Notes: Dan Orlovsky warns Lions not to make same mistakes as past regimes

Pride of Detroit

Dan Orlovsky has some choice words for the Detroit Lions organization: absolutely do not go for a skill position player with the No. 7 pick.

The former Lions quarterback and current ESPN analyst gave an impassioned plea to the Lions to refrain from what he, in his opinion, says is a mistake Detroit consistently makes — taking skill players too early in the NFL draft.

“Someone tell me the organization, (in) the NFL in its history, that has built itself a consistent winner on skill position players in the draft early? It’s never been done. It doesn’t happen in football, okay?” he said.

Orlovsky said he suffered from those mistakes during his time on the team from 2005-08, then again 2014-16.

“I’ve been on the team when it’s like, let’s take another receiver early when we don’t have the pieces in place to allow those receivers to play,” he said.

For reference, here’s the Lions draft history during those periods in the first and second rounds:

  • 2005: wide receiver Mike Williams (10th), defensive tackle Sean Cody (37th)
  • 2006: linebacker Ernie Sims (9th), defensive back Daniel Bullocks (40th)
  • 2007: wide receiver Calvin Johnson (2nd), quarterback Drew Stanton (43rd), defensive end Ikaika Alma-Francis (58th), defensive back Gerald Alexander (61st)
  • 2008: tackle Gosder Cherilus (17th), linebacker Jordon Dizon (45th)
  • 2014: tight end Eric Ebron (10th), linebacker Kyle Van Noy (40th)
  • 2015: guard Laken Tomlinson (28th), running back Ameer Abdullah (54th)
  • 2016: tackle Taylor Decker (16th), defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (46th)

“The Detroit Lions have to be disciplined. Brad Holmes, Dan Campbell — don’t do what your predecessors have made the mistake of doing and that’s taking these skill guys and going, ah we need a guy for our quarterback to throw to. No you don’t right now. You’re not a good football team,” Orlovsky continued.

The analyst implored leadership to instead build from the line of scrimmage. If a prospect like Penei Sewell should fall to the seventh pick, the Lions should be excited to have a tackle who can play for 10 years, he said.

“I know you’ve got some pieces, but you as an organization — I’ve watched you make mistake, after mistake, after mistake, after mistake taking pass catchers. Do not get caught up in the shiny, sexy object. Do this the right way for the first time in Detroit in 30 years.”

It’s of course worth noting that in recent years the Lions have spent their first round picks on several non-skill position players, including Taylor Decker in 2016, Frank Ragnow in 2018, Laken Tomlinson in 2015, etc. Specifically, Jeremy found:

Onto the rest of your notes.

  • Tori’s Take is back:
  • I like pretty much anything Good Morning Football does, so here they are with a speed first-round mock. Detroit starts at about 3 minutes in if you wanna skip ahead. “This actually did not fall the way the Lions were hoping,” Peter Schrager begins.

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