The Only Thing We Really Know is That We Know Nothing. Well, Also: Sourdough Bread is Great.
Merry Draftmas everyone. Welcome to the seven-day celebration that we at Detroit Lions Podcast began holding in 2016. This is the week where every theory is simultaneously the dumbest thing anyone has ever suggested, and the best idea anyone has ever come up with. The one thing to remember is that everyone is wrong about nearly everything this week.
The Patreon guys have gotten so tired of me reminding them not to trust a word that comes out of a GM’s mouth this time of year that I’ve started just using the FTP emoji in the slack channel. It’s ‘Lying Season’, people, they do it every single year, and I keep having the same conversation about how all of these leaks, all of the team sources are lying… except when they’re not… but only a few journalists actually have any real connections, and they haven’t named their websites after themselves.
If you want to know a player’s traits, go to the draft network. Those guys have spent all damn year profiling players, and I’d just be writing similar things based on the tape I’ve watched, so what would be the point? Where I do not agree is in the general value of certain traits, and how the Lions are likely to value players. Not to toot my own horn (which is the thing people say right before they tell you how great they are) but I have had a bit of success predicting Bob Quinn’s player moves in the past. One of my first articles on the internet about the Lions was about how they needed to sign two veteran receivers to fill Calvin Johnson’s role with the team and I suggested that they should sign Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin. They did. I also mocked Jamal Agnew to the team and then spent months screaming into the wind that it was a great pick before Lions fans actually watched him on the field and got on board. Kenny Golladay was also in my Lions top 50 prospect list. People hated that one too. I mean, I had three receivers that have busted out of the league entirely ahead of him… nobody’s perfect. I am definitely not perfect.
This year’s Draftmas extravaganza was going to open with a 250 prospect Lions-based tiered big board. The social distancing has given me a solid amount of time on my hands to watch tape this year. Unfortunately, I’m an essential employee at the moment, so now that people are getting tired of being at home I’m ludicrously busy. Tune in Monday for that one, I just couldn’t get it done in time.
Instead, you get a positional needs summary and part one of how to have a spectacular draft party while socially isolating. This thing ramps up and gets longer every day. Realistically, the most important part of my articles is the snacks. RIP.
The Detroit Lions Positional Needs
They’re not taking Tua, in fact, I’d be surprised if they took anyone.
This is a sneaky huge need. The Lions don’t have a running back on the roster that has carried a significant load through an entire NFL season. I love Scarborough and Johnson, but neither of those two has a good injury history even for the position that breaks players at a faster rate than any other. There is a chance they take one earlier than most Lions fans would be comfortable with. It wouldn’t surprise me at any pick but number three.
The Lions do not have a single significant wide receiver under contract after this year as I am writing this. Jones, Kenny Golladay, and Danny Amendola are all potentially free agents next year. Wide receiver is a huge need. Golladay is almost guaranteed to be back, he’s a homegrown stud and letting him walk would be a huge mistake. The other two are far less certain.
The Lions have a starter in T.J. Hockinson, an incredibly high priced backup that can’t play in Jessie James, and a late-round draft pick in Issac Nauta (a guy I loved last year) on their roster. I do not know if the Lions have given up on James, but they should. A TE 2 who is a blocker with some receiving upside should be on the radar.
Taylor Decker is a perfectly fine left tackle. The team’s free-agent signing is likely to be the right tackle They signed two veteran guards that know the system, and they’re returning 4 of 5 starters. A high pick at guard could knock the journeymen back to the bench, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
This is the Lions’ worst position group as a whole. They’ve got one defensive end, one defensive tackle, and a bunch of role-players. This is likely the most important group in Patricia’s scheme, and it’s still pretty bad. They need one of literally everything you could think of.
Is Corey Undlin just running Matt Patricia’s defense? If so the Lions are all good at the LB spot. Jamie Collins, Jalani Tavai and Jarrad Davis are going to stop the run. Collins, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, and Myles Killebrew can handle passing situations. The latter two will handle significant special teams roles. It’s possible that the team might want to move on from Davis next year, as he’s been a bit disappointing for a first round pick. If Undlin is using a more traditional front, something leaning more toward a 4-3 in concept, Davis may get a chance to shine as a WLB.
The Lions love Will Harris and Tracy Walker. They traded for Duron Harmon to be the third. It would not absolutely floor me if they took someone to replace Harmon in the middle rounds of the draft, but I wouldn’t say I expect it.
At Corner, the Lions need some juice. I loved Amani Oruwariye last year, anyone who watched draft prospects did. He showed a ton of promise in his starts at the end of the year. The Lions have a tendency to assume that their rookies who improve will continue to do so in year two, which muddies the water at the position in the draft more than it should. They grabbed a great slot corner in Justin Coleman going into the 2019 season. The trade for Desmond Trufant has given the Lions a second true starting-caliber player. If they believe Oruwariye is a third, something every internet draftnik would have predicted last year, then a top-five pick at the spot seems incredibly unlikely.
The Lions will probably use their seventh-round pick on a punter.
Always remember Bob Quinn doesn’t give a damn about positional value.
Detroit Lions Podcast Draftmas Party Snacks
So this year you’re not having friends over, you probably don’t have any toilet paper and you’re not even sure what day it is. That’s the perfect time to get into sourdough. The nation has a yeast shortage, but you’ve probably got a bag of flour sitting at the back of your pantry from that one time three years ago that you wanted to make gravy or something. The good news is that you can use that nasty old flour for something delicious unless it’s actually moldy. Then throw it away and skip to the Lions big board on Monday. The tough news is that you need to start on this by the end of Monday.
For the rest of you, take a glass or plastic container, 2 quarts or so. In that container, dump 3/4 of a cup of flour and 1/2 a cup of filtered water (the less chlorinated it is the better, if you’re using unfiltered tap water this just takes longer, because… chemistry) then mix them together thoroughly.
Leave the container covered with a towel, or plastic wrap, ideally somewhere with a temp around 72 degrees. If your house is cold, the inside of the oven with the light turned on will probably do. Let it sit there for a full day.
You’ve created life, and as the deity of this new world, you are responsible for feeding its denizens. If it’s starting to bubble, great, but if not it’s all good. Add another 3/4 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water to it, mix it all together, and cover it again. Make sure you scrape down the sides before you cover it and come back in another day.
By day three you should be seeing signs of life, like… bubbles or something and an increase in size. Give it another 3/4cup flour 1/2 cup water feeding, mix it, scrape the sides, and cover it. Day 4 is the same. Between day 4 and day 5 this thing should about double in size.
If it does that, you’ve got a sourdough starter, and you can start making things that require one. Pizza dough, pie crusts, tortillas, crackers, waffles/pancakes, and a ton of other things can be made by scooping out some of this beast.
To keep it active, leave it in your fridge, and once a week scoop out a cup or so, then add the 3/4 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water to feed it. Keep that little world of slowly rotting vegetable matter alive!
Ash Thompson can be found on Twitter, but he doesn’t want to be. He’s in the Slack Chat pretty much constantly though, you could always join up and get in on that.