The Detroit Lions, with the 2nd overall pick, take Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech. Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders tells you all about it.
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of Matt Millen's mind.
You're a savvy sports fan, so you know that Millen drafted wide receivers in the first rounds of three of the last four drafts. Thanks to his commitment to a top receiving corps, the Lions' starting receivers last year were Roy Williams (the best of the picks) and Mike Furrey (a former Rams receiver turned safety). For variety, they sometimes used Josh McCown, a former Cardinals quarterback, as a slot receiver.
According to an NFL Network report, Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz convinced Millen to select Johnson by explaining how he would use the receiver in his offense. "I plan to have Jon Kitna throw footballs to him," Martz explained. "Gosh, I never would have thought of that," Millen replied. "Now back to my Spider-Man coloring book. Staying between the lines is ever so hard."
For the record, Millen probably plans to trade Johnson, perhaps in the next few hours, perhaps to Tampa for some additional picks. Way to go, Matt. You're the smartest guy in the room. With your track record, there's no way this burst of creativity and chutzpah will explode in your face.
Granted, Johnson probably won't go bust the way Mike Williams and Charles Rogers did. The kid's got the talent of Terrell Owens, the morals of Saint Augustine (post conversion), and the work ethic of Spongebob. He was tough to evaluate at times, because his quarterback at Georgia Tech's arm was about as accurate as a Sylvia Browne horoscope, but Johnson has Pro Bowl ability. He'll be great, and if the Lions keep him, the Williams-Johnson-Furrey combo will be hard to stop. It's just that the Lions need defensive players. And a quarterback, and an upgrade on the line. Et cetera.
If Millen doesn't get a good deal done (there had better be a second round pick involved), every football blog on the net is going to pillory this pick. I'm not a fish-in-the-barrel kind of guy. I'm also not a Lions fan. Thank heavens. Millen's incompetent, the Lions stink, let's move on.