It’s been made painfully clear that the Detroit Lions are in bad shape financially as far as the salary cap is concerned.With so many of the team’s own elite players either being free agents or soon-to-be free agents they are currently in no position to make a huge splash in free agency for the defensive back that they so desperately need in order to take that leap to the next tier of elite NFL football teams.
So the dreams of signing a Courtland Finnegan who is reported to likely be looking for at least 10 million per year or a Brandon Carr who will also likely demand a large salary are likely to go as unfulfilled dreams.
With that it mind, it seems that the NFL draft might be the only way to go for the Lions in order to truly fill this gaping hole on the squad.
I’ve been watching a lot of the NFL combine lately and it’s getting my juices flowing and has me thinking about the next few elite-level players that are soon to be drafted by Martin Mayhew and crew. Cornerbacks ran 40 times and various drills yesterday and today and it made it hard for me to not think about the absolute TOASTINGS the Lions got in their last two games of the year.
No doubt was left in my mind after getting torched by a backup QB named Matt Flynn (no matter how good or bad he turns out to be) for 480 yards and 6 touchdowns that something has to change, and even though I and most Detroit Lions fans were confident that Stafford and Megatron would have huge games against the New Orleans Saints in the NFL playoffs, did anyone really believe that our secondary wasn’t going to get lit up? I doubt you did, I sure didn’t feel like they were going to keep Drew Brees down and it turned out even worse than I even imagined.
My left eye is still involuntarily twitching from the aerial onslaught New Orleans countered the Lions with, as Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson’s monstrous efforts went all for nought as Drew Brees led an unstoppable passing attack and threw for 466 yards and 3 touchdowns against our toothless Lions defensive backs.
Honestly, I’d be happy with the Lions addressing O-line or secondary with the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft but after watching game film of the last two games I am leaning towards drafting an elite DB in the first round.
The question is this…. Are the Lions close enough to being an A-1 top-tier football team to afford trading up in the draft for a player like Dre Kirkpatrick? Dre Kirkpatrick is projected to be off of the board by the time the Detroit Lions select at #23 in the NFL draft but he may be worth trading up for in my opinion.
Some are worried about the legal trouble that he ran into involving possible misdemeanor marijuana possession, but the charges were dropped against the second-team All-American and from listening to him address the situation openly and honestly at the combine it doesn’t look like he will lose any stock in the draft because of it nor will he be a candidate for the Knucklehead of The Year award every year during his pro career.
What might hurt the 6′ 2″ 188 pound defensive back is the fact that he twice ran in the low 4.5s in Tuesday’s 40-yard dash. I for one love when the players I want have bad combines, because I’m big on game film and what these football players did against elite-level talent in the actual games. I care about game speed more than 40 times and football instincts more than shuttle times, and those in-game abilities are what Kirkpatrick showed in loads during his Alabama playing days.
Last year I was hoping that University of Florida cornerback Joe Haden’s bad combine 40 time would cause teams to overlook his on-field play but it did not and Cleveland was wise not to let it deter them as he turned out to be the same amazing player that he was in college.
Well I’m hoping the same this year with Kirkpatrick, but I doubt he will fall to us and I really think the Lions are in a good enough position talent-wise to move up for a guy they desperately need and that could shore up a hole that will help this team get to the Super Bowl this year, I think Kirkpatrick is the guy that’s worth moving up for at the right price.
What do you think? Whether for Kirkpatrick or someone else, can we afford to use valuable draft picks for trading up?