The past few years, the Detroit Lions’ approach to choosing their picks in the draft was to select the talent that was available first; not fill in a need that the team needed. Jim Schwartz’s philosophy was ‘if you chase needs, you’re chasing a moving target’.
Many fans complained that Detroit waited too long to draft defensive players they needed, or that they didn’t draft enough. Others stated that Detroit drafted talent that they didn’t need. I like what Patriots’ Belichick said after the second round; that he doesn’t care what the draft expert thinks. He’s got a point.
Detroit shouldn’t care what the fans think, or what the draft experts think. They are the one building and running the team. They know them better than anyone. Let’s take a look at some of the players the Lions drafted.
Riley Reiff: He was the Lion’s first round pick, and, while he wasn’t exactly a shock value, he definitely filled a need. I like him. He played left tackle at Iowa, but Schwartz believes that Reiff can play multiple positions. It’ll be interesting to see where he lines up. A young player like him will certainly add depth and youth to the offensive line.
Ryan Broyles: He was a shock value to me. I was expecting them to draft a defensive player. My jaw just dropped when I saw that he was a wide receiver. We had plenty of wide receivers! After seeing his history at Oklahoma, he’s a well-rounded player. They didn’t only draft him because of his talent at wide receiver but as a punt returner as well. He’s still recovering from his ACL injury, but Broyles will prove to be a great addition to the team.
Dwight Bentley: I really liked this pick. Bentley is an aggressive player, and that is what we need at cornerback. My belief is that any player that has a passion for the game will end up being a great player, because they will have the heart to perform with everything they have. He has great cover skills, and has a high possibility to start this season.
Chris Greenwood: This player has a great story, and it’s great to see a Detroit native football player end up playing for the Detroit Lions. How amazing is it to play with a team you grew up watching? He wowed the Lions at training camp with his speed (4.43-second 40-yard dash), and his jump (43-inch vertical). Schwartz believes he’ll be a strong developmental player. The Lions’ believed he wasn’t challenged enough at Albion. What will his talent skills grow to become when he is?
Overall, I liked most of their picks. Some of them are bound to give some veteran Detroit players worry about their own position. I feel that they added more depth on offense that it’ll help take off tremendous pressure from Matthew Stafford. They also added great need and great talent on defense.
It’ll be interesting to see how the off-season workouts goes when the Lions drafted rookies and undrafted free agents report to the team’s Allen Park headquarters in two weeks.
Heck, I can’t wait till preseason.