Monday, March 19, 2007

Brady Quinn: not a bad option after all!

We’re a little over a month from draft day. The Lions shored up their offensive line with George Foster and running game with Tatum Bell in their trade with Denver, making these two positions unlikely to be addressed with that tantalizing #2 pick. All of a sudden, QB Brady Quinn looks like a very real possibility. Especially since a draft of LT Joe Thomas would now look like a snub to Jeff Backus. I like these moves (Matt, you aren't that stupid!), plus the addition of TJ Duckett, a perennial disappointment that has Michigan roots will suddenly make the Lions a stouter team up front, on offense at least. But a drafting of Quinn doesn’t address the more pressing needs: OL, DL, and ILB.

In a perfect world, the Lions draft and trade, taking Quinn and trading him for one of the top linemen: preferably DE Gaines Adams or the top DTs, either Alan Branch or Amobi Okoye. Any of these three will likely have as high a ceiling as Quinn and will make as much of a contribution immediately, to boot. And they don’t have to pay QB (or 2nd pick) salary.

Another scenario that is worth the Lions’ time is a trade down, getting another veteran player or high second round pick with a mid first round pick. Landing ILB Patrick Willis would be a real coup for this team, considering he seems to have the leadership intangibles necessary to become a real defensive leader. His presence between Sims and Bailey on the outside would make the Lions defense suddenly impressive.

As for the rest of the top 10? The question of the moment is will they or won’t they with the Raiders. As any team picking first, Oakland is in the bind of needing to determine which player really needs to be the top pick in the draft. There isn’t a consensus top pick, but the closest thing is QB Jamarcus Russel. This seems like a good fit for Oakland, both in flavor and in obvious need, but I like Calvin Johnson instead. He’s flashier (a must for the Raiders), he could have a real immediate impact, and I’m not convinced that they’re ready to give up on QB Andrew Walter.

Other interesting questions:

Are the Browns going to stick by Frye or take a QB if available? Or are they more interested in Adrian Peterson?

Aren’t the Bucs in the same boat at #4? Their ground game is fine, but should they look for another skill position, or go for defense?

Can the Cardinals afford not to take an Offensive Lineman?

What trade that makes so much sense but nobody saw coming will happen before the tenth pick? What team will be willing to make the gamble?

What will Mike Shanahan’s Broncos do to maximize the draft? And which RB will they draft in the fifth or sixth round that will lead the team in rushing next year?

More speculation to come!

And don’t forget: the safest bets are never that safe, so you may as well take a chance. And please, Matt Millen, for the love of all that is holy, if you even look at a wide receiver, it can only be Calvin Johnson.