Saturday, May 10, 2014

Detroit Lions 2014 Draft Day 3

On the final day of the draft the Detroit Lions did a little more trading (moving down in the 5th and obtaining a 7th back, only 2 spots away from their original spot) and still got the guy I wanted in the 5th (well, I would've drafted him in the 4th, but that's okay, I forgive them). I'm getting ahead of myself, here are the day 3 picks and a small commentary on each. I will go into more details on the entire slate of draft picks tomorrow.

4th Round Pick, 133 Overall, CB Nevin Lawson, Utah State, 5'9" 190

The Lions started right off with a total head scratcher. A CB that is pretty much too short to play CB in the NFL and with a 5th round ranking (or close to it). Since I wanted them to take QB Murray or DT Reid here, I wasn't impressed. Immediately after the draft I still wasn't impressed. I have since read that Lawson plays special teams and is able to blitz fairly well. He's quite fast as well. After thinking about it some, I realized the Lions wouldn't likely draft someone who "doesn't fit the suit" unless there was a very solid plan and some pretty solid film on the player proving he can overcome his "shortcomings". I am still confused, but I am now also curious. Just what is the plan for Mr Lawson? I will await the answers which should be coming in about 3 months time.

4th Round Pick 136 Overall, DE Larry Webster, Bloomsburg. 6'6" 240

Three picks later the Lions drafted one of the players on my wish list from yesterday. Selecting this player also took much of the sting out of not drafting Attaochu yesterday. In fact, even though it will take him the better part of two years to really learn the position as it's played in the NFL, I have high expectations for this pick, who will be slowly rotated in to get his on-the-job-training he will sorely need. That said, once he's on an NFL diet and works in an NFL weight room I could see a player with all the good of Cliff Avril and none of the bad.

5th Round Pick 158 Overall, DT Caraun Reid , Princeton. 6'2" 302

I first read about Mr Reid a couple weeks ago while studying small school prospects. At the time I posted in my forum about an alternative to Aaron Donald who is a bit taller and a bit heavier along with a bit stronger yet with most of the potential (if not more) then Donald. The more poor man's Aaron Donald first round pick if you will. I was looking for the Lions to draft Mr Reid in the 4th round, when they went midget CB and small school DE instead, I was getting upset... until Mr Reid kept sliding. It was the Lions pick in the 5th, he was still available, then the Lions traded down with Dallas to gain a 7th round pick back. In the end it all worked out, as not only was Mr Reid still available when the Lions finally drafted, but they actually selected him! Be still my heart (nearly did). It will take longer for Reid to be NFL ready, but the Lions have one more year of Fairley and Suh so he can rotate in as he learns. If you wanted Aaron Donald you won't be upset for too much longer, in my opinion.

6th Round Pick 189 Overall, WR T.J. Jones, Notre Dame. 6'0" 188

Next up was the Wide Receiver we all knew the Lions were going to take sooner or later. At 6' he's a little taller then some slot receivers, which may actually help matters. Consider the sure handed Mr Jones the backup or insurance for Mr Broyles, depending on his health issues resolve themselves.

7th Round Pick 229 Overall, K Nate Freese, BC. 5'11" 192

Not sure how much tackling we will want Mr Freese to do until he gets his full share of an NFL diet and weight room work, but he can also be a decent backup at punter, so he automatically becomes the favorite to become the Lions new Kicker for the next decade or two... and unlike Jason Hanson (and I'm not complaining) it didn't take a 2nd round draft pick to get him. This name too was on my wish list yesterday, so obviously I wasn't surprised, just happy, with this selection.

Overall, a really good day 3 draft in my opinion. And, if I can only figure out Nevin Lawson's roster fit, and depending on how he does in it, this could be a grand slam type of draft for Martin Mayhew. Each player selected is mature, dependable, a hard worker, and in many cases, versatile. A second blue collar draft in a row keeps my hopes up for the season... even if tempered by day 2 somewhat and a player that I just can't get over how short he is.

I've seen about a dozen names now for the Lions in the undrafted ranks, but unless the Lions make some cuts they only have 5 roster spots, so more then half of the names are actually try outs, I'm trying to find out whether each name is a try out or a real signing before I comment on them, so I will save that part of this post for tomorrow too.

Overall the draft didn't go the way I would have done it, or the way I would have preferred it, but having selected 3 players that I really wanted on day 3 out of the 5 they selected hasn't hurt my ability to sleep. I'm now off to research some of the lesser known picks from today and again attempt to settle my nerves over day 2 with even more reading. Needless to say, I'm in a much better mood tonight then I was last night, that should help with the research.

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