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2014 Draft

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Off hand, I would give the Lions draft a B. They got the right value at each pick, and had a plan to get value in each round.

I would have given it an A, but a TE at 1 made me drop them to a C+

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If they labeled him "wr" instead of "te" would people be happier?

He creates a mismatch in the center of the field, it doesnt matter if he is called a tight end rather than a wide receiver.

I wouldrl rather have had a speed receiver on the outside, but watkins and evans werent there. You can argue they should have taken beckham or traded down for cooks or soneone like that, but ebron was a decent choice for that spot if you figure they needed another pass catching weapon.

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If they labeled him "wr" instead of "te" would people be happier?

He creates a mismatch in the center of the field, it doesnt matter if he is called a tight end rather than a wide receiver.

I wouldrl rather have had a speed receiver on the outside, but watkins and evans werent there. You can argue they should have taken beckham or traded down for cooks or soneone like that, but ebron was a decent choice for that spot if you figure they needed another pass catching weapon.

I do not know about 'people', but I would not have been happy, no. I did not like the pick, period.

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If they labeled him "wr" instead of "te" would people be happier?

He creates a mismatch in the center of the field, it doesnt matter if he is called a tight end rather than a wide receiver.

I wouldrl rather have had a speed receiver on the outside, but watkins and evans werent there. You can argue they should have taken beckham or traded down for cooks or soneone like that, but ebron was a decent choice for that spot if you figure they needed another pass catching weapon.

Would he have been the 3rd best WR and a top 10 talent?

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With his size and speed and ability to play in the middle of the field, sure.

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With his size and speed and ability to play in the middle of the field, sure.

That explains why you like the pick then. I'm skeptical.

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If they labeled him "wr" instead of "te" would people be happier?

He creates a mismatch in the center of the field, it doesnt matter if he is called a tight end rather than a wide receiver.

I wouldrl rather have had a speed receiver on the outside, but watkins and evans werent there. You can argue they should have taken beckham or traded down for cooks or soneone like that, but ebron was a decent choice for that spot if you figure they needed another pass catching weapon.

I think another deep threat could be useful, but I felt an over the middle target with size was much more important. That's what the offense was more so missing. That guy you can go to on 2nd or 3rd and 5-8 to go.

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Its hard for me not to like the depth of this roster right now. I like that Palmer is now the 4th LB. The DL is very, very deep. CB doesn't have any standouts, but its 7 deep with similar caliber players. Its a better group than what SF has, for example, or what Carolina had last year, and deeper. Interior OL lacked depth, but Swanson helps that out a ton. We have 2-3 RBs we are confident in and we're much deeper in terms of pass catching options.

In terms of depth, only backup QB concerns me. I think we'll bring in another RB of some sort for competition too. Maybe an Ahmad Bradshaw type veteran or someone who gets squeezed off a roster at the end of TC.

Nas, I am 100% sure you are a very intelligent man, but saying things like this shows me that, at times, you let your Lion's fandom gets in the way of rational thought. Please explain to me how a group of CB who have ZERO positive, sustained, production outside of Mathis is better than two CB groups that were both top 5 in the league.

Rankings last year (YD/TD/INT):

Detroit: 23/13/17

SF: 7/5/10

Carolina: 6/3/5

Explain to me, using statistics and production numbers how our CB are anything close to top 5 as a unit...Slay was positively mediocre the entire season, he literally made next to no impact on the field...counting on him to be anything more than potential depth is foolish, in my opinion. I understand that some CB struggle their first year or two, but that fact alone doesn't mean that Slay will become some great CB and everything will start to click. I don't think you can project that every single one of our CB will mature and get so much better in one offseason to take us from a below average secondary (which we are) to a top 5 when there were zero upgrades.

Edit: Just for fun, I decided to take out linebackers from the equation and look at the counting stats (tackles, pass deflections, INT) just for DBs on the three teams you mentioned...

(Tackles, PD, INT, FF)

Detroit: (258, 60, 8, 2)

San Fran: (305, 71, 14, 3)

Carolina: (273, 51, 14, 7)

I just don't even think it is a contest...their CB outperformed ours in literally every single aspect of the game. Carolina's DB's had over double the amount of turnovers as the Lions...21-10, they gave up 500 less yards, 7 less TDs. Meanwhile SF had 17 turnovers compared to our 10, gave up 415 less yards and 5 less TDs. Simply outplayed them in every single facet of the game.

Edited by EchO

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If you look at the talent of Detroit compared to San Francisco and Carolina, I think Nas is correct - in particular Carolina's unit was a patchwork secondary.

The difference was in quality of coaching.

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If you look at the talent of Detroit compared to San Francisco and Carolina' date=' I think Nas is correct - in particular Carolina's unit was a patchwork secondary.

The difference was in quality of coaching.[/quote']

So let's break this down. You say that because of our coaching our CB who are more talented than two of the top five secondaries went from top 5 to below average (20ish). Now lets have a look at the players who played for that coaching staff as well as other...

Chris Houston

Rashean Mathis

Glover Quin

Stephen Tulloch

Chris Houston was a marginal guy in Atlanta as evident of us only trading a 6th and swapping 5th for him. Under Gunther Cunningham and the Lions defensive scheme he became a plus cornerback, especially in 2011 and 2012...definitely a better value than the 6th round pick we traded for him.

Rashean Mathis came after some unproductive seasons and an injury last year...came in and produced better than he had in 3-4 years, at the very least he was on par at age 33 with his production from when he was 27-28.

Glover Quin had arguably his best season of his career last year, at worst on par with his last two seasons with the Texans.

Stephen Tulloch had, without question, his best seasons of his career under Gunther Cunningham. Definitely better than his seasons with the Titans.

So now what I don't understand, if our coaches were so bad...why did these other cornerbacks or defensive players who had worked with other defensive schemes and DC get (relatively) better or at the very least...not worse. Do you see what I'm saying? If our defensive coordinators and schemes were so bad, why didn't everyone suffer?

Edited by EchO

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I think our coaches were fine talent developers - but I think our defensive and offensive schemes were stale. Especially on defense, its hard to isolate the performance of one unit against another because there are so many working pieces to the puzzle. So what you have in San Fran and Carolina are, I think, two of the better defensive minds in the game that excelled in putting their secondary players in position to make plays.

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I agree though. Gunther was very good at coaching up talent and getting the most out of guys. I'm glad we kept him around as a consultant. I think that it was time for a change though. I want to see more creativity with our fronts and more blitzing. We don't have to even be a heavy blitzing team, I'd settle for middle of the pack.

Gunther wasn't the problem though. Nor Linehan. I think Schwartz generally struggled in the leadership aspects of his job. He seemed to have a problem keeping everyone together and focused. Linehan was good at getting the most out of Stafford, but he wasn't good at making him better.

There wasn't a huge problem with our defense to be honest. I'm stealing this from another board, but these were some of our defensive rankings. 12th in comp %, 13th in TDs allowed, 17th in ints, 19th in QB rating,12th in QBR 20th in YPA and 23rd in Yards per game and best in league (1st) in 3rd down stop %. Top 5 run D. 32nd in 4th down D though, but only 12 attempts too(9 converted).

We could definitely use improvements, but I think we had a better chance of making 2 big adds to our offense and making it a top 5 unit than we did of making our defense top 5 via 2 moves. In the mean time we managed to make quite a few adds to an already solid defensive unit without losing much. I think there is plenty of potential for internal improvement as well. I think we'll end up somewhere between 8 and 15 in points allowed next year.

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I agree though. Gunther was very good at coaching up talent and getting the most out of guys. I'm glad we kept him around as a consultant. I think that it was time for a change though. I want to see more creativity with our fronts and more blitzing. We don't have to even be a heavy blitzing team, I'd settle for middle of the pack.

Gunther wasn't the problem though. Nor Linehan. I think Schwartz generally struggled in the leadership aspects of his job. He seemed to have a problem keeping everyone together and focused. Linehan was good at getting the most out of Stafford, but he wasn't good at making him better.

There wasn't a huge problem with our defense to be honest. I'm stealing this from another board, but these were some of our defensive rankings. 12th in comp %, 13th in TDs allowed, 17th in ints, 19th in QB rating,12th in QBR 20th in YPA and 23rd in Yards per game and best in league (1st) in 3rd down stop %. Top 5 run D. 32nd in 4th down D though, but only 12 attempts too(9 converted).

We could definitely use improvements, but I think we had a better chance of making 2 big adds to our offense and making it a top 5 unit than we did of making our defense top 5 via 2 moves. In the mean time we managed to make quite a few adds to an already solid defensive unit without losing much. I think there is plenty of potential for internal improvement as well. I think we'll end up somewhere between 8 and 15 in points allowed next year.

I'm confused, you and Norman just told me that our secondary was more talented than two of top five secondaries. Shouldn't we have a top 1-3 offense and top 3 defense next year? What I don't understand is how a top 3 secondary in terms of talent can be held down by a coaching staff so much to make our secondary below average. So far neither of you have answered that question.

Norman states that our coaches were fine talent developers...so why didn't Green, Greenwood, Bentley, or Slay show any sort of talent, production, or development of any kind? Our defensive schemes were so "stale" that they single handedly negated all that "talent"? And lastly, if our defense is so talented why are you shooting for 8-15th in points allowed? Last year we had a top 5 run defense, you and Norman keep mentioning how our secondary is, at minimum, top 3 in terms of talent (which, for the record...no one outside of Detroit believes) and were just held back by our defensive coordinators and coaches...based on what you two are saying, if we aren't top 5 in every aspect of them game, people need to lose their jobs, en masse? Correct?

No more excuses, we have a new coaching staff which clearly you two view as the #1 culprit. We have what should be a top 1-3 offense and our defense is a top 3 talent. Based on all this (barring injury), IMO, if we don't make a DEEP run in the playoffs, Mayhew and company should lose their jobs after a historically bad 12 year run, and we should find a new front office.

Edited by EchO

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Pro football focus lions db ratings:

Delmas: +2.0

Quinn: +6.7

Mathis: +5.8

Greenwood: +2.3

Houston: -8.1

Carey: -7.6

Slay: -7.0

Bentley: -5.1

Green: -3.0

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I'm confused, you and Norman just told me that our secondary was more talented than two of top five secondaries. Shouldn't we have a top 1-3 offense and top 3 defense next year? What I don't understand is how a top 3 secondary in terms of talent can be held down by a coaching staff so much to make our secondary below average. So far neither of you have answered that question.

Norman states that our coaches were fine talent developers...so why didn't Green, Greenwood, Bentley, or Slay show any sort of talent, production, or development of any kind? Our defensive schemes were so "stale" that they single handedly negated all that "talent"? And lastly, if our defense is so talented why are you shooting for 8-15th in points allowed? Last year we had a top 5 run defense, you and Norman keep mentioning how our secondary is, at minimum, top 3 in terms of talent (which, for the record...no one outside of Detroit believes) and were just held back by our defensive coordinators and coaches...based on what you two are saying, if we aren't top 5 in every aspect of them game, people need to lose their jobs, en masse? Correct?

No more excuses, we have a new coaching staff which clearly you two view as the #1 culprit. We have what should be a top 1-3 offense and our defense is a top 3 talent. Based on all this (barring injury), IMO, if we don't make a DEEP run in the playoffs, Mayhew and company should lose their jobs after a historically bad 12 year run, and we should find a new front office.

No one here has said our secondary is "top 3" in terms of talent (and I don't think anyone even in Detroit believe that.). Talent wise, Carolina and San Fran were not a top five secondary either, that's the point Nas was making to begin with. But you can place your secondary in great positions by increasing the pressure on the QB and utilizing creative defensive schemes and concepts to throw off the QB.

As far as developing those players, Greenwood played very well last year when he was on the field and Slay was a rookie. I'd like to have seen more consistent play from Bentley and Green, but if you expect a good coaching staff to have 100% success rate in developing talent, you're not going to find anyone you like.

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Slay played pretty well at the end of the season.

My question on slay is whether he can stay healthy.

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No one here has said our secondary is "top 3" in terms of talent (and I don't think anyone even in Detroit believe that.). Talent wise' date=' Carolina and San Fran were not a top five secondary either, that's the point Nas was making to begin with. But you can place your secondary in great positions by increasing the pressure on the QB and utilizing creative defensive schemes and concepts to throw off the QB.

As far as developing those players, Greenwood played very well last year when he was on the field and Slay was a rookie. I'd like to have seen more consistent play from Bentley and Green, but if you expect a good coaching staff to have 100% success rate in developing talent, you're not going to find anyone you like.[/quote']

San Francisco has had a top ranked defense for the last 5+ years over multiple coaching staffs. They are extremely talented and a top 5 defense and secondary year in and year out. Carolina had a great defense overall, but their CB play was exceptional this year (as should be apparent by their 21 turnovers caused). The problem I have with your and Nas's arguments is that talent does not correlate with production for either of you. You make blanket statements about how our secondary is more TALENTED than secondaries who produce and there is no way for you to prove that...subsequently there is no way to disprove it either because "talent" is 100% subjective. I think that talented players are the ones who produce on the field. Your requirements are if they play for the Lions or not...But here is maybe a better question for either of you, how does "talent" help a football team win if it doesn't lead to production. Shouldn't we be worried about production first and foremost and not "hang our hat" so to speak, on talent that never leads to anything of substance? Do you think that Carolina fans or 49er fans would trade secondaries with us? I think they would laugh in our faces...you both seem to think we have the more talented group.

And Greenwood played "very well" in the two games he played in? Come on. He had zero impact on the games and actually was the reason that the Giants won the game (he was covering Jernigan on the 15 yard pass on 4th and 7 in OT). Yes, Slay was a rookie...but why can other CB come in and do SOMETHING their first year and not Slay? And lastly, I never said that our coaches need a 100% success rate, but when you and Nas keep claiming that our players who have ZERO POSITIVE PRODUCTION are so talented I'm going to challenge that.

Edit:

Just for the record, I do believe pressure on the QB can mask some deficiencies in the secondary and I understand Carolina has one of, if not the best DL in terms of getting to the QB, but I also don't think that means that Carolina's secondary is void of talent. Was their secondary somewhat of a "patchjob", sure...but to be fair the two best and most consistent members of the 2013 Lion's secondary were Glover Quin and Rashean Mathis...both of whom were newly acquired free agents (patches), one of whom was signed to a veteran minimum contract after having missed last season due to injury. So let's not count that fact against Carolina, shall we? They played fantastic last year and were fun to watch and we would be lucky to have a defense half as productive and entertaining as their's was last year.

Edited by EchO

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Slay played pretty well at the end of the season.

My question on slay is whether he can stay healthy.

I had heard this over and over throughout the early offseason and accepted it as truth, but then I looked at the game logs and actually rewatched some of the games...

What games, specifically, do you think Slay played pretty well in? He missed the last month of the season to injury so by end of the season do you mean the GB and Minnesota games? One against Matt Flynn and the other against Matt Cassel? I would agree that he played well against GB, but I don't think he played very well against Minnesota in their final game of the season...I mean it wasn't a horrible performance but he really had no positive impact on the game.

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I had heard this over and over throughout the early offseason and accepted it as truth, but then I looked at the game logs and actually rewatched some of the games...

What games, specifically, do you think Slay played pretty well in? He missed the last month of the season to injury so by end of the season do you mean the GB and Minnesota games? One against Matt Flynn and the other against Matt Cassel? I would agree that he played well against GB, but I don't think he played very well against Minnesota in their final game of the season...I mean it wasn't a horrible performance but he really had no positive impact on the game.

I was thinking specifically of green bay and minny.

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I was thinking specifically of green bay and minny.

Yeah, I can't argue all that much against those two games...but I think he needs to improve dramatically and stay healthy next season. We most likely won't see Matt Cassel or Matt Flynn next season and Slay needs to step it up against Rodgers and Cutler if the Lions are to go anywhere.

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I'm confused, you and Norman just told me that our secondary was more talented than two of top five secondaries. Shouldn't we have a top 1-3 offense and top 3 defense next year? What I don't understand is how a top 3 secondary in terms of talent can be held down by a coaching staff so much to make our secondary below average. So far neither of you have answered that question.

Norman states that our coaches were fine talent developers...so why didn't Green, Greenwood, Bentley, or Slay show any sort of talent, production, or development of any kind? Our defensive schemes were so "stale" that they single handedly negated all that "talent"? And lastly, if our defense is so talented why are you shooting for 8-15th in points allowed? Last year we had a top 5 run defense, you and Norman keep mentioning how our secondary is, at minimum, top 3 in terms of talent (which, for the record...no one outside of Detroit believes) and were just held back by our defensive coordinators and coaches...based on what you two are saying, if we aren't top 5 in every aspect of them game, people need to lose their jobs, en masse? Correct?

No more excuses, we have a new coaching staff which clearly you two view as the #1 culprit. We have what should be a top 1-3 offense and our defense is a top 3 talent. Based on all this (barring injury), IMO, if we don't make a DEEP run in the playoffs, Mayhew and company should lose their jobs after a historically bad 12 year run, and we should find a new front office.

I didn't say what you said I did so I don't know how to answer your questions. I get it, your jaded, you've seen a lot of bad. Nothing I can tell you will make the past better, sorry man.

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I had heard this over and over throughout the early offseason and accepted it as truth, but then I looked at the game logs and actually rewatched some of the games...

What games, specifically, do you think Slay played pretty well in? He missed the last month of the season to injury so by end of the season do you mean the GB and Minnesota games? One against Matt Flynn and the other against Matt Cassel? I would agree that he played well against GB, but I don't think he played very well against Minnesota in their final game of the season...I mean it wasn't a horrible performance but he really had no positive impact on the game.

A CB doesn't usually cover the QB. He did cover guys like Jennings,Patterson,Cobb and Nelson though.

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San Francisco has had a top ranked defense for the last 5+ years over multiple coaching staffs. They are extremely talented and a top 5 defense and secondary year in and year out. Carolina had a great defense overall, but their CB play was exceptional this year (as should be apparent by their 21 turnovers caused). The problem I have with your and Nas's arguments is that talent does not correlate with production for either of you. You make blanket statements about how our secondary is more TALENTED than secondaries who produce and there is no way for you to prove that...subsequently there is no way to disprove it either because "talent" is 100% subjective. I think that talented players are the ones who produce on the field. Your requirements are if they play for the Lions or not...But here is maybe a better question for either of you, how does "talent" help a football team win if it doesn't lead to production. Shouldn't we be worried about production first and foremost and not "hang our hat" so to speak, on talent that never leads to anything of substance? Do you think that Carolina fans or 49er fans would trade secondaries with us? I think they would laugh in our faces...you both seem to think we have the more talented group.

And Greenwood played "very well" in the two games he played in? Come on. He had zero impact on the games and actually was the reason that the Giants won the game (he was covering Jernigan on the 15 yard pass on 4th and 7 in OT). Yes, Slay was a rookie...but why can other CB come in and do SOMETHING their first year and not Slay? And lastly, I never said that our coaches need a 100% success rate, but when you and Nas keep claiming that our players who have ZERO POSITIVE PRODUCTION are so talented I'm going to challenge that.

Edit:

Just for the record, I do believe pressure on the QB can mask some deficiencies in the secondary and I understand Carolina has one of, if not the best DL in terms of getting to the QB, but I also don't think that means that Carolina's secondary is void of talent. Was their secondary somewhat of a "patchjob", sure...but to be fair the two best and most consistent members of the 2013 Lion's secondary were Glover Quin and Rashean Mathis...both of whom were newly acquired free agents (patches), one of whom was signed to a veteran minimum contract after having missed last season due to injury. So let's not count that fact against Carolina, shall we? They played fantastic last year and were fun to watch and we would be lucky to have a defense half as productive and entertaining as their's was last year.

SF has never been known for having a great secondary, they have always been shaped by their front 7. Even if you did like their secondary, they lost 3 of 4 starters, so they don't really exist anymore.

Carolina is another team defined by their front 7. Look where their money is spent. They turned over most of their secondary last offseason and again this year. They don't value them any more than we do and have spent no high picks there recently. They likely caused more TOs due to a more effective pass rush. All in all, they had 20 INTs to our 15 and allowed 66% of passes to be completed to 59.1 for us, .1 more than San Francisco. I'm not making baseless claims here or "blanket statements". You're free to disagree with my logic, but the disrespect of saying that I"m not using any is unnecessary.

Edited by Nastradamus

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Pro football focus lions db ratings:

Delmas: +2.0

Quinn: +6.7

Mathis: +5.8

Greenwood: +2.3

Houston: -8.1

Carey: -7.6

Slay: -7.0

Bentley: -5.1

Green: -3.0

Ihedigbo +4.7, Vaughn -3.7. I'd also add in that Carey was a +.1 as a safety and generally looked more solid there in past years, where as he looked terrible as a nickel CB.

Our secondary obviously depends greatly on a few things. Slay and Houston improving/turning it around and us increasing our sack totals up front.

Bentley improving and/or Lawson taking his job would be huge as well. The nickel spot is probably the biggest unknown.

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