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2010 Draft - Rd 1b: RB Jahvid Best

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Best can't have an impact if he's not on the field.

Concussions are a really tricky thing and are much more likely to re-occur than most other types of football injuries. The Lions don't seem even the slightest bit concerned. I really hope this doesn't turn out the same as the last time this scouting & pp department ignored injury history. We all saw how it played out with Stanton. I could go on and on with the many things I don't like about the trade and the player.

However, I've seen a ton of this kid watching the Conference of Champions and there are a couple things that I do like. Tremendous speed and he knows how to use it. Not just a track guy playing football. He still has a ton of room to grow and develop as a player and will get better. His potential has not peaked as is the case with some players coming out of college. Excellent hands and can be a huge threat in the passing game like a Chris Johnson. Good character, smart kid, and not entitled (the anti-Reggie Bush).

I don't think he has to be on the field 100% of the time to have an impact. They can pick and choose their spots with him. I'd also love to see Aaron Brown moved to receiver as more of a speed/bubble screen threat more than anything else. Tough to find a spot for him, though.

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I don't think he has to be on the field 100% of the time to have an impact. They can pick and choose their spots with him.

Would you say they'd need a RB compliment to go with him? A bigger back?

And I agree about the CB, I wasn't trying to imply not taking one in either the 3rd or 4th, I was just saying about your take on the offense...

I like the skill pieces, but we need a better OL. Hopefully we can address that late this year and early next year, but the defense must be a focus too.

I don't like trading up to get Best, but it's done... I hope it works out.

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How many concussions has he had?

If I am not mistake, 2 and they were back to back weeks.

Ernie Sims everyone was worried about him and concussions as well, he didn't work out but it wasnt because of durability, he played 16 games all of his first 3 seasons.

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Would you say they'd need a RB compliment to go with him? A bigger back?

And I agree about the CB, I wasn't trying to imply not taking one in either the 3rd or 4th, I was just saying about your take on the offense...

I like the skill pieces, but we need a better OL. Hopefully we can address that late this year and early next year, but the defense must be a focus too.

I don't like trading up to get Best, but it's done... I hope it works out.

I think Kevin Smith can compliment Best perfectly. I think they are a great pairing as long as they both are healthy.

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I think Kevin Smith can compliment Best perfectly. I think they are a great pairing as long as they both are healthy.

I thought Kevin Smith was done? And thanks for the info on the concussions, and great point on Ernie Sims .. I am still nervous though.

This draft is so deep, I don't have any problems with trading away picks from next year to get in on this action today... This draft is worth it.

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I thought Kevin Smith was done? And thanks for the info on the concussions, and great point on Ernie Sims .. I am still nervous though.

This draft is so deep, I don't have any problems with trading away picks from next year to get in on this action today... This draft is worth it.

To trade picks for next year to get picks this year, you have to give up a pick one round higher next year for one round lower this year. No way I would do that. We could probably get a second for a first or a third for a second but this is just bad management IMO.

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To trade picks for next year to get picks this year, you have to give up a pick one round higher next year for one round lower this year. No way I would do that. We could probably get a second for a first or a third for a second but this is just bad management IMO.

My bad. I didn't know there were rules on how you can trade.

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My bad. I didn't know there were rules on how you can trade.

I don't think it's a rule, just what other teams will try to extract from us.

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To trade picks for next year to get picks this year, you have to give up a pick one round higher next year for one round lower this year. No way I would do that. We could probably get a second for a first or a third for a second but this is just bad management IMO.

Depends on how much you value the player. Not only do you get the player you want, but you also get a year of development out of the way. If there is someone you really want I have no problem trading a round higher pick from next year for him. You have no idea if you are going to like who is available next year as much as you like him now.

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A breakdown of college running backs and Best graded out very well statistically. FWIW.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Varsity Numbers: POE and Draftability

In the four years of data at hand, only three runners have managed a +3 score. There are two in just this class -- Mathews and Best. Though we should be conservative in drawing conclusions with such a small sample size, the experiences of Chris Johnson, Jamaal Charles, and Jerious Norwood suggest these two backs are (injuries aside) as close to sure things as there are in the draft.

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Alot of factors go into whether an Oline is successful or not. The Lions were down big early in almost every game. We had one recieving threat after Pettigrew got hurt and he was triple teamed most of the time. Kevin Smith is barely adequate at RB. Thier running game was nonexistant. Defenses pinned thier ears back and rushed the QB like it was 3rd and 20 on every down. And it was a rookie QB facing this pressure.

These issues factor into the success of an offensive line as surely as talent does.

Weve taken care of alot of these problems. Our secondary will still be subpar but it looks to be greatly improved. We will have a pass rush. The defense should be able to get off the field easier than they have been able to in a decade. Best is a homerun threat like Smith is in only his wettest dreams. We got help for CJ in the form of another solid wideout and a TE that can stretch the field.

Sims at left guard will be better than what Backus has had next to him his entire career. Peterman has another year under his belt and Fox will displace Cherilous by seasons end. This offensive line will be improved.

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Lions, Schwartz aggressively fill needs - NFL - Yahoo! Sports

When it comes to going after something he wants, Jim Schwartz is not a meek man. He’s the kind of guy who, in the space of a few minutes, could probably convince a telephone solicitor to buy something from him.

So, as the Lions’ second-year coach sat in the team’s NFL draft room late Thursday night while his boss, team president Tom Lewand, calmly negotiated the trade with the Vikings that would allow the Lions to snag former Cal running back Jahvid Best(notes) with the 30th overall pick, Schwartz had to fight off every impulse in his being to avoid having a meltdown.

As Schwartz recalled Saturday: “Minnesota’s on the clock, and it’s winding down, and Tom’s finalizing the trade. My blood pressure is going up and up, and Tom’s looking over – ‘Relax, we’re good’ – and making small talk: ‘So, how are the kids …’ Tom’s very good at what he does, and he played it perfectly. But at that point I wanted to grab the phone out of his hand and beat him over the head with it.”

I thought about Schwartz for much of Thursday night’s first round as I watched the proceedings while attending Dez Bryant’s(notes) emotional draft party. Detroit, as expected, scored big at the start of the night, picking universally revered former Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh(notes) with the second overall selection.

The Lions, however, needed a big-time ballcarrier. Starting halfback Kevin Smith(notes) tore his anterior cruciate ligament last December, and Schwartz and general manager Martin Mayhew were determined to find a rookie who could make an immediate impact in 2010. When top-rated backs C.J. Spiller(notes) and Ryan Mathews were snatched up in the first 12 picks, things grew tense in the Lions’ draft room.

Best was the only other player in the draft Detroit’s brass regarded as an elite runner, and I knew Schwartz wanted him badly. In January, he’d confided to me that he coveted the dynamic breakaway threat to a degree that some might find unhealthy.

“Some people watch adult videos on their computer,” Schwartz had told me. “I go to YouTube and watch Jahvid Best highlight clips. That’s what gets me aroused.”

He was exaggerating for effect – I think.

This was a hugely important draft for Schwartz, the brainy ex- Titans defensive coordinator who went 2-14 as a rookie head coach in ’09. The same goes for Lewand and Mayhew, the former Matt Millen lieutenants who got promoted in the wake of their maligned ex-superior’s demise.

Millen was one of the funniest and most honest players I ever covered, and there are few people in football with whom I’d rather have a beer, but I’m not alone in describing his seven-year run as an inexperienced team president as a disaster. The cupboard wasn’t simply bare when Schwartz arrived after the Lions completed the NFL’s first-ever 0-16 season in ’08; it was full of rats and termite damage.

Quietly, a year ago, the Lions came away with what I believe will go down as a fabulous draft class. Detroit found a franchise quarterback, Matthew Stafford(notes), with the No. 1 overall pick; a potential All-Pro tight end in fellow first-rounder Brandon Pettigrew(notes); a standout safety and defensive leader in second-rounder Louis Delmas(notes); a starting middle linebacker, DeAndre Levy(notes), in the third round; and a special teams ace, seventh-rounder Zack Follett(notes), who Schwartz says will have a chance to start at outside linebacker in 2010.

I can’t tell you with certainty that this year’s crop will make a similar impact. It includes physical third-rounder Amari Spievey, who could help right away at cornerback, and the final pick in the draft (aka “Mr. Irrelevant”), slot receiver Tim Toone(notes), who Schwartz (no lie) compared to a certain “Fast Times At Ridgemont High” stoner extraordinaire. (Said Schwartz: “He’s a white guy with dreadlocks who looks like Jeff Spicoli … but he’s a member of the All-Big Sky academic team who’s quick and super-productive and might replace Follett as our fan favorite.”)

What I can report is that the post-Millen Lions are in it to win it, and the amped-up Schwartz is the one setting the tone. Consider the way the franchise approached free agency this year, targeting two players, Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch(notes) and Seahawks wideout Nate Burleson(notes), and going after them the way Suh terrorized quarterbacks in college.

Admittedly stealing a page out of Jets coach Rex Ryan’s playbook from the previous year, Schwartz flew to Nashville hours before the official start of free agency last month and plotted out an in-person pitch to Vanden Bosch, one of his top defenders during his time as the Titans’ defensive coordinator. At the same time he dispatched offensive coordinator Scott Linehan to fly to Seattle to recruit Burleson, a wideout he’d coached in Minnesota from 2003-04.

Prohibited by the league’s tampering rules from contacting Vanden Bosch before 11 p.m. Central time, Schwartz showed up outside Vanden Bosch’s gated community in suburban Nashville a half-hour early, staking out the front gate to make sure none of his rival coaches tried the same ploy.

“I wasn’t throwing pebbles at his window,” Schwartz said. “But I know the way Kyle is – he’s a night owl, and he wasn’t going to be asleep at 11 o’clock on the first night of free agency. At exactly 11 I sent him a text: ‘I can be anywhere in the country right now, going after any player, but I’m here in Nashville for you.’

“Now, he could’ve turned out the lights and pretended they weren’t home, but luckily, he answered and let me in. In that situation, you can’t be afraid. There’s a lot of people in the world who wish they’d asked that one girl to dance back in school before some other jackass jumped in. That wasn’t going to be the case with Kyle Vanden Bosch.”

Not surprisingly, as he walked through Vanden Bosch’s front door, Schwartz was armed and dangerous. “I brought a bottle of ’05 Opus One Cab,” he recalled. “If I’m going in, I’m going in blazing. I had stuffed animals for the kids – my daughter and Kyle’s daughter used to play on the same soccer team – and T-shirts and a Kyle Vanden Bosch nameplate with the Lions’ logo and number 93.

“So I go in, and while his wife’s uncorking the wine in the kitchen, I’m laying out maps of Detroit on the kitchen table and talking about neighborhoods and schools. Both of our cell phones were on the table and buzzing like crazy, and we turned them off and talked till 2:30 in the morning.”

A couple of thousand miles away Linehan closed on Burleson, and he and Vanden Bosch became part of an offseason haul that included four players acquired in trades: defensive tackle Corey Williams(notes) (formerly of Cleveland), cornerback Chris Houston(notes) (Atlanta), guard Rob Sims(notes) (Seattle) and tight end Tony Scheffler(notes) (Denver).

The presence of Vanden Bosch, Suh and Williams should make the Lions’ defensive line much more of a force than it was in 2009. “Corey was Green Bay’s franchise player two years ago and led all defensive tackles in sacks over a two-year period [14 between 2006-07],” Schwartz said. “He really fits well with what we want to do. We’re not just papier-macheing spots on this team; we’re cementing them …

“That’s how you get better as a team.”

If nothing else the Lions should be far more exciting. Coming off an impressive rookie season, Stafford should have many more weapons to complement star wideout Calvin Johnson(notes) in 2010. Defenses will have to contend with Burleson’s speed and ability to shake defenders out of the slot formation, and Scheffler is a polished pass catcher who can create matchup problems.

Best, in Schwartz’s eyes, is a matchup nightmare for opponents. “We can line him up as a wide receiver – he’s got amazing speed and great hands,” the coach said. “We can get him matched up with a safety or run him off and get him with a linebacker. It’s funny – I’m a defensive coach, and here I’ve drafted all these offensive players up high the past two years. Well, I know how hard it is to try to match up with these guys.”

Since joining forces, Schwartz and Mayhew have prided themselves on going after the best players available, regardless of need. Yet Best fell into both categories, and not getting him would have been a shame. So when the Chargers traded up 16 spots to snag Mathews with the 12th selection, three picks after the Bills took Spiller, the Lions’ draft room grew exceptionally tense.

“We got a little bit worried: ‘Oh no, there’s too much space between now and [the 34th overall pick],’ ” Schwartz said. “We had traded away a couple of fives and a six over the offseason, so we didn’t have a whole lot of firepower. It helped us that some of the 3-4 linemen like Dan Williams(notes) and Jared Odrick(notes) fell, which created a market at that spot. And Kyle Wilson(notes) being available for the Jets also helped us, because they might have taken [best].

“And, let’s face it, if he’d hit his back instead of his neck and head against Oregon State, he’d have done some big things his last few games, and he probably would have been long gone by the time we picked [in the second round].”

About two-thirds of the way through the first round, Lewand began working the phones to set up prospective trades. The Lions’ brass worried that the Patriots or Jets might select Best and had heard rumblings that the Colts, who had the 31st overall pick, or the Rams, with the top pick in the second round (33rd overall), were candidates to take him off the board. The Lions, Schwartz knew, “had a big old target on our back – everyone knew we needed a running back.” Thus other teams interested in Best would be motivated to swing a trade to get in front of Detroit.

“Especially with the new format,” Schwartz said. “If he wasn’t picked in the first round, we didn’t want to give people 12 hours to jump ahead of us.”

So the Lions got proactive, even if Lewand was a bit more deliberate in his delivery than the hyper Schwartz could bear.

“It was like slow motion,” the coach said, laughing. “Even when Tom called the deal into the league and I finally called Jahvid and got him on the phone, there was like a three- or four-second pause, because the trade hadn’t been announced and he didn’t know what was going on. But we got it done … “

The highlight of Detroit’s draft, unquestionably, was when the trade became official – the Lions swapped fourth-round picks with the Vikings, moving down 28 spots, and threw in a seventh-rounder – and the team’s designated representative in New York handed in the card with Best’s name on it. For a franchise that hasn’t had a whole lot to celebrate for the last decade or so, the raucous scene in the draft room was rather remarkable.

“We weren’t shy about throwing hugs around,” Schwartz said. “Look, we don’t know how this will play out in the end, but we went after what we wanted, and that’s a great feeling. When you feel really good about a player, when you have a specific role in mind, it creates more urgency. Just like showing up at someone’s house in the middle of the night at the start of free agency – you’re not afraid to go hard.”

LOL.

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Schwartz was on 97.1 this am...when asked if the Lions had needlessly moved up to get Best, he said that "anyone who thinks we didn't need to move up to get Jahvid Best doesn't know anything about the draft"....(I don't recall the exact wording...but that's the gist of it)

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smallish RBs to recently leave the Pac-10 as true juniors

Do you really not see how different those two players' builds are?

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That's a really good article.

I like Jim Schwartz.

And Jim Schwarts really "likes" Best...

I get that sense of humor tho...call me immature, but I found that friggen halarious.

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One thing he does do nice is wait for his blocks at times. Most burners just try to blow by the defense but you don't always have that luxury and Best seems to know that. His stop and go quickness excites me too!!

That profootballtalk forum has some real winners by look of the immature quotes over Schwartz getting excited.

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One thing he does do nice is wait for his blocks at times. Most burners just try to blow by the defense but you don't always have that luxury and Best seems to know that. His stop and go quickness excites me too!!

That profootballtalk forum has some real winners by look of the immature quotes over Schwartz getting excited.

He looks like a true slasher. Waits for a seam and hits it. Doesn't seem to do a lot of dancing like Reggie Bush.

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