9:20: The Lions made another trade, getting wild now. They moved up into the second round, trading their second third round pick and one of their two fourth round selections for Boise State Safety Gerald Alexander. Alexander has played both cornerback and safety, and plays pretty quick, but a lot of the draft "experts" didn't have him being drafted until the second day of the draft, so this may be a reach for Matt Millen (wouldn't be the first time he's reached on a player). It does sound, though, that Alexander brings a lot of intangibles and if he can play safety and the nickel cornerback position, he can be a very valuable contributor pretty quickly for the Lions. I like what I read about him on NFL.com.
One of the team's best conditioned athletes, Alexander was the recipient of the 2006 Strength "Iron Bronco" Award for his performance in the training room. On the field, he has been perfectly capable of filling any task the coaching staff asks from him. Having started his Broncos career as a left cornerback, he moved to the right side as a sophomore, back to the left side as a junior and then took over secondary assignment calls as the team's strong safety as a senior.
So, those not familiar with Hawaii and Boise State (c'mon, you aren't watching the WAC?) here are some videos. First up, ESPN's analysis of Hawaii's Ikaika Alama-Francis.
And Mel Kiper talking about Gerald Alexander.
And a hellacious hit from Alexander:
So, this leaves the Lions with 0 picks in the third round, which, now as of 9:30, hasn't started yet somehow. 1 pick in Round 4, 3 in Round 5, and the last pick in the draft, #255. Needs for tomorrow (or I guess tonight if they trade up again) are middle linebacker, cornerback, and maybe another defensive end.
9:00: The Detroit Lions made their third trade of the second round just a few moments ago, trading up to grab Hawaii defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis. I'll be honest, as much as a "draft geek" as I am, I don't know too much about Alma-Francis. He appears to be a big defensive end with a high intensity "motor", and is a hard worker with the "football character" the Lions are looking for. He also has only been playing football for a few years now, so he's raw, with a lot of untapped potential, and if anyone can get the most out of defensive lineman, it is the Lions coaching staff. And we needed help on defense, with defensive end being a significant need for us. So, overall, I'll take this pick on faith, and hope that the Lions are able to get the most out of a player who looks to have a lot of potential. To trade up to #58, the Lions traded a fourth round pick (one of two, the earlier one, #66) and one of their four fifth round picks (#145). Leaving them with three fifth round picks.
8:30: The Detroit Lions, as expected, have traded both Mike Williams and Josh McCown. Neither had a role with the team after the picks of Calvin Johnson and Drew Stanton, and both wanted to be traded and were not happy in Detroit. In exchange, Oakland sent Detroit a the fifth pick in the 4th round, #105. This gives Detroit two 4th round picks and 4 5th round picks tomorrow (and the last pick in the draft, "Mr. Irrelevant".) I don't mind the trade, but to me, the Lions took a huge cap-hit when they traded Williams, a hit they could have avoided if they would have simply cut Williams a "June 1st" cut, and just having him as a throw in to the McCown-to-Oakland deal, not sure that makes a lot of sense. And, for Oakland, I actually think Williams will be a nice pickup for them. He'll be back in California, in familiar surroundings, with Lane Kiffen, who coached him at USC, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him turn his career around there.
7:45: So, the Lions have glaring holes on defense and have not worked on either of those yet, choosing instead to draft on offense. And even though I would have liked to have seen David Harris or Georgia's Charles Johnson in a Lions uniform, I really think Stanton is going to be a great NFL player. As Tom Kowalski writes over at MLive, Stanton just has "it", he's a leader, and quarterbacks need to be leaders. Here is the ESPN video of Stanton being drafted by the Lions and the analysis from the ESPN crew.
And for those looking for a "pre-draft" scouting take on Stanton, here's another YouTube video I dug up:
As for analysis of the pick, the national media likes it for the most part, at least from what I've seen. CNNSI liked it.
Matt Millen gets his young quarterback with this pick. With Jon Kitna getting older, Stanton becomes the heir apparent to what could be an explosive offense. And Kitna was a great mentor to Carson Palmer in Cincy, so he should help Stanton as much as possible.
7:27: Man, this draft is taking forever. 6 hours plus for Round One, and we are at 7:27 and only a dozen or so picks into round two. Now, I love the draft but this is crazy. At least the Lions made a selection, and they went offense again, drafting Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton. Even though the defense obviously needs a lot of work, and Stanton won't help them this season, I love the pick. Stanton is a football player, was the gunner on the punt team for Michigan State, as a quarterback (that's just insane) and he's a phenomenal athlete. He can throw a fastball 90 MPH+, can move around in the pocket, and is a born leader. Maybe I'm biased because I watched him in high school, at Harrison High (right up the road), but I've thought since then that he was going to be a star in the NFL, and I think the Lions may have finally found their "quarterback of the future." Highlights soon.
6:38: The Lions traded their second round pick (#34) to Buffalo for their second round pick (#43) and their third round pick (#74). So we dropped 10 spots, and picked up an early third round pick. To me, that's a good trade. With most of the top defensive ends and safetys gone, and perhaps with the Lions not as sold on David Harris as I am, they felt like they could trade back, and still get the guy they want. They can now get potentially two defensive starters with their second and two third round picks and get a QB for the future. Should be interesting as we go forward.
6:30: And the Detroit Lions have not selected in the second round. They have traded down with Buffalo instead. We should have the details of the trade shortly.