Sunday, May 01, 2011

Detroit Lions 2011: Draft Round 2

This was the round where all the real action took place. The Lions ended up with 2 picks in this round after a trade up from their 3rd rounder. The trade ended up costing the Lions their 3rd and 4th round picks as well as swaps with Seattle of their 5th and 7th rounders. This had the Lions jump up to the 57th pick while no longer having any picks in the 3rd, or 4th round.

Titus Young WR, Boise St.

The first pick for the Lions in the 2nd round was likely the more controversial of the two, and most controversial of the 2011 draft for the Lions. First of all, most fans probably saw the position of WR selected and made a collective sigh. Titus Young out of the offensive juggernaut at Boise State was the man that was called with the Lions 2nd pick of the draft.

I have to admit that even after reading glowing reviews about Titus that I still am not on board with taking him in the 2nd round. I'm sure this guy has all kinds of potential and surely we needed another WR. Fact of the matter is that we took a #3 WR in the 2nd round. Not a #2. That is Burleson. Of course Burleson has injury history so it isn't as bad, but it was still a #3 WR.

Scouting reports say he is a complete burner with good hands, and can play both outside and in. I have seen him compared to DeSean Jackson at the high end, and that he is an explosive WR. Why did he last until the 2nd round then? According to those that are high on him it was his size. 5'11" and 175 pounds. Not exactly the prototypical 1st rounder anymore with that size obviously. He certainly will never need to know does oxyelite pro work?

A lot of people say we are going to love him. He has drive and attitude. I disagree with this pick, but I will support the guy until he gives me reason not to. This quote here warms me a little:

--- Young, on his first meeting with Lions receivers coach Shawn Jefferson:
"I remember Shawn Jefferson, the first day of practice at the Senior Bowl, he told me 'Hey, you're dropping the ball because you're not getting your hands around quicker. In the NFL, the ball's going to come quicker.' I listened. I've always loved a coach who watches me and for him to make me better. The next day, I don't think I had a dropped pass. I said that to say this - I knew he saw something in me. I looked in his eyes and said, "This man wants me and I want to play for him because he made me better in two seconds.'''

Mikel LeShoure RB, Illinois

Big Ten fans are probably a lot more familiar with this guy than Young. I am also much less negative on this pick. In fact I actually kind of like it all things considered of the trade up cost.

If we look at our RB corps right now we literally have no "starting" RB in my opinion. Mo Morris is again, and serviceable, but hardly a game breaker, or an every down back. Jahvid Best is electric, but he is not a 25 carry a game back either. He's more or less a guy that is used as a Reggie Bush back, or as a 3rd down back and long yardage. Kevin Smith is gone, cut. He won't be back now for sure. So RB was actually a relatively big need in the off season.

LeShoure was highly rated in this draft by quite a few. In fact there were some that considered him the best RB in the draft. Charley Casserly (highly respected within NFL circles as a former Super Bowl winning GM), made the statement that LeShoure was the best RB in this draft, by far. Casserly went so far as to compare him to Steven Jackson of the Rams.

LeShoure has a lot of skills, and is probably a complete RB. One of the things that young backs rarely have going for them when they come into the league is the ability to pass protect. LeShoure has above average skills in this area for a RB. This is typically one of the major things that holds rookie RBs from becoming a legit every down back in their first couple seasons.

Here is a description I found on a message board from a supposed scout. I can't confirm who it is, nor where it came from, but it is pretty accurate for the high end cornbread fan of this guy:

"LeShoure is a bigger back with tremendous strength. He is a one cut runner with nice elusiveness for a man his size. He loves contact and has the ability to run over or around defenders. He is a complete back. Very quick feet. LeShoure is a good receiver and does not have to be removed in passing situations. He's a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield and has the ability to stay on the field in pass pro. LeShoure has very good vision and instincts. It's apparent when watching him play he is a natural runner. He only lasted until round two because of the position he plays. There is tremendous depth in the RB position this year and not many teams are willing to spend a high pick but in my opinion LeShoure is special and a first round talent that Detroit acquired in round two. In most other years he is gone in the top 25 picks."

At the end of the day I think we got 2 real nice playmakers, and if you buy Mayhew's explanation all 3 of the Lions first 3 picks were right in line with their draft board. Meaning that they took the best player available on their board at every slot. A strategy that I have always been a fan of. If you think the guy is the most likely player to succeed in the NFL tha tis left on the board that guy is probably your best pick. Of course I take a bit of a mixture of BPA and positional value into account if I were going to draft. For example, if I see a WR that is roughly as valuable as a CB, or even LB I would probably take either the CB, or the LB over him. Unless you are getting that elite #1 guy at those spots, but the 3rd, or 4th best one there who would be good, but not great I am not falling into the draft for need camp.

No comments: