Posts Tagged ‘Tom Lewand’

The Countdown Concludes: #1

November 2, 2009

From Dizon to Stanton, Harrington to Rogers, the “Countdown” has revealed and analyzed some of the greatest draft follies in the folly-laden draft strategy of the Detroit Lions.


Defense? Nobody wins games with that, I'll just draft some more wide receivers!

Jordon Dizon was a 2nd round-reach for a system that departed Detroit along with Coach Marinelli.

Drew Stanton’s inability to shake the injury bug, coupled with a suspect arm and a general lack of talent, has rendered him virtually irrelevant on a team starved for QB depth.

Joey Harrington was soft and thrown into a situation that overwhelmed him to the point of no return.

Charles Rogers was a disaster waiting to happen, with drug use-related red flags evident at every turn of his short-lived career.

As the “Countdown” reaches its inglorious conclusion, the Lions’ ineptitude rises front and center with one of the worst draft picks of this (or any) decade.

#1 Mike Williams (wide receiver, USC): 1st round, pick #10, 2005.


From star to afterthought in a year: The Mike Williams Story

No draft pick in the GM-wh0-shall-not-be-named era better embodies the complete and utter lack of talent and character evaluation that characterized Lions’ brass than Mike Williams.

Williams put together an illustrious two seasons at USC, setting school and Pac-10 freshman records for receptions (81), yards (1,265), and touchdowns (14) in 2002.

The following season, Williams was named a first team All-American for his stellar sophomore campaign, in which he hauled in 95 passes for 1,314 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Subsequent to his second season, Williams attempted to follow former Ohio St. running back Maurice Clarett’s lead by entering the NFL draft.

Since Williams was only two years removed from high school (players are only permitted to declare for the draft after their junior season), his entry to the draft was contingent on a legal challenge to the NFL’s draft policy.

After a federal judge’s ruling initially cleared the way for Clarett and Williams to enter the 2004 draft, the U.S. Court of Appeals (Second Circuit) proceeded to overturn the ruling. By then, Williams had already hired an agent and as a result, he was ineligible to return to USC for his junior season.

Had Williams been an ’04 draft pick, he would have been a sure-fire first round pick.

Instead, Williams worked out on his own during the 2004 season and entered the draft for 2005.

Despite a poor 40 time at the draft combine (4.56) and the fact that he was out of football for an entire season, the Lions still selected Williams with the 10th pick of the ’05 draft. He was the third receiver in three seasons that the Lions selected in the top 10 (Charles Rogers and Roy Williams were the other two).

Williams lasted just two disastrous seasons in Detroit, catching a mere 37 passes for 449 yards and 2 touchdowns. After brief stints with Oakland and Tennessee, Williams is currently out of the NFL.

Dooming Mike Williams during his time in Detroit were, among other things, a lack of speed, a questionable work ethic, and an entire year off from football in what should have been the prime of his collegiate career.

To make matters worse (check that, infinitely worse), the next 3 picks of the ’05 draft were as follows:

11. DeMarcus Ware (Dallas Cowboys, linebacker, 3-time Pro Bowler)

12. Shawne Merriman (San Diego Chargers, linebacker, 3-time Pro Bowler)

13. Jamaal Brown (New Orleans Saints, offensive tackle, 2-time Pro Bowler)

At the time of the ’05 draft, the Lions were in desperate need of help on both the offensive line and EVERYWHERE on the defense. Drafting a third wideout in three seasons was a decision with negative implications that last even to this day.

Swap a defensive game-changer like Ware or Merriman for that fateful pick four years ago and the Lions would instantly have a defensive centerpiece to lean on. Add in a lineman like Brown and the woeful O-Line would have a successful mainstay.

Sometimes it seems hard to fathom that the Lions could sustain such a lack of success on the gridiron for such an extended period of time. However, when you examine the Lions’ draft tendencies of the past decade, it’s rather easy to see why the team has become the laughingstock of the league.

You can only hope that Marty Mayhew/Tom Lewand and co. can learn from the mistakes of the past and finally bring the Lions back to, well, respectability.