Going back to the year 2000, the Detroit Lions second round draft selections haven’t been all that great. Recently we know current Lions general manager Martin Mayhew seems fixated on drafting receivers in the second round. That is only a recent trend, but it could happen again this year.
With that idea in mind, I went back to the year 2000 and looked at the Lions second round draft selections. The Lions only drafted receivers in the second round of the 2011 and 2012 drafts, believe it or not.
2000, Barrett Green – LB
The Lions have drafted four linebackers in the second round since the year 2000, with that selection being Barrett Green, taken 50th overall. Green played for the Lions through 2003, then went to the New York Giants where he played two seasons, kind of. Green had his best season in 2003 with the Lions, recording 93 tackles and playing in all 16 games for the first time in his career. He played 10 games for the Giants in 2004 and only one in 2005. The wandering linebacker then went to the Houston Texans for the 2006 and 2007 seasons, but was unable to make the active roster.
2001, Dominic Raiola – C, Shaun Rogers – DT
The 2001 draft was probably the best for the selections made in the second round of all the drafts I looked at. Drafted 50th overall, Dominic Raiola is still wearing a Lions uniform and will be the starting center for the 2013 season. While Raiola isn’t the best at run blocking, he anchored a Lions offensive line that allowed only 29 sacks last season even though the Lions threw an NFL record 740 passes. To give some idea of how good that is, the Arizona Cardinals threw 608 passes and allowed 58 sacks. Raiola has been very good in pass protection throughout his 12, soon to be 13, year career.
Shaun Rogers was drafted 61st overall in that draft, and became a vital cog in the middle of the Lions defensive line. In his rookie season, he had 90 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 4 pass deflections. The Lions had a great start in the 2007 season, and Rogers was a big factor, but they stumbled to a 7-9 record. The Lions traded ‘Big Baby’ in 2008 and lost all 16 games. The big defensive tackle is a three-time pro bowler, two of those with the Lions. He didn’t play in 2012 due to a clot in his leg, but was resigned by the New York Giants for the 2013 season.
2002, Kalimba Edwards – DE
Edwards was taken at the top of the second round in 2002, 35th overall. He finished his rookie season with a team high 6.5 sacks. The future looked bright, but while he played in all 16 games in 2003 and 2004, he had no starts. The pass rushing defensive end had a career high with 7 sacks while only starting 2 games in 2005, but only had three sacks in 2006 and 2007. He went to the Oakland Raiders and only played one season there.
2003, Boss Bailey – LB
Bailey was also taken at the top of the second round, 34th overall in 2003. Though Bailey had a good following in Detroit, his best season was also his first one. He had a career high 88 tackles in 2003. He missed the entire 2004 season due to a knee injury and was never the same. In 2008, the strong side linebacker went to the Denver Broncos. That was his last season on an active roster.
2004, Teddy Lehman – LB
Lehman was taken 37th overall in the 2004 draft. He started his career with a bang, second on the team with 102 tackles. After that, he wouldn’t start another game and his next best season came in 2007, with 27 tackles. The Denver Broncos picked him up in 2008, then he was signed back to the Lions after he was released by the Broncos, only to be released and signed by the Buffalo Bills.
2005, Shaun Cody – DT
Cody was drafted 37th overall in the 2005 draft. His first four seasons were with the Lions, then he went to the Houston Texans. Though he never became a star, Cody did have a solid career, playing through 2012.
2006, Daniel Bullocks – S
Taken 40th overall in the 2006 draft, Bullocks missed his second season due to injury. He would play in 2008, his last season.
2007, Drew Stanton – QB, Ikaika Alama-Francis – DE, Gerald Alexander – S
Yeah, the Lions reached to pick Stanton at 43rd overall in the 2007 draft, no doubt about it. As a second round pick, Stanton should have had the potential to become a starter on a Lions team looking for a young leader. Stanton was never that guy, and he was drafted at least one round too early, probably two.
Alama-Francis was taken 58th overall. Francis was a total miss. He played for the Lions in the 2007 and 2008 seasons, then went to the Miami Dolphins. He was signed by the San Francisco 49ers last August to a one year contract.
Gerald Alexander was one of those picks that could have worked out. He finished his rookie season with 81 tackles, but suffered a neck injury in 2008 and only played in 5 games. In 2009 he was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars for Dennis Northcutt. He was released by the Jaguars in 2010 and signed by the Carolina Panthers. Since the beginning of 2010, he has played in 8 games for four different teams.
2008, Jordon Dizon – LB
Dizon was drafted 45th overall in 2008, a promising LB with a ton of tackles. Dizon played until his knee injury in 2010 ended his career, he is now retired.
2009, Louis Delmas – S
Delmas was picked at the beginning of the second round in 2009, 33rd overall. He has shown flashes, but has failed to put up the tackles and interceptions Lions fans were hoping for when he was drafted. Injuries have slowed him on the field. For comparison, the Lions recently signed Glover Quin, drafted a full two rounds after Delmas in that same 2009 draft. Quin has missed one game and has more tackles and interceptions since being drafted.
The Lions traded away the #34 overall pick to the Minnesota Vikings.
2011, Titus Young – WR, Mikel Leshoure – RB
Painful doesn’t begin to describe how I felt when I heard the news that Leshoure, taken 57th overall, had ruptured his Achilles tendon and would miss his entire rookie season. He was suspended the first two games of the 2012 season. In his first game in week three, he ran for 100 yards and one touchdown on 26 carries. The Lions signed Reggie Bush in free agency to be the feature back.
Titus Young started coming on strong in the second half of his rookie season, but started having major attitude problems in 2012. He was cut earlier this year after getting stupid on twitter.
2012, Ryan Broyles, WR
When Broyles was drafted 54th overall last year, many fans scratched their heads and wondered why the Lions needed another receiver high in the draft with Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, and Titus Young. Young had yet to act out and had finished his rookie season strongly. Broyles also got off to a slow start, he was coming off a torn acl in college. Broyles started coming on strong, then tore the acl in his other knee. He should return this season, but he will not be 100% to start the year. It remains to be seen if he can regain his form with both knees surgically repaired.
So, just in case we were thinking the Lions always took a receiver in the second round, don’t expect that to be the case. They will almost certainly take a defensive end high in the draft, either the first or second round.
The Lions pick fourth in the second round, 36th overall, unless there is a trade involved. Coming off a four win season, the Lions will need to pick a player that can contribute immediately. They don’t need to pick a player that has to sit on the bench while he picks up the scheme or heals from injury, this is a high second round pick we’re talking about.
That means the Lions will not be drafting a quarterback, defensive tackle, kicker, offensive tackle, or punter. There are no kickers or punters good enough to be taken anywhere near this spot in this draft. Matthew Stafford is the QB, make no mistake about it, and Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley should have the defensive tackle positions locked down. A second round offensive tackle might not be able to beat out Jason Fox for a starting spot, and Riley Reiff is going to start at one of the tackle spots.
That means the Lions could possibly pick a defensive end, linebacker, cornerback, safety, guard, tight end, running back, or wide reciever.
The talent available at guard drops off significantly after Chance Warmack, and he will be gone in the first round. The third and fourth rounds are the best rounds for guards in this draft. The safety positions are locked down with Louis Delmas and Glover Quin. While the Lions have said they might take a safety to have a fall back in case of injury, I don’t think that’s a smart move high in the second round. This pick needs to play. Will a second round corner play right away? The Lions drafted Dwight Bentley, Jonte Green, and Chris Greenwood last season. The Lions are deep at running back now after signing Reggie Bush in free agency, with Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell still on the roster. What message does it send to Leshoure if the Lions draft a running back here?
That leaves the door for defensive end, linebacker, tight end, or wide receiver. A guard is possible, but doubtful. In my mock draft, I have the Lions taking defensive end Bjoern Werner. If he is still there at the top of the second round, this would be a pick that could start right away and have impact. A receiver would also be able to step in and contribute right away if there were no injury issues, which the Lions need to avoid in the top four rounds, unless that injury will be healed and that player can come in and contribute.
The real question isn’t who do they take, it should be, can the Lions get a second round pick right?
- The Silverdome Blues Detroit Lions mock draft (thesilverdomeblues.com)
- Draft Visit List (thesilverdomeblues.com)
- What happens if the Lions draft an offensive lineman? What happens if they don’t? (detroitlions.com)
- Lions receive compensatory draft picks (thesilverdomeblues.com)
- Lions to host Draft Fan Fest at Ford Field (detroitlions.com)