Two seasons into the Steve Mariucci Era

Two seasons into the Steve Mariucci era, the Lions have made strides towards the playoffs. The team has greater talent at most positions then they have had in years past and are well within striking range of divisional foes.

For the third year in a row the Lions chose a receiver in the first round, selecting former USC receiver Mike Williams. Williams will team with Roy Williams and Charles Rogers to give Detroit one of the leagues deepest and most talented corps of receivers. Blessed with incredible size, Williams should be a force on third down, in the red zone, as well as short yardage situations. As much as anything else, this pick could also signify the Lions concern for the future health of Charles Rogers. Detroit looked to Troy again, selecting Shaun Cody in round two. Listed as a defensive tackle, Cody could also play end if need be and offers the team versatility. Projected as a first round pick, Cody will be a bargain if he keeps his focus on the field and makes football a priority. Stanford cornerback Stanley Wilson could start off as the teams fourth cornerback yet has first team potential down the road. Connecticut quarterback Dan Orlovsky is a big bodied pocket passer who has the arm strength and intangibles to succeed. While he won't replace Joey Harrington (should the team move away from the former first round choice) Orlovsky looks like a career back-up. Oregon State defensive end Bill Swancutt will serve as a pass rushing end for the Lions and was excellent value. Marshall defensive end Jonathan Goddard has the speed to succeed at weak side linebacker, his projected NFL position.

The Lions first two selections were both impressive. First pick Mike Williams offers the team the ability to be a dominating offense with the potential match up problems he brings, assuming the quarterback situation straightens itself out. Shaun Cody should excel in the Lions rotation playing next to wide bodies Dan Wilkinson and Shaun Rogers. The teams other choices can't be judged for several years yet all have the skills to produce in the NFL. In the end it was another strong draft effort for Detroit.

RD Pick Player Pos School
1 10(10) Mike Williams WR USC
2 5(37) Shaun Cody DT USC
3 8(72) Stanley Wilson CB Stanford
5 9(145) Dan Orlovsky QB Connecticut
6 10(184) Bill Swancutt DE Oregon State
6 32(206) Jonathan Goddard OLB Marshall

UDFA Signings: OG Cory Proctor, S Chip Cox, PK Ryan Killeen, P Adam Anderson, TE Jason Randall, OT Tom Kaleita, S Andrew Guman, WR Paris Hamilton, FB Greg Hanoian, OG Rory Hennessy, RB Howard Jackson, DT Marcus Jasmin, C Blake Lingruen, FB Will Matthews, QB Todd Mortensen, OG Levi Newton, CB Brandon Payne, WR Steve Savoy, DT Robbie Valenzuela.

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