Friday, February 23, 2007

Behind Door No. 1, Door No.2 And Door No.3...

More than anything else, the Lions need a playmaking defensive player. But there comes the rub. There is no apparent great playmaker defensively available in this draft. It means the Lions must depend on Matt Millen to make a sound judgment. That is an obvious problem. Their secondary is bad. And it is not going to get better overnight - especially since the Lions have apparently decided to part ways with Dre’ Bly. That means they need to rush the passer much better. They should get a decent push inside with Cory Redding and Shaun Rogers, but they badly need speed off the edges. There are a few defensive ends available in this draft who could provide it: Jamaal Anderson from Arkansas, Gaines Adams from Clemson and Adam Carriker from Nebraska. On the surface, none appears worthy of being taken second overall in the draft. But there are no obvious choices that early in the draft this season. It’s why the Lions are throwing up these ridiculous smoke screens they are interested in taking a quarterback. This is the perfect draft to trade down, especially considering what a crater the Lions roster has become. Other teams are not foolish, though. Being able to trade down seems like a remote possibility given the nature of this draft, which has some depth, but not much "Wow" appeal at the very top. I don’t advocate the Lions taking Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas second overall. They need playmakers on the defensive side of the ball more than anything else. And they are already paying a left tackle, Jeff Backus, a boatload of money. Chances are one of the three defensive ends I mentioned will be that impact player, but which one? I would have liked to have seen Anderson matched up more against Thomas in the Capital One Bowl, but he is obviously talented. Adams made the best defensive play I saw all last season when forced a botched field goal hold, stole the ball and then sprinted down the field for a long TD. Carriker reminds me a little bit of the Packers’ Aaron Kampman, who had double digits in sacks last season.

Random Thoughts

- It’s amazing how Joe Dumars made one of the worst draft choices in the history of the NBA when he took Darko Milicic second overall, but yet the Pistons just keep rolling regardless. No news at the trade deadline was great news for the Pistons, who had already added Chris Webber. And just as Miami was getting back on track, Dwyane Wade’s injury happened. Darko, by the way, displayed exactly what he is Wednesday against the Pistons. He’s just not that good.

- I know, I am, admittedly, a sick puppy hopelessly obsessed with sports...but I do find the extensive coverage of the combine on the NFL Network to be, well, fascinating. I TiVo it and watch it by the hour.

- Just wondering, which of the Big Three leading the Tigers starting pitching rotation - Kenny Rogers, Justin Verlander or Jeremy Bonderman - will have the most wins this season. I think it will be Bonderman. The way he bounced back from a shaky second half and performed during the playoffs should carry over to this season.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Verlanders a rock - I'd put my money on him.

I have to disagree with you about Darko in one way. He looked so awkward and out of place with the Pistons during his years here. He did not look like an athelete, much less display anything on the court.

I watched the game, and to my inexperienced and unschooled eye, he at least looked like he belonged. He was moving up and down the court smoothly, he was positioned well on some plays. He was to me drastically better then anything he showed here.

What brought about this much change in less then a year? Did our coaching staffs really spend any time with him? What is his upside?

7:47 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
Yeah, he looks better than he did with the Pistons and is an NBA player, but he is a long way from being Carmelo, D Wade or Bosh. I think it is safe to say he will never be another Jermaine O'Neal. For the second overall pick in the draft, his ability is underwhelming.
Caputo

11:28 AM 
Blogger mudhenfan said...

Pat,

I’m going to agree with you
regarding Bonderman leading
the Tigers staff with victories
this coming season. He has
always been able to consume
innings without a lot of physical
stress. I can see 2007 being his
break out year in terms of wins.
As long as he receives reasonable
run support, I can see him hitting
17-20 wins.

1:45 PM 
Blogger ThinkingMan said...

I'd also vote for Bonderman, Pat. One of these years, he is going to put it all together. When he does, he'll be a consistent 17-20 game winner for years to come.

Sooner or later, age is going to catch up to Rogers. I think he will win 12-16 this year and I think Verlander will do the same. I worry about Verlander's health. It's not uncommon for young pitchers and hitters to have a "sophomore slump." Considering the number of innings he threw last year, way more than he had ever thrown in a season, I wouldn't be surprised if he wound up on the DL at some point this year.

As far as the Lions, they have so many holes ... there's just no way they can cover them all in one draft or off-season. I know I've harped on offensive line, but I'm starting to wonder if a running back, Adrian Peterson, might be the way to go. A good running game can hide a lot of other flaws.

4:58 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Mudhenfan,
What I like about him is that he signed a four-year, $38 million contract and was in Florida in January when I was down there getting ready for the season. I also like the way he has fought through some things. He could be better than good. He could be great.
Caputo

10:53 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Thinkingman,
You bring up a great point about the Tigers and age. Rogers isn't the only one who is older. Pudge, Sheffield, Mags has shown some wear and tear, Todd Jones, too. At some point, age does catch up to players, whether it is this season or in the future.
Caputo

10:55 PM 

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