Column: Draft Blows Big Wind Up Lions Way

The dilemma lies in the lost potential of a Number Three quality player. The Detroit Lions must be careful not to give up the store in trading quality for quantity. Still, one all-world game-breaker can't do it alone. He needs help.

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By: Frank J. Bunker
LionsFans.com Columnist

The Super Bowl trophy's still warm. Already people talk of next season.

Can we give it a rest? O.K. Vacation’s over! Back to football!

Among this week’s most compelling topics of conversation are certain rumors regarding the 2002 NFL Draft, only 10 weeks away. Perking up the furry ears of Detroit Lions everywhere is word the Leos hold the key to the draft with the Number Three overall selection.

Whatever the Lions do — be it trade up, down or stand pat — will impact the rest of the teams for the rest of the draft. Nice position to be in, eh Matt, Marty, and Bill?

According to Pro Football News, Cincinnati and Buffalo are desperate for a potential franchise QB, meaning the Lions find themselves in an ideal position to barter. "It's so good to be needed!" roar Lions fans everywhere.

It’s almost too bad that we don’t know what the Leos Braintrust thinks about the possibilities at the third pick. We can gather from what Marty’s said in the past that we more than probably will trade down and pick up multiple draft choices, following Bill Walsh’s example at San Francisco way back before he was a genius. Matt’s expression game days shows he’s in favor of bringing in more than a couple of extra hands.

So, with all the glaring holes on the team, trading quality for quantity seems, no IS, the smart way to go. Of course I am willing to trade the pick if we can pick up the maximum number of Number Ones from any proposed deal, meaning at least TWO more Number Ones — and the higher they are the better I like ‘em.

As Matt Millen no doubt knows, get back more than you give up. If a team is willing to give up the store, let's listen. Maybe Millen can work some magic and make some picks appear. You’d get no beef from me in picking up a couple of leading DBs and an RB in Round One. Don’t even bring up any third or fourth-rounders when talking about giving up Number Three overall.

Not to be too contrarian, but I must say that I like as many quality QBs on the roster as we can afford. Especially when the third pick overall gives us a chance at a player groomed in a pro-type offense in college. But I understand team needs. And, if we need another QB, we can probably find an unpolished gem in the later rounds.

Still, there is something else that is not quite right. What is this thing that bothers me and should be bothering all Lions Fans?

Oh yeah! The draft. And the part where the Lions are key to the way the whole thing will go down. Most especially of all, whatever decision the Lions make will impact on the Lions’s own future! Right!

The dilemma lies in the lost potential of a Number Three quality player. The team must be careful not to give up the store in trading quality for quantity. Still, one all-world game-breaker can’t do it alone. He needs help.

The last overall third-pick the Lions had was named Barry Sanders. Whatever happened to him?


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