The thought of NFL football being alive and well was fun for at least a few days. The NFL draft has brought some normalcy back to the offseason and Judge Susan Richard Nelson had put the wheels in motion to begin a new league year when she ruled the NFL lockout unlawful.
However, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals took that joy away when they temporarily imposed a stay on Judge Nelson’s ruling.
That should not stop us from talking about the draft. Here are five winners and five losers from the first three rounds of the NFL draft with early predictions on the biggest sleeper and bust players.
1) Detroit Lions – The NFC North had to let out a big gasp when the Lions drafted Auburn DT Nick Fairley. It was not as if the Lions were thin at defensive tackle, they drafted All-Pro DT Ndamukong Suh with the second pick in the draft last year. If Fairley also goes on to be a Pro Bowl player, the Lions are going to have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL for the next decade. Most teams struggle to find one franchise defensive tackle, much less two of them in back-to-back drafts.
The Lions also upgraded their offense by adding Boise State WR Titus Young and Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure who should replace injury-prone Kevin Smith. The Lions needed a third receiver and a complement to RB Jahvid Best and these moves should greatly improve their offensive capabilities.
It is amazing what a team can do when they do not draft wide receivers in the first round every season. The Lions are finally on the upswing and they may have created the scariest defensive lineman tandem in the NFL this weekend. They maximized their value and are on their way to putting the Matt Millen era in the rear view mirror.