Normally, by now, I likely would have written several dozen things about the 2013 NFL Draft. However, this year the Lions have so many free agents, I feel like waiting until that starts to get sorted out before I begin to assess what Detroit might do in the Draft, including with their fifth overall pick. That being said, I have been following the coverage and news and mock drafts, and now the first big event of the NFL Draft process is upon us. The NFL Scouting Combine begins this week.
The first day, when some people show up to be measured and have injuries checked out and such, is February 20, and it runs through February 26. We all know what the NFL Scouting Combine is at this point. Guys will run and jump and be interviewed about fake girlfriends. Some players will see their stocks rise, others will see their stocks fall. Workout warriors will go higher than perhaps they should. Also, apparently in addition to the Wonderlic test, there is going to be another, new intelligence test involved. How will it compare to the Wonderlic? I do not know. All I know is I want to take both of them. Seriously. Seems like they would be fun.
The Scouting Combine is worthwhile event, and one to pay attention to, even if we aren't privy to all the information. How athletic and fast a player is should impact how a prospect is assessed. You just don't want teams to go too far, as game tape is obviously more important.
I still want the Lions to take a defensive end with the fifth overall pick. These days, Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner is being considered worthy of a pick that high, but I don't see him as a shutdown Patrick Peterson type, so I think it will be a minor reach, although one I could live with. I have also been alarmed by the numbers of articles and twitter murmuring I've seen about people wanting the Lions to take BYU defensive lineman Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah. He's a nice story, and a very impressive athlete, but he's been playing football for, like, three or four years. He is super raw. You don't take a player like that so high in the NFL Draft. He's a guy you take a flyer on in the last third of the first round. He's also the kind of player the Scouting Combine helps out.
The NFL Draft is a couple months away, and free agency will play its part in who teams draft, but the process kicks it into high gear later this week. It's time to start paying attention if you haven't been already.