Friday, May 9, 2014

Detroit Lions 2014 Draft Day 2

The 2nd round pick started with a trade. The Lions traded up 5 spots, giving up their 4th and 7th round pick, but then receiving a 5th round pick.

The Lions then selected LB Kyle Van Noy in round 2, overall pick #40 (ranked 38 on my big board).

Height: 6 feet, 3 and 1/4 inches
Weight: 244 pounds
Hand Measurement: 9 and 1/2 inches
Arm Length: 32 inches

From one of my draft guides (same one as the Ebron post yesterday)...

While Khalil Mack and Anthony Barr are in a tier of their own, the edge linebacker class on the whole is the strongest position in this year’s draft, thanks to players like Kyle Van Noy. Van Noy could legitimately play any linebacker spot you ask him to, he’s quick to the football thanks to outstanding instincts. He doesn’t have the explosive capabilities as the two Top 10 edge players, but he probably has a better pass rushing arsenal than either one of them. He uses his hands extremely well to keep himself clean and work into the backfield coming off the edge. Van Noy’s one glaring weakness is also a strength, he plays so fast that there are times when he will overrun himself out of position to make a tackle, he needs to reel himself in on his tackling angles and keep himself in position to make the play instead of overrunning it. But if the biggest issue with a prospect if that he’s too fast in his pursuit angles, that should speak volumes. Van Noy isn’t a power player but he stacks and disengages would be blockers very well, he keeps himself clean to the football. He showcased his pass rushing skills in 2012 and his off the ball ability in 2013. either way, Kyle Van Noy should comfortably be a first round selection thanks to just how well rounded he is, despite only above average athletic measures.

His profile on a pay site that I don't wish to be banned from by copying content and pasting it here is less then impressive. Lot of talk about his arm tackling, whiffing on tackles, and other concerns. Perhaps it's because he saw the film on the overruns mentioned above, perhaps coaching can get him to take better angles, perhaps he won't be a liability in close games as was suggested. I'm just not sure. For every glowing player profile on Van Noy there is an equally concerning one. Obviously the Lions targeted him, didn't wait for the best player to select when it was their turn, and to date, that has never turned out good for the Lions, but there's always a first time, right? Right? Yeah okay, so I'm not solidly behind this pick. No, not at all. It does sound as though he can blitz though, so even if he only takes half of Palmers snaps and blitz from every direction imaginable that could improve the Lions defense quite a bit, and that I would take.

Now, in the 3rd round, 76th pick overall, the Lions selected Center Travis Swanson (ranked 100th on my big board).

Height: 6 feet, 5 inches
Weight: 310 pounds
Hand Measurement: 10 inches
Arm Length: 32 and 7/8 inches

This is from the same draft guide as above (and the Ebron paragraphs yesterday):

Travis Swanson strikes me as more of a zone blocking Center in the fact that he’s not very powerful or explosive, but he’s very sudden out of his stance. Swanson plays with some more finesse than some of his contemporaries, pairing his quickness with a fluidity about his movements. Fairly flexible, he plays with nice leverage, he just simply doesn’t generate the lower body power to consistently move defensive linemen with the ease of others in the class. Swanson has good football instincts, he stays active and finds places to assist if he’s free himself and uncovered. Swanson doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses in his game, as a prospect he’s adequate in all areas. Because he lacks the kind of dominating potential on the inside, he does score a bit lower than some of the more physical Centers in the class but a team could do much worse than to try to sure up the interior with a player of Swanson’s caliber. Because of the lack of demand for the position early in drafts and no elite prospects at the position, Swanson may slide into early Day 3 and if he does, he’s an outstanding steal.

His profile on a pay site talks about his potential as a guard or center, his excellent athletic skills and talents, but goes on to say he is very sloppy and inconsistent with his techniques. Gave him a 2nd round grade.

I think the Lions are trying to strike gold twice in the 3rd round after having drafting Warford last year in this round. My grade was end of 3rd or start of 4th, so even I didn't have him overdrafted, just like Van Noy. And, just like Van Noy, I'm okay with the pick but not excited, intrigued, or overjoyed. Now in the 4th this pick is a steal, in the 3rd, it's just... a pick.

Most likely my feelings on the two players are being tempered by the fact that I wanted DE/OLB Jeremiah Attaochu in the 2nd (who was available until pick 50) and Safety Terrance Brooks in the 3rd (who was available until pick 79). Lions could have drafted both with no trades and in my opinion, been better off for it. Time for them to prove me wrong.

Some names to keep an eye on for day 3 of the draft are:

WR Martavis Bryant
CB Keith McGill
CB Marcus Roberson
CB Jaylen Watkins
DT Caraun Reid
QB Aaron Murray
WR Mike Davis
S Ahmad Dixon
CB Chris Davis
WR Jalen Saunders
CB Aaron Colvin
WR Cody Hoffman
QB Logan Thomas
DE Larry Webster
WR Jeff Janis
C Bryan Stork (if they plan to move Swanson to guard)
T/G Jeremiah Sirles
K Nate Freese
K Cody Parker

I almost hate to pick a few favorites out of this bunch, but I can't help myself, so I'll keep a keen eye out for Reid, Murray, Dixon, Stork and/or Sirles and Freese (cause you can't call a timeout and try to freeze Freese, can you?).

There are a few potential undrafted prospects I'm also keeping my eye on, think I'll not advertise their names though. Perhaps I'll list them following the end of day 3. Here's to the coaching staff making the picks to date and tomorrow into first round worthy players, all of them.

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