5th Worst Offseason?

Just read the ESPN insider piece ranking the offseasons for nfl teams. The Lions were 5th WORST. Ouch. I won’t copy and paste since it’s behind a paywall, but this line sums it up:

I think the Lions hurt their chances of winning a title at the expense of building a better 22-man starting lineup for 2023.

Essentially the article is saying the Lions were in prime position to stack this roster for sustained contention. Instead they used their premium resources at the lowest value positions in the nfl and screwed up a huge opportunity. I don’t necessarily agree with the article, but statements like this are at least reasonable:

Are the Lions likely to be better in 2023? Absolutely. They should be the favorites in the NFC North. In the long term, though, this was their best chance to add difference-makers over the next four to six years at positions that are hard to find in the later rounds of the draft or on the cheap in free agency


Mike Florio is running for ESPN now? LOL


You could argue the Lions not grabbing guys like Carter, Walker and Gonzalez wasn’t the very best use of draft capital. But 5th worst is truly laughable.

Gibbs. Campbell. Laporta. Branch. Hooker.

An argument for each one of these guys can be made as far as difference makers go. Gibbs is expected to be Swift “on steroids”. If so he’s a difference maker. Campbell? Captain of your defense at a position of need with perennial pro bowl potention? Difference maker. Laporta? Obvious difference maker. Branch could be the steal of the draft, or maybe Hooker will be that. I mean, they might have nabbed their future franchise QB in the third round. When you consider that backup QB was a big question mark, holy crap Hooker has the potential to be mentioned with the first rounders from this draft. Whatever.

Adding Sutton, CJGJ and Mosely on the back end? Geez, I truly wonder why they didn’t take a flyer on a rook CB after Witherspoon was gone. LOL. Clear difference makers at CB this year.

I shouldn’t waste a word on this analysis, but it’s clearly dumb as f**k and typical lazy ass national Lions reporting. Now, it’s possible the hype is overblown for DET this year, but this is just trash.


won’t be surprised at all if time proves we nabbed 3 or 4 of the top 10 best players in that draft




The hilarious thing is that like half of all first round picks are busts.

I don’t think the Lions drafted any single player that will bust. Martin is a question mark to me but I have faith they really drilled down on his potential after he appeared on their radar and they concluded this kid will make it. I even like Greene’s chances to become a player in the NFL.


At least one other team was high on Gibbs. Mike Martz was very high on Gibbs, and Hooker.
Many were high on Campbell.
Don’t expect a leopard to change it’s spots. There are very few “analyst’s” that I’m high on.
Especially the guys half my age. Sorry.
This isn’t fantasy football.


So basically they are super fixated on the positions we took in the 1st round, and gave an assessment of our entire offseason based on that alone. Signing the 2nd highest rated RB available in free agency means nothing. Signing the 3rd highest rated CB available means nothing. Signing the 3rd highest rated Safety available means nothing.


Shit I think it’s more like 2/3rds.


One way to look is how many 1st round players get a 5th year option OR major contract.

Since 2011 average is 60% of 1st round picks get an extension or 5th year option.

So yea 40% are BUSTS


Basically it reads like a petulant child whose opinion wasn’t shared by Brad. If Gibbs and Campbell hit then there is nothing to be worried about.


How many of those 5th year options stayed with the same team on a 2nd contract???

I would guess a decent number of them were guys that the team hadn’t shown much in the first 3 years… but the team didn’t want to risk losing if year 4 went well… QBs in particular.

Guys like Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield had their 5th option picked up… and then traded them away before the 5th year.

One interesting player is CB Vernon Hargreaves… drafted #11 OA.
Hargreaves played a “high value” position, so the pick wasn’t really criticized despite being a surprise to many at the time.
After 3 season… Hargreaves had played about 1500 snaps and wasn’t very productive. He missed almost half a year with a significant hamstring injury and almost a full season with a labrum injury.

Despite all that… his 5th year option was picked up following his 3rd year… likely because CBs sometimes take time to develop.
I have to wonder if Holmes, Campbell, and Glenn just felt more comfortable signing UFAs this year outside of Witherspoon.

@Mr.Peabody has pointed out previously that CB is actually one of the easiest “high value” positions to fill via UFA or trade.

If they thought a premium position guy was their kind of guy — they would have picked him

They didn’t, so apparently they picked who THEY thought would be good Lions for the long haul

Article has an interesting take, but it’s just the same old positional value argument

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This is also a reminder that the “national” writers don’t pay attention to details.

It has been discussed here that the Lions readily admitted that Will Anderson and Devon Witherspoon were players they would have picked at #6 OA… and probably NOT traded down unless Arizona included a 2024 first round pick.

The Lions DID have players at “high value” positions tanked highest on their board. Just not many of them… apparently.

Most “DRAFT EXPERTS” would have loved to see…

#6) Jalen Carter
#18) Will Levis
#48) Drew Sanders
#55) Darnell Washington
#81) Clark Phillips

They would have thought we MURDERED it on value… D Sanders was rumored to be near top 25 (went in the 3rd), Levis was in the convo for #1 OA (lmao)… Many thought D Washington could be a late 1st rounder, and likely wouldn’t be there in the late 2nd…but he fell to the mid 3rd? Clark Phillip would have been considered a steal in round 3 of “mocks” but he fell to mid 4!!!

what about this one…

#6) Witherspoon
#18) Bijan Robinson
#48) Jack Campbell
#55) Keanu Benton
#81) Jartavius Martin
#152) Dorian Thompson Robinson

Those guys were popularly mocked to us (in here especially) none would have been there at those picks…

So guys we loved, but many thought were reached went WAY EARLIER… guys who mockers loved- when 2-3 rounds later!!!


This reminds me of the bad draft grades after 2021 when we took Sewell that said we were fools for
not taking a WR with a top pick - Instead of waiting until the 4th round


You Nailed It exactly why they are whining an some players that were taken early they never heard of.


I can understand people not liking the positional value of the players the Lions took in the draft…but almost universally, the drum has been beat to “Like the player, not the value”. No where, other than this article, have I seen people critical of the Lions draft who actually ranked it low. In most cases, it’s “Well, after looking at the players they got, it was pretty good”.

On top of that, the ENTIRE off-season is calculated into this?
I guess you could not like Anzalone at 3yr/18m…but by all means, this team improved itself at almost every position in FA/draft - where it completely revamped the secondary - except for maybe a slight drop off in Chark to Jones at WR. ■■■■, we even brought in a PB LS to compete with Daly.

ESPN blows.


yep… Holmes was an idiot for passing on Terrace Marshall at WR… Carolina got a “steal”…. and Rondale Moore was another popular hope.

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Positional value has jumped the shark, much like the RAS score.

Both are interesting and worthy of consideration, but they’re only two of dozens and dozens of data points collected and considered.

Armchair GMs latch onto these measurements because they have access to them… unlike many of the data points actual team personnel have available for consideration.