Google Nick Fairley, and you will find the adjective “bust” synonymous with the third-year player’s name. It was one year ago when columnists and bloggers were calling for the Detroit Lions to dispose of the former Auburn first-round pick because he wasn’t living up to expectations due to injuries and a lack of motivation. But a strong preseason showing now has people expressing hope that he could be one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL.
I think personnel men still don’t know the true value of a quality safety in their defensive backfield. They don’t invest in them enough just yet, be it in free agency with a lucrative contract or in the draft with a high selection. They don’t do it because they’re afraid of how long the safeties’ bodies can hold up after contact and, of course, their money’s tied up in their mighty pass-rush.
But as great as a pass-rush can be, it needs a quality defensive backfield to accompany it, especially in the modern age of the National Football League.
Ndamukong Suh is a big and bad man. We know this because he does things that cause pain on football fields. Things like stomping on opposing offensive linemen. Dude just doesn’t care.
But last night Suh showed his gentle side when he befriended a sea-faring being.
That’s our boy Suh at a Detroit Red Wings playoff playoff game, which the home team won 2-0 over the Chicago Blackhawks to take a surprising 3-1 series lead.
The legend of the octopus runs deep in Red Wings lore, and if you’re not a hockey fan (that’s illegal in Canada, by the way) and you’d like to kill off more of your Friday morning while not be productive at all, you can go ahead and do that now while learning about how this particular sea creature became tangled with a frozen game.
Suh was all up in that hockey madness last night, telling the Lions website that the atmosphere at Joe Louis Arena was just crazy, man. He also had the honor of taking a ride on the zamboni, and in my homeland, that’s every child’s dream (we dream big here). Hell, there’s even a song about driving it.
Sorry for subjecting you to that. Anyways, if someone could get the video of Suh on the zamboni from last night and cut it to that tune, you’d be my hero. Thanks.
For now, we’ll just have to settle for this creative interpretation from Scott Johnson in GIF form. It’s based on Suh’s, um, distinguished driving record.
Draft tumbles can lead to difficult — and in hindsight, sometimes poor — decisions. Often what can result is that the temptation to draft a prospect is far too overwhelming, and other greater needs are disregarded.
This could happen with Dee Milliner and the Detroit Lions. While Milliner is the best cornerback in the draft, if the top five follows the pattern that’s widely expected and one of the top tackles is available for the Lions at fifth overall, Milliner may not be the best pick.
He may be the best player, and he may then fit the classic strategy of drafting the best player available. But sometimes, need has to trump temptation. And in Detroit after the retirement of Jeff Backus and the departure of Gosder Cherilus, this draft could be one of those times.
I talked to Sean Yuille from Pride of Detroit, and he thinks that if either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher are still on the board, the pick will be automatic, even with Milliner available.
The Lions re-signed veteran safety Louis Delmas to a two-year, $9.465M deal. The Lions acquired safety Glover Quinn earlier this off-season, which led to doubt Delmas would return to the Lions, but the 2009 2nd round pick will return the the Detroit secondary.
Delmas had 28 tackles in the 8 games he appeared in last season.
The Lions continue to make a significant splash in the free agent market, with the signing of safety Glover Quin making it four signings on the day after Chris Houston (re-signing), Jason Jones and Reggie Bush.
The 27-year-old Quin has spent the last four seasons with the Texans after being drafted in the fourth round by Houston in 2009. Quin recorded 64 tackles, two interceptions and a sack in 16 games with the Texans last season, piling up 250 total tackles over his four-year NFL career.