In the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions took a flier on a falling star. Has the gamble paid off? Let’s re-draft and find out …
Likely the most controversial pick by the Detroit Lions in the entire 2017 NFL Draft, the second round selection of Florida cornerback Teez Tabor was certainly a risk. Once considered a possible mid-first round pick, Tabor’s status dropped after pre-draft workouts revealed his lackluster physical traits.
And through 11 games of his first season, Tabor has proven every other NFL team did the right thing passing on him. The 21-year old defender is a developmental player. And due to the play of the Lions’ secondary this season, Detroit is treating the second round pick like one, opting to bring him along slowly.
But being slow may be Tabor’s biggest obstacle, as he posted a pedestrian 4.62 in the forty. Unfortunately, you can’t teach speed. But there are mental aspects of playing the cornerback in the NFL that can mitigate the lack of blazing speed. But that takes years to develop. And being a high draft pick, Tabor is expected to produce immediately.
So far, Lions’ second rounder has recorded four total tackles in five games this season.
But was there a player available 53rd overall that could have helped this Lions’ team more than Tabor? The answer is a resounding yes.
First, there were a couple talented wide receivers still on the board. Players like USC’s JuJu Smith-Schuster and Eastern Washington’s Cooper Kupp. At cornerback, Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis would have made a much better selection.
But where the Motor City really could have improved was at running back.
Between the Lions second pick (53rd) and third round selection (96th) fell two game-changing runners that could have skyrocketed Detroit’s offense this season. Those players being Tennessee’s Alvin Kamara and Toledo’s Kareem Hunt.
Playing beside starter Mark Ingram in New Orleans, Kamara has looked like an absolute superstar recording 546 rushing yards and five touchdowns on only 77 carries. His 7.1 yards per rushing attempt leads in the NFL. Kamara also has 54 receptions for 548 yards and four more scores. Tell me quarterback Matthew Stafford couldn’t use him in the backfield.
As for Hunt, although he’s cooled off as of late, the rookie led the league in rushing yardage for most of the season. The 22-year old currently ranks second in the NFL with 890 rushing yards through 11 games. He also has a combined six touchdowns.
If I had to re-draft today, running back Alvin Kamara would undoubtedly be my choice for the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Especially considering Hunt’s troubled past. Unfortunately, re-drafts don’t count in real life. If only they did …