Being from New Jersey, I am not truly a Lions fan. But with the Draft fast-approaching, and my current location being the Metro-Detroit area, I feel obligated to root for the current "sorriest team in all of professional sports".
Over the past few months, there has been a ton of talk about who the lions are going to take. General consensus around the country (and amongst the "experts") is that the Lions will take Georgia QB Matt Stafford. The fan's general feeling about this is unabashed panic - and I couldn't agree with them more.
First and foremost, the Lions sure do need a QB. No doubt about it. Daunte Culpepper will never be an elite QB in the NFL again, and Drew Stanton is unproven, and perhaps incapable of doing the job at an NFL level. But what does a team need before they bring in a young quarterback? That's right kids, an o-line. As of right now, the lions have one of the worst o-lines in the NFL, and with the fairly stout defenses they look to face this year, they will be in desperate need of a strong o-line to protect said QB. Why not choose a high-quality franchise o-lineman? Jason Smith comes to mind.
Not sold on choosing a lineman with the #1 pick? Okay, what about the defense? Last year, the lions couldn't stop anyone if their lives depended on it. The defense continually snapped late in games with the outcome hanging in the balance. Why not start there? A few stops on defense last year, and the lions may have had a few wins (although still not many). Furthermore, look at the teams in your division. Chicago, Green Bay, Minnesota are all teams that run the ball very well, but have mediocre passing games (save for Green Bay). So why not focus on stopping the teams in your division, and choose someone who can help you do that. Aaron Curry perhaps?
You have the number one pick overall, and you are destined to pay this player a boat load of cash to be on your team for the next few years. I know a QB is the sexy pick when compared to the possibilities of a LB or OT, and you certainly do need a QB. But when you go 0-16, you need to clean house, and get a new foundation that will set you up for success. Chances are, you will have a top-5 pick again in 2010, a class that is poised to be full of QBs better than Mr. Stafford. I think that the lions can make a smarter pick than Matt Stafford, and I can only hope for the fan's sake that they do.