Wednesday, December 16, 2009

No, I Wouldn't Trade Calvin Johnson

Count me among those who don’t think the Lions should trade Calvin Johnson, "for a boatload of draft picks."
First of all, Johnson has been the only Lions’ first-round draft choice that has panned out. Secondly, because the Lions’ other receivers are so mediocre, he basically gets all the attention from opposing defenses. The Lions should try to improve the weapons around Johnson. Right now, he is playing uphill on a slanted field. And he’ll have better production as QB Matthew Stafford matures. The Lions expected more from Bryant Johnson this season - and didn’t get it. Calvin Johnson is the one paying for it. The Lions missed badly on Derrick Williams in the third round of the draft. Calvin Johnson is paying for it.
What is it about this town lately anyway? If they get a top player, and he is about to hit his prime, they want to trade him. The Lions are living proof how difficult it can be to hit even on early first-round draft choices. So they do find a player there - so trade him? Based on what? One game by Ndamukong Suh? It was a great game. Suh has a chance to be a great NFL player, but I’ve talked to a couple NFL people who told me he projects best as a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. By NFL standards, he is more of a smaller, active inside player than this massive gap control machine. Ever check the record of defensive tackles taken early in the NFL draft, especially with the first overall pick?
Calvin Johnson is not Roy Williams. Certainly not Charles Rogers nor Mike Williams. If the Lions move him, it will comeback to haunt them.

My column in Wednesday's Oakland Press on heat facing Lions coach Jim Schwartz:



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I somewhat agree.

I expect more out of Calvin given all the hype he gets. How many points did they score last week with him in the game? He still to me is only potential, no all-pro yet. But he's also one of their few keepers.

I also agree we shouldn't fall in love with Suh to an absurd extent. If he falls to us great. If not follow your board. He had a great game in part because two of the guys he plays next to are also beasts. It's not like he carried things by himself. I would love to traid the nebraska defense straight up for our beloved Lions.


11:51 AM 
Anonymous Deano said...


Depending on what they can get, the Lions should consider trading Calvin. Even though he is a tremendous talent, count me among those who didn't want to draft him in the first place. To me, WR is not a position that effects winning as much as both lines, RB and QB. WR is a position with lots of depth and doesn't require a top 5 overall investment to find a good one. Especially with a top notch QB (think Favre in GB and Brady before Moss). Let Stafford bring up the play of the WR's and reinvest in players/picks on more critical positions.

11:29 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Pat, I couldn’t comprehend trading C Johnston but their lines are so bad. Aren’t the Lions both near the bottom of the league when it comes to stopping the run and allowing the most sacks? Can the Lions can fix their lines in next draft or free agent? After all you want to protect your 75 million dollar arm.

4:43 AM 
Blogger William said...

I agree. CJ is one of the few keepers on this team and trading him would be foolish. I would actually like to see the Lions focus less on the draft. They need a pass rusher, and I'd rather see them trade some high picks in return for a veteran. The Lions already have enough money tied up in project players and I think they should spend for proven performance, especially on the O and D line.

8:07 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

The Lions are an example of how, when you have a bad team, you can't afford to miss with free agent signings and early draft picks. CJ's problem is there are no threats on the Lions offense other than him. Bryant Johnson hasn't played to his contract and Derrick Williams has not played remotely like a third-round pick. All defenses just CJ - only Lions threat.

11:16 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

You and I are on the opposites on the value of wide receiver. A great one keeps teams from blitzing and putting more players at the line. They also make big plays. Not that those other aren't as important, I don't believe WR is any less.

11:18 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

There defensive line, in particular, is dreadful. Thing is, they have drafted many defensive linemen in recent years. Bad drafting.

11:19 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

No doubt they need impact players, but I wouldn't do that because they lack so much depth. But they have to do better filling holes in free agency, too.

11:20 AM 
Blogger Trent said...

Pat I agree with your assessment on DT Suh the Lions have to go for the DT of Oklahoma.

1:47 PM 

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