The same reader I mentioned who wanted to know some possible replacements for Matt Millen also wanted to know what positions the Lions should focus on in this year's draft. I am happy to oblige, but just note what is happening here: this Lions season may go down as the forgotten season in the NFL. Notice how there has been no post up about Sunday's game, which was pretty eventful. We remind me of Mark McGuire at the congressional hearing--"I'm not here to talk about the past. I just want to make, uh, a better...future..." That's exactly what we're doing. Forget this season, let's just move on as quickly as possible, even if it's still going on.
Anyway, the positions. I am going to list off the positions on the field in order of importance for the Lions current roster:
-OFFENSIVE LINE. Can't stress this enough: with very, very few exceptions, a team is only as good as its offensive line. It's something owners tend to forget when they're drooling over a 6'5" wideout with a 4.3 40. If he doesn't have time to get open, he won't get the ball. You can have all the athletes you want, but if you don't have the big boys up front, even Tom Brady would look not great. I know we drafted Gosder Cherilus, but he is obviously a joke. Jeff Backus used to be good, but now clearly is not and should not be starting. The fact that George Foster holds a roster spot on our team says a lot. The offensive line sucks, and that is priority number one. Even a mediocre quarterback can look competent if he has four seconds to throw the ball every time. And right now, our QB's are all worse than mediocre.
-Cornerback. I know we are trying to move on from this season, but did anyone see the Texans game? Matt Schaub was making our secondary look like swiss cheese. Matt Schaub! If he can do what he did against the Lions, think of what a real quarterback will do! I don't want to think about it, it's too scary. The defensive backfield for the Lions has been bad ever since I can remember, and it's because no one ever invested in it. In the draft, try to go for a corner who can make tackles. Seriously. Then have him teach everyone else, because everyone's forgotten. Unless you can consistently get a very good rush on the passer, the cornerbacks need to be top-notch if you're going to have a successful defense. And right now, our corners are bottom-notch.
-Quarterback. It's true. Dan Orlovsky is not the quarterback of the future, and John McCain will refer to Barack Obama by name before Drew Stanton is healthy enough to play a down for an NFL team. The Lions are entering a new era, and it would be great to step into that era with an unproven wild card under center than three proven losers. We have two first-round draft picks. We can swing a good left tackle and a very good quarterback, can't we?
-Linebacker. Just get Paris Lenon off the team. Please. He can't tackle anybody, and on any other team's roster he'd be...wait--he wouldn't be on any other team's roster.
-Saftey. Someone who can cover. And don't get some slowing-down, past his prime guy who was once known for bone-crushing hits. Please. Just someone who can play a cover 2.
-Defensive line. I actually think the guys we have right now would be ok with a little motivation. Corey Redding is still talented, Dewayne White can play when he wants. They would be alright, and that's all I want at this point. Somebody remind me again how much we're paying Corey Redding?
-Running back. Don't do it. Don't draft a freaking running back. You just did, and with a good o-line, the yards will come.
-Wide Receiver. Don't even think about it.
There you have it. If the Lions follow this basic draft rubric, I think they are heading on the right track. If not, then say hello to Michael Crabtree, everyone!