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Advice For The Lions


I’m going to wander from my normal Vikings writing to offer up some advice to our division foes.

The Lions have an enviable selection of draft picks that is highlighted by three in the first 33 selections. However, having the first pick in the draft is not as great as it once was. Sure, they get their pick of every single player coming out of college, but it’s also an indication of how poorly the franchise has done recently and also requires a very hefty price tag.

The first pick is almost a curse, and here is a look at some of the options that have been brought up regarding Detroit’s pick accompanied by the downside of the option:

– PICK MATT STAFFORD: Many have said that the Lions would be stupid not to make an attempt to draft their franchise quarterback with the first pick. It’s not flawed thinking, and rumor has it that’s the direction they’re going to go. So what’s the problem? Well, Stafford reportedly has already negotiated a deal that includes $40 million in guaranteed money. That’s the type of contract that no team wants to dish out to an unproven player and can also hinder the club’s ability to manage their cap space down the road.

– NEGOTIATE WITH THE CREAM OF THE CROP: The Lions have the advantage of being the only team able to negotiate with their first selection prior to draft day. A common approach is to this pick is to bring in all the top players for a visit, and then negotiate with them all in an attempt to gain leverage over one of the players… price-comparing if you will. For example, if Jason Smith is willing to take less money than Eugene Monroe, then perhaps the Lions go that direction if it came down to those two players. The downside here is that you are still stuck with a huge contract being dished out to an unproven player.

– TRADE DOWN: Rumor has it the Lions would love to trade out of the top spot in an attempt to avoid dishing out the giant contract and also in an attempt to gain extra picks in later rounds. This is a great option, but the problem is that no other team could possibly be too interested in trading to the top of a draft that contains no clear cut top choice, and inviting that hard-to-swallow contract into their books. If a trade to the top was going to happen, it probably already would have.

– LET THE CLOCK EXPIRE: This is something the Vikings are familiar with, but actually letting the clock expire on purpose would be a new, innovative technique. Some people think that if the Lions let the clock expire then they could let as many teams behind them make picks as they like until they feel comfortable selecting a player. The problem here is that the league could frown upon such tactics, and also the confusion that would follow when trying to bang out a contract. If they waited until pick number six to draft a player, would they have to pay him #6 or #1 money? I can guarantee this would be a major negotiating point when it came time to speak with the player’s agent.

So, as you can see, the Lions are stuck in a sticky spot with the top pick and there is no obvious answer. Here is my advice to the Lions:

Draft Alex Mack with the first pick. That’s right, I said it. I know, I know, anyone who has talked with me recently, read this site, played cards with me, peed in the urinal next to me, or got stuck in an elevator with me knows that I’m a huge Alex Mack fan. But the logic is here as well.

The Lions should call Mack’s agent and inform him that they are going to take him with their second pick at #20. However, they should present it in a way that assures him that he’s not going any higher than 20, and that he’s going to end up a Lion one way or another. Then, they should offer him the opportunity to be the first overall selection in the 2009 draft if he’s willing to accept #11 type of money.

Mack would get the notoriety of being the highest drafted player this year, highest drafted center ever, and paid much more than he would have if the Lions choose not to do this. He’d make millions more than he would’ve if the Vikings took him at #22 or if the Steelers took him at #32.

The Lions would get the best center prospect to come out of college in 25 years, a manageable rookie contract, and a projected annual pro bowler to replace Dominic Raiola who has only made headlines by giving Lions fans the middle finger.

Sure, it’s outside the box, but it’d be a more sure-fire and less expensive option than any of the previously mentioned ones.

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One Response to “Advice For The Lions”

  1. Spanky says:

    i dont care about the lions….my hope is the VIKES are able to take MACK at 22.

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