2017 Detroit Lions Draft In Review

Going into the 2017 NFL Draft it was known that this is one of the deepest drafts in recent history, if not ever. Fortunately for the Lions, the weakest positions were quarterback and offensive line and both of those starting units/positions are all set. There had been quite a bit of draft buzz leading up to Thursday that the Lions would be looking at tight end early and that David Njoku was the apple of their eye. For me, he was a no-go since I did not see a need to draft a second Eric Ebron. Thankfully, it appears that Bob Quinn and I are on the same page. I had hoped that they would also trade back in one of the rounds and add at least one more pick and they did exactly that. All in all, I was pretty pleased with the Lions draft. I’m at the point where Bob Quinn has my full trust and he should have yours too.

Let’s take a look at their picks, shall we?

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2017 Detroit Lions Draft Preview and Seven Round Mock Draft

Looking back at last year’s draft it’s pretty easy to see that Detroit Lions GM Bob Quinn did an exceptional job in his first NFL Draft. With the exception of Jimmy Landes, the long-snapper who went on IR, and Jake Rudock, every Draft pick that the Lions made in 2016 played for the Lions. If the Lions can have a draft with similar impact this year, the roster can be improved dramatically in Quinn’s first two years at the helm.

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2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 4: Defensive Backs

There are some very high-end safeties and cornerbacks in this draft and I think we will end up seeing two safeties go in the Top 15 with Malik Hooker and Jamal Adams. They are both absolute studs and they have the athleticism to back it up. Marshon Lattimore is a stud cornerback but he has some injury issues that could cause him to fall further than he should go. If he was able to stay healthy, he would be a lock for a Top 10 pick.

Jamal Adams, S, LSU: I’m not sure who will come off the board first between Adams and Hooker, but I do know that they are both studs. Adams weighed in at 5’11” 214 lbs, posted a 4.56 40, 18 reps on the bench, a 31.5″ vertical and a 10′ broad jump. He actually looked smoother during drills than I thought he would and I have high expectations for him.

Budda Baker, S, Washington: Budda Baker is closer to Tyrann Mathieu than Jabrill Peppers is. The guy just seems to make plays when he’s on the field. He’s only 5’9″ 195 lbs, but he posted a 4.45 40, 15 reps on the bench, a 32.5″ vertical and a 9’7″ broad jump. He’s not exactly an explosive athlete at his size, but he makes plays.

Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State: Conley weighed in at 6′ 195 lbs, posted a 4.44 40, 11 reps on the bench, a 37″ vertical and a 10’9″ broad jump. I think he looked fantastic in drills and quite frankly, he’s one of my favorite cornerback in the draft. He has some major potential at the next level.

Lano Hill, S, Michigan: Delano Hill, now going by Lano, is quickly rising up draft boards. He’s done very well in the post-season bowl games and testing. He weighed in at 6’1″ 216 lbs, posted a 4.47 40, 17 reps on the bench, a 33.5″ vertical and a 9’7″ broad jump. He’s proven to be a much better athlete than many anticipated and he looked very fluid during the movement drills. Keep an eye on him.

Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama: Humphrey is CB1 for a lot of Draftniks and he looked pretty good at the combine. He weighed in at 6′ 197 lbs, with a 4.41 40, and a 10’5″ broad jump. He’s a better athlete than most DBs and I expect him to go in the Top 20 picks.

Adoree Jackson, CB, USC: One of my favorite players since Michigan started recruiting him. The kid just flat-out makes plays and while there is some developmental work to be done at cornerback, he’s going to do some special things at the NFL level. He weighed in at 5’10” 186 lbs, posted a 4.42 40 with a 36″ vertical and a 10’2″ broad jump. He showed good athleticism during drills and he’s going to have at least one touchdown as a rookie. Book it.

Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State: Lattimore is the other CB in contention to be the first cornerback off the board and strictly based off of film and athleticism, he probably should be. The only issue is that he cannot seem to stay healthy. He ended up tweaking something during his second 40 and did not go through any of the drills. Before that though, he did weigh in at 6′ 193 lbs, ran a 4.36 40, posted a 38.5″ vertical and an 11′ broad jump. The talent is there, but is the durability?

Obi Melifonwu, S, UConn: Apparently all the DB freakshows come out of UConn. Obi Melinfonwu has been climbing draft boards since the Senior Bowl, but no one was expecting this. He weighed in at 6’3″ 224 lbs and posted a 4.4 40, 17 reps on the bench, a 44″ vertical and an 11’9″ broad jump. Truly some asinine numbers. He’s going to get a look in the late first round simply because you cannot teach this type of athleticism.

Jaylen Myrick, CB, Minnesota: Myrick is a guy that turned heads with his 40 time, posting a 4.28 40 at 5’10” 200 lbs. I wasn’t really enamored with him in any other regard, but some teams are going to give his tape another look because of that time and that’s huge for him.

Teez Tabor, CB, Florida: Once upon a time Jalen “Teez” Tabor was thought to be the best cornerback at Florida. Better than Vernon Hargreaves III. But as it turns out Quincy Wilson is better than them both (Wilson is in this draft and had a decent day at the Combine). Teez posted a 4.62 40 and that’s just not what he needed. He looked far less athletic than I thought he would be and he’s going to lose a lot of money come draft day. That being said, a team is going to end up with a great pick in the 3rd round.

Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado: Witherspoon is an intriguing player and a guy I hope the Lions take a look at. He weighed in at a 6’2″ 198 lbs, posted a 4.45 40, a 40.5″ vertical and a 10’7″ broad jump. He did look pretty raw during some drills, but you cannot teach that prototype size and athleticism.

2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 1: Offensive Linemen, Running Backs
2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 2: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 3: Defensive Linemen and Linebackers

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2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 3: Defensive Linemen and Linebackers

Another day with another tremendously deep position group in the draft. This class has an unbelievable crop of defensive lineman in it and I know there are teams that are just salivating after seeing some of the defensive lineman that tested. If the Browns do anything but take Myles Garrett at #1 after the day that he had, they should just move the franchise.

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2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 2: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

The quarterback class this year looks to be pretty weak in my opinion, while the tight end class may just be the deepest of all time. I’ve been pretty against taking any of the quarterbacks from this class in the Top 15 and the Combine did not do anything to dissuade me. Frankly, this is the perfect year to show why I prefer GMs to actually think and not act in desperation and talk themselves into a player that is not right for them. I know they face a lot of pressure from Owners and Fans to win, but reaching for a quarterback is not the way to fix that.

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2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 1: Offensive Linemen, Running Backs

The NFL Scouting Combine is always a favorite time of year for me. Anything that is part of the Draft process for any sport has always intrigued me. And now when we’re getting to a time where players are bigger and more athletic than ever, you can see some truly eye-popping testing numbers. As always, game film is more important than Combine numbers, but it usually raises questions if a players tape is better than his testing. At any rate, this is just a piece of the process that smart analysts use to help them properly evaluate players and not to make a knee-jerk reaction off of.

The offensive line class this year is shorter on high-end talent than normal but there is still depth to it. Conversely, this is one of the deepest running back classes in recent history. Outside of Cam Robinson or Ryan Ramczyk, I’m not sure I see a tackle going in the first round. Garrett Bolles may sneak in there and Forrest Lamp is going to be a guard in the NFL, so at best I’m thinking four guys at the max at the moment. Alright, now obviously it has taken me longer than usual to get to these posts because of my schedule, so I’m going to try to keep these posts relatively short/brief.

Let’s take a look at the OL measurables (you can see the full interactive sheet here via Mike Loyko):

Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama: Robinson is a player that has been highly touted ever since he came in and started at Alabama as a true freshman. Robinson is 6’6″ 322 so his 1.78 10-yard split in the 40 is pretty good. He didn’t bench and his vertical and broad jump numbers were actually below the NFL Combine positional averages. He’s a guy that didn’t do anything to help himself, but didn’t hurt himself either. He’ll likely be the first tackle off the board.

Now normally I would insert some of my own YouTube videos of the Combine, but the NFL actually put in a couple of copyright claims in on some of my past Combine videos sooooo we don’t need to mess around with that anymore.

Forrest Lamp, OG, WKU: Lamp could end up playing tackle or guard but I think his future lies inside. He put up 34 reps on the bench, had a 27.5″ vertical and a 9’3″ broad jump. All of which are above the positional average and are a good base line for the big time guard.

Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah: Bolles is a guy that you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with. I think he is a lock to go in the first round at this point. He didn’t lift, but he posted solid numbers (28″ vertical and 9’1″ broad jump) and did nothing to hurt his stock that has continued to rise this offseason.

Zach Banner, OT, USC: Banner is a guy that you would think should be a first round tackle based on size but he is just awful. His movement skills looked terrible during drills and quite frankly he’s just too big. He’s not explosive and he ends up just looking like a giant turnstile.

Tayler Moton, OT, Western Michigan: Moton is a player that is going to go higher than most people think. At 6’5″ 319 lbs, he’s got very good size for a tackle, and despite only 23 reps on the bench, he posted a 30.5″ vertical and 9’1″ broad jump. His arm length is right on the positional average for a tackle, which lowers the expectation for the bench press.

Alright and now let’s shift gears to some Running Backs.

Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU: Cook had an absolute nightmare of a day at the Combine. He’s a first round pick in a lot of people’s eyes, but the lack of athleticism he showcased is a concern. Obviously his tape speaks for itself, but a 4.49 40, 30’5″ vertical and a 9’8″ broad jump do not match his tape at all.

Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: Fournette weighed in at 6′ 240 lbs (!!) and ended up running a 4.51 40 which is moving for that weight. He only posted a 28.5″ vertical but he’s not a jumper (his words, not mine). He looked good during drills and caught the ball better than I thought. I still prefer McCaffrey, but Fournette is a round 1 lock.

Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee: His 40 time was slower than I anticipated, but the guy is an explosive athlete. He only ran a 4.56 40, but he posted a silly 39.5″ vertical and a 10’11” broad jump. Kamara is going to end up going in the first three rounds, purely off of athletic ability.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford: McCaffrey is one of my favorite players in the Draft and I’m still bitter that he got hosed in the Heisman voting two years ago. McCaffrey is an absolute freak and is going to be one helluva weapon for someone. At 5’11” 202 lbs, he ran a 4.48 40 with a 37.5″ vertical and a 10’1″ broad jump. He looked the most natural of any of the running backs catching the football during drills and he moved so smoothly with the ball in his hands. He’s got a lot of LeSean McCoy in his game and I think his testing numbers matched the tape quite well. Round 1 lock. Book it.

Joe Williams, RB, Utah: Williams is an intriguing late-round guy that I would love the Lions to take a look at. At 5’11” 210 lbs he posted a 4.41 40 with a 35″ vertical and a 10’5″ broad jump. He’s far more athletic than I anticipated and I’m betting he sent a lot of teams back to the tape.

Photo via: Orlando Sentinel

2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 2: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 3: Defensive Linemen and Linebackers
2017 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 4: Defensive Backs

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Detroit Lions 2016-17 Season Preview

Part of me still cannot believe that Calvin Johnson is retired and that he will not be on the field for the Lions this season. I cannot even remember what it was like watching the Lions without him there. Mostly because they were so bad that I purged most of that part of my life from memory, but that’s not the point! It is going to be very tough to watch the Lions without one of my favorite football players ever and I’m going to miss him dearly. So let’s pause for a moment of silence in honor of the best receiver of our lifetime.

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

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