Lions miss out on the draft of the decade

NEW YORK – During this past weekend’s NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions failed to take advantage of stealing several first-round nfldraftprojected players that were staring them right in the face. Snagging these prospects would have patched up several of their holes in their defense and guaranteed them several sure starters for next season.

While many people commented on how ‘genius’ the Lions front office looked by trading their top pick in the 3rd round for three of the N.Y. Jets picks, a former projected first-round pick, 6′ 7″ 260-lb DE Michael Johnson from Georgia Tech was waiting in the wings for a team that would steal him in the third round.

Possibly a Pro-Bowler one day, Johnson’s resume is overflowing with accomplishments that include a record amount of blocked kicks, several forced fumbles, sacks, the tons of awards; the list goes on and on.

If the Lions went into the draft thinking defense, Johnson would have been the fourth pick in what would have clearly been the best draft of any of the NFL teams for 2009 and possible one of the best drafts over the past decade.

Here’s the scenario that was passed up by the Lions.

First overall- LB Aaron Curry and the fans go wild in support.

First round pick #20 – DT Peria Jerry and the fans start believing the Lions new front office knows football. They actually begin to envision a defense on the way to recovery.

First pick in 2nd round (#33 overall) – MLB Rey Maualuga. Fierce hitter, once projected top-ten pick and the steal of the draft. The Lions fans at Ford Field get their chants for “Rey” answered and actually start wanting to inquire about purchasing season tickets.

Third round selection- DE Michael Johnson 6′ 7″ 260 dynamic player; once predicted a top-ten overall pick. Lions fans say, “Who?” but after reading the player’s bio and hearing ESPN analysts start referring to the Lions as being the winner in the draft, their eyes begin to water up, they want to send apologies to Mayhew for all the names they had called him and begin to fantasize about a playoff game within a few years.

All of these players were at some time projected first-round picks and all were available and passed up by the Lions. Adding these four defensive stars would have created a defensive line that included Grady Jackson, Dwayne White, Peria Jerry and Michael Johnson and a linebacker group of Julian Peterson, Ernie Sims and Rey Maualuga.

Overnight the NFL worst defense would find itself with hitters like Sims and Maualuga and could have been one of the more punishing and feared groups in the league while moving way up the ladder against the run.

With Coach Schwartz being a defense specialist, this scenario would have put the Lions as the biggest winners in the draft while filling several of their important needs.

If this upcoming season again features average running backs setting personal-best records every Sunday while running at will against another Lions sieve-filled defense, Lions’ fans can only shake their heads and again say, “Maybe in next year’s draft.”

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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