Alright, people can talk about “what ifs” when talking about the NFL draft till they are blue in the face but it’s not until April 28th till anyone has any idea what is actually going on. But the thing that we 100% know is that, even though the lions have added some receiver depth, they are still going to need help replacing the best (besides Barry Sanders) Lion player of the Super Bowl era, Calvin Johnson. I’ve seen so many different mock drafts that have the Lions taking Lequan Treadwell at number 16 that it makes me throw up a little in my mouth. We just signed Marvin Jones and Jeremy Kerley to go along with Golden Tate and the promising T.J. Jones, so I’m not trying to draft a receiver that ran a 4.63 40 yard dash (at his pro day so it would of been slower at the combine).
So instead of trying to get cute in the first round the Lions should upgrade the trenches. Then they could look for a play maker in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. The offensive and defensive lines need way to much help to be selecting a skill position player with the number 16 pick. When I say play maker people automatically think wide receiver but what if the best tight end in the draft, Hunter Henry, falls to the middle of the second round? Some of you might say “But Blake we just invested a top 10 pick a couple of years ago in Eric Ebron?” but hear me out.
Bob Quinn was very involved in every aspect of the New England Patriots scouting department so he knows “the Patriot way” like the back of his hand. So what does this mean? That means that Bobby was in New England during the 2010 draft where the Patriots selected Rob Gronkowski in the 2nd round and they also drafted Aaron Hernandez in the 4th round. Yeah, Aaron Hernandez is a terrible person, but he was one hell of a football player. Hernandez, when he was playing from 2010-2013, averaged 652 yards a season and 6 touchdowns as the number two tight end. So while it didn’t work out because Hernandez is a thug, it was so successful that the Patriots are going to try and do it again with the recently traded for Martellus Bennett.
If the Lions are trying to do things “the Patriots way” why not do it with our tight end situation? Hunter Henry very well might be gone by the Lions pick in the 2nd round but we can hope, right? Henry is from the University of Arkansas and he is by far the most well rounded tight end in the draft, which means that since he’s a capable blocker the Lions can use Henry as a standard tight end and bump Ebron out in the slot and let him use his size and speed to whip linebackers and safeties. So while the Lions may not be getting a “wide receiver” in the first or second round it would allow Ebron to get in space (where he is the most comfortable) and let Henry not only do the dirty work but also make an impact in the run and play action game as well. Ebron is a versatile guy, so why not let him be a versatile piece to the Megatron-less Lions offense.
Just that sounds good, but when you really look into Hunter Henry and what he can do makes this move make more and more sense. Hunter Henry ran a 4.68 40 yard dash on his pro day (only .05 slower than Treadwell), had 0 drops in his career at Arkansas, and NFL.com states that Henry, “Flat-running stud as a run blocker.” This would give the Lions a lot of versatile players and not only would this pick help the Lions in their passing game, he is already a premiere run blocking tight end to help out with the run also. The Lions offense needs more talent in the passing game and needs help running the ball, right? Hunter Henry kills two birds with one stone. So what do you say Bobby Q? Would you want a reliable pass catching, bulldozer blocking, All-SEC tight end? I guess we have to wait and see what happens.