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2007 Detroit Lions Preview

2007 Detroit Lions preview from MadduxSports.com. As well as previews Maddux offers NFL football picks against the NFL point spread each week during the season.

Lopsided Depth in the Motor City
By Adam Barone

The Lions gave up 63 sacks last season but added no one to help their struggling offensive line. That is, unless you count 6'4”, 237 pound freak-man WR Calvin Johnson as pass protection with his ability to jump like Superman, run like The Flash and still be just stupidly tall. Johnson is enormous and still somehow faster than seemingly everyone who played defensive back in college football in 2006. Though they were rumored to be planning to select Clemson DE Gaines Adams at #2 overall, the Lions did the smart thing and chose the clear-cut best player in the draft in Johnson. Charles Rogers and Mike Williams, also WR's chosen by the Lions with early first round draft choices in recent years, were major busts and seemed like they would influence Detroit away from taking Johnson. Rod Marinelli, Matt Millen and the rest of the Lions staff made the right choice in choosing Johnson though, who will likely give the Lions the scariest duo of receivers in the entire NFL. If they could just add Reche Caldwell and his scary mutant bug eyes they'd be all set.

The problem with selecting Johnson with their first pick was the same problem that arose with much of the remainder of their 7 draft picks, in that the Lions did very little to address their immediate needs. They added depth and competition at certain positions but for whatever reason just left other positions to rot.

Obviously the Lions have no issue at receiver with '06 Pro Bowler Roy Williams and Mike Furrey, one of the biggest surprises in the NFL last season to go along with Johnson, but the ailing offensive line was not addressed until the fourth round, and many gaping holes still exist at other positions.

Also, the Lions top rusher last season was Kevin Jones who played in 12 games, accumulating only 689 yards on the ground, finishing one game with only 7 rushing yards. Jones was more effective as a receiver, catching 61 balls for 520 yards. To help Jones out, Detroit traded for Denver running back Tatum Bell. Bell is a small, speed runner who has the ability to break a big play, but that is the exact thing that would be described as the strength of both Jones and backup RB Brian Calhoun, whom the Lions spent a 3rd round pick on last year. The Lions also signed T.J. Duckett, a huge, powerful rusher who can gain short yardage, but has been inconsistent the past two seasons. The problem that will arise for Detroit is establishing for sure just who they can count on to get the yardage they need. All of their backs are serviceable, but none are exceptional.

On defense the Lions seem to have very little to look forward to. The only bright spots appear to be OLB Ernie Sims, who accumulated 124 tackles in '06 and DT Shaun Rogers, who missed all but 6 games. Rogers is an enormous space eater who takes up blockers while Sims, going into just his second season, could become one of the NFC's elite defenders. The Lions ranked 29th overall in 2006 in total yards allowed per game though, and there is little reason to believe that they can improve any time soon.

2007 Detroit Lions Predictions

When people get into the world of sports betting, it is certainly not because of teams like the Detroit Lions, unless of course they're some sort of sports masochist. The Lions have been one of the NFL's worst franchises for about as long as they've existed. With Mike Martz as their offensive coordinator however, they may be able to create a spark with Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson. Kevin Jones and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield are perfect for Martz's system, but don't expect to see a second coming of the “greatest show on turf” until the Lions upgrade their offensive line. The thing that will keep success a long way from Detroit in '07 though, will be the complete lack of defense.

If you enjoyed reading our Detroit Lions preview read up on the rest of the NFC North opponents like the Packers, Vikings, and Bears team outlooks from Maddux Sports.

Related Pages:
Lions Draft Preview
Official Site
Online NFL Wagering

 

2007 NFL Team Previews

As usual Maddux presents its anual 2007 NFL preview sorted by divisions. From each division you can find our predictions as well an individual team report of each National League Football Team. Click here to return to the main NFL season preview page.


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