Prior to the start of the 2011 NFL Draft, there was a lot of talk about the Lions defensive needs — most notably in their secondary. So after they took defensive tackle Nick Fairley in the first round, I was hopeful — and almost certain — that day two of the draft would bring a promising cornerback or outside linebacker to the Motor City.
Well, I was wrong … again.
With the 44th overall pick in the draft, the Lions selected wide receiver Titus Young out of Boise State. Young will be the Lions 3rd receiver behind my husband … errr … Calvin Johnson, and Nate Burleson.
Apart from Prince Amukamara, I didn’t have my sights set too high on any one prospect, so I was sort of impartial to this pick. Though, admittedly, I didn’t know much about Young prior to the draft. He looks promising though.
Young possess good speed and great hands and though many have compared him to Eagles WR DeSean Jackson, my dad sees a lot of Marvin Harrison in him. And, well, there’s worse people you could be compared to. If he can live up to those expectations, I suspect the Lions will be pretty lethal down field.
During his time with the Broncos, Young caught 25 TD passes, more than half of which were from 40 yards or more out.
Lions general manager Martin Mayhew on Young:
“The guy’s an explosive playmaker,” Mayhew said. “He’s a stick of dynamite. He’s got speed; he’s got great hands. Another guy who we were really happy to see on the board at our turn to pick. He’s got a role in our offense right now. He’s going to probably have an opportunity to step in as that third guy. We haven’t had great production from that spot the past couple years and we think Titus is the kind of player who can solve that problem for us.”
So that’s cool, we picked up a potentially very promising WR. Surely we’ll use our 3rd-round draft pick to address our glaring defensive needs. Oh, wait, no that’s wrong too. Instead, the Lions gave Seattle their third- and fourth-round picks and flipped slots in the fifth and seventh rounds to acquire the 57th overall pick. And with that pick they selected RB Mikel LeShoure from Illinois.
I like this pick — a lot actually. In my mock draft, I had Detroit taking him 44th, so I was happy to see him still around late in the 2nd. LeShoure brings some much needed depth to the Lions run game. Jahvid Best is good, but he’s small, and likely has the potential to get injured easily. LeShoure is 6-foot, 227 pounds and will bring some much needed size and aggression to the running back spot.
“This a guy we had targeted at No. 44, and he was just on the board for way too long and we needed to make a move,” Schwartz said. “We need two running backs and we got two. I think we’ve put some really significant pieces in place. I wouldn’t want to be a defensive coordinator having to match up against a lot of those playmakers.”
And unlike Reggie Bush, Best is excited to have someone to complement his run game. On Best’s Twitter account he said: “I got a partner in crime. Let’s go. We need a nickname.” Take note, Reggie.
So despite their defensive needs, the Lions have decided talent trumps fillings gaping holes. Can’t say I necessarily agree with that decision, but I suspect they know a little more about what their doing than I do.
“Yeah, I’m concerned about those spots at corner and linebacker, but I’m not concerned about taking the best player we could find and guys who have a very defined role on our football team,” Mayhew said. “As I told you a week ago, we’re going to draft the best football players that we can find. There will be some opportunities to fill some gaps later on.”
At least he’s honest. And I have to say I like the approach. The Lions want to win. I don’t think I’ve seen this organization this excited about the prospect OF winning in a very long time. And it’s certainly rubbing off. I’m ready for the 2011 season to start. Let’s hope Goddell and the justice system let it happen.
The Lions have two more draft picks later today, in the fifth- and seventh-round. Coverage of the draft beings at 12 p.m. ET.Â We’ll see what direction the Lions choose to go today.