Join us each day as we count down towards the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. The countdown runs from 50 to zero and the number of days remaining will inspire the post for that day. Think of this as your NFL draft paper chain that loses one link each day!
As I was considering the number 18, the number of days that remain until the draft, I cam across a Tom Kowalski article from the by week. Here is a snip:
The interesting thing about the bye week is that you get a chance to see who’s really hurt. During a normal week, guys are going to practice through a lot of ailments but, during the bye week, there’s no game to prepare for and resting up is essential.
That’s why 18 players were sidelined for the Detroit Lions’ practice Wednesday.
Needless to say, 18 is a lot of players to have missing from practice. They may have been sitting out during the least important practice of the year, it was the bye week after all, but it highlights the point that injuries are a guarantee during an NFL season. With that in mind, the upcoming draft is about a lot more than filling holes at cornerback and outside linebacker.
How many times have injuries been used as an excuse (with fans, at least) following another disappointing season? It is great to have talent in the starting lineup but successful NFL franchises will have talent up and down their 53-man roster. The Green Bay Packers were one of the more injury riddled teams in 2010 yet ended as Super Bowl Champions. A talent-laden roster provides that kind of margin for error. The top of the Lions roster is starting to look good compared to their contemporaries but they won’t compete until the bottom compares just as favorably.
Players drafted number 18 overall by the Detroit Lions:
Charley Horton (1959), Jeff Backus (2001)