Monday, May 12, 2014

How the Detroit Lions NFL Draft compares to their NFC North rivals

Six of the Lions 16 games are against NFL North rivals. Winning the division is the key to advancing deep into the playoffs. The wild card route is much more difficult. I gave the Lions draft a C-Plus grade. I liked a lot of their picks, especially North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron and Brigham Young linebacker Kyle Van Noy in the first two rounds. Some of their later picks were fine. It's just they didn't, really, address their needs in the secondary. But how did the Packers, Bears and Vikings do in comparison?
This is my assessment:
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: Packers filled need
I thought the Packers did the best of the NFC teams in this drat. Alabama Ha Ha Clinton Dix is an upgrade at safety. The Packers were vulnerable in the area last year and need an instant starter. I didn't see Clinton-Dix as the best safety in the draft, but he is a solid prospect and should start immediately. Wide receiver Davante Adams from Fresno State is classic Packers receiver with size and strength and they lost James Jones in free agency Linebacker Carl Bradford from Arizona State was a tremendous fourth-round pick. It will be interesting to see what type of NFL player Ohio State center Corey Lindsey becomes in comparison to the Lions' third-round pick, center Travis Swanson from Arkansas.
Chicago did a better job of addressing their needs in the secondary than the Lions. I just don't know whether they got the right cornerback at 14th overall in Kyle Fuller from Virginia Tech. I think Jason Verrett from Texas Christian at 25th overall (San Diego) and Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard at 24th overall (Cincinnati) would have been better selections. I don't mind it, though, when teams trust their own evaluations and go with it. The Bears may very well be right. Minnesota safety Brock Vareen was a great value in the fourth round. He would have fit the Lions. The Bears did address their most glaring area of need, interior defensive line. Ego Ferguson from LSU and Will Sutton from Arizona State need to be effective immediately.
There was mixed opinion on UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, but I thought it was a terrific selection. He is as gifted at his position as another other player in this draft, and was a very productive player. We'll see on Teddy Bridgewater. I think he will be an excellent NFL player. I thought remainder of the Vikings draft was underwhelming. although I was surprised how far Stanford guard David Yankey fell. Seems like he was a solid pick.

My columns on the Lions and the 2014 NFL Draft

Good, bad and the ugly of Detroit Lions 2014 NFL Draft:

Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions are a perfect fit:

Detroit Lions essentially ignored their biggest need in the 2014 NFL Draft:

Detroit Lions continue to send out mixed message in NFL Draft:

Our ChatCast on the Detroit Lions and the 2014 NFL Draft:


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