Sunday, April 19, 2009
Reviewing the Drafts: 2005, or PAIN, HORRIBLE PAIN
By the time the 2005 NFL Draft rolled around, I think most Lions fans were just in a sort of numbed daze, beaten retarded by the otherworldly incompetence of Matt Millen and the parade of jackasses, buffoons and simpletons who were called upon to make any sort of decision in the Lions organization. The early returns on the 2004 Draft were pretty good, and so there was at least some faint hope that one day, when Matthew had been taken down like Rasputin and a full exorcism had been performed at Ford Field, the Lions might have some small sliver of hope. What we really needed was a good draft to make us feel like, maybe, in a few years things wouldn't be so bad. Instead, we got jokes about wide receivers and a few years later, 0-16.
Let's just get this over with, shall we?
With their first pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, the tenth overall, the Detroit Lions selected Mike Williams, wide receiver out of USC. And the world burned.
Sigh. This shit is just depressing by now. OH LORD WHY? Being a Lions fan is hard enough, now I have to talk about Mike Williams? I knew this draft review was going to end up with me raving like a deranged freak. Oh well, here we go.
Mike Williams was an awesome player in college. I remember watching him in the Rose Bowl make a one handed catch for a touchdown. He was physically dominant at that level and at the time everyone had him pegged as a surefire can't miss blue chip A-1 superfreak godzilla monster cyborg prospect. And then Maurice Clarett decided fuck it, he wanted to challenge the NFL's draft rules. Shock of shocks, the little hoodlum won and Mike Williams decided that he was going to go along for the ride, declaring for the draft after his sophomore season. Of course, it wasn't long before that decision was reversed and Mike Williams found himself shit out of luck, ineligible for both the draft and for his junior season at USC. Oops. Williams ended up taking a year off and when the next year rolled around, the Lions nabbed him with the tenth pick even though he was obviously rusty and scouts were starting to worry that he was too big and too slow to play receiver in the NFL. There was a lot of talk about moving him to tight end, but, well, that never happened, and in the end, receiver was where Williams stayed. And that's where he died.
Right away, Williams was tagged with the ignominy of being publicly excoriated by his coaches and his organization for being out of shape. The basic sentiment in the Lions camp was that Williams was lazy and needed to be pushed. The whole thing started off as a debacle and continued on that way over the next couple of pathetic seasons, seasons in which Williams went from hanging on the edge of oblivion to a free fall of wasted potential and shattered dreams. Hang on, I am myself hanging on the edge of maudlin gibberish right about now, and I need a moment to pull myself back in.
Okay. Williams was a fucking disaster. There's absolutely no other way to spin it. I mean, you can't even try. And I haven't even gotten around to the whole three receivers in the first round in three years part of it! Good Lord. How did Matt Millen avoid being tarred and feathered and run down Woodward while Lions fans heaped buckets of shit on him?
Today, Williams is out of the league or dead in a ditch or who the hell knows. All that's important is that he sure as hell isn't with the Lions, and for a top ten pick isn't that just grand?
Right now, I feel like Bob Uecker's character in Major League, drinking Jack out of the bottle, cursing on the air, and saying to hell with it. But damn it all, if there was one thing you learn as a Lions fan, it's to just keep moving and to never let yourself drown in the sea of shit which is always rising while the arms of the dead, the already drowned, reach up at you from the horrible bottom and try to pull you underneath with them. THE HORROR. What kind of a twisted fool would continue on like this, cheering for a team that inspires such dark thoughts and twisted gibberish?
Good God, this is getting terrible. Let's just finish this nonsense.
With their second round pick, the 37th overall, the Lions selected Shaun Cody, a defensive tackle out of USC. Cody seemed like a safe pick, the kind of guy who had limited upside but would always be a solid performer on defense, a low ceiling, high floor type. But Cody never seemed to take that next step while he was with the Lions. Every season, it seemed like he was on the verge of stepping into the starting lineup and taking his place as the solid, dependable starter the team wouldn't have to worry about for years. And every season, Cody never took that step. In four seasons with the Lions, Cody started a grand total of twelve games, unable to step in and start regularly even in the Year of Unnumbered Tears, a year in which the middle of the Lions defensive line was regularly abused. I mean, Walter Payton could have run for 200 yards against that line. And I'm talking about Walter Payton RIGHT NOW. And that dude is dead. Cody's disappointing tenure with the Lions ended just a couple of months ago when he did what anyone in his position would do and got the fuck out of town - a little too late, but hey, no one wants to hang around and clean up the nuclear waste after the meltdown, you know?
Let's see who else the Lions could have drafted, shall we? Well, the next two picks after Williams were DeMarcus Ware and Shawne Merriman and, well, fuck this.
The 2005 NFL Draft will be remembered by Lions fans as an absolute horror show, perhaps the nadir of Millen's reign of terror - at least when it comes to the drafts, there is that whole 0-16 thing after all. Mike Williams will always be remembered as the third receiver drafted in a row by Millen, the punch line to a horrible and infuriating joke which will always hang over Detroit like a shit cloud. It's a terrible thing that we all want to leave behind, but the stark and horrible reality is that none of those three receivers, all top ten picks, are with the Lions. It is stunning and it is horrifying and it is the ultimate indictment of Millen when his ability to draft is brought into the discussion.
I still have two more years to go in this infernal review and thankfully Calvin Johnson looms on the horizon and next time around I get to talk about one of my favorite players, Ernie Sims, so hopefully the darkest of these horrible days is behind us. And hopefully, it'll finally be behind the Lions and all of their fans soon too. After all, I am an optimist.