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2014 Draft

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This is how I would have picked obviously in hindsight at the Lions original picks.

1st: Calvin Pryor (S)

2nd: Jace Amaro (TE)

3rd: Donte Moncrief (WR)

4th A: Pierre Desir (CB)

4th B: Prince Shembo (OLB)/Corey Linsley ©

4th C: Caraun Reid (DT)

6th: Zach Moore (DE)

7th: Jeff Janis (WR)

7th(trade back into)/UDFA: Nate Freese (K)

Not as great of value as our draft up top, but IMO this draft has the possibility for more starters immediately and in the long run. The rationale would be Johnson and Moncrief would be the deep threats, Tate and Amaro the more possession guys and Jeff Janis as a rotational slot guy. I think Calvin Pryor and Desir could produce next year...Shembo, Reid, and Moore would all be nice project picks who could be a nice surprise. Since I didn't include the move to trade up there was no 5th round pick but I kept the 4th round pick. I know it isn't the popular route but I don't mind trading a bit of value to fit needs and I don't think any of these picks are extreme reaches outside of Pryor who I think is going to prove worthy of a #10 pick and will be seen as a value at #18. Time will tell.

Bump for an end of the season look back...

This draft class would have been interesting and, IMO, would have contributed significantly to the team this year.

Calvin Pryor: 16 GP (11 GS), 60 Tackles, 2 PD

Had a less than stellar rookie year in an awful, and I mean awful, NYJ secondary. He struggled early on in a position he wasn't accustomed to playing (acting as a deep safety far off the line of scrimmage) but ended up having a decent end of the season. He is listed by PFF as the #26th best safety in the league. Would have been a great compliment to Quin and Ihedigbo.

Jace Amaro: 14 GP (4 GS), 38 Receptions, 345 yards, 9.1 T/R, 20 FD, 2 TD

Even after missing two games due to a concussion, he still put up the best numbers of any rookie TE and was named to the Sports Illustrated All-Rookie First Team. He showed definite promise, but the awfulness of the Jets offense and their quarterbacks in general led to him not putting up the numbers he very well could of with a more competent offense.

Donte Moncrief: 16 GP (2 GS), 32 Receptions, 444 yards, 13.9 Y/R, 15 FD, 3 TD

Playing behind Hilton, Wayne, Fleener, and Nicks; Moncrief was still able to carve out some decent numbers for a rookie in a pass heavy offense. At 6'2" he would have been a great complimentary third receiver for us.

Pierre Desir: 4 GP (1 GS), 9 Tackles, 2 PD

Didn't play until late November and didn't see any significant playing time until December put had a very solid start against the Panthers. He lined up against Kelvin Benjamin and limited him to just 5 catches and 47 yards with no TD. Coming out of a D2 school everyone knew that Desir would need some time before being a true NFL corner, but it looks like he will be getting significant time next season, his combination of size and speed is exactly what you want in a CB.

Prince Shembo: 16 GP (3 GS), 59 tackles

He was switched from his original position of outside linebacker to inside linebacker, seems to have made the transition nicely and was a very serviceable backup all season long for the Falcons.

Corey Linsley: 16 GP (16 GS)

The surprise of the draft, had to start every game of his rookie year due to injuries and surpassed everyone's expectations. He was the very obvious best rookie center and there were talks of him possibly being a pro-bowl selection his first year. The Packers found their center for the next decade. Steal of a draft.

Caraun Reid: 12 GP, 2 Tackles

Very limited time on the field, was a project pick...next year should give us a better idea on his value.

Zach Moore: 8 GP, 3 tackles, 1 forced fumble, .5 sack

As a 6th round pick you don't necessarily expect much, he made the team, made a few plays when called into action and should continue to progress the longer he is in the league.

Jeff Janis: 3 GP, 2 receptions, 16 yards

Definitely a project pick, suffered through some injuries and a stacked WR corp. Still has potential as a KR/PR and 4th option WR.

Now obviously this is an extremely small sample size and you need a few years worth of data before anointing rookies as something special, but I still like this draft class quite a bit; two players in the All-Rookie First team isn't a bad showing.

Edit: For comparison sake, I'll also include the Lions draft class...

Eric Ebron: 13 GP (7 GS), 25 Receptions, 248 Yards, 9.9 Average, 14 FD, 1 TD

Disappointing season from the #10 overall pick. Showed flashes of brilliance, but too many drops...showed that he could get open in routes but doesn't seem to have the connection or confidence with Stafford.

Kyle Van Noy: 8 GP, 6 Tackles

Hurt for the first half of the year, limited playing time outside of ST since.

Travis Swanson: 16 GP (5 GS)

Bright spot of the draft class, was definitely adequate when given playing time. Nothing spectacular, but a solid 3rd round pick.

Nevin Lawson: 2 GP, 1 tackle

Had to be put into action earlier than expected due to injuries, then got injured himself. Missed nearly the entire season.

Larry Webster: 0 GP

Didn't see any time on the team.

Caraun Reid: Already discussed

TJ Jones: 0 GP

Nate Freese: Noting needs to be said...

Lets hope next year provides more.

Edited by EchO

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You identified good players, but it wouldn't have been a good draft for this team - I'd argue it wouldn't have been much more productive for us than what we got and it's only questionable due to Moncrief who I had a big man crush on.

Pryor would have been a depth guy with our roster.

Amaro would have played, but only because Fauria got hurt - he and Ebron dont play the same position.

I was a big Desir fan, but he and Lawson are essentially a push at this point - have to look at what happens later in his career.

Linsley would have been great, but would have contributed as much as Swason who has looked good in his own right.

Shembo wouldn't have had the opportunities on our team he had this year, basically his roster spot would be the same as Josh Bynes and I really like Bynes.

I prefer to have Larry Webster on the roster than Zach Moore and Jeff Janis wouldn't have made the roster (nor would TJ Jones if he wasn't on PUP).

Edited by Stormin' Norman

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You identified good players' date=' but it wouldn't have been a good draft for this team - I'd argue it wouldn't have been much more productive for us than what we got and it's only questionable due to Moncrief who I had a big man crush on.

Pryor would have been a depth guy with our roster.

Amaro would have played, but only because Fauria got hurt - he and Ebron dont play the same position.

I was a big Desir fan, but he and Lawson are essentially a push at this point - have to look at what happens later in his career.

Linsley would have been great, but would have contributed as much as Swason who has looked good in his own right.

Shembo wouldn't have had the opportunities on our team he had this year, basically his roster spot would be the same as Josh Bynes and I really like Bynes.

I prefer to have Larry Webster on the roster than Zach Moore and Jeff Janis wouldn't have made the roster (nor would TJ Jones if he wasn't on PUP).[/quote']

I think Amaro plays a very similar position as Ebron, both play all over the formation:

“He’s lined up everywhere,” TEs coach Steve Hagen said. “He’s lined up flexed out, hand down, out by himself (on the) single-receiver side, on the three-receiver side, on the two-receiver side. We use him everywhere we can use him. So we have asked him to do a lot, and we expect him to do a lot. He’s asking that of himself, and he’s delivering, too. It’s been fun to watch him.” It's no surprise considering Amaro is more WR than TE. He was detached from the line on about 90% of his snaps at Texas Tech.

Pryor would have been a depth guy, correct...but I would take his depth over a guy like Van Noy, Ihedigbo had a good year outside of pockets of boneheaded play but I also don't see him being the answer for much longer. Pryor is a hard-hitting playmaker who didn't get to play that role last year with the Jets, I expect a nice career out of him.

I would much rather take the 6'1" guy with huge jumping ability and a 4.56 40 time over Lawson who is only 5'9" with a 4.48 40. I don't think I view the two as a push, I would take Desir every day.

You don't know that about Linsley, he graded out as much better than Raiola. He very well have won the position from Raiola...just because Swanson couldn't doesn't mean Linsley couldn't. Raiola didn't have a good year.

No argument on the last three, I think I take Moore over Webster but not a hill I would want to die upon as I haven't seen much film on either.

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Amaro plays all over the formation in the same way that Fauria does, he doesn't block like Ebron does. They are completely different types of TE.

And I don't think Van Noy will be a depth guy next year - it's hard to come in and contribute after missing half the season and much of the preseason as a rookie. I expect Van Noy to still be the playmaking Joker-type linebacker he was drafted to be.

I would have drafted Desir over Lawson myself, but when you say you "would take Desir every day" over Lawson - that is based purely on subjective opinion and projection, not based on anything on the field.

And yes, there was no way the Lions (or any team) would start a rookie year one over Raiola this year. Linsley has played great, but he got the opportunity to play only because JC Tretter got hurt.

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Amaro plays all over the formation in the same way that Fauria does' date=' he doesn't block like Ebron does. They are completely different types of TE.

And I don't think Van Noy will be a depth guy next year - it's hard to come in and contribute after missing half the season and much of the preseason as a rookie. I expect Van Noy to still be the playmaking Joker-type linebacker he was drafted to be.

I would have drafted Desir over Lawson myself, but when you say you "would take Desir every day" over Lawson - that is based purely on subjective opinion and projection, not based on anything on the field.

And yes, there was no way the Lions (or any team) would start a rookie year one over Raiola this year. Linsley has played great, but he got the opportunity to play only because JC Tretter got hurt.[/quote']

Neither Ebron or Amaro are known for their blocking, Amaro, IIRC was the top rated blocking TE of the two ranking 23rd overall. They play a very similar position, an F-TE.

Most of what you post is subjective opinion and projection...yet when I do something similar it it out of bounds? You literally just in this post wrote, "I expect Van Noy to still be a the playmaking Joker-type linebacker he was drafted to be." Just as that is based on speculation so is my choosing of the big, athletic CB over the smaller CB. Desir matched up well against one of the best rookie WR in the league, that is more impressive to me considering he came from a D2 school than anything Lawson did.

I never said they should have started him game one, but over the course of the season it is not outlandish at all to consider a rookie could win the starting job over a slumping 36 year old Raiola who has performed multiple cheap shots this year. Yes, Linsley got the chance week one due to injury, that doesn't mean he couldn't have worked his way into the starting spot at some point.

Edited by EchO

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It's much too early to judge the draft class, and it should include UDFA's, such as Lucas and Seisay.

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It's much too early to judge the draft class, and it should include UDFA's, such as Lucas and Seisay.

Not too early to judge their performances this year, much too early to judge them overall. But I said as much in the post. Not anointing any of those players as something special or claiming that the Lions draft was an unmitigated disaster, just looking at one years worth of data.

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Neither Ebron or Amaro are known for their blocking, Ebron, IIRC was the top rated blocking TE of the two ranking 23rd overall. They play a very similar position.

Again, you are simply wrong here. Ebron has made a difference the second half of the season with his blocking and if you look at the number of times Ebron lined up on the line compared to what Amaro does. They are different tightends. Ebron was selected as high as he was because he can be a complete player at the position.

Most of what you post is subjective opinion and projection...yet when I do something similar it it out of bounds? You literally just in this post wrote, "I expect Van Noy to still be a the playmaking Joker-type linebacker he was drafted to be." Just as that is based on speculation so is my choosing of the big, athletic CB over the smaller CB. Desir matched up well against one of the best rookie WR in the league, that is more impressive to me considering he came from a D2 school than anything Lawson did.

It's not "out of bounds", I'm simply saying you aren't adding anything new to the conversation. The reason you prefer Desir to Lawson is based on the same reasons you had prior to the draft. Your position is that your ideal draft would have "contributed significantly to the team this year", I think it would have been no better than what we have now - Desir is not an example of a draft pick that would have "contributed significantly" to the team.

I never said they should have started him game one, but over the course of the season it is not outlandish at all to consider a rookie could win the starting job over a slumping 36 year old Raiola who has performed multiple cheap shots this year. Yes, Linsley got the chance week one due to injury, that doesn't mean he couldn't have worked his way into the starting spot at some point.

Yes it does, you don't change centers midseason unless forced to do so. Linsley's opportunities would have been the same as Swanson's this year. Luckily Swanson, like Linsley, played very well when asked to.

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Again' date=' you are simply wrong here. Ebron has made a difference the second half of the season with his blocking and if you look at the number of times Ebron lined up on the line compared to what Amaro does. They are different tightends. Ebron was selected as high as he was because he can be a complete player at the position.

It's not "out of bounds", I'm simply saying you aren't adding anything new to the conversation. The reason you prefer Desir to Lawson is based on the same reasons you had prior to the draft. Your position is that your ideal draft would have "contributed significantly to the team this year", I think it would have been no better than what we have now - Desir is not an example of a draft pick that would have "contributed significantly" to the team.

Yes it does, you don't change centers midseason unless forced to do so. Linsley's opportunities would have been the same as Swanson's this year. Luckily Swanson, like Linsley, played very well when asked to.[/quote']

Please, show me some data on how the two lineup on the line compared to out wide. Amaro also improved his blocking as one of only three rookie TE with a positive blocking grade, I think you may just be making things up. Regardless, the Lions made it very clear they drafted Ebron for his ability to play all over the formation and to catch the football, he wasn't drafted to block. And Ebron didn't really improve as a blocker, he got exposed in quite a few games:

Eric Ebron, TE: -3.2

Breakdown: A very quiet rookie season for the 10th overall pick finishes on a particularly sour note. Ebron got beat up as a run blocker and was little factor in the passing game despite tying his career high with 38 receiving yards. The Lions ran a few counters and designed bounce outs that went nowhere because of his poor blocking on the edge. He also dropped a ball and was only able to haul in two of his six targets.

Signature Stat: On the very first play from scrimmage, Ebron pulled to the back side on a split zone run. The rookie was supposed to kick out right to block outside linebacker Nick Perry and open up a cutback lane, but instead he whiffed and allowed tackle for short gain.

I don't feel like arguing hypothetical with you anymore. Sure, my potential draft would have performed just as much as the Lions....whatever you say. :)

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Please, show me some data on how the two lineup on the line compared to out wide. Amaro also improved his blocking as one of only three rookie TE with a positive blocking grade, I think you may just be making things up. Regardless, the Lions made it very clear they drafted Ebron for his ability to play all over the formation and to catch the football, he wasn't drafted to block. And Ebron didn't really improve as a blocker, he got exposed in quite a few games:

I don't have my PFF account anymore, but all you have to do is watch the games. Amaro was the move tightend, Cumberland was the inline tightend - Ebron played inline as much as he did outside, it's why he started ahead of Pettigrew several times this season.

And you're characteristically wrong about the roster. Ebron was drafted so high because he could impact the game as a blocker and a receiver. As Caldwell explained right after they selected him:

How are you going to treat him? Are you going to treat him like a tight end and leave a linebacker in the game, which creates a mismatch in terms of the passion game? Or are you going to put in a smaller defender, which also creates some problems in terms of him being able to leverage that particular player? Also, in a blocking standpoint and our run game, running in that direction would give us some advantages. Eric on the strong safety will also create some issues as well. All the guys in this league can run, but he creates an unusual matchup.

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I don't have my PFF account anymore' date=' but all you have to do is watch the games. Amaro was the move tightend, Cumberland was the inline tightend - Ebron played inline as much as he did outside, it's why he started ahead of Pettigrew several times this season.

And you're characteristically wrong about the roster. Ebron was drafted so high because he could impact the game as a blocker and a receiver. As Caldwell explained right after they selected him:[/quote']

John Idzik said nearly the same thing about Amaro:

Idzik on whether second-round tight end Jace Amaro can block well enough to be used in-line or flexed out as a receiver: "I think we can do both, really. He hadn’t been in-line as much. He did do a little bit of that at (Texas) Tech. He certainly has the size and he has the will, too. You see him get after it as a blocker. I think he has the size and now it’s just a matter of getting a (few) more reps at doing it. We’re not concerned that way.

And Rex Ryan:

Amaro also threw a key block downfield on a screen pass to Chris Ivory that ended up being a 23-yard gain. Though Amaro has always defended his blocking abilities, even Ryan admitted he had to improve in that area from when he was drafted.

“His blocking when he got here (needed work), but now, he’s competing,” Ryan said. “He’s doing all that kind of stuff. And the kid works. He works his tail off. That’s why I think we all see the improvement he’s making.”

Jets head coach Rex Ryan said he was pleased with how well Amaro blocked on Thursday.

"I thought his in-line blocking was much better," Ryan said.

Amaro was the better blocker last season, that doesn't necessarily mean that will continue but your argument that Ebron plays a different position and was somehow a better blocker in the second half of the season, contrary to all available data, is ridiculous. Can both be used in a traditional inline tight end? Absolutely. Is that viewed as their main strength? Absolutely not. Ebron was, for the most part, a liability as a blocker.

You are more than entitled to your opinions but nothing you have said has convinced me that the Lions wouldn't be a better team with my draft. I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would choose the Lions rookie class over what I picked after this year.

I would take Calvin Pryor over Isa Abdul-Quddus, Amaro statistically had a better year than Ebron, I would take Moncrief over Ross, Linsley over Swanson, and Desir (who probably would have had more playing time with our depleted secondary) over Lawson. If you wouldn't that is on you...but I think most football fans would agree that those players had a more productive year than their Lions\ counterparts this year, we will obviously have a better idea on what all these players will be after a few more years.

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I could care less about the opinions of most football fans. Again, the initial comment I made was about impact in 2014 - the talent on our roster would have made it difficult for either draft class to do much. In terms of long term potential, I would much rather have Ebron and Van Noy than Pryor and Amaro.

But Id love to have Moncrief.

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And with how they played this year' date=' I would prefer IAQ over Pryor.[/quote']

This is actually fair, I will be honest in that I was giving Pryor the benefit of the doubt that he would have played better at his natural position. The jets secondary was so bad he was having to play more of a free safety playing deep in coverage as opposed to closer to the line as a hard hitting run stopper and a guy getting after the QB that he is.

In reference to your previous post, I said multiple times I was only using this years numbers, we will have a better idea on who had the better draft in a few years, obviously.

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Bottom line is, we don't know what the 2014 class is. If Ebron isn't a 60/650/8 caliber player next year it will be massively disappointing, as would Van Noy not becoming a starter. Swanson needs to lock up C and ideally Lawson would be our nickel. Webster and Reid may end up being the key players in this class. I have high hopes there.

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Ebron was terrible at everything this year, but he's really young and athletic, so hopefully he'll be much improved next year with experience and another full offseason

if not, welp

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Ebron was terrible at everything this year, but he's really young and athletic, so hopefully he'll be much improved next year with experience and another full offseason

if not, welp

I recall noticing a lot of good blocks by him in the second half of the season, but it could just be selective memory.

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I recall noticing a lot of good blocks by him in the second half of the season, but it could just be selective memory.

He definitely had some very good blocks, but he had some terrible ones too. It's definitely a positive that he's shown the physical ability to do it, here's hoping for some more consistency.

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I want catches and touchdowns, not blocks from Ebron. He wasn't drafted to block because I thought, according to all his supporters, he was not a traditional tight end. So if he is supposed to be this athletic freak that can lineup anywhere on the field, I don't give a darn what he can do lining up as a traditional tight end, I just want the guy to make great catches and score touchdowns, like I thought he was drafted to do. He didn't do that this season, hopefully he starts doing it next.

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........I just want the guy to make great catches and score touchdowns, like I thought he was drafted to do. He didn't do that this season, hopefully he starts doing it next.

He will be better next season because he can't do much worse and he will be more comfortable in the system.

I looked up stats for Gronkowski, Olsen from Carolina, Graham, Witten, and Vernon Davis. In their first seasons, they didn't do that well. They all did better in their second season and Gronkowski and Graham both exploded(at least doubled their catches and had over 1000 receiving yards) in their second season.

It looks like Ebron has the ability to explode and take a big step next season so hopefully he will.

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I want catches and touchdowns, not blocks from Ebron. He wasn't drafted to block because I thought, according to all his supporters, he was not a traditional tight end. So if he is supposed to be this athletic freak that can lineup anywhere on the field, I don't give a darn what he can do lining up as a traditional tight end, I just want the guy to make great catches and score touchdowns, like I thought he was drafted to do. He didn't do that this season, hopefully he starts doing it next.

I was as obnoxious an Ebron supporter as there was on the board and my excitement was the fact he CAN be a traditional tight end. It is that part of his game, combined with the athleticism to move around the field, that can make the pick the work.

He just has to do it. Next year is important.

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I want catches and touchdowns, not blocks from Ebron. He wasn't drafted to block because I thought, according to all his supporters, he was not a traditional tight end. So if he is supposed to be this athletic freak that can lineup anywhere on the field, I don't give a darn what he can do lining up as a traditional tight end, I just want the guy to make great catches and score touchdowns, like I thought he was drafted to do. He didn't do that this season, hopefully he starts doing it next.

They want him to play some regular TE though, so he has to be able to block to be the matchup problem they want him to be.

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They want him to play some regular TE though, so he has to be able to block to be the matchup problem they want him to be.

I think Ebron and Amaro will both be able to block in due time. Both players came from a spread offense (Texas Tech the more pass heavy of the two, obviously) so they weren't used as a traditional "block first" TE but instead more of an F-TE; catch first, block second. That being said, they have the size and athleticism to do it; Amaro had more initial success but I actually still have high hopes for Ebron. I never disliked Ebron as a player, my issue was drafting a TE in round one, and thought that Amaro brought many of the same skills that Ebron could in round two. He has thus far. For the Lions' sake, I hope Ebron takes a huge step forward; for my personal satisfaction I hope Amaro also improves and plays at a very high level.

Both players, I imagine/hope, will end up being top 10 TE next year.

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I think Ebron and Amaro will both be able to block in due time. Both players came from a spread offense (Texas Tech the more pass heavy of the two, obviously) so they weren't used as a traditional "block first" TE but instead more of an F-TE; catch first, block second. That being said, they have the size and athleticism to do it; Amaro had more initial success but I actually still have high hopes for Ebron. I never disliked Ebron as a player, my issue was drafting a TE in round one, and thought that Amaro brought many of the same skills that Ebron could in round two. He has thus far. For the Lions' sake, I hope Ebron takes a huge step forward; for my personal satisfaction I hope Amaro also improves and plays at a very high level.

Both players, I imagine/hope, will end up being top 10 TE next year.

Hey, I loved Amaro. No hate there. We took Ebron right around where I ranked him though, so I didn't hate the value or anything. I do think Ebron has more potential as a blocker and playmaker, but Amaro can be really good. He seems like a guy who will catch 60-80 balls a year for a long time.

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I try not to get too caught up in the moment, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little upset that Ezekiel Elliot isn't draft eligible. He'd look great on this team.

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