One the third day of Draftmas, Ash Thompson fills your belly, then moves on to more Detroit Lions trades and prospects
When one doth plan to entertain some guests,
And show a flair for culinary delight,
To not become the target for their jests,
But awe and respect in their hearts incite,
Thou must appeal most to the sense of taste.
So craft a snack that Snacks would find delish’
Or effort spent will be seen as a waste.
Our first entry shall be a spicy fish
And the second a sweet succulent pick,
The third allows a host to make a show.
all shall make this draft party a classic
As you watch the prospects transition to pro
You’ll find which ones shall join our fav’rite team
As forward down the field they reign supreme.
Another time-honored tradition of Draftmas is the food. What kind of party host doesn’t serve their guest snacks after all? Normally I tend to stick to the meat-based snacks. This year though, because Damon Harrison loves the sweets, I am going to be including more sugar based goodies.
Spicy Tuna Roll-Ups
Ingredients: per roll
1 8″ Tortilla
A can of Tuna
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
Sriracha to taste
Halve, pit, and scoop the avocado into a small bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork, then mix in the mayo and tuna. Spread the mixture evenly onto the tortilla. Criss-cross the filling with lines of sriracha at about 1/2 inch intervals. That will hit about the level of heat level of the spicy tuna rolls at most of my favorite sushi places.
Peanut Butter Cups
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups chocolate chips
In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix everything but the chocolate together. Melt the chocolate chips. The easiest way is to use a double boiler, but most people don’t have one, so if you can put a heat safe bowl in the top of a pot with 2″ of boiling water in it, do that. Stir them until they melt. The last resort is to use the microwave. If you have a blender or food processor shred the chips, it will go faster. Microwave the chips in 20-30 second intervals. Stir the bowl between each round. repeat until you’ve got a smoothly melted chocolate drizzle.
Fill a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Add just enough chocolate to cover the bottom of each liner. Make discs of the peanut butter mix, small enough to not cover the bottom of the tin. place one in each liner, and then pour the chocolate into each liner until the disc is covered. repeat until you’re out of chocolate and peanut butter. Put the muffin tin into the refrigerator for half an hour or so.
3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
15 oz. semisweet chocolate
Mix the coconut and milk until it’s sticky. line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form the mixture into rectangles with your hands and press them firmly so they hold together. Rinse your hands when too much sticks, but do not dry them. Arrange the coconut bars on the baking sheet and put them in the freezer for 20 minutes. Use any of the methods above to melt the chocolate. If using the stove top, remove the chocolate from the heat.
Using two forks, dip and roll the coconut rectangles in the melted chocolate, then place the bars on the parchment paper so they are not touching one another. it will take a few hours for the chocolate to set fully. They’re good for less than a week, so encourage your friends to help themselves on draft night.
Trades for Quarterbacks
There have been rumors linking every quarterback to the Raiders. There have also been rumors that the Raiders would be willing to move picks 24 and 27 to move up in the first round to get their chosen man. I suspect that the Raiders will make this trade with the first team that is willing to take it as long as their quarterback of choice is available. Dropping all the way to 24 from eight is something I suspect a lot of Lions fans would have difficulty swallowing.
Lions general manager Bob Quinn has said that he hopes not to be picking this high again any time soon. The sweet spot for many of the Lions needs is in the 20-50 range, however. Picking up multiple spots in that range could lead the team to land multiple cornerstones of the franchise for the next decade. Wide receivers, cornerbacks, interior offensive linemen, and tight ends will all be available in this range. If the Lions do this, that is why.
The Denver Broncos have visited with quarterbacks Drew Lock and Dwayne Haskins during the pre-draft period. If only one of them is available when the Lions pick, there is an opportunity for the Lions to move back just a little bit without missing out on more than one player they actually want. This is not a move that would land them a ton of draft capital in return. The Broncos’ fourth-round pick, number 125, would be the most likely return for the move. Bob Quinn has made good picks in the middle rounds of the draft. An extra fourth-round pick is no small thing.
The pass rushers lead this group. Josh Allen is the closest thing to a tier one player that is realistically possible for the Lions to grab at pick eight. A slow-footed offensive tackle has lost to Allen before the ball has been snapped. He also moves well in space and is probably the best pass rusher in the class at occasionally covering tight ends.
Brian Burns played at a much lighter weight than he performed at the combine. Some would say that the added weight at the combine paired with his knockout performance vaults him to even or ahead of Allen. The history of pass rushers who have added weight they’ve never played with in order to “check the boxes” of the pre-draft testing process is not good. Unlike most of those players’ however, Burns does not rely only on his jaw-dropping athleticism to get the job done. He comes to every snap with a plan and excels at finding a plan B when required.
I would have Montez Sweat right up there with these two players if not for his heart condition. It is very likely that Sweat will fall long and hard in the draft, and if he is not the last of the players in this tier drafted, I will be moderately surprised. It only takes one team to disagree with me. With safer bets like Clellin Ferrell and Chase Winovich available, however, I do not see a team taking the early plunge on Sweat. Even for GM’s prone to gambling; athletic phenoms like ReShean Gary and Ed Oliver are available.
Immediate Starters: Cornerback and Tight End
DeAndre Baker is the best corner in the draft for the Lions. Rumors are that he is an arrogant player, and that the Lions don’t want to upset Darius Slay, but the fact remains that there is one player in this draft that walks off the stage able to start ahead of the Lions existing personnel and excel at corner in a Matt Patricia defense, and that player is Baker. I have him just ahead of Sweat, however, at the bottom end of this tier.
T.J. Hockenson is the third best player in this tier, and Noah Fant is fourth. They are vastly different players, however. Hockenson is the throwback that would likely step in front of free agent acquisition Jessie James by the time the first snap of the season rolled around if not immediately. Fant is a player that would likely be the team’s slot receiver in the majority of packages. He is the “move tight end” archetype. It is not that he is an unwilling blocker, he eagerly participated in the run game at Iowa. Hockenson was given the more difficult tight end blocking assignment the vast majority of the time, but Fant succeeded in his role blocking linebackers and defensive backs.
Immediate Starters: Interior Offensive Line
I may have only one player in the draft who could bump Graham Glasgow out of the center spot, but there is a smorgasbord of right guard options. These guys fill in the middle of this tier. Chris Lindstrom is a strong, fluid run blocker. His team did not pass as much as the Lions will, but his reps looked good, with quick, active feet as his calling card. Dru Samia is not the biggest guard in the game, but he’s a technician, other than an odd stance. He is at his best when on the move, pulling or in zone concepts, but more than capable when tasked with just beating a man.
Jonah Williams is a very good player, but the transition to guard does not always go well. There are rumors floating around that the Lions might pick him eighth. Taking a player in the first round to switch his position always scares me. He has played the position at the college level and he is a great college left tackle. If the Lions were to draft Williams, I would prefer to leave him at tackle, but he likely starts at guard as a rookie. Cody Ford is another offensive tackle the Lions could kick inside and get a starter out of.
Eric McCoy is the final “walk off the stage” starter in the interior for me. He played in a mostly zone running scheme at Texas A&M but he’s a powerful guy, the mobility he has will just be a bonus. I would be very surprised if the Lions first round pick was anyone other than the players that I have discussed here. the second half of this tier will probably make it to the second round, and these are prime candidates for that pick as well. The line between this tier and the next: players who will be starters by the end of the season, is a bit blurry. the quality of the player could very well be even with a player in this tier, but the Lions do not need some positions as badly as others.