5:45: Not an NFL Draft update, per se, but Pavel Datsuyk just scored for the Detroit Red Wings, capping a great third period comeback, which evened up their series with the San Jose Sharks one game apiece. It was a game the Wings had to have, and when they fell behind 2-0 early on, it didn't look good, but with a beautiful goal by Datsuyk, the Wings have momentum again, and now they can try to steal a game in San Jose. Lions second round pick is coming up soon, and I'll start a new post for that "live blog."
4:20: Brady Quinn has finally been drafted, #22 to Cleveland, which just traded with Dallas. I've said a bunch of times that I am not a Quinn guy, but #22 is good value for him, and for the Browns to walk away with both Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn, that's a good day. 11 picks to go before the Lions select again and DE Anthony Spencer and ILB David Harris are both still on the board, but I can't see either sliding to the Lions at #34 sadly. If both are gone, the Lions are going to have to consider taking a QB even though it means their needs on defense won't be addressed until Round 3.
3:00: Okay, it's almost 3:00, and we are 14 picks in. A few stunners (Ted Ginn going #9 to Miami makes no sense, the guy is a glorified kick returner who while incredibly fast I don't think translates as anything more than Donte Hall at the NFL level) and Brady Quinn is still on the board, but other than that, not a lot of surprises. After everyone talked about there being so much volatility at the start of the draft, there ended up being no trades at all so far. And I can't say I'm surprised with Quinn's fall. He struggled mightily everytime he played a good team last season. And now, he has been moved away from the media, away from the ESPN cameras to avoid being shown everytime a team takes another player.
They were serious and suddenly the playful fun of awaiting his fate on national television started to look a little more uncomfortable for Quinn. When it became clear that Quinn would have a long wait, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell invited him and his family into a private suite at Radio City Music Hall, away from the cameras.
I'm starting to feel bad for Brady Quinn, but then again, I really don't. He just wasn't that good of a quarterback when it comes down to it. I thought going in he was overrated, but apparently, he wasn't, as teams are staying away, at least for now.
No Michigan players drafted yet, but Leon Hall and Alan Branch. The pick of Adam Carriker at #13 to St. Louis isn't great news for the Lions. If they were hoping that Carriker or Purdue defenive end Anthony Spencer would slide to round two, it doesn't look like that is going to happen.
1:15: The Detroit Lions are keeping Calvin Johnson, so says GM Matt Millen, who was ecstatic to the point of defiance almost in how much he loved Calvin Johnson's talent. As I said before, just because we have taken wide receivers three of the last four years should not have played any factor in taking Calvin Johnson. If we got a great trade offer, that was different, but as it is, he is a much safer pick then Gaines Adams or Leon Hall, and even Patrick Willis, who I really like. And looking at this interview that he had with ESPN this afternoon after he was selected, you can tell how genuinely looking forward to playing in the NFL and for the Detroit Lions.
As for the national analysis, it continues to be positive. CBS Sportsline's Pete Prisco gives the Lions draft of Johnson an "A".
They could steal deal this pick to the Bucs, but give the Lions credit if they keep the pick. They got the best player in the draft. Admitting your mistakes is key in the NFL, and they did that by taking another receiver.
Pro Football Weekly also raved about Johnson.
Johnson is the safest pick in the draft, and I expect the Raiders will regret passing on him in the very near future. Give Lions GM Matt Millen a lot of credit. He drafted three receivers in the last four years, including two (Charles Rogers and Mike Williams) that have proven to be very bad decisions, but he was firm enough in his conviction not to fold against public sentiment or fear what fans might think. He made the right decision. Johnson could pair with Roy Williams to give the Lions the best receiving corps in the league in no time. Mike Martz has a plan for the Johnson if they keep him, and his combination of size, speed, hands and body control could create big-time mismatches against opponents.
12:45: It looks, at this point, that the Detroit Lions are keeping Calvin Johnson. And while I desperately wanted a trade down, how can you be upset with keeping Calvin Johnson, who has been called the best wide receiver prospect since Jerry Rice? And for those that missed it, here is the moment of truth, the Detroit Lions selection of Calvin Johnson:
And they could still make a trade. I think, one second round pick and a player, isn't enough. But if they turned down two second round picks, that would be a mistake. As it stands, NFL "experts", love the pick. Check out the analysis from NFL.com:
The Lions' checkered history with first-round wide receivers notwithstanding, they had no other choice but to select Calvin Johnson. They had to stay true to their board -- not to mention the boards of every team in the league -- and go with the player widely viewed as the most talented in the draft. Johnson could very well have been the top overall pick, but once the Raiders selected Russell, Johnson was automatic in the No. 2 spot. It's possible the Lions could end up making a trade that would send Johnson elsewhere in exchange for defensive end Gaines Adams, who will likely be picked later in the top five, but if they simply end up keeping Johnson, that would not be a disaster ... despite the Lions' recent history with receiver picks.
12:33 The Detroit Lions have selected WR Calvin Johnson. The question now is, do we keep him?
12:21: The Oakland Raiders have taken QB JaMarcus Russell , the Detroit Lions now on the clock. It's either Calvin Johnson, or let's hope and hope and hope a trade-down.
11:50: Tom Kowalski, my colleague over @ Michigan Live, is reporting the phones are "ringing off the hook" in Allen Park with teams wanting to trade for the #2 overall pick.
A source close to the situation just told me that the phones are already ringing off the hook in Detroit's war room and the offers for Calvin Johnson are flooding in. The Lions weren't expecting the action to heat up until they were on the clock but teams apparently believe the reports that JaMarcus Russell is going to the Raiders and now the Lions have the option on Johnson.
Since a trade-down is my best-case scenario, I'm getting pretty excited at this point.
11:33: ProFootballTalk.com is reporting that a Detroit Lions trade down with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have the #4 overall pick in the draft, is "close."
A source with knowledge of the situation tells us that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Detroit Lions are close to a deal that would send the No. 2 overall pick in the draft -- presumably, receiver Calvin Johnson -- to the Bucs.
On Friday, the Lions decided to take Johnson absent a deal that they like. We've heard that they want the No. 4 pick, both of the Bucs' second-round selections, and cornerback Brian Kelly.
If that is the package from Tampa Bay, Detroit can't turn it down. The trade would give them a starter at cornerback (Kelly), presumably the defensive end they crave in Gaines Adams at #4, and then three picks in the second round which they can either use on a linebacker and a quarterback and an offensive lineman, or which they can package together to move back up into the bottom of Round One. I don't care how good Calvin Johnson is, Kelly and three draft picks is worth it.
11:06: Welcome to my "live blogging" of the 2007 NFL Draft. With the Detroit Lions having the #2 pick, and the draft under an hour away, this should be a pretty exciting day. Still no word on whom Oakland plans on selecting #1 overall, and the Lions pick all hinges on that. I still think the Lions should, if at all possible, trade down and draft either Gaines Adams, LaRon Landry or Patrick Willis, adding a linebacker, quarterback, and cornerback in round two if they were able to acquire two additional second round picks in a trade down. I'm warming a bit to Leon Hall, but I'm still not convinced he's a better choice than Patrick Willis. We'll see.