It has long been a joke in Detroit about drafting Wide Receivers. Charles Rogers, Roy Williams, Mike Williams, Calvin Johnson, Derek Williams, Titus Young and Ryan Broyles have all been drafted in the first three rounds in recent memory. All but Calvin Johnson have been mediocre at best.
Now, as the Lions head into another draft, most likely picking in the top 10, they will need to spend another early round choice on a WR. This is because for the second straight year, Ryan Broyles has torn an ACL and will miss significant time, most of his senior season at Oklahoma last season and the rest of this season with the Lions.
Also, because Titus Young should no longer be a part of this team. I think Aaron Berry has a better chance of getting another shot with the Lions than Young does. This will not be some Mitch Albom straw man article about Young’s decisions or his on and off the field troubles and how the Lions need to move away from that. It seems quite obvious that the Lions are already moving on from him despite many chances.
If Young was as talented as he believes he is and was out waiving a gun around at people like Berry did or got arrested for some other crazy reason, I wouldn’t care if he stuck around. Its sad to say but talent and success in sports allows a lot more leeway than regular folks, it is just the way it works right now.
However, usually teammates stick up for each other in situations like that, no matter what, but in Young’s case, no one has come to his defense. No one is saying “He’s misunderstood” or “He just needs some guidance.”
Dominick Raiola came out against playing with him in an interview, Calvin Johnson, who could benefit the most from Young succeeding, blew off questions and offered up no defense of him. He intentionally lined up incorrectly causing a penalty because he felt he should be getting more balls thrown his way, then screamed at his coaches about it.
That behavior is what causes teammates to react that way. No one would want to play with a player that goes so far as to intentionally ruin a game for everyone over a perceived slight. Simply put, Young is a bad teammate and the Lions players appear to want him gone and Martin Mayhew should oblige.
But, as it appears that the Lions will most likely be cutting Young, therefore, it means drafting another WR. Mike Thomas and Brian Robiske are not good enough to start opposite the best WR in the game. And rarely in the free agent market is there a WR that can do the things the Lions will need their #2 WR to do.
Nate Burleson is coming off of a broken leg and will be 32 next year, not exactly the type of condition the team will need to keep 5 guys from following around Johnson.
As much as this team needs defense (defensive ends, corners, safety) they will have to spend at least one pick on a potential playmaker and even possibly one on another offensive lineman. So, while most people think and as I read in the Free Press this morning, drafting all defense would be great, it just simply cannot happen.