I know it's been a couple days and I told Matt I would do this once the draft was over, but let's just say I wanted to take a day or two to think about it first, or I'm just lazy.
Matthew Stafford, QB, 1st overall-Ever since the 2008 season ended I wanted an offensive lineman. I didn't want a QB. Culpepper came back to training camp this year 30 lbs. lighter and is looking like his old self. Even more so since he is reunited with his offensive coordinator from his successful days in Minnesota, Scott Linehan. I would have rather drafted and OT with the first pick, but, it didn't happen, I'm over it. I think Stafford was an alright choice, if he is handled correctly, he could be good. When I say handled correctly, I mean not really see any, maybe limited time this season. Now Matt has already said that he thinks Stafford would have to play 35% of the snaps this season to maximize his contract. I don't agree. I think we should be safe with him. Let him sit for a year, obviously getting some snaps in the pre-season. If he is rushed, he could turn into a bust. But if we rest him this whole season, let him learn the ups and downs of the league and the new system he is in, get to know his teammates, I think that is the way he could maximize the huge contract he was given. If he plays this year and it causes him to be a bust, we just lost a lot of money. If we rest him and next year he is stud and gets us into the playoffs consistently, then he has earned his money. The only way I want to see him pay a significant amount of time this season is if the season turns out to be an obvious wash, or if Culpepper gets hurt. But, I'm hoping Culpepper stays healthy, and I honestly don't think this season is going to be a wash.
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, 20th overall-A lot of people, along with myself, thought this pick was going to be an OT, Michael Oher to be exact. But it wasn't. It was a surprising TE, but he is the best TE in the draft and I have grown to like him, a lot. Here is why. He is huge, 6-6 around 250 lbs. He is a great blocking TE and a great receiver who is another huge target for our QB. In a way, he could serve as an OT in the TE position because of his great blocking skills. I'm going to put another selection in this review section because they go well together. TE Dan Gronkowski, there 7th round selection. He is another huge TE who will serve well as a blocker and is a decent receiver. Our coordinator, Linehan, likes to run a 2 TE set and what better TEs to have in that system than two huge, blocking TEs who can also catch a ball. These two will help out our O-Line giving them extra people to help block opposing DEs and opening up space for our receivers and running backs. They can also help chip away at DEs or LBs to slow them down then jump out for a pass and get the balled dumped to them to move the chains. Also, along with Calvin Johnson who stands at 6'5", we will be a red zone team that no one will want to mess with. That's what you want in the red zone, big tall players with great leaping ability(which Pettigrew has with a basketball background, and Johnson has because he is a freak) to get over everyone and bring the ball down in the end zone for 6. I like these picks.
Louis Delmas, S, 33rd overall-When this pick came along, I was thinking Rey Maualuga was going to be our starting MLB this season. But again, I was surprised when they picked Louis Delmas. I was a bit angry at the time, but like Pettigrew, he grew on me. Delmas is a hard hitting, knock the snot out of you, safety. Much like Bob Sanders with the Colts. When Sanders isn't on the field, the Colts run defense takes a huge dive. Delmas could be the defensive leader we wanted and needed. He is also a quick ball hawk who will keep QBs scared to through and cause them to hesitate, or he could jump the line of scrimmage and get a sack on the QB or at least hurry him into and incompletion or an INT. I like this pick, although I believe we could have maybe got him later, I still like it. He will be an instant starter and a hard hitter, which we need and Coach Schwartz said he wants on his defense.
DeAndre Levy, LB, 76th overall-I honestly don't know much about this guy except what I have read from the people who drafted him. He is a hard hitter and can knock downhill running backs on their asses. So I like him. They are considering starting him at MLB, he is a bit undersized, but hey, we will see.
Derrick Williams, WR/RS, 82nd overall-This guy is small, and quick. And for those who don't know what the RS stands for, Return Specialist, which is just what we need, badly. Our return game was horrendous last year and he is only going to help it get better. So obviously, he is going to be an instant starter for special teams and might even see some playing time at WR. I like this pick.
Sammie Lee Hill, DT, 115th overall-This is by far my favorite pick in the draft for the Lions. I am so happy we got this guy. He is the huge run stopper we needed to plug up the wholes in our D-Line. If he succeeds, Delmas, Sim, Peterson, Levy, OUR DEFENSE succeeds. IF coached properly this mammoth 6'4" 329 lbs. DT will be our saviour and I really hope this works out because he is a great kid with a great heart. Also is the hero type. He and friends once helped an old man from a burning building. Look it up. Love this kid. Love his heart. Love his size.
This is all I can type now. If someone wants to know what I think about the other 2 or 3 picks, just make a comment about it and I let you know. My hands are starting to hurt.
Here's to a successful 2009 season!