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MLB: 6/11

DETROIT            6

PITTSBURGH       2

MLB: 6/12

DETROIT            4

PITTSBURGH       3

MLB: 6/13

DETROIT            4

PITTSBURGH       3

MLB: 6/15

DETROIT            7

WASHINGTON     4

MLB: 6/16

WASHINGTON at DETROIT

7:05pm ET

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NHL Playoffs: 5/2 –

DETROIT         3

SAN JOSE      4 

NHL Playoffs: 5/4 –

DETROIT         3 

SAN JOSE      4

NHL Playoffs: 5/6 – 

DETROIT       7 

SAN JOSE       1 

NHL Playoffs: 5/8 –

DETROIT         1

SAN JOSE      2

DETROIT LOSES SERIES TO SAN JOSE 1 - 4

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NFL: 4/22-

Round 1

#2 DETROIT- DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska

#30 DETROIT- RB Jahvid Best, Cal

NFL: 4/23-

Round 3

#2 (66) DETROIT- CB Amari Spievey, Iowa

NFL: 4/24-

Round 4

#30 (128) DETROIT- OT Jason Fox, Miami (FL)

Round 7

#6 (213) DETROIT- DE Willie Young, NC St.

#48 (255) DETROIT- WR Timothy Toone, Weber St.

Monday
Apr262010

The Lions Have a Successful Draft:

Could things have gone better for the Detroit Lions in the NFL Draft? With many needs on their team, there were many routes the Lions could have taken. There were many rumors before the start of the draft of the different directions the Lions could possibly be considering. With their first pick (2nd overall), the Lions did as most expected them to do…they drafted the top player in the draft- DT Ndamukong Suh from Nebraska.

The Detroit Lions selected DT Ndamukong Suh out of Nebraska with the 2nd overall pick.Ndamukong Suh was the most dominant defensive player in the college ranks last season. He finished the 2009 season with 85 total tackles, 24 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, 26 QB pressures, a forced fumble, an interception, 10 pass deflections, and 3 blocked field goal attempts. Those numbers allowed Suh to rack up many post-season awards: a unanimous 1st-team All-American, the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, the Lombardi Award (the most outstanding lineman), the Outland Award (nation’s best offensive or defensive interior lineman), the Nagurski Award (best defensive player in college), the Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year), and a finalist for the Heisman Award (the best player in college football in whish he finished 4th). Suh has a great motor never quitting on a play, has great instincts and awareness, and is ferocious when he tackles the opponent. Suh is considered to be a real force against the run using his incredible strength. Suh is an underrated against the run. The knock on him is that he is purely a bull-rusher and that he needs to develop some pass rush moves. Looking at his sack totals in college the last two years (19 ½) however would tell you another story. Even if all Suh does for the Lions is command double teams in the NFL, he will allow his defensive end a better chance to get to the quarterback by one having to beat one player. The addition of Suh also solidifies the Lions defensive line that was one of their weak spots last season.

The Lions traded back up into the 1st Round to select RB Jahvid Best out of Cal.The Lions then made a surprising move at the end of the 1st Round when they trade up with the Minnesota Vikings of all teams. The cost of moving up of moving up four spots in the draft…flip-flopping picks in the 4th Round (from pick 100 to 128) and a pick in the 7th Round (pick 214). And with many holes to fill but the biggest being at cornerback, it was assumed they would use the pick on CB Patrick Robinson, who was considered to be one of the top cornerbacks in the draft and was still on the board. The Lions instead used to the pick to draft RB Jahvid Best out of Cal, who was considered on of the top three running backs in the draft. Going into the 2009 season, Best was a pre-season Heisman candidate after having a tremendous sophomore season in 2008 (1580 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns with an 8.1 yards per carry average, 27 catches for 246 yards and a touchdown, and 16 kickoff returns with a 26.3 yards per return average). His season was cut short however after suffering a serious concussion against Oregon State that was widely viewed on YouTube. Best finished the season with 867 and 12 touchdowns and a 6.1 yards per carry average. Best also caught 22 passes for 213 yards and 4 touchdowns. With his electrifying speed, Best is a home run threat every time he gets the ball in his hands whether it’s running the ball, catching the ball, or return kicks. Best has tremendous vision and really uses his blockers well. With his durability concerns, Best is not considered to be a 20+ carry per game back, but the Lions more than likely don’t expect him to be with RB Kevin Smith already on the roster. Best gives the Lions another dangerous weapon for QB Matthew Stafford to lean on as Detroit continues to try to turn their organization around. The question here is: who will be the starter?

Detroit addressed their need at cornerback when they selected CB Amari Spievey out of Iowa in the 3rd Round.Day 2 of the NFL Draft saw the Lions address their most pressing need with their pick in the 3rd Round when they selected CB Amari Spievey out of Iowa. After his first year at Iowa in which he redshirted and the Hawkeyes switched him from running back to cornerback, Spievey left Iowa due to his poor grades. He spent a year in junior college to get his grades back up earning JUCO All-American honors in the process and came back to the Hawkeyes. Spievey earned first team All-Big Ten honors after making 56 total tackles, two interceptions, and breaking up 8 passes. He has good size and very good ball skills. He is tough and aggressive and is willing to come up in run support and make a tackle. The only knock on Spievey is that he does not have top end speed, that he can’t be left “on an island” with a receiver, and that he’ll need to be protected over the top. Spievey disagrees he was only beat one time in college against Penn St., but that it was a coverage bust rather than him being beat. He went on to say that he has untapped speed having never trained in track. In fact, he improved his 40 time from 4.63 (the first time he ever ran it) to an unofficial time of 4.47 at the Scouting Combine. He is also quick to point out that he was fast enough to hold WR Demaryius Thomas of Georgia Tech without a catch at the Orange Bowl (Thomas was the 22nd pick by the Denver Broncos). As of right now, Spievey could be looked to secure the starting cornerback position opposite CB Chris Houston.

The Lions may have found their future at left tackle in the 4th Round when they drafted OT Jason Fox out of Miami (FL).Day 3 of the NFL Draft saw the Lions potentially get a steal at the end of the 4th Round when they drafted OT John Fox out of Miami, FL. Fox is a battle-tested offensive tackle in the ACC being a four-year starter at Miami. Fox earned first team All-ACC honors after having 20 pancake blocks and allowing only one sack while at left tackle. He is a high character player and a great locker room presence. Fox played through a problem with his patella tendon all season and had surgery to clean out his knee in the offseason. He will need to fully recover from surgery, add some more weight to his 6’7” frame, and get stronger while he is being groomed to eventually take over at the tackle position. LT Jeff Backus is still a good but not great left tackle in the NFL at 33-years-old, but he is slowly nearing the end of his career. Fox can play at tackle or guard, but he could take over for Backus or Gosder Cherilus if he develops quickly and either of them struggle. At the very least, he could easily be the future of Detroit at left tackle and protect Stafford’s blind-side for years to come.

The Lions found some depth at defensive end when they drafted DE Willie Young out of NC State in the 7th Round.The Lions didn’t have another pick until Round 7, in which they had three. In that round, they Lions first selected DE Willie Young out of North Carolina State. Young earned second team All-ACC honors last season finishing the season with 54 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 8 sacks. He joined Mario Williams and Manny Lawson as one of six players to finish their NC State career with 20 or more sacks. The knocks on Young are that he only showed flashes of ability, that he has marginal top-end speed, that he needs to add more bulk to his 6’5” frame, that he does not have a quick first step off the snap, that he struggles to get off blocks (some probably due to only being 250-pound at DE), and that he struggles in the open field. Young is a high effort guy but needs to add more bulk and be a more consistent performer. Young expressed his excitement about the possibility of playing with Suh, “The attention that he’s able draw will help any defensive end in this draft. He would help anyone out. That’s the kind of tackle that one guy needs. There’s not going to be one play that you would be able to put one guy on Suh. I’m excited about it; I’m really excited about it.” He actually reminds me a little of ex-Lion Kalimba Edwards a little. I just hope he can develop to be a better and more consistent performer than Edwards did.

The Lions hoped they found their answer at kick and punt returner when they drafted WR Timothy Toone out of Weber St.After trading their second of three 7th Round picks to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2011 6th Rounder, the Lions last pick was the last pick of the 2010 NFL Draft. And with that last pick, the Lions selected Weber State WR Timothy Toone, who is also given the 2010 title of “Mr. Irrelevant.” Toone had 83 catches 1109 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2009 and finished with 206 catches for 3607 yards and 29 touchdowns in his 4-year career at Weber St. Toone was also successful punt returner averaging about 20 yards per return. While undersized at 5’10”, 175-pounds, Toone has great speed (4.4 40-yard time), has great hands, and is shifty. Should he make their 53-man roster, the Lions could use Toone as a slot receiver but more as a special teams player- specifically as a return man. And if he can make the transition to the NFL, he will be the best returner the Lions have had since Eddie Drummond or hopefully since Mel Gray.

When you factor in that the Lions got G Rob Sims from the Seattle Seahawks for a 5th Round pick, DT Corey Williams from the Cleveland Browns for a 5th Round pick, CB Chris Houston (a former 2nd Round pick) from the Atlanta Falcons for their 6th Round pick, and TE Tony Scheffler (a former 2nd Round pick) from the Denver Broncos in a 3-team trade in which they gave up LB Ernie Sims (a former 1st Round pick) to Philadelphia, the Lions brought in many quality players. Add in the free agents the Lions brought in this offseason (Kyle Vanden Bosch, Nate Burleson, Landon Johnson, Jonathon Wade, etc.), and the Lions should feel excited about the upcoming season. The Lions still might not be done bring in players however. I would not be surprised if the Lions sign a couple more free agents- possibly LB Keith Bulluck or CB Adam “Pacman” Jones. Regardless, the Lions front office has effectively upgrade the talent on the team the past two seasons and have given us a legitimate chance to win some games. The Lions do start the detroitlions.com and photos from detroitlions.com and sportingnews.com)

Thursday
Apr222010

32. New Orleans- CB Patrick Robinson, Florida St.

What were the biggest plays for the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in the postseason? They were the interception of Brett Favre by Tracy Porter in the NFC Championship game and the interception of Peyton Manning by Tracy Porter in the Super Bowl to put the game out of reach. The Saints see the value of having good cornerbacks, and they drafted another one with the last pick of the 1st Round even though the position was not really one of need. CB Patrick Robinson is not a shutdown corner, but he has good recovery speed, good balls skills, and good athletic ability, is a solid tackler, and should be a #2 corner in the NFL. The 2nd and 3rd Rounds of the draft will be on Friday, April 23 at 6pm ET.

Thursday
Apr222010

31. Indianapolis- LB Jerry Hughes, TCU

The defending AFC champion Indianapolis Colts had some needs on the offensive line as well as defensive end, cornerback, and linebacker. They decided to draft pass-rushing LB/DE Jerry Hughes. Hughes was a feared sack artist in the Mountain West Conference (15 sacks as a junior and 11 ½ sacks as a senior). Hughes is not just athletic and strong, he also has a quick first step and is able to beat offensive tackles out of his stance. Many thought Hughes would be drafted as a pass-rushing outside linebacker by a team using a 3-4 defense. The Colts hope to use him at defensive end in the same way they use Robert Mathis, who is a tremendous pass rusher even though he is also considered to be undersized for a defensive end. If he can develop behind Mathis and Freeney, he could be another pass-rushing force for other teams to look out for. The New Orleans Saints are up next:

Thursday
Apr222010

30. Detroit (from Minn.)- RB Jahvid Best, California

The Detroit Lions could wait till the 2nd Round, which is on Day Two of the draft, to make their next selection and trade up to assure they got the player they wanted. With many needs on their team, there were many directions the Lions could have went, but they decided to draft RB Jahvid Best. Best is an electrifying back that has the chance to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. He is probably the most instinctive back in this year's draft class. I see him as a very similar player as Reggie Bush of the New Orleans Saints. He is not overly big at 5’10”, 200-pounds and will probably not be a 20+ carry/game back in the NFL, but most NFL teams have switched to a two- to three-back system. There are some durability questions with Best (injuries to hip, elbow, and foot and a concussion) which may have shied other teams away from him. With questions at the running back position due to Kevin Smith having surgery this offseason due to some injuries, the selection of Best does make some sense. Add to the fact that Best also has some experience in the return game, another area the Lions have been lacking. On the flip side, cornerback seemed to be the biggest need for the Lions and with CB Patrick Robinson still on the board, you wonder a little why the Lions didn’t go that route. Maybe the Lions were not as high on Robinson as I am. GM Martin Mayhew calls the shots however and his motto is, “talent must trump need at every pick,” so they obviously viewed Best as a bigger talent and didn’t want him to get away. With his speed, receiving ability, and return game abilities, Best will be a very good complimentary back and player in the NFL. His presence will help take some more pressure off second-year QB Matthew Stafford.

Thursday
Apr222010

29. NY Jets- CB Kyle Wilson, Boise St.

I was surprised with the pick of the New York Jets at pick 29. I assumed the Jets would select a pass-rushing outside linebacker like Sergio Kindle or Jerry Hughes or a defensive end like Everson Griffen. I think the Jets got a steal when they drafted CB Kyle Wilson. In my mind, Wilson could be the top cornerback in the draft…even ahead of Joe Haden. He had a great career at Boise St. and had a great week at the Senior Bowl. With his great recovery speed and athleticism and being a real student of the game, Wilson has a good chance to be a very good cover corner in the NFL. Factor in that this kid is joining a team that already has Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie- two very good cover corners. Wilson also brings some return skills to the table. The Minnesota Vikings are up next: