Today is D-day, and the D stands for DRAFT, and hopefully it’ll also mean who we select in the first round. I sincerely hope and pray that it also stands for defense as in a defensive end (Ryan Kerrigan) or a cornerback (Jimmy Smith). This is a terribly exciting draft in the sense we don’t have a clue who is going to be selected by the Detroit Lions with the 13th pick. In past years we were almost always in the top ten, too many times to remember. We pretty much knew who the Lions were going to select a week before the draft, and that takes away some of the excitement of the unpredictability of who is the next Lion with the weight of the 1st round expectations sitting on his shoulders.
Martin Mayhew has stated publicly that he has no idea who they’re going to take this year. He stated that he has five to seven names that they’re interested in. I hope they’re all defensive names. I have a feeling that he can get who he wants even if he trades back a few spots. We probably could get a third rounder out of that.
It’s funny that the success rate of draft picks turning into GOOD professional players is little better than 50/50. It’s crazy that after all that time they spend watching film and talking to everybody the prospect ever met since he was in grade school that it’s still a crapshoot.
If these guys are experts and they’re just guessing, what the hell do WE know? Apparently, not much. I can’t tell you how many times the Lions took the player whose name I was yelling at the TV when the Leo’s were on the clock, only to find out years later, sometimes after the first practice, that he sucked. In 1999 I was on the phone with a buddy of mine for over an hour before the Lions selected Chris Claiborne. We both wanted him in the worst way and pumped ourselves into such a frenzy that when they announced his name, we whooped it up like we actually won the Super Bowl. How’d THAT work out for us?
There are also the times when they don’t take your guy and it turns out that they were right and you feel even dumber than you did before. Brandon Pettigrew is a perfect example. I, like everyone else that favors the honolulu blue and silver, felt that Michael Oher of Mississippi or Rey Maualuga of USC would have been a better pick. Mayhew got fried on sports talk radio for that pick. Two years later, the 645 times I screamed at the TV “I can’t believe they picked a tight end!” is still hurtling through space, and Oher is probably going to be moved back to right tackle because of his struggles in the left tackle position.
I thought FOR SURE they would take Maualuga with their first pick in the second round. I was ready to buy a wig and everything. After I woke up on the floor from fainting, (not really but I did get weak kneed), I realized they took Louis Delmas and not MY guy. What are they doing? I know my stuff, I READ DRAFT MAGAZINES dammit, and we needed a middle linebacker. Good thing they’re not asking me for my opinion because Pettigrew is going to be a Keith Jackson of the Eagles in the early 90′s style of player, a perennial All PRO who can block. Delmas is a rising star and one of the Lions leaders on defense, while Maualuga is an average two down linebacker with a DUI to his credit. Who knew?
So just sit back and enjoy the draft — I know I will.