The Detroit Lions have had many blunders during the NFL Draft over the years. Lets take a look at the 3 worst Lions Draft Picks of all time.
Say it quietly, but long-suffering Lions fans have reason to hope going into the 2022 NFL season. Their 3-13-1 record in 2021 didn’t tell the whole story, with Dan Campbell’s men more competitive than it would suggest. While it took Detroit until week 13 to get their first win – a 29-27 win over the Vikings – they’d made life difficult for a lot of tough opponents prior, notably only succumbing by two points to a hugely fancied Baltimore. New head coach Dan Campbell came in espousing a culture of hustling hard and by late season, it seemed to be clicking; culminating in a 30-12 blowout of the Cardinals and a final week victory over Green Bay.
Detroit Lions Draft History
In years gone by, Detroit’s drafting has been less of an issue than what they do with the players when they get to Ford Field. There seems to be logic to the 2022 class. Aidan Hutchinson was projected at the peak of plenty of pundits draft boards. When the Jaguars took Travon Walker with the overall first, the defensive end was a no-brainer at 2 – particularly as he’s a born and raised Michigander. Josh Paschal overcame malignant melanoma in college to captain Kentucky. These are culture guys. Still, it may be a little early to dream of championships. The Lions are ranked as outsiders with Coral for Super Bowl LVII, with only Houston Texans felt less likely to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy. In the division though, Chicago project as being awful in 2022, and the opportunity for incremental progress is there for Detroit’s taking. And there’s a huge bonus, as coach Campbell won’t be starting the season with any of these guys Chuck Long (1986) Having perhaps the best name ever for a quarterback – only a tight end called Bigdude Catchball would be an improvement – Iowa Hawkeyes star Chuck Long held the best completion percentage of any QB with over 1,000 passing attempts. He was denied the Heisman Trophy as best college player in the country only by the legendary Bo Jackson. This did not translate to the pros. His best season came in 1987 where he played 12 games, threw 11 touchdowns total for 20 picks with a fairly miserable completion rate of 55.8%. Five seasons with the Lions saw Long feature in only 21 games, of which they won only four. Andre Ware (1989) A signal-caller with an even more polished pedigree than Long, Ware pitched up in Michigan having won the Heisman Trophy with the Houston Cougars. But in three seasons with the Lions, he played in only 14 games and started only six. Some say his game didn’t develop well enough from college ball to account for meaner and quicker NFL defenses. Others think head coach Wayne Fontes didn’t trust him. Being the Lions QB in 1989 wouldn’t have been that taxing a job when Barry Sanders is in the backfield to be handed off to. Mike Williams (WR) Wideout Williams was a stud for USC and racked up 30 scores over two seasons to prove that. Williams sat out the season before being taken 10th overall by the Lions in 2005. Less than ideal preparation for the pros was further hindered by landing at a franchise in complete disarray. In two years at Detroit, Williams played under three different head coaches, three different OCs and four different quarterbacks.
None seemed to know what to do with him and he started only six games, reaching the end zone twice. Williams was cut in 2006, and spent 2008 through 2010 out of football altogether. Having ballooned 60lbs over playing weight – before his old college coach Pete Carroll landed the Seattle Seahawks job. Answering Carroll’s call, Williams played 26 games and acted as a mentor to a very young Seahawks side. Four years later, that side took the Super Bowl. There could – perhaps should – have been a scenario where Williams could have been catching passes from a rookie Matt Stafford. Next season sees seven fresh picks on the Detroit roster. Let’s hope they have Lions careers that don’t see them in pieces like these ten years down the line.