6:10: And it's over. By my count, 255 picks and just over 17 hours of actual draft time later, the 2007 NFL Draft is over. With the final pick in the draft, Mr. Irrelevant as he is called, the Detroit Lions drafted cornerback Ramzee Robinson (and I'm not making that name up). Overall, I'll give the Lions draft a B- grade, as even though I loved the Stanton pick, and I have full confidence Calvin Johnson is going to be a stud, the Lions inability to fill needs at defensive end, middle linebacker, and in the secondary. They may have picked some good "football character" guys in the later rounds, but none seem to be "impact" players right away, despite having four picks in the first two rounds. Funny, I wanted the Lions to trade down originally so they could end up with four picks in the first two rounds, and they ended up getting them anyway, and they got one starter for next year (Calvin Johnson) at a position which wasn't a big need. So, maybe trading down wasn't the best decision they could have made because they ended up with early picks. They just used them as projects instead of starters. As Tom Kowalski said in the MLive.com Detroit Lions chat yesterday, the Lions drafted would have been perfect for a 13-3 team, but not so much for a 3-13 team which needs immediate help. So, B-, which, hopefully, is not the grade on my law school Criminal Procedure exam which is tomorrow, which, after 17 hours of draft coverage, it's time to concentrate on.
2:45: ESPN just interviewed Matt Millen about the draft, and, as expected, he raved about Calvin Johnson and Drew Stanton, and seemed in pretty good humor, despite the tradition of losing which has described his tenure with the Lions. The ESPN crew, in stark contrast to most Lions fans (who, at least over at MLive.com) who seem upset with the Lions draft, were quite bullish on the Lions picked, and Mel Kiper singled out Hawaii DE Ikaika Alama-Francis as a potential standout defensive end. For those that missed it, here's Suzy Kolber's interview with Millen.
2:00: The Lions have made their 5th round selection, taking outside linebacker Johnny Baldwin from Alabama A&M. Not sure about that one, some of the major draft scouting homes, like NFL.com and ESPN/Scouts Inc. don't even have a profile of this guy. Plus, middle linebacker seems like more of a need right now than outside linebacker. But, its round five, so what do I know?
12:10: The Detroit Lions continued to use their excess draft picks to trade up, moving up to pick #117 in the fourth round to select offensive guard Manuel Ramirez. Ramirez benched pressed 550 pounds, which is just amazing. A great bio from NFL.com:
Ramirez is one of the strongest offensive linemen in the collegiate ranks, boasting a school-record bench press of 550 pounds. The four-year starter at right offensive guard is very proficient at protecting the quarterback, having operated in the team's explosive spread offense that averaged 493.98 yards per game and 59 touchdowns per season during his four years manning the right guard position.
Not only is Ramirez the strongest player in the collegiate ranks, he is also known for his field vision and intelligence. He has called all the blocking schemes the last two years and served as the line's mentor for the younger players, as he led a blocking unit that reduced the team's total of sacks allowed from 36 in 2005 to 19 in 2006.
To get Rameriez, we traded two of our three fifth round picks, leaving the Lions with two draft picks left in the draft, 1 in round five and 1 in round seven, the final pick of the draft. I still think the Lions need to address their linebacker but this sounds like a pretty solid pick.
11:30 The Detroit Lions made their fourth round selection, AJ Davis, cornerback out of NC State. Cornerback makes sense for the Lions, but I'm not sure on the pick of Davis. NFL.com seems high on him, but other than that, most people had him going later in the draft, and there were other, more established cornerbacks on the board, like Auburn's David Irons and Tanard Jackson. Here's what NFL.com had to say about Davis:
One of the quickest cornerbacks in the country, Davis is regarded as the Atlantic Coast Conference's top man coverage defender. He has drawn comparisons to former Clemson standout Tye Hill, according to opposing ACC coaches, for his ability to instantly change direction and close on the ball with suddenness. He has not only used his impressive quickness and leaping ability to excel on the football field, but was also a productive performer on the Wolfpack's track team.
11:10: Good morning and time for Day Two of the NFL Draft. Rounds 4-7 are today and the Detroit Lions, baring trades, have 4 picks today, 1 in round four, 3 in round five, and 1 in round seven, pick #255, the last pick of the entire draft, known as "Mr. Irrelevant."
After sleeping on yesterday's Day One, I still like (for the most part) what the Lions have done. Yes, I wanted a trade down, and still think that may have been the best move for the franchise, but it is hard to complain about Calvin Johnson, the overall top talent in the draft. And I love the Drew Stanton pick, because of his leadership and athletic ability, and the fact that he'll be able to sit for a full year, learn under Mike Martz, with no pressure. I am disappointed we didn't look at our defense more, and the two defensive picks we made seemed like good football players, with the right "football character" but they were players who likely would have been around later in the draft. I'll give the day a solid B. Time to see what today brings.