When running back Mikel Leshoure was released and linebacker Kyle Van Noy underwent surgery for a core muscle-related injury last week, it continued the Lions' long-standing issues with their second-round draft picks.
|Lions' linebacker Kyle Van Noy|
Since 2005, the Lions have selected a dozen players in the second round of the NFL Draft. Of those players, they have chosen no Pro Bowlers and just one long-term starter, recently departed safety Louis Delmas.
It doesn't appear to be a career-threatening injury for Van Noy. There is still hope for cornerback Darius Slay, the 2013 second-round pick. He is starting and certainly being counted on, but he did have a disappointing rookie season. Wide receiver Ryan Broyles (2012) has had significant knee ailments, but is obviously talented.
But the rest of the list is very telling about the Lions' struggles, and how they have been very much draft related. Wide receiver Titus Young and Leshoure were second-round picks in '11. The Lions actually traded up to get Leshoure. The fifth-round pick they traded to Seattle in the deal was used by the Seahawks to select All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman. Delmas was the '09 second-round pick and linebacker Jordan Dizon in '08. The Lions had three second-round picks in 2007, quarterback Drew Stanton, defensive Ikaika Alama-Francis and safety Gerald Alexander. In '06, it was safety Daniel Bullocks and in '05 defensive tackle Shaun Cody.
It's well established how the Lions have rarely found gems later in the draft, but their run during the second round is utterly ridiculous.
We'll see if it changes with Van Noy, Slay and Broyles, but it hasn't exactly been a promising start for any of those players.
My column. Four things that must transpire for the Tigers to make a long postseason run: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20140902/pat-caputo-four-things-that-must-transpire-for-a-postseason-run-by-detroit-tigers