Pro-Football focus had an interesting article today discussing a re-draft of the 2008 NFL draft. You will recall that the Lions drafted Gosder Cherilus towards the back end of a run on offensive tackles. The pick was curious at the time because the Lions moved back from 15 to 17. The Chiefs used the 15th pick to select offensive tackle Brandon Albert while the Lions used their pick to select a player of the same position.
Some thought Cherilus was a reach, others thought the pick made right about where Cherilus should have gone. Either way, Gos was the fifth of eight offensive tackles to be selected in the first round of the 2008 draft. He’s been maddeningly inconsistent but the Lions actually could have done a lot worse. Check out the Pro Football Focus piece for details about the other offensive lineman in that draft class.
PFF had the following to say about the Lions’ selection of Cherilus:
Key Stat: Other than a disastrous rookie year, has graded between +1.5 and -1.5 in our grades. Has done so despite giving up 123 combined sacks, hits and pressures since entering the league.
Notes: He’s never been a favorite of the Lions fans, but Cherilus hasn’t been that bad compared to some of the guys taken above him. That said, he’s had some really low points and the kind of roller coaster he puts you on isn’t ideal for a tackle. Serviceable.
Re-Draft: Before Louis Delmas, why not get an extremely reliable safety? You know I’m talking about Kenny Phillips.
It is also important to remember that the Lions have another 2008 first-rounder on their team: defensive end Lawrence Jackson. The Seahawks selected LoJack with the 28th pick overall. He was labeled a bust and shipped out of town prior to last season but has played well in the Lions system and been an important contributor in their rotation. His resurgence proves that the bust wasn’t with LoJack or the scouts that rated him so highly, it was with the Seattle organization. Here is the PFF blurb, including some interesting stats:
Key Stat: Managed 34 combined sacks, hits and hurries on 655 pass rushes as a Seahawk. That’s a pressure for every 19.2 plays he was on the field. As a Lion? He’s picking up a pressure for every 9.5 pass rushes.
Notes: It just didn’t work out for Jackson in Seattle. There are a number of reasons why (some of which we discussed with Jackson) it didn’t work, and it certainly didn’t help that he portions of his rookie year playing at either end and then as a tackle in nickel situations. But the scouts didn’t get this one wrong as Jackson has flourished in Detroit. It’s just one of these cases where it was meant to be.
Re-Draft: The Seahawks had bodies and not much else at receiver. Stevie Johnson fixes that.
So, what do you think about the suggestion that the Lions should have taken Kenny Phillips instead of Gosder Cherilus? What about some of the other names drafted behind Cherilus?