Bucs Nation has decided to give the Minnesota Vikings a quarterback - Ryan Mallett to be precise. Mallett has the biggest arm in this draft and can make all the throws. He also played in an NFL-like offense at Arkansas and is probably best prepared out of all the QBs to step in and play in the NFL immediately. Unfortunately he has a tendency to make some poor decisions when pressured and is a big of a statue in the pocket. He'll have to play behind a good offensive line, and because of that the Vikings are a poor fit. The Vikings need to rebuild their offensive line, and Mallett is going to be hit a lot in his rookie year. Mallett would not be in good position to succeed with the Vikings, and if the character concerns turn out to be true he could be a huge bust. If the character concerns are undounded and the Vikings shore up their offensive line, though, Mallett could turn out to be a huge hit.
Today we take a look at the Detroit Lions. The Lions are set at the quarterback position with Matt Stafford, who has a ton of talent but can't seem to stay on the field. They also have a great wide receiver in Calvin Johnson, and a pretty good defensive line. That's about it, though, they can stand to upgrade every other position. They really need to find an offensive tackle to replace Jeff Backus, who's old and never was all that good in the first place. They could use a defensive end to create one of the best young defensive lines too. But their biggest need may be at the cornerback position. Their secondary was horrible last year, and they have to upgrade it.
The draft so far:
1. Carolina Panthers - QB Cam Newton
2. Denver Broncos - DT Marcell Dareus
3. Buffalo Bills - DE Von Miller
4. Cincinnati Bengals - WR A.J. Green
5. Arizona Cardinals - QB Blaine Gabbert
6. Cleveland Browns - CB Patrick Peterson
7. San Francisco 49ers - CB Prince Amukamara
8. Tennessee Titans - DT Nick Fairley
9. Dallas Cowboys - OT Tyron Smith
10. Washington Redskins - WR Julio Jones
11. Houston Texans - DE Robert Quinn
12. Minnesota Vikings - QB Ryan Mallett
QB Jake Locker, Washington: A supremely talented quarterback with some really bad accuracy issues. Jake Locker was hyped badly coming into this year with the expectation that he'd get much better, but that improvement never occurred. Instead, he remained inaccurate and inconsistent. But Locker really reminds me of Josh Freeman - both were inaccurate coming out of college, they weren't big winners, they had trouble reading defenses, but they also had supreme talent at the quarterback position, a great work ethic and good leadership skills.
QB Christian Ponder, Florida State: Christian Ponder is an interesting prospect. He's had a decent career at Florida State, but his senior season was marred by injury leading to some concerns about his arm strengths that are, in my view, unjustified. Ponder is an accurate, smart quarterback who has a lot of attributes of an NFL passer. Honestly, I think this is the most consistent quarterback in the draft whose biggest question mark is whether his injuries have sapped some physical skills.
DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson: Bowers is perhaps the best talent at defensive end in this draft. He had a ridiculous junior year with 15.5 sacks and 25 tackles for loss. He's a strong run defender and a potent pass-rusher. But there are two concerns about Da'Quan Bowers: his junior year was his first strong year, and he could be a one-year wonder. Second, a knee injury has prevented him from working out and he still wasn't fully healthy at his pro day. if his knee doesn't check out at the Combine Re-check, he could fall a long way on draft day. The Lions need defensive ends, and he would be a good fit.
DE Aldon Smith, Missouri: A defensive end with tons of potential. Smith has a lanky frame and huge arms, and looks like the kind of pass rusher the New York Giants love to hoard. He can bend around the edge, but looks best when making inside moves. He can control linemen and shed to make plays with his long arms, although he isn't the strongest lineman. He has plenty of room in his frame to grow and add weight, and should be even more impressive in a couple of years. Unfortunately he's also very raw and will likely take a while to get used to the NFL. Great potential, but don't expect early returns.
CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado: Jimmy Smith could actually challenge Patrick Peterson as the most talented cornerback in the draft. He's a terrific player who would excel in press-man coverage, and isn't all that different from Darrelle Revis. There are very few negatives about Jimmy Smith on the field. The only problem is that he has some significant questions about his off-field behavior and will drop in the draft because of that. Whoever takes a risk on him will end up with a great cornerback, but will have to worry about keeping him on the field. The Lions need cornerbacks, and Smith is the best cornerback on the board.
DT Corey Liuget, Illinois: Liuget is a polished and versatile defensive tackle who can do it all. Not an elite talent but a good player who could plug a hole on defense. He could function as anything from a 3-4 nose tackle to a 4-3 3-technique or even a 3-4 5-technique. He wouldn't fit the Lions' needs, though, who spent the #2 overall draft pick on Ndamukong Suh last year.
DE Cameron Jordan, California: A powerful, polished and very versatile defensive end. He has experience playing in a 3-4 defense and could be a great pawn for the Lions defense, who could use more defensive ends. He's strong against the run and an effective pass rusher as a 5-technique, though he isn't the most explosive pass rusher in the draft. But he dominated the Senior Bowl, had a very productive college career, always hustles and is a high-character kid.
OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College: Another good, polished lineman from Boston College. Castonzo is a very solid offensive tackle whose physical upside maybe isn't that great, but who can be a very good tackle for years on end. He does need to add some strength physically, but he has the ability to be a good left tackle for years to come. Doesn't have the upside of Tyron Smith, but could still anchor an offensive line. The Lions could definitely use this kind of player, as they need to protect Matt Stafford and find a left tackle.
C/OG MIke Pouncey, Florida: The top interior lineman in the draft, very similar to his brother except he's not that good at snapping the ball. He will likely be a premium lineman for years to come and should provide immediate returns for the team that drafts him. The Lions need to shore up their offensive line, and Pouncey could be a good piece.