Representing the Detroit Lions, Akr_Baby with the 23rd pick in the 2012 Arrowhead Pride mock draft...
Originally I didn't get a team for this community event. I was a little disappointed at first, but then a gentleman that many of us know by the name of upamtn decided that maybe he was a little busy hosting Arrowhead Pride Talk Radio. Anyone who hasn't made it over to tune in to a show should try it out, Its not like your average radio show but can get very interactive with the open chat, and interesting callers... Oh yea that's right, I was telling you how I became the GM of the Lions before I wandered away. Anyway Ups flew me out and offered me a gazzillion dollars to take the position of GM of the Lions. After some BBQ and and a few days of negotiations... Oh wait that part was Winston. Hmmm, oh yea I remember I told Ups that a gazzillion was a bit low, but I would take the job just because I thought he was a nice guy. So AP readers, BBQ on me once I get paid!!!
First I want to say thanks to the the fans over at Pride of Detroit for being so welcoming, and helpful in my process of deciding who would be best for Lions at pick 23. If you haven't been over to PoD you should take a moment to stop by and say hey because their really cool people over there, and have a lot of respect for Chiefs fans.
I started out leaning towards getting Matthew Stafford some help on his front line, but as things have played out the big men I was interested in are all taken at this point (seems AP understands the Importance of a big man). Detroit has a lot of pieces on the offensive side of the ball and quietly became the 4th Ranked Offense in 2011. Sitting 4th overall in Passing and 29th in rushing. Based on those numbers you could assume that the Lions could use a RB. I personally feel like they have a good group of running backs, and if they can't stay healthy and improve the production from the ground game next year then that will be a good time to go after another RB to push the competition.
Obviously there isn't a need to draft a WR or QB in the 1st round, as Stafford looks to be a very good, and possibly become an "elite QB" for years to come. The WR core is really talented, there young receiver Titus Young, a solid veteran in Nate Burleson, and the top WR in the league in
Money Bags Calvin Johnson. So we now know one thing. I've decided to go with a player that can help improve the Lions on the defensive side of the football, but who? Well the goal for every organization is to go to Super Bowls, and to do that they must first accomplish their goal of making the playoffs. To make the playoffs you must first know your division and be able to take the division. So lets take a look at the other three teams in the NFC North, and some rankings of the Detroit Lions Defense.
The Vikings finished the 2011 season 3-13, and sit at the bottom of the division, but they are building a good core of players on Offense. They Drafted their QB Christian Ponder high in the draft. Ponder only played in 11 of the 16 games. He looked Good at times and struggled a lot in his first season, finishing with 1853 yards passing, 13TDs - 13INTs. Ponder has a good receiver duo to work with in Percy Harvin, Devin Aromashodu, and now a solid TE duo with Kyle Rudolph and the signing of John Carlson. The Vikings also have one of the best running backs in the NFL. Adrian Peterson is coming off a serious injury, but All Day has the attitude and the work ethic to be fully ready to play football in 2012. If the team feels that AP is not ready to carry the full load in the first quarter of the season, they have a good back up in Toby Gerhart.
The Vikings finished the 2011 season with the 19th ranked Offense, 28th in passing, 4th in rushing, and 19th in scoring. The Lions finished with the 23rd ranked rushing defense, and will need a player they feel can help improve that number if they want to slow the Vikings down on the ground.
The Chicago Bears finished the 2011 season 8-8, coming in 3rd in the division. Chicago has a QB with a strong arm in Jay Cutler. Cutler suffered a tough injury to his thumb and missed much of the 2011 season. Cutler will be coming back to a team who has made some noise in free agency with the addition of his old partner in crime Brandon Marshall. Marshall will help open the other side of the field for Devin Hester who can also force defenses to play the deep ball, opening the underneath game for Dane Sanzebacher and Matt Forte who is one of the leagues better receiving backs. Forte will also be coming off a tough injury to his knee and looks like he may have to prove himself once again to the Bears front office. Chicago let Marion Barber go and upgraded there running game with the signing of Michael Bush, making there second splash in free agency.
The Bears finished the 2011 season with the 17th ranked Offense, 26th in passing, 9th in rushing, and 17th in scoring. The Lions will face another very good rushing team that will likely get better with the addition of Bush. Marshall will also help make this team better all over the field with his ability to block for the running backs, and make plays for Jay Cutler. So you can expect the bears offense to become a more balanced attack. The Lions finished the 2011 season with the 29th ranked scoring defense, and will need a player they feel can stop the balanced attack of the bears offense from scoring.
The Green Bay Packers finished the 2011 season 15-1, claiming the crown as Division Champs.The Packers have an outstanding offense. Aaron Rodgers was arguable the best QB in the league in 2011., and could be considered top 3 in any given week. The packers added a veteran center, Jeff Saturday to go along with a solid offensive line. They have a very athletic group of receivers in Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Donald Driver, James Jones, and Randall Cobb. James Starks and John Kuhn give the packers a very hard working fullback and running back that seem willing to do whatever they are asked.
The Packers finished the 2011 season with the 1st ranked offense, 3rd in passing, 27th in rushing, and 1st in scoring. The Lions finished the 2011 season ranked 22nd in passing defense, and will need a player they feel can help their defense improve that number if they want to be able to slow down the electric offense that is the Green Bay Packers.
The NFC North is becoming a division capable of doing multiple things. The vikings have a very good rushing attack, the Bears look to have built a very balanced attack, and the Packers have one of the best Passing attacks. The Lions have built a Defensive unit that can make things happen up front. They have guys capable of getting to a QB like Aaron Rodgers and then stuffing Adrian Peterson. Now Its time to build onto the Back end of the defense. Is there a guy capable of doing all the things I mentioned in the breakdowns above? Probably not, but I do feel there is a Playmaker available that can make the team a little better in all those phases of the defense.
So without further adieu...
With the 23rd Pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, The Detroit Lions Select... Mark Barron - Safety - Alabama.
The 6'2" 215lb Mark Barron is a player that was used multiple ways in Bamas defense. When they played solid running teams, Barron was asked to slide up into the box and make plays. If Bama wanted to slow down the a teams passing game He was capable of sliding back and making plays on the ball. Mark Barron will make the Lions a better defense. The Line Backers and Corners can feel more comfortable knowing they have a playmaker behind them to make there job just a little easier. The easier all the players jobs become the more they can focus on their duties and execute there roles.
Here's a little more on Mark Barrons Career at Alabama and in High School.
I hope everyone enjoyed my selection, and Thank you for taking the time to read.
Very Instinctive Playmaker Hard hitter Form tackler Excellent in run support Plays well in tackle box Smart Athletic Plus ball skills Takes good angles Can cover tight ends and backs Bigger than most safeties Durable- Had coverage lapses in 2010 Lacks elite speed, but runs wellWhen watching Alabama, Barron jumps out and is all over the field. He makes tackles in run support and always seems to be in the right spot in pass coverage. He is a big safety who may be the hardest-hitting player at his position in the 2012 NFL Draft Class.
Walter Football:Scouting Report - Mark Barron
Barron played multiple positions including running back, wide receiver, and linebacker at St. Paul's Episcopal School in Mobile, Alabama from 2004 through 2007. As a junior, Barron had 785 yards rushing as a junior on 78 carries and added 368 receiving yards on 23 catches, scoring a total of 12 touchdowns. As a senior, Barron was the MVP of the 2007 Class 5A state championship game after rushing for 1,094 yards on 122 carries with 15 touchdowns in his senior season. He was also named first-team Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State selection in Class 5A as a senior.
He was ranked as a five star prospect and the number one weakside linebacker in the 2008 class by scout.com. He was also ranked as the 5th best player in the state of Alabama and the 55th best player in the nation in the class of 2008 by rivals.com. Barron chose to play at Alabama over offers from Auburn, LSU, Florida, Florida State and Tennessee among others. In addition to playing football, he also competed in track and field, where he won multiple 5A individual state titles in events ranging from the shot put to the long jump during the 2008 season.
Wikipedia: wiki - Mark Barron
Previously (with approval results)...
9. Carolina Panthers - South Carolina LB/DE Melvin Ingram (Forgot to do a poll)
23. Detroit Lions - Alabama S Mark Barron