Thursday, February 25, 2010

Forget Team Rhetoric, Trading Down In Draft Real Possibility For Lions This Time

Every year, you hear the same thing about the Lions, who usually hold a premium choice in the first round of the NFL Draft because they have struggled for so long.
Trade down. Get more picks. It would allow the Lions to add depth to their roster.
Most years, it is not feasible. Most struggling teams have the same thought. You need an apple of some team’s eye for it to occur. Normally it doesn’t.
This draft, however, might be different for the Lions. They have the second overall pick, and a domino likely must fall with the first overall pick, and that is the St. Louis Rams’ becoming enamored with a quarterback, either Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen or Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, and taking him. That would leave the Lions with Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh.
Suh is a great player, an active lineman about 300 pounds, but his ideal position is as defensive end in a 3-4 defense. The Lions run a 4-3 and need hefty inside tackles - and there are plenty in this draft.
If somebody wants to move up for Suh, or Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy, a similar type of player in many ways, the Lions might be able to secure extra draft picks by trading down - and still land the defensive linemen they need. I don’t ever remember a draft being this deep before in defensive linemen, particularly tackles. Dan Williams from Tennessee, Brian Price from UCLA and Gerald Odrick from Penn State are gap-control tackles the Lions need. The extra pick or picks would put the Lions in better position to address obvious needs in the secondary, at running back and along the offensive line, too.
The reports you are hearing about the Lions trying to trade down are not coming out of thin air - despite what head coach Jim Schwartz said Thursday.

Random Thoughts

- This is how I rated the teams in the Olympic ice hockey tournament before it started: 1. Canada; 2. Russia; 3. Sweden; 4. Finland; 5. United States; 6. Czech Republic; 7. Slovakia; 8. Switzerland.
Friday is going to be a rough game for the Americans. Finland is fierce. They are traditionally tough players internationally and have terrific goaltending. I’d give Finland a slight edge,
Canada should drill Slovakia, but remember, Slovakia’s front end players - Marian Gaborik, Marian Hossa and Zdeno Chara - are every bit as good as Canada’s best. Canada’s edge is depth.

- What’s with Richard Hamilton and the free throws? Those misses last night in Los Angeles were unreal. He has been playing so well otherwise. The Clippers just punked the Pistons inside, too.

My column in Thursday's Oakland Press on why the Ilitches hired Tom Wilson



Blogger Barry said...

Pat, the game between the USA and Finland should be a classic. I think whatever team gets up by two goals they should be able to hang on and win. Scoring first or getting a two goal lead is big between these two teams. If Canada stays out of the penalty box and keep on a rolling they should win.

2:42 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Living on the West coast doesn't allow me to see many Pistons games (and with their lousy record they sure aren't getting many nationally televised games) so last night was kind of a treat for me. This is my take: 1) Prince made an incredible block at the end of the game that almost reminded me of the one he made on Reggie Miller back in the playoffs and it showed the guy can still play the game, 2) Hamilton can still put up points (ya I know you looked bad on the free throw line) and 3) you are right about their game on the inside as they looked helpless (and I believe this is what cost them the game). Now I have been part of the bandwagon that was all about trading Hamilton and Prince to get more players in here, but after watching last nights game it made me think twice. We are already a bad team, but how is trading away 2 proven guys that can still play make us any better. I think the part that stings is we spent some money on free agents last summer that just didn't really add anything to the team. I dont think the answer is compounding those mistakes by getting rid of the guys that can play. Maybe their best bet is to try use the guys they signed last summer as trade bait if anyone will take them. Also, the Clippers commentator made an interesting comment about kwame brown. As he was sitting on the bench, Don McClane said "that guy has grossed over $50 million in his 8 year career. Now that's a bust". Do you think the Pistons have any flexibility over the summer to do anything to make the team better? It really sucks watching them get beat up.

lil rob

4:50 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You were all over this one. Reports strong now Rams will likely take QB. Lions in great shape in draft. Could clean up moving down.

2:11 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, I like your show and read your column often. I seems that the Loins have so many needs that Trading Down is vialble to try and address multiple needs. But they also continue to have a need for a defensive star play maker that the top of the draft usually produces. Either approach seems viable at this time. Just hope they get better. Bob

7:22 PM 

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