Countdown to Failure marches right along: #3

As we move ever closer to the coveted #1 spot on the “Countdown to Failure,” the transgressions of those making the upper tier of this list become increasingly glaring.

Although Dizon and Stanton, numbers 5 and 4 respectively on the ‘Countdown,’ were extremely poor choices, both were second rounders. 

Where the Lions have made a killing in the epically terrible drafting department, has been in the first round. 

Often in the top 10.

Reaching #3 on the “Countdown to Failure,” the errors of the Lions’ drafting ways becomes, well, almost too much to bear.

#3 Joey Harrington (quarterback, Oregon): 1st round, pick #3, 2002.

From 2002-2005, Joey piled up an 18-37 record in games he started.

From 2002-2005, Joey piled up an 18-37 record in games he started.

Joey was one of the most high profile and damming missteps the Lions’ front office made during the 2000’s.

In what ended up amounting to one of the worst quarterback classes in recent memory, with the gem of the draft being 4th rounder David Garrard (current mediocre Jaguars starting QB) out of East Carolina, Harrington was selected after the Houston Texans bungled the first overall pick of the draft by nabbing David Carr.

The first mistake the Lions made after selecting Harrington was to throw him under center almost immediately (he saw actions in the first two weeks of the season before taking the reigns in week 3).

Joey tossed 12 touchdown passes and was picked off a rookie-esque 16 times in the 14 games he saw action in as a rookie.

Although Joey showed flashes of the potential that made him a trendy Heisman pick his senior year of college and the 3rd overall pick in the draft, he was simply unable to sustain consistent success as the Lions’ QB.

Sure, the pressure heaped upon him must’ve been awfully tough to bear, but the Lions drafted Joey with the intent of making him the team’s franchise QB.

A big chunk of change, high expectations, and a restless fanbase are all things that Harrington should’ve known he’d have to endure when he took the seemingly unenviable position as quarterback of the Lions.

Unfortunately, initial failure bread a loss of confidence and over time, it became readily apparent that Joey’s mental toughness was waning by the game.

When the Lions finally broke away from Joey after the 2005 season, his place in Detroit sports history had been cemented.

Did he enter a difficult situation? Sure.

Was he thrown into the fire a little too early? Perhaps.

Whatever way you slice it, Joey just didn’t have what it took to be an effective leader in this league.

Subsequent stints in Miami, Atlanta, and New Orleans have further hammered home that point. 

Maybe, at one time, Joey could’ve flourished. Maybe Detroit was just the wrong place for him.

However, at the end of the day, the drafting of Joey Harrington was a dark cloud that hung over the Lions until the day Detroit used another top 3 pick to make another attempt at landing a franchise QB (see: Stafford).

The Joey Harrington era spelled disaster for Lions’ fans everywhere.

Stay tuned for #2 on the “Countdown to Failure.”


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2 Responses to “Countdown to Failure marches right along: #3”

  1. Leshnock Says:

    Tough to argue with Joey

  2. Rick Hancock Says:

    I agree with Leshnock!

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