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Prior to every NFL draft, the little odd men referred to as "draft pundits" -- strikingly similar Wonka's Loompa's -- leave behind their researched data and relay their final mock drafts. Despite what I'm sure is strenuous labor, these guestimates traditionally involve as much precision as the Big Game lottery ticket you purchased last week.
Which, especially following the draft, sort of seems like a big waste of time.
The 2002 horde of mock drafts, however, failed to provide any significant information regarding what the Detroit Lions will do on Saturday. Despite harboring the third overall pick, the draft doctors have failed to come to a clear-cut diagnosis.
To be fair to the Mel Kiper Jr. clones, though, Detroit has done an excellent job keeping their hand close to their chest -- despite the media criticism that they hadn't.
Does this mean that the Lions draft puzzle cannot be solved? Of course not. The combination of a missing asset when analyzing a situation (common sense) and what the team actually needs has apparently not played a role in any draft day prognosis.
So, without further adieu, I strap on the green wig and slap on some orange body paint, listing below the only mock draft that really matters concerning the Detroit Lions.
1. Houston Texas - David Carr (QB, Fresno State) - Notes:
2. Carolina Panthers - Julius Peppers (DE, UNC) - Notes: Who cares
3. Detroit Lions - Quentin Jammer (CB, Texas): Notes: Several draft Loompa's have the Lions picking up Joey Harrington, the highly regarded Oregon Ducks quarterback. Two things prevent this from happening, and they are quite simple.
1.) What has apparently been forgotten is the desperate need the Lions have at the cornerback position. The team lacks any viable defensive threat at the corner, and were ranked near last in pass defense last season. Millen and head coach Marty Mornhinweg aren't vacant-minded when determining where holes exist on their ball club, and you cannot fill those voids with last minute veteran pick-ups or second-tier NFL draft picks. They don't want to "patchwork" this defense, especially with new defensive coordinator Kurt Schottenheimer taking the reigns.
Simply put, Jammer has the size and strength to match up with the physically imposing NFC receivers. Anything else is mediocre and thus unacceptable.
2.) The Lions don't need a quarterback. Earlier in the week, Lions' Vice President Matt Millen used the words "phenomenal" and "shocking" when describing the "unbelievable" progress of projected starting quarterback Mike McMahon. Smoke screen? Possibly, but not when you consider that everyone else inside and outside of the organization has echoed those sentiments regarding McMahon.
Harrington, while an entertaining notion, is just that, an entertaining notion. Kind of like those mock drafts that have Detroit selecting him.
Many speculate that the Lions will trade down with the Dallas Cowboys (6th overall), due to the Cowboys strong interest in Jammer. If you can make sense of that deal, outside of the Cowboys trading Detroit the rest of their draft board, your math is wrong. Detroit is not interested in helping out a conference rival, and by ridding of a chance to grab Jammer, they would do exactly that.
Barring any other trade scenario, the Lions have found their man in Quentin Jammer. By Saturday afternoon, the University of Texas standout will be hoisting a Detroit Lions jersey, excited about the prospect of playing in the new Ford Field ... and a nice, fat signing bonus.
If the latter does not occur, and you would like to know what exactly led me to my opinion, the answer is quite simple:
A little birdie told me.