Deck the Man-Cave
Deck the man-cave with snacks and Liquor; Fa la la la la, la la la la
‘Tis the season for the draft ticker; Fa la la la la, la la la la
Don we now our team apparel; Fa la la, la la la, la la la
Troll the boards at your own peril; Fa la la la la, la la la la
Six Draftmas Subplots
The running back position has been deemed “devalued” by draft experts for a while now. My theory on that is that college football hasn’t been producing backs that are easily translatable to a pro style offense like they used to. With the proliferation of the spread offense it’s not only quarterbacks that operate differently, but running backs as well. Will Ezekiel Elliot ride the success of Todd Gurley in to the top ten, or was the high pick of Gurley an aberration? And if Elliot goes in the top ten, where does Derrick Henry sit among the remaining prospects? This is a very interesting Draftmas for the running backs.
Is Shawn Oakman even going to be drafted now? The buzz around the massive Oakman was something like “Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane” but his abilities were regarded as at the very least, a situational pass rusher. In case you have not heard, Oakman was recently charged with rape. Is it an attempted shakedown of a player about to get a pay day, or is this guy really a monster? Will anyone come anywhere near that PR nightmare? Oakman was widely regarded as a third or fourth round pick prior to the arrest.
It seems like every wide receiver who has ever been mentioned as a possible first round pick has leapt past Laquon Treadwell on the draft boards of the internet. He was the best receiver among this draft class at the college level, but because he ran a slow 40 yard dash, suddenly everyone has jumped entirely off his bandwagon. Anquon Boldin ran slower, Jarvis Landry ran slower, Mohammed Sanu ran slower, I would have thought that Al Davis drafting Darius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree would have cured people of this notion that the WR position is only based on speed. None of the great receivers were the fastest guys on their team (Calvin Johnson aside). They had great hands, ran good routes and worked hard at their craft to be the best. If Treadwell falls, some team is going to get a bargain in their stocking this Draftmas.
The NFL invited five Ohio state players to the draft. Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliot, Eli Apple, Darron Lee, and Taylor Decker. It would be shocking to have five players from one school go in the first round, but the NFL is usually pretty careful about not hanging anyone out to dry in the green room. My pick to be left without a seat at the end of round one is Lee.
Peyton Barber is an interesting story. He definitely needed another year of seasoning, but came out as rapidly as he was allowed to. The reason, he revealed, is that his mother is homeless. You’ve got to feel for a kid that is forced in to a long term bad decision by the overwhelming short term need to take care of family. The ability to buy his mom a house is about the best Draftmas day present the kid could get.
Jalen Mills was an extremely highly regarded prospect at the safety position prior to breaking his leg and tearing ligaments in his ankle this year. He did not take the red shirt year, and instead chose to heal up, rehab, and come back for six games. Based on that tape, the draft guru community have slaughtered this kid. The guy took one for the team; and I hope he ends up a Lion this Draftmas.
Five Bob Quinn Quotes
“The draft is a continuous twelve month of the year process, and I know that I’ve only been here a little over three months, but the work that the scouts and the coaches, and the support staff put in. I think it really goes unrecognized.” Bob Quinn
“The scouts that work for the Lions put in, I’d say 150 to close to 200 nights a year at the hotel. So picture yourself spending that much time away from your family. It’s hard on those guys and they do a great job.” Bob Quinn
“I think this year’s draft is very well rounded, I think it has depth from round one through round seven, um, and I think, you know, with our ten selections we’ll be able to improve our team.” Bob Quinn
“This time of year is when you’re starting to field calls about moving around in the draft and we’ve definitely had plenty of those here in the last few days, so, you know, we have ten picks today, we may have ten at the end of the draft, we may have more, we may have less.” Bob Quinn
“This being my first draft I’m really excited about it. I really feel good about where we are in the process.” Bob Quinn
Four Mock Drafts
Peter King, the mmqb, has given the Lions A’Shawn Robinson; that is a name I have not heard in a long time.
Lance Zeurlein of NFL.com has also given the Lions A’Shawn Robinson; That is a name I have not heard in a short time.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports believes that the Lions are getting Taylor Decker at pick 16.
D.J. Boyer of draftsite.com also has the Lions taking Taylor Decker at pick 16 this Draftmas
Three Draft Day Foods
Put something on little chunks of bread and stick them on a plate on the coffee table. Simple and awesome. Less work than having to dip it yourself, which will definitely appeal to some of your lazier friends. These all use baguettes, but if all you have kicking around are some crackers, that would work fine as well.
8 small tomatoes, with the gooey insides taken out
2 cloves of garlic
sea salt, and freshly ground pepper (or just salt and pepper out of a shaker, but its not as good)
2 Tsp olive oil
10 fresh basil leaves, or 3 Tsp of dried Basil
24 thin Baguette slices
Dice the tomatoes, combine them with the garlic, olive oil, a tsp of salt, a tsp of pepper in a bowl and mix that up. If it looks kind of dry, add a bit more olive oil. Eat a spoonful of it, to see if you need to add a bit more of something. Let it sit in a bowl for at least 30 minutes, go watch an episode of First Draft and come back. preheat the over at 350, slice up the baguette, and add the basil to the mixture. Spoon the mix on to the baguette slices and put them on a baking sheet. Put that sheet in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the bread starts turning golden brown.
Baguette and lox
1 package of smoked salmon
1 tub of cream cheese spread
Slice the baguette in to slices, put some cream cheese spread on the slices, and then put the smoked salmon on top of that.
Steak Tartare on Baguette Croutes
Disclaimer: you’re serving people raw meat. Don’t freelance and make it the night before, don’t buy the 30% off stuff that’s starting to turn brown, and don’t swap out the cut of meat to a tough chunk of nasty round steak. This isn’t hard to do and it’s delicious. Know the butcher and tell him what you’re making, he’ll get you the right hunk of dead cow for your Draftmas feast.
25 slices of baguette about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 lb Filet Mignon, with the fat and gristle trimmed out
1/4 cup of minced white onion
1/4 cup of capers, rinsed and chopped
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 dash of Tabasco sauce
2 tsp of chopped mint
To make the Croutes (toasted bread slices, but like, french or something) first preheat the oven to 350. Brush one side with olive oil, and sprinkle a little pepper on the oiled side. Put that on a baking sheet, oil side up for 10-12 minutes, until it’s golden brown. transfer to a platter and let it cool.
To start the Tartare, put the Filet Mignon in the freezer for about 20 minutes. While it’s in there, combine the onion, capers, lime juice, Worcestershire, extra virgin olive oil and Tabasco sauce in a large bowl, and mix it well, then put it in the fridge. On a ludicrously clean cutting board, and after having washed your hands, dice the beef about 1/4 inch cubes, and if you have a food processor, put it in there, pulse it quickly a few times (7 if you need an exact number) until it’s ground, but not pulverized. If you don’t have a food processor, just cut the cubes in half again, or smack them with a rock or something. Add the beef to the bowl, and mix that up with a fork. Then dollop the beef on to the now cooled Croutes. Sprinkle the mint on top, and blow your friends minds, but seriously eat that within a half hour of it being done. This one has a very well defined shelf life. You could make the beef mix a half hour before serving it, but keep it refrigerated. Once it’s room temperature, bad things start happening. Food poisony things. A trip to the hospital should not be a part of any Draftmas celebration.
Two Late Round Gems
Doesn’t have elite burst, but he fights with his hands to keep blockers from engaging him, and has the ability to scoot past them while the hand fight goes on. He is a high motor guy who can sometimes be guided out of the play by his blocker as he fights for penetration, but will often break off his rush if it’s going to take him out of the play and fight through the block. If you skip to 1:44 of this video you’ll see a play that shows why I like him. Not that he scored a TD on the fumble recovery, but that he fought through three blockers to get to a position to recover that fumble.
For a 6’6″ 330lb tackle expected by most to go somewhere in the fifth round or later, this kid has great feet that never stop moving during a block. In a pro style offense with a quarterback that stayed in the pocket, this kid could be an excellent right tackle in a couple years. He’s going to need to be coached up, and a nutritionist certainly wouldn’t hurt matters, The TCU offensive line as a whole got murdered when they played Oregon, but Vaitai held his own other than the two penalties. He has brothers named “Kevin” and “Will” of course I had to write up the brother named Halapoulivaati. Draftmas is a cruel mistress.
One Draftmas Trade
I think the 46th pick is a good spot to be in if you’re considering moving down. This is the point in the draft where the players being taken start to get very scheme specific in a lot of cases, and if a team starts running out of players that can help immediately in their scheme, the Lions may be able to turn that pick in to multiple third round picks. Tennessee has the 64th and 76th pick, which is worth a little more on the chart than the 46th pick. The Lions would likely have to send back a fifth round pick, I would assume the 151st pick in this case. Moving back to the top of the third, the Lions give up a pretty good player, but would still have a chance to grab two players in the vein of an Artie Burns, Nick Martin, or Javon Hargrave, and additionally pick up a Braxton Miller, or Bronson Kafusi to go with him.
So there you have it, we’re only three days from Draftmas boys and girls. @a5hcrack on twitter and kicking around /r/detroitlions eagerly awaiting the opportunity to rage/swoon over Thursday evening’s festivities.