Lets say the Lions end up with the fourth pick (I think they are at 4-5 right now). If there is a game changing LT on the board take him. If there is a game changing CB on the board take him. If not, trade back. Burning that pick on a RB is phenomenally stupid, as Cleveland will find out soon enough. The Lions O-line hasn't been able to run block in over a decade since Barry retired. Our secondary is abysmal. If we can address those issues through an early draft pick, we need to do it. If not, trade back and find talent later.
I am hesitant to say this, but I don't think they are underachieving that much. Honestly, I think they overachieved last year. Megatron put up a historic season last year. There was no way that was going to repeat although I don't think anyone thought it would be this bad. The Lions faced god knows how many fourth quarter deficits last year they managed to throw their way out of thanks to Megatron. That ability hasn't been there this year because our other passing options have vanished. Pettigrew can't catch. Young has completely vanished. Burleson was nothing to write home about before his injury. Broyles hasn't been on the field enough. The passing game sucks, our line can't run block, so the offense is floundering. Our defense is built just like the Manning Colts. Get a lead, let the D-line go nuts after the QB. The offense can't build a lead which has neutered the defense quite a bit.
And I haven't even mentioned the Lions discipline problem yet. They are 6th in the league in penalties this year after being 2nd last year just behind the Raiders. They can't stop themselves from making stupid decisions on the field. The Lions need some sort of leadership on the sidelines that Schwartz clearly hasn't been able to give. I don't want to call for a coaching change, but the Lions need to find some way to change this culture of responsibility lapses both on and off the field.
---------- Post added 2012-10-23 at 01:04 PM ----------
---------- Post added 2012-10-23 at 01:26 PM ----------
Alright at my other work computer now (which has a super loud keyboard so this is going to annoy the hell out of me).
I think one of the biggest issues facing the Lions (along with their lack of discipline) is their inability to draft. Take the past four drafts.
2009- Stafford, Pettigrew, Delmas, Levy. Four solid picks in the first three rounds. The other picks were busts as you can usually expect until you get to Zach Follett who was a hell of a special teams player until his neck injury ended his career.
2010- Suh and Willie Young in the 7th. Every other pick including Best in the 1st has been a total bust.
2011-Fairley, Young, LeShoure. LeShoure is an unknown. Fairley looks lazy most of the time. Young has vanished. I don't even think they had any late round picks.
2012-Reiff, Broyles, About 13 LBs and CBs who are all misses. Reiff hasn't produced yet. Broyles I am very confident in.
The Lions have largely struck out in the draft. They have had the fortune (misfortune?) to have some incredibly high picks in the last four years. A couple of those have worked out (Stafford, Suh for his rookie year then in flashes since, Delmas when healthy) but most haven't panned out at all and don't look like they are developing into what we want. Outside of Willie Young, they have done a fantastically terrible job of drafting players past the third round. I think those drafting issues are coming home to roost. The Lions are saddled with large contracts making them unable to participate in free agency when good corners are on the board (like Cortland Finnegan who almost singlehandedly beat the Lions in week 1). The Lions have had to draft talent to fill those voids and they have swung and missed on player after player. The secondary is as bad as it was when they drafter Delmas in 2009. The LB core is nothing to write home about. The D-Line can't produce like it was built to because we can't get a lead on offense.
The Lions need to address a whole bunch of personnel issues on the field and a whole bunch of discipline issues on and off the field before this team will be a legit Super Bowl contender. It isn't something Geno Smith can fix. It isn't something a single OT can fix. It isn't something a single CB can fix unless you stumble on the next Revis in the draft. The best teams in the NFL have a pedigree of drafting and developing guys from every round of the draft, not just the top rounds. Perfect Detroit foil is the Red Wings. The Red Wings best players are guys they found in the 6th and 7th rounds. Anyone can draft at #1 and #2 and have a good chance of having success. It takes a real talent to draft in later rounds and the Lions haven't shown the ability to find mid-low round talent over the last decade plus.