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The Quest for the Lombardi – Detroit Lions

 DETROIT LIONS

2011 Record: 10-6 (3-3) 2nd in NFC North

  • Lost in the NFC Wild Card Game to theNew OrleansSaints, 45-28.

 

Passing Offense –300.9 (4th)

QB MatthewStafford: 5,038; 41 / 16

WR Calvin Johnson: 96 – 1,681 / 16TDs

TE Brandon Pettigrew: 83 – 777 / 5TDs

 

Passing Defense –239.4 (22nd)

CB Chris Houston: 5 INTs

DE Cliff Avril: 11 Sacks

 

Rushing Offense – 95.2 (29th)

HB Jahvid Best: 84 – 390 / 2TDs

HB Kevin Smith: 72 – 356 / 4TDs

 

Rushing Defense –128.1 (23rd)

ILB Stephen Tulloch: 111 Tackles

OLB DeAndre Levy: 109 Tackles

 

Notable Arrivals:

DE Cliff Avril (Franchised Tagged, Yet to Sign).

DT Sammie Hill (Tendered, 1 yr / 1.26$ million)

OT Corey Hillard (Tendered, 1 yr / 1.26$ million)

LB DeAndre Levy (Tendered, 1yr / 1.927$ million)

LT Jeff Backus (Resigned, 2 yr / 5.85$ million)

S Erik Coleman (Resigned, 1 yr / undisclosed contract)

DT Andre Fluellen (Resigned, 1 yr / undisclosed contract)

P Ben Graham (Resigned, 1 yr / undisclosed contract)

TE Will Heller (Resigned, 1 yr / undisclosed contract)

QB Shaun Hill (Resigned, 2 yr / 5.5$ million)

LS Don Muhlbach (Resigned, 1 yr / undisclosed contract)

LB Ashlee Palmer (Resigned, 1 yr / undisclosed contract)

RB Kevin Smith (Resigned, 1 yr / undisclosed contract)

MLB Stephen Tulloch (Resigned, 5 yr / 25$ million)

DE Everette Brown (Chargers, Signed, terms unknown)

CB Jacob Lacey (Colts, Signed – 1 yr / undisclosed contract)

 

Notable Departures:

QB Drew Stanton (Jets, Signed – 1 yr / 1.25$ million)

CB Eric Wright (Buccaneers, Signed – 5 yr / 37.5$ million)

 

Draft Order:

 

  • 1st Rd Pick – 23rd
  • 2nd Rd Pick – 22nd
  • 3rd Rd Pick – 22nd
  • 4th Rd Pick – 22nd
  • 5th Rd Pick – 23rd
  • 6th Rd Pick – 22nd : 6th Lions ordered to swap 2011 fifth round picks with Chiefs and stripped of 2012 conditional pick (sixth round if Lions make 2011 playoffs, else seventh round) by NFL as penalty for tampering
  • 7th Rd Pick – 12th (from Seattle) : Traded Tyler Polumbus to Seahawks for 2012 undisclosed pick
  • 7th Rd Pick – 23rd

 

Last Five First Round Picks:

  • 2007 Calvin Johnson WR (2nd Overall) – It took no time at all for Johnson to become one of the most feared and talented WR in the NFL. He quickly took on the name of Megatron, for destory the competition on his way to the endzone. And after Matthew Stafford finally stayed healthy for the full season, everyone found out how dangerous he could be with a good QB. He used his speed, size, athelticsim and pure desire to race to the top of the WR rankings in 2012 (96 – 1,681 / 16TDs) and will only climb higher.
  • * 2008 Gosder Cherilus T (17th Overall) – Came out of college as one of the better tackles in the draft, but hasnt really panned out with a set of injuries and consisentcy problems, the Lions might be at the end.
  • 2009 Matthew Stafford QB (1st Overall) – Strong armmed Qb coming out of Georgia was to be the savior of the team, he was riddled with injuries the first two seasons in the blue and silver. But when he was finally able to stay upright he showed the oleague and the Lions why they selected him first overall in 2009. He had career number postings by leading the Lions to their first playoff appearance in years last season by posting these numbers  (5,038; 41 / 16)
  • ** 2009 Brandon Pettigrew TE (20th Overall) – Took a little time for him to get going, providing a great miss match, Pettigrew came out of college as one of the better Tes and when he did provide the threat he was brought in for . He did not disappoint.
  • 2010 Ndamukong Suh DT (2nd Overall) – Traded as the gap penitrator and pass rusher the Lions had been looking for since the team gave up on Shaun Rogers. Suh made a slashing impact on the NFL, with a non-stop motor and aggressive play left his mark on the league as one of the top defensive tackles in the NFL, by creating miss matches to free up up their linebackers.
  • *** 2010 Jahvid Best RB (30th Overall) – Provided the change of pace back the Lions needed, but hasnt been healthy enough to make the impact scouts projected him being. A series of concussions may have halted his career, but only time will tell.
  • 2011 Nick Fairley DT (13th Overall) – Drafted to be the one-two punch on the defensive front with Suh, but his first season was slowed by injuries and he didnt quite make the impact he had hoped when he was drafted.

 

* Traded 2008 first round pick (T Branden Albert), 2008 third round pick (TE Brad Cottam) to Chiefs for 2008 first round pick (T Gosder Cherilus), 2008 third round pick (DE Kendall Langford), 2008 fifth round pick (RB Kenneth Moore)

** Traded Roy Williams, 2009 seventh round pick (DT Vance Walker) to Cowboys for 2009 first round pick (TE Brandon Pettigrew), 2009 third round pick (WR Derrick Williams), 2009 sixth round pick (RB Aaron Brown)

*** Traded 2010 second round pick (CB Chris Cook), 2010 fourth round pick (DE Everson Griffen), 2010 seventh round pick (TE Mickey Shuler) to Vikings for 2010 first round pick (HB Jahvid Best), 2010 fourth round pick (T Jason Fox)

 

 

TEAM NEEDS:

CB – After being in the bottom half of the NFL in pass defense, the Lions couldn’t loss anyone important, but that quickly happened when Eric Wright bolted for the Buccaneers. There is no CB on the roster that is signed passed this up coming season  and with the lack of depth even more obvious when starters Chris Houston, Aaron Berry and Louis Delmas suffered injuries makes this a screaming need for the Lions. The only corners on the roster now is Houston, Berry, Alphonso Smith and Don Carey

  • Possible Pick – Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska – A sure tackler and with excellent closing speed, Dennard can bring physicality to the weak Lions secondary, that will need a playmaker to bring some talent and stability to a position that is never to nothing on the shelf.

 

OL – It wasnt a surprise that the Lions reached out for free agent offensive tackles Eric Winston (Signed with Kansas City) and Marcus McNeill, since their current Oline is rapidly aging LT Jeff Backus, C Dominic Raiola are 34 and RG Stephen Peterman is 30. There is a need for an youth movement along the line to inject young talent to be groomed behind this players. Presently, the Lions have two project players in T Jason Fox, who has yet to recover from a two year period and G/T Johnny Culbreath who was injured all of last season.

  • Possible PickMike Adams, Ohio State – A massive, dominating run blocker who is pretty solid in pass protection as well, is what the Lions need to add to and aging offensive line and for someone to keep Stafford upright.

 

LB – In a fast and rapidly growing competition in the NFC North, the Lions need players to keep up with the talent on the other teams not only in their division, but their conference and league. The depth is extremely thin here, even after locking up Stephen Tulloch  for five years, other staters DeAndre Levy and Justin Durant are back, but are not Pro Bowl caliber players. With Bobby Carpenter not expected to return that only leaves developmental linebacker Doug Hogue on the Lions roster at linebacker.

  • Possible Pick – Zach Brown, North Carolina – Brown possesses the ability to rush the passer (11.5 sacks, and 91 tackles) that the Lions need to stay competitive and continue making the playoffs. With his best asset being his athleticism, his straight line speed is track quality, but lacks the size to stand up to the abuse, but can be a very good passing down specialist.

 

 

 

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