Disclaimer: Read this and enjoy for the sole purpose of entertainment. I am one person doing these write-ups on all 32 teams. I'm going to miss some things on your team so feel free to chime in and tell me where I may be steering your franchise wrong.
The Draft so far...
1. Luke Joekel, OT (KC)
2. Jarvis Jones, OLB (JAC)
3. Star Lotulelei, DT (OAK)
4. Eric Fisher, OT (PHI)
Here's where the toys live that Gruden could not pass up. At quarterback, we have Matt Stafford who already has a 5,000+ yard season on his resume. We should look at depth here, but that's it. We're very happy with having Stafford here. Depth is not a concern either as we have Shaun Hill backing up Stafford and Kellen Moore as our number three.
However, we have to keep him upright in order to keep him effective and to prevent seeing that depth enter the field of play. This line really needs to be fixed...
As good as Stafford has been, I can't imagine how well he'd perform with plenty of time to look around and find all his targets. We lost Gosder Cherilus to free agency, but that's fine because he wasn't a top-quality tackle in my opinion. After Jeff Backus announced his retirement, we're left with Corey Hilliard, who we resigned, and Riley Reiff. Reiff is just an average tackle and would be a better guard. Hilliard is good depth and could start, but tackle is a real need. At guard, we don't have a lot of options. As I mentioned Reiff would be a good guard if we can replace him, but with Backus retiring we can't count on that. Next to Rob Sims, we have a couple guys who went undrafted over the last few years. Center is a spot where we could stand have young depth that can develop into a starter.
The skill positions in Detroit look pretty good. We have the best wideout in the game with Calvin Johnson, aka Megatron. Want to know how powerful Megatron is? He not only topped Jerry Rice's record for receiving yards in a season, but he did it while under the "Madden Curse". Apparently even voodoo of that magnitude cannot stop CJ. All wasn't peaches and cream with our receiving corps however. We had to boot a very gifted and talented Titus Young. He was simply more trouble than he was worth, which is sad because his upside was huge. He was snapped up off waivers by St. Louis and they must have quickly found out why we cut him because he was off their team before some fans knew he was on it. So, there's a bit of a void next to Johnson. Nate Burleson is a crafty veteran who's a decent number two, but doesn't strike fear in cornerbacks. Last year's second round draft pick, Ryan Broyles has loads of talent, but suffered an ACL tear last year. That's concerning because he suffered the same injury his last year in college so dependability is in question. Other names people may know are Mike Thomas, Kassim Osgood Devin Thomas and Brian Robiskie. Obviously, we won't have all of those guys, but one or two may stick to round out a good group. We have two quality targets at tight end with Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler. Both are adequate blockers and good pass catchers. Pettigrew has the most upside, but he seems to lose his concentration too often and drops more balls than he should. At running back, we may need to say good-bye to Jahvid Best. He was arguably one of the most talented running backs we've had since Barry Sanders, but he just couldn't stay healthy and may never play again because of a multitude of serious concussions. His absence left us with Mikel LeShoure as our number one. That just wasn't good enough, so we went out and signed none other than Reggie Bush. His skill set matches up well with what we lost with Best and if he can stay healthy, we believe he may reach 2,000 total yards.
Based on the teams drafting early, it's hard to argue with the saying defense wins championships because none of us were very good. Even in this quarterback driven league, our defense was our downfall more times than not. Our defensive tackles, Nick Farley and Ndamukong Suh (both first round picks) have loads of talent and we have depth here, but the problem with our line lies in our defensive ends. Cliff Arvil has been allowed to leave via free agency and has signed with the Broncos. We released Kyle Vanden Bosch who's age caught up with him. We have Jason Jones and Ronnell Lewis, but a double-digit sack artist would do wonders for this unit.
At linebacker, we need help on both the weak-side and strong-side backer positions. We lost Justin Durant to free agency and almost lost DeAndre Levy as well, but we were able to resign him. We still lack serious depth on the outside though. However, Middle linebacker appears to be set and we have some depth.
In the secondary, we needed a cornerback with Chris Houston leaving us as a free agent. However, we thankfully were able to talk him into coming back. We need someone on the other side of him however. I like the upside of 2012 rookie Dwight Bentley, but he was from a small school and it showed last year. I think he'll improve, but I'd like a higher-caliber player to step in next to Houston so Bentley can work sub packages and regain the confidence he displayed at the 2012 Senior Bowl. Behind them, we have a group that is very uninspiring. At safety, we signed Glover Quin just in case we couldn't talk Louis Delmas into staying, but we were able to bring him back. With those moves, we should be good in the middle of our secondary.
On to the draft:
So, here we are in a very familiar position...picking in the top ten. As much as I love pass rushers and as much as we need defensive ends, I just don't see the value at this point in the draft so I have to look at other positions. I would have loved to take Eric Fisher with this pick, but the Eagles snatched him out from under us. The next best offensive tackle is Lane Johnson and as much as he's moved up boards, he's not a top five talent. Looking over our board, one name stands out that fits the best player available at a position of need mantra so we turn in our card and are happy with who we drafted. With the fifth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select, Dee Milliner, cornerback, Alabama. This defense needs the kind of boost a corner like this can bring. Some questioned Milliner's speed, but he answered that question loud and clear at the NFL Combine when he blazed a 4.37 in the 40 yard dash. He's a big, physical corner that can tackle as well as he can cover. Pairing a rookie this talented with a veteran like Chris Houston will do wonders for our secondary. It will also buy our defensive ends an extra second or two, which may be just enough to squeak out a few more sacks.
In rounds 2-7, I'm focusing on offensive linemen. We have five picks in those rounds (fourth rounder was traded away last year) and I want to walk away with three o-linemen, an outside linebacker and a defensive end. We will take at least one tackle in either the second or third round. The other o-line drafted can be either another tackle and a guard or two guards.