my watch list is dwindling. Fortunately, the NFL is pushing ahead with the NFL Draft (whether you think that is good or bad is another topic for discussion) and will give sports fans a much needed distraction. I’m going to go on record and say that this will be the most watched NFL Draft ever. It’ll be a production that is tremendously different than what we have grown used to seeing, but something is most certainly better than nothing. Frankly, having a broadcast that has less glitz and glamor and more football content might be better.

As for what the Lions will do in the draft, I have a few ideas and hopes. And if you want the Lions to dump Matthew Stafford and take a massive dead cap hit to draft Tua Tagovailoa, please stop reading. If a QB is hurt that much in college, it’s hard to believe he will stay healthy in the pros. He’s only four months removed from the injury/surgery so no one knows if there will be any long term implications or residual problems yet. The doctors can tell you that he will be fine and he is on track, but it will likely be August before he’s close to a clean bill of health. Not to mention that Stafford is wildly underrated as a quarterback and the dead cap hit would cripple the team. This is a team and an organization that needs to win now, and moving on to a rookie QB is not the way to do that.

That being said, if the Lions miss the playoffs and Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia get fired…then moving on from Stafford can be brought up. His dead cap hit is much lower next year and Trevor Lawrence would be coming out. That is a topic I will entertain if this year is a complete disaster…Tua, I will not.

So what do I want the Lions to do?

Well, first and foremost, I would love for Chase Young to somehow fall into their laps. I think that is tremendously unlikely, but there’s always hope. Next, I would like them to trade down. I do not care how far down they go, but anything to acquire some more picks for more talent would be great. And if those first two options are not available, they should draft Jeff Okudah. I would have preferred the Lions hang on to Darius Slay, but since they traded him and added Desmond Trufant, they still have a hole at cornerback that needs to be addressed. Trufant is a good stop-gap, but they need a guy of the future, a true franchise corner to build off of. Amani Oruwariye could develop into a key contributor in the future, but you should not pass up the opportunity to snag a franchise corner.

Alright, so that concludes the brief version…if you want, scroll down to the seven round mock and move on with your day. If you want to go more in-depth, then let’s ride.

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