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2021 Detroit Lions: Lions have no talent!! 0-2


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From mLive last week:

When the Detroit Lions re-signed Brandon Pettigrew this offseason, it appeared to eliminate the possibility of the team using a high-round draft pick on a tight end. But it was reported last week that North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron believes the Lions will take him in the first round.

While it may seem far-fetched at first glance, given Detroit's other needs, remember the Lions have shown a willingness to draft a player at a perceived position of strength in the recent past. If Ebron is the highest rated player on the team's board when they're on the clock, they won't hesitate to select him.

Crunching some numbers and looking at the facts, the move might make more sense than you would think.

From 2010-12, Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler combined to average 178 targets in the passing game. Last season, Detroit's utilization of the tight end plummeted as Pettigrew's receiving production sharply declined, Scheffler was released early in the season and rookie Joseph Fauria was largely limited to red-zone and third-down packages.

In total, the Lions targeted a tight end just 111 times last year.

This season, the team will be installing a new offense that will be heavily influenced by what the Saints run in New Orleans. Obviously, the Saints have Jimmy Graham, an elite athlete at the position, but Ebron possesses some similar traits.

As for utilization, New Orleans deployed packages with multiple tight ends more than Detroit last season, but not by a glaring margin. The Saints ran 299 plays with two or more tight ends on the field to 248 for the Lions.

The bigger difference was in the balance of individual playing time. Pettigrew played a staggering 901 snaps in 14 games, rarely leaving the field when healthy. Graham played a far more manageable 754 in 16 contests, still managing 86 receptions for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns.

While a prideful player never wants to leave the field, the Lions must look to reduce Pettigrew's playing time for the sake of his body. He's been badly banged up each of the past two seasons.

Benjamin Watson played a shade under 500 snaps for the Saints in 2013, serving primarily in a blocking capacity. Fauria was the second option in Detroit, seeing the field 306 snaps.

In Detroit, Ebron would likely mirror Graham's role, with the rookie seeing more time in the slot, running routes, as opposed to blocking inline.

Given the Lions' search for a third wide receiver, it's not a stretch to say Ebron could essentially fill that need. As a rookie, he would see a comparable amount of playing time as a high-profile receiving prospect, such as Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans, would in Detroit.

Selecting Ebron would also allow free agent acquisition Golden Tate to spend more time on the outside, where he's had his most success as a professional.

Ebron would also be a matchup problem, too big and strong for defensive backs and too fast for linebackers.

"He's a talent," ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said when asked about Detroit potentially drafting Ebron. "He's got a tremendous opportunity in the league right now the way those four and five receivers are used to create some major matchup advantages in coverage and be a key factor for a pass offense."

What Detroit actually does with the 10th pick, or even if the team stays at that slot, remains a mystery. But Ebron isn't off the table, especially if Watkins and Evans are off the board.

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From mLive last week:

When the Detroit Lions re-signed Brandon Pettigrew this offseason, it appeared to eliminate the possibility of the team using a high-round draft pick on a tight end. But it was reported last week that North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron believes the Lions will take him in the first round.

While it may seem far-fetched at first glance, given Detroit's other needs, remember the Lions have shown a willingness to draft a player at a perceived position of strength in the recent past. If Ebron is the highest rated player on the team's board when they're on the clock, they won't hesitate to select him.

Crunching some numbers and looking at the facts, the move might make more sense than you would think.

From 2010-12, Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler combined to average 178 targets in the passing game. Last season, Detroit's utilization of the tight end plummeted as Pettigrew's receiving production sharply declined, Scheffler was released early in the season and rookie Joseph Fauria was largely limited to red-zone and third-down packages.

In total, the Lions targeted a tight end just 111 times last year.

This season, the team will be installing a new offense that will be heavily influenced by what the Saints run in New Orleans. Obviously, the Saints have Jimmy Graham, an elite athlete at the position, but Ebron possesses some similar traits.

As for utilization, New Orleans deployed packages with multiple tight ends more than Detroit last season, but not by a glaring margin. The Saints ran 299 plays with two or more tight ends on the field to 248 for the Lions.

The bigger difference was in the balance of individual playing time. Pettigrew played a staggering 901 snaps in 14 games, rarely leaving the field when healthy. Graham played a far more manageable 754 in 16 contests, still managing 86 receptions for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns.

While a prideful player never wants to leave the field, the Lions must look to reduce Pettigrew's playing time for the sake of his body. He's been badly banged up each of the past two seasons.

Benjamin Watson played a shade under 500 snaps for the Saints in 2013, serving primarily in a blocking capacity. Fauria was the second option in Detroit, seeing the field 306 snaps.

In Detroit, Ebron would likely mirror Graham's role, with the rookie seeing more time in the slot, running routes, as opposed to blocking inline.

Given the Lions' search for a third wide receiver, it's not a stretch to say Ebron could essentially fill that need. As a rookie, he would see a comparable amount of playing time as a high-profile receiving prospect, such as Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans, would in Detroit.

Selecting Ebron would also allow free agent acquisition Golden Tate to spend more time on the outside, where he's had his most success as a professional.

Ebron would also be a matchup problem, too big and strong for defensive backs and too fast for linebackers.

"He's a talent," ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said when asked about Detroit potentially drafting Ebron. "He's got a tremendous opportunity in the league right now the way those four and five receivers are used to create some major matchup advantages in coverage and be a key factor for a pass offense."

What Detroit actually does with the 10th pick, or even if the team stays at that slot, remains a mystery. But Ebron isn't off the table, especially if Watkins and Evans are off the board.

If that is the case the Lions could have signed a blocking dummy at TE for pennies. Instead they give Pettigrew 16 million. If they had any intention of drafting Ebron they should have let Pettigrew walk.

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From mLive last week:

When the Detroit Lions re-signed Brandon Pettigrew this offseason, it appeared to eliminate the possibility of the team using a high-round draft pick on a tight end. But it was reported last week that North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron believes the Lions will take him in the first round.

While it may seem far-fetched at first glance, given Detroit's other needs, remember the Lions have shown a willingness to draft a player at a perceived position of strength in the recent past. If Ebron is the highest rated player on the team's board when they're on the clock, they won't hesitate to select him.

Crunching some numbers and looking at the facts, the move might make more sense than you would think.

From 2010-12, Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler combined to average 178 targets in the passing game. Last season, Detroit's utilization of the tight end plummeted as Pettigrew's receiving production sharply declined, Scheffler was released early in the season and rookie Joseph Fauria was largely limited to red-zone and third-down packages.

In total, the Lions targeted a tight end just 111 times last year.

This season, the team will be installing a new offense that will be heavily influenced by what the Saints run in New Orleans. Obviously, the Saints have Jimmy Graham, an elite athlete at the position, but Ebron possesses some similar traits.

As for utilization, New Orleans deployed packages with multiple tight ends more than Detroit last season, but not by a glaring margin. The Saints ran 299 plays with two or more tight ends on the field to 248 for the Lions.

The bigger difference was in the balance of individual playing time. Pettigrew played a staggering 901 snaps in 14 games, rarely leaving the field when healthy. Graham played a far more manageable 754 in 16 contests, still managing 86 receptions for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns.

While a prideful player never wants to leave the field, the Lions must look to reduce Pettigrew's playing time for the sake of his body. He's been badly banged up each of the past two seasons.

Benjamin Watson played a shade under 500 snaps for the Saints in 2013, serving primarily in a blocking capacity. Fauria was the second option in Detroit, seeing the field 306 snaps.

In Detroit, Ebron would likely mirror Graham's role, with the rookie seeing more time in the slot, running routes, as opposed to blocking inline.

Given the Lions' search for a third wide receiver, it's not a stretch to say Ebron could essentially fill that need. As a rookie, he would see a comparable amount of playing time as a high-profile receiving prospect, such as Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans, would in Detroit.

Selecting Ebron would also allow free agent acquisition Golden Tate to spend more time on the outside, where he's had his most success as a professional.

Ebron would also be a matchup problem, too big and strong for defensive backs and too fast for linebackers.

"He's a talent," ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said when asked about Detroit potentially drafting Ebron. "He's got a tremendous opportunity in the league right now the way those four and five receivers are used to create some major matchup advantages in coverage and be a key factor for a pass offense."

What Detroit actually does with the 10th pick, or even if the team stays at that slot, remains a mystery. But Ebron isn't off the table, especially if Watkins and Evans are off the board.

If that is the case the Lions could have signed a blocking dummy at TE for pennies. Instead they give Pettigrew 16 million. If they had any intention of drafting Ebron they should have let Pettigrew walk.

They should have let Pettigreew go regardless of their intentions. ####### idiots.

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Mayhew got #### blocked by Tampa, Cleveland and Minnesota and didn't know what to do. This was a terrible, terrible pick.

Lions going for their own version of Hernandez and Gronk...minus the ability to catch.

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TEs are as bad as corners at making an impact year one. Mayhew did nothing to make the team better with this pick. OBJ would have had a bigger impact this year if he was dead set on an offensive player.

He brought in Caldwell with an edict to win now and then drafts a position that, historically, takes 2-3 years to have an impact. Major screw up.

Edited by The Captain
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My buddy who knows this draft stuff better than anyone I know, said that Detroit always takes the best available player, and that they felt they could get the defensive help they needed in later rounds. Seemed like a very odd pick to me, but Ebron by all accounts is a Vernon Davis-like player, and an immediate impact redzone guy. Might turn out fine.

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My buddy who knows this draft stuff better than anyone I know, said that Detroit always takes the best available player, and that they felt they could get the defensive help they needed in later rounds. Seemed like a very odd pick to me, but Ebron by all accounts is a Vernon Davis-like player, and an immediate impact redzone guy. Might turn out fine.

He'll be the move TE, Tate out wide, Brandon lining up tight. May just be spin but Mayhew. & Lombardi saying this was their #2 behind Watkins. They want to make it hard to double/triple Calvin.

Whatever. On a needs basis I can't understand why they were dead set on a WR//TE as their 1st.

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Mayhew got #### blocked by Tampa, Cleveland and Minnesota and didn't know what to do. This was a terrible, terrible pick.

Lions going for their own version of Hernandez and Gronk...minus the ability to catch.

That's not true. Agree or disagree with it, Mayhew clearly wanted Ebron.

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I don't mind it. Once Watkins, Evans and Gilbert were off the board I wanted them to trade down a few slots. I'm guessing the 10 slot ended up being a place that nobody really wanted to give up picks to move into. Teams saw the two QBs sliding and figured they could stand pat if they wanted one of them (or at least not have to trade up as high as 10.) Teams that didn't need a QB saw a lot of talent that they could choose from in the mid-teens to mid-twenties and probably didn't feel a need to give up a pick to move up. Dennard or Fuller were probably reaches at 10 compared to Gilbert, as were the safeties. So, knowing that they can still grab a DB in the next couple rounds, they decided to grab a guy who is pretty widely considered to be an elite talent at TE. As the MLive article above noted, this allows Tate to play outside and creates some matchup nightmares for the defense. Giving Calvin a little more room to operate isn't a bad thing, imo.

I'm no Mayhew fan by any stretch. As far as I'm concerned he's forever tainted simply because he learned at Millen's knee. But with Xanders on board they did a great job with the draft and UFAs last year. There's still a lot of draft left for them to plug some holes. The sky isn't falling yet.

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What I heard about Ebron last night is that his upside is that he is a great "athlete" and has the speed to get down the field. Downside was that he is a poor blocker and drops too many catchable passes. Kind of the same things I heard about Pettigrew 5 years ago. The blocking does not concern me because they did not draft him to block. The Lions were hell bent on drafting a receiver be it Watkins, Evans or Ebron.

With the new OC from the Saints I guess they are going to try to use Ebron like Graham. Last night they were saying that Ebron has better speed than Graham, but shorter arms and smaller hands. (These guys know everything)

Time will tell. The issue is that they just paid Pettigrew 18 million. Which makes me think the Lions were banking on Evans dropping to 10. If they had any intention of drafting Ebron they should have let Pettigrew walk. Blocking dummy TEs are a dime a dozen in the NFL.

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Why can't Det run a 2 TE set as their primary offense? Seems like that's the way to go. The beauty of Ebron is that he can line up out wide if they want and really create some mismatches on the field.

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Mayhew got #### blocked by Tampa, Cleveland and Minnesota and didn't know what to do. This was a terrible, terrible pick.

Lions going for their own version of Hernandez and Gronk...minus the ability to catch.

That's not true. Agree or disagree with it, Mayhew clearly wanted Ebron.

Are you sure?

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Last night, I absolutely hated the pick. That stemmed largely from my disdain for the Pettigrew deal, and what I perceived to be a lot of commitment to the position. After sleeping on it, I decided to look at where Pettigrew's deal put him in relation to TE salaries this year, and I honestly felt a lot better about the entire situation. Pettigrew's 2014 salary (4.0 mil) has him in a 3 way tie for 15th in the league at the position, with a cap hit that ranks 23rd (2.2 mil). The cap hits to cut him after 2015 are minimal as well.

We've seen how much Stafford likes to target the TE spot, we just haven't had an effective TE to catch those targets. We also know Lombardi comes from a system that utilizes the TE quite effectively. If Ebron can truly become the match-up problem some project, this could end up being a solid pick and a really effective weapon.

Maybe this is automatically slipping into my Lion's fandom, and trying to find the silver lining in the endless barrage of mistakes this team makes... but I actually am coming around on this pick.

Considering the options they were faced with, Donald is the only one that stands out to me as the guy we may look back and say "See, they should have taken him!".

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My buddy who knows this draft stuff better than anyone I know, said that Detroit always takes the best available player, and that they felt they could get the defensive help they needed in later rounds. Seemed like a very odd pick to me, but Ebron by all accounts is a Vernon Davis-like player, and an immediate impact redzone guy. Might turn out fine.

He'll be the move TE, Tate out wide, Brandon lining up tight. May just be spin but Mayhew. & Lombardi saying this was their #2 behind Watkins. They want to make it hard to double/triple Calvin.

Whatever. On a needs basis I can't understand why they were dead set on a WR//TE as their 1st.

I would have tried to find the best player on defense myself, but this might work out.

Bolded for others to remember that you can play 2 TEs at once just as easy as you can play 3 WRs at once.

Red zone they can even go 3 TEs if they want.

Edited by Leroy Hoard
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I was surprised that they took Ebron, but I like the move. The draft, from what I have heard/read, is pretty deep defensively, and they have 6 more picks to bolster their defense. Speaking of, the biggest problems for defense last year were inexperience combined with bad coaching. They have a DC that helped Baltimore win a Superbowl a few years back, and an OC that has helped a Saints team out a lot. They'll be fine.

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What I heard about Ebron last night is that his upside is that he is a great "athlete" and has the speed to get down the field. Downside was that he is a poor blocker and drops too many catchable passes. Kind of the same things I heard about Pettigrew 5 years ago.

That was not the Pettigrew scouting report I remember, which was that he was a good 2-way TE but not a special athlete and I think that's exactly what we have in him; expectations got a little inflated when Stafford threw a ton of passes to him a few years ago but it's clear at this point that he's a complimentary guy.

I don't get all the hate on the Ebron pick given the number of bozo WRs we had on the field at times last year. I guess just the way they are doing the draft now everything builds up to the day and then there's one guy that we get to drag under the microscope. But just the fact that people are putting him in the same sentence as Jimmy Graham has got to be a good sign right?

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I was surprised that they took Ebron, but I like the move. The draft, from what I have heard/read, is pretty deep defensively, and they have 6 more picks to bolster their defense. Speaking of, the biggest problems for defense last year were inexperience combined with bad coaching. They have a DC that helped Baltimore win a Superbowl a few years back, and an OC that has helped a Saints team out a lot. They'll be fine.

Um. No. The biggest problem for the Lions defense was that their back 7 is almost completely devoid of talent. Let's compare SEA and DET just for fun.

Seattle

Irvin(2)/Wagner(2)/Smith(2)/Sherman(3)/Browner(3)/Chancellor(4)/Thomas(4)

Total NFL experience: 20yrs

Detroit

Palmer(5)/Tulloch(8)/Levy(5)/Mathis(11)/Houston(7)/Quin(5)/Delmas(5)

Total NFL experience: 46yrs

As far as the Ebron pick, the Lions need only look as far as the Broncos to see that building a team with a finesse-first philosophy will only take you so far. Detroit will never come close to matching the skill combo of Manning/Thomas/Thomas/Decker/Welker and yet they insist taking that approach.

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I was surprised that they took Ebron, but I like the move. The draft, from what I have heard/read, is pretty deep defensively, and they have 6 more picks to bolster their defense. Speaking of, the biggest problems for defense last year were inexperience combined with bad coaching. They have a DC that helped Baltimore win a Superbowl a few years back, and an OC that has helped a Saints team out a lot. They'll be fine.

Um. No. The biggest problem for the Lions defense was that their back 7 is almost completely devoid of talent. Let's compare SEA and DET just for fun.

Seattle

Irvin(2)/Wagner(2)/Smith(2)/Sherman(3)/Browner(3)/Chancellor(4)/Thomas(4)

Total NFL experience: 20yrs

Detroit

Palmer(5)/Tulloch(8)/Levy(5)/Mathis(11)/Houston(7)/Quin(5)/Delmas(5)

Total NFL experience: 46yrs

As far as the Ebron pick, the Lions need only look as far as the Broncos to see that building a team with a finesse-first philosophy will only take you so far. Detroit will never come close to matching the skill combo of Manning/Thomas/Thomas/Decker/Welker and yet they insist taking that approach.

I stand corrected on the experience, but their coaching was terrible, especially late in games. The players themselves aren't horrible, and I think quite a few sat out significant time for injury, didn't they?
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Also, I hate hearing about how the team "didn't address the secondary." They picked up Ihedigbo(spelling?), and there are 6 more rounds to draft defensive talent that will still need time to develop and adjust. Yes, they went offensive in the first round, and Lions fans still have nightmares about Millen wasting picks on busts. The front four of the defense is good enough that they can make up for mistakes in the secondary, which improved at least a bit by what happened in free agency, and will still probably improve throughout the rest of the draft.

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While hesitant to type this, another thing to keep in mind... Corners tend to take a little longer to develop is the common narrative. The Lions currently have Slay and Bentley, who were both day 2 picks and are in their 2nd and 3rd years respectively. Slay showed a little bit last year, and has been working with Rod Woodson this offseason. There is always the possibility that one, or both, take steps forward. Wishful thinking, but it does show that they are trying to build the secondary.

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If I had a vote I would have:

* Draft OT Lewan and continue to add depth and solidarity to the oline

* Draft DT Donald to take pressure off signing Suh to a billion dollar contract and attempt to trade Suh

* Attempt to trade back (which maybe they did)

I don't understand the logic of staying put and drafting Ebron.

Edited by King of the Jungle
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What I heard about Ebron last night is that his upside is that he is a great "athlete" and has the speed to get down the field. Downside was that he is a poor blocker and drops too many catchable passes. Kind of the same things I heard about Pettigrew 5 years ago.

That was not the Pettigrew scouting report I remember, which was that he was a good 2-way TE but not a special athlete and I think that's exactly what we have in him; expectations got a little inflated when Stafford threw a ton of passes to him a few years ago but it's clear at this point that he's a complimentary guy.

I don't get all the hate on the Ebron pick given the number of bozo WRs we had on the field at times last year. I guess just the way they are doing the draft now everything builds up to the day and then there's one guy that we get to drag under the microscope. But just the fact that people are putting him in the same sentence as Jimmy Graham has got to be a good sign right?

Ebron led all TE prospects in drop percentage (over 12%) which is an alarming number. He dropped a bunch of passes at his own pro day. His size/speed combo is what the Lions coaches are surely salivating over, but he has worse hands than Pettigrew. They should maybe start with a Jared Cook or J. Finley comparison before jumping straight to Jimmy Graham.

Edited by TwinTurbo
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Any word what they traded away? If we're lucky, it was Pettigrew.

-Lions acquire No. 40 and 146 overall picks, select BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy.

Seahawks acquire Nos. 45, 111 and 227 this year.

I see. Not thrilled about giving up an extra pick, but like who we got for it.
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next picks are #76 & #133

Really hoping/praying we take two of these guys:

  • Phillip Gaines, Rice CB
  • Terrence Brooks, Florida State FS
  • Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska CB
  • Keith McGill, Utah, CB
  • Jaylen Watkins, Florida, CB
  • Pierre Desir, Lindenwood, CB
  • Marcus Roberson, Florida, CB
  • Walt Aikens, Liberty, CB
  • Bashaud Breeland, Clemson, CB
  • Brock Vereen, Minnesota, SS
  • Marqueston Huff, Wyoming, FS
  • Rashaad Reynolds, Oregon State, CB
  • Jemea Thomas, Georgia Tech, CB

2nd round, 11 DBs gone so far.

Edited by BobbyLayne
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next picks are #76 & #133

Really hoping/praying we take two of these guys:

  • Phillip Gaines, Rice CB
  • Terrence Brooks, Florida State FS
  • Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska CB
  • Keith McGill, Utah, CB
  • Jaylen Watkins, Florida, CB
  • Pierre Desir, Lindenwood, CB
  • Marcus Roberson, Florida, CB
  • Walt Aikens, Liberty, CB
  • Bashaud Breeland, Clemson, CB
  • Brock Vereen, Minnesota, SS
  • Marqueston Huff, Wyoming, FS
  • Rashaad Reynolds, Oregon State, CB
  • Jemea Thomas, Georgia Tech, CB

2nd round, 11 DBs gone so far.

Those, and in this order.

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So Detroit is banking on 45 points a game to win again eh?

This fall they'll be embarking on their 57th season in the National Football League since their last championship.

You're questioning if they're doing it right?

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When Dom shuts it down - I think he might sticking around to set the record for most games started in a zero pro bowl career - the Lions will have one player, Calvin, from the Millen era.

In five years Mayhew has drafted 8 starters (plus LaAdrian, but credit Xanders for him and Fauria). The 49ers have drafted 9 pro bowl players.

How many starters will come from number six? To be fair, last year was a great draft, at least by Detroit standards.

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  • Joe Bryant changed the title to 2021 Detroit Lions: Lions have no talent!! 0-2

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