Friday, April 27, 2007

If No Trade, Johnson Should Be The Lions Choice

This is a strange NFL Draft from the standpoint of the Lions. I must admit I am perplexed by it. The Lions, of course, have the second overall pick and there is a great player who will probably be available - easily the best in this draft - wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Wide receiver is a need for the Lions, but far less than their other "problems." More than anything else, I think they should build on the defensive side of the ball first. But there are no edge pass rushers or cornerbacks, in my opinion, worthy of the second overall pick. Defensive end Gaines Adams from Clemson included. I think middle linebacker Patrick Willis and safeties LaRon Landry and Reggie Nelson from LSU and Florida are terrific players, but there isn’t proper value for the second overall pick in those positions - although they are easily the biggest positions of need for the Lions (their defensive line is OK, but their linebackers - other than Ernie Sims - and their secondary stink). Obviously, they ahould trade the pick. If they don’t, the Lions would be wise to lean on the "best available player regardless of position" philosophy and select Johnson. Then they must look to defense. And they really need to get three starters for this coming season out of this draft. They can’t afford to take a Brian Calhoun in the third round.

Random Thoughts

- I don’t know if Chad Durbin can sustain it, but if he is able to do what Zach Miner did for the Tigers last season by producing a real good stretch of starts, it would sure help. Based on the way he pitched the other night in Chicago, that does seem possible. It didn’t to me before that. He seemed overmatched in his first couple starts, but did display a lot of late life on his fastball in Chicago I hadn’t seen from him before.

- These early numbers from Kyle Sleeth - 14 hits, 14 earned runs, six walks, five wild pitches in 6 1-3 innings over four outings - aren’t very encouraging for the Tigers. Andrew Miller hasn’t exactly been dominating (22 hits in 23 innings) at Class A Lakeland, either. It all only makes Durbin even more key to the Tigers success with Kenny Rogers out.

- I just got the feeling Thursday night watching it live that the San Jose Sharks are a little bigger, a little faster and just as skilled as the Red Wings, who need Dominik Hasek to be brilliant to win this series.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Joe E. said...

-Calvin Johnson will not be available at nummber two. The Raiders are going to take him. The Raiders are going to keep Andrew Walter and gamble on getting Culpepper. Quick question, who threw to Johnson in college? See, it doesn't matter who the QB is, Johnson is that good and the Raiders know it.

-The Wings are a step slow. The need to shoot quicker and make faster decisions. San Jose denies shots from the point and forces the Wings into taking low percentage shots from bad angles. The Wings have to keep shooting but increase traffic in front of the net. Rebounds were there, but no red jerseys were.

-Durbin is not going to string together good starts. He just isn't capable. The best you can hope for is five innings, 4 runs and hope the bullpen can come in and hold the other team while the offense gets some runs.

10:32 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Joe e,
Reggie Ball was a very inconsistent and inaccurate passer at Georgia Tech - and Johnson starred anyway. I've heard the Raiders might be after Culpepper. He might be a steal if healthy. I liked Walter at Arizona State, but wasn't impressed by him last season. The Wings didn't get to the net at all. It was a major problem. I bet the Tigers, sight unseen, would take four runs in five innings from Durbin each time he starts.
Caputo

10:46 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

San Jose really impressed me. They looked scary good. I really enjoyed their style of play. They look cup ready to me, but of course it's a grind, and the wings will step up a notch.

Thomas is sure missed. I was hoping Bert could fill the role while he's out.

Dom doesn't have anything to prove. His cred is solid. If the wings loose to these guys, so be it. Lots of teams are going to loose to them as well.

2:57 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
It does seem like San Jose and Anaheim are clearly the best teams in the Western Conference. If the Wings lose this series, it won't be because of goaltending or a meltdown. It will be because the other team is better.
Caputo

4:48 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taking Johnson is the Lions only choice. Taking the best player is the only way to go. Other than trading down.

6:52 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
I'd go with the best player available, too, but where the Lions really need help is on defense.
Caputo

8:06 PM 
Anonymous Andrew Winkle said...

Pat the Book, how does The Dominator get a pass on yesterday's debacle at the Joe? I think my son's Pee Wee team's goaltender could've stopped that second goal by Mike Grier. No excuses, no blaming Schneider, that goal should have been a save.

Still, that would've meant that the Wings lost 1-0. Getting shut out at home in the playoffs! No soup for you! They looked like they forgot to put their cups on first in the dressing room. Don't give me all this crap about how wonderful are the Sharks. They couldn't even win their division.

I do NOT want to hear about how they missed Homer and Lebda in the line-up. First, excuses are for losers. Second, Hudler and Quincy played fine when the coach let them get on the ice. The only thing I want to hear from the Joe is that they are going to "git 'er done" on Saturday afternoon.

Is there still a professional football team in Detroit? Do people actually bother to waste any time or thought on them? Autumn Sundays spent outdoors are truly wonderful. Listening to baseball on the wireless in September and October, then hockey season commences. I put the Pussycats in the same category as my ex-wife; they're lying, cheating, mistreating ways are no longer any concern of mine.

Thanks for the update on Sleeth and Miller. If us Tiger fans see them in September that's fine by me. But do tell, how are Messrs. Miner and Tata doing south of the border?

9:49 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

The picture on the last issue of ESPN the magazine with Millen sporting a Hee-Haw smile and holding a drafting book for dummies up side down says it all. About how much of a joke this organization has become and what Ford really thinks which is hey we are obviously buying it? We just love football. We all think him and Millen are a bunch of donkey's.

However, I like the idea of building up the defense. I'd love to see Landry or Willis. Both look like football players. However, I still think Johnson and Russell are can't miss picks and if they are there and you can't trade down. You take them and run. No worries. We suck and will suck for a long time so it makes no difference anyways:). Heck if we trade down with Atlanta why not trade one of those seconds with maybe a new england and snag like a David Harris or Staley from CMU. I just think the lions have a chance to do something. I liked the pick with Simms last year. If they can pull a couple more rabbits out. who knows.

Hey Book I am telling you there has to be concern with that bull pen. I mean the bats are starting to find a grove, but yet the bull pen is giving games away. OUr beloved Zumya included. Maybe Leyland needs to bring them in a lone and rip into them a bit. Cause really his starters are doing AWesoME. The rest of the team needs to join in on the fun.

10:24 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Maddog52,
Millen's record is a matter of record. I do think the bullpen is a major reason for concern. I said last night (Friday) on FOX 2 that I feel they might be wise, for developmental purposes, to start Zumaya for awhile if this goes on. He needs to use his other pitches more, which had been very good, but he is starting to lose. If throws a strike on the curveball to Redmond in the 8th Friday, that dude is out. But his curveball looks bad right now and he never throws his changeup.
Caputo

10:11 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew Winkle,
It was a surprise shot, but Hasek should have probably stopped it. He was kind of making excuses about it, which isn't good. The first goal he had no chance on.
Caputo

10:12 AM 
Blogger Steve said...

Pat,
How do you feel about the Drew Stanton pick?

11:47 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Steve,
I wrote my column in Sunday's Oakland Press about it (check out the sports columns link on the website). Nothing against Stanton, but they needed to go defense with that pick, especially with David Harris still there. They also need to start winning now. It hinders that. And their other two picks in the second were underwhelming. I kind of negated the Johnson pick.
Caputo

8:12 AM 

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