2014 NFL Divisional Playoffs – Odds

Contribution by: A. Fletcher

Odds.xlsx1212

Thought Process:

 NO v. SEA:

Both teams averaged 25.9 points a game during the regular season. To be simple, that would mean we could expect a final score of about 52 points and that is not far from where I predicted the final score to land. Seattle is rated #1 for total defense for the regular season(ESPN.COM, 2014). With that said I believe that Seattle can make Drew Brees very uncomfortable and he will have a hard time spreading the ball around, contributing to the 5.9 less than average points I predicted, let’s just call it a touchdown. This shouldn’t be a blow out, and New Orleans defense is no slouch either, they can and will cause problems for the Seattle offense.  Bottom line Seattle wins, but by a defensive touchdown, and that will be enough to offset two teams that pose a very close to equal matchup. I think New Orleans losing by 9 or more points is crazy.

NE v. IND:

Two bad defenses, both of which are among the worst twelve in the league during the regular season. This is a easy a pick though in my opinion. Bottom line, despite the inevitable aging and slight production decrease, Tom Brady is a KILLER, period, he is heartless and has ice in his veins come time for the playoffs. Not to mention Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are 11-3 in the playoffs at home. I like Andrew Luck a lot, but he and Indy are going to get “clowned on” in Foxborough on Saturday, if the average spread was -14 I probably would have picked it.

SF v. CAR:

Two great defenses – both of which are in the top 5 in Total Defense during the regular season and two REALLY bad offenses – both of which are in the bottom 10 in total offense during the regular season. The spread had an average over the sports books websites used of -1 and +1. This probably will not be a good game to watch, unless your into mediocre shit, but San Fran has the edge here based on having the more explosive offense. I have a total of 27 points being scored, this is probably a bit high but I could not bring myself to post a 10 – 7 score.

SD v. DEN:

This may be the most exciting game of the playoffs. Denver lost 3 games this season and only 1 in the AFC west. That 1 divisional loss was dealt to them by the Chargers in the second half of the season. Honestly, I think Peyton Manning is Pissed. He lost to a team that eventually ended the regular season with a 9-7 record, but on a heater when they went to Denver. I would not be surprised if Manning throws for 5 touchdowns on Sunday. At brass tacks, this Denver’s year, I don’t think that any team can stop them from a Super bowl championship this year. Peyton Manning is going to torch the Chargers and send them back “whale’s vagina” with thoughts of drafting a QB in the first two rounds next year.

A Way Too Early 2014 NFL Mock Draft

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**2014 NFL Mock Draft**

Contribution by M. Pawlak

**1. Houston Texans** select **Teddy Bridgewater** QB. Louisville. This team endured an absolute debacle during their 2013 campaign. They undoubtedly need a QB here. Bridgewater, equipped elite tools, posted spectacular numbers at Louisville. He has the precision accuracy all NFL teams desire. Expect Bridgewater to go no later than #3. With plenty of teams needing a quarterback, there is also possibility someone could trade up to this spot. The best QB in the draft.

**2. St. Louis Rams (via. Washington)** select **Jadeveon Clowney** DE. South Carolina. The most talented defensive player in the draft, Clowney is is simply not a human being. He has ideal size for the NFL, speed that rivals most skill position players in the draft, and will instantly provide his suiter with a playmaker on defense. His work ethic has been a question mark, but for a man-child who could have been playing on Sunday since he was 17, I can understand how he could lose interest or grow complacent.

**3. Jacksonville Jaguars** select **Johnny Manziel** QB, Texas A&M. This is a lot higher than most would think that Johnny Football would be taken, but I’m assuming the Jags will not resist. Manziel will immediately add explosiveness, and more importantly, hope, to this perennial bottom-feeder.  They have been in need of a franchise QB ever since Mark Brunell in the 90’s. With the emergence of smaller, athletic QB’s such as Russ Wilson,  I expect the Jags to pull right away on this 6’1, former Heisman trophy winner. This move should help boost the pathetic attendance situation down in Jacksonville.

**4. Cleveland Browns** select ** Blake Bortles**  QB. UCF. The Cleveland Browns were highly scrutinized for trading Trent Richardson just weeks into the 2013 campaign. Trading Richardson now seems genius, as this team has a silly amount of draft picks. Priority number 1 will be getting their QB of the future in Bortles. It didn’t take long for everyone in college football  to notice this small school gunslinger. He is known to possess tremendous leadership skills, and an NFL ready body. In the limited amount of game action I have seen, he looks to be in the mold of Ben Rothlisberger with slightly better athleticism.

**5. Oakland Raiders** select **Sammy Watkins** WR. Clemson. Sorry Lions fans but the best, and most NFL ready offensive playmaker comes off the board here. Blazing speed, ideal size to be effective in the red zone, and superstar potential are all traits Watkins brings to the table, along with GREAT hair. His 16-catch bowl game performance will have his draft stock trending upwards. He could go top 3.

**6. Atlanta Falcons** select **Jake Matthews** OT. Texas A&M. Despite deploying a porous defense in 2013, and losing their top player (Julio Jones) to injury, the Falcons struggled to keep Matt Ryan upright. In order for Ryan to sling the pigskin around the gridiron he needs protection. They get just that in this 6’5″, 305 lb. Bookend, who is consensually viewed as the best offensive lineman available.

**7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers** select **Anthony Barr** OLB. UCLA. Offensive Tackle also makes sense here. Barr can straight out get to the Quarterback. With Love Smith implementing the Tampa 2 here, a premier pass rusher is of most importance. The Bucs will have to get creative in using him, but the raw talent is there. In most drafts he would be off the board in the top 5.

**8. Minnesota Vikings** select **Derek Carr** QB. Fresno State. Does this name sound familiar? That’s right his older brother is that one time no.1 pick bust. Derek Carr is a better QB than his elder brother, and it speaks to how strong of a draft this year that Derek Carr gets taken here. He is still a work in progress mechanically, but has very good skills and a relatively high ceiling. The Vikings embarrassing QB situation forces this pick, as they attempt to erase the blunder that was Christian Ponder. The Vikings lose out big with UCLA (rs Jr.) QB Brett Hundley  announcing he will return for another collegiate year. He and Winston will likely be the top two QB’s for 2015, both of them being superior to Carr.

**9. Buffalo Bills** select **Khalil Mack**  OLB. Buffalo. Buffalo has to look no further than their own back yard to find this gem. A plug and play starting OLB, with skills that rival Anthony Barr, this appears to be a home run pick for the Bills of the north. With Manny Lawson, and Mario Williams already on board, Mack will make this front 7 among the most feared in the league.

**10. Detroit Lions**select**Darqueze Dennard** CB. Michigan State. First off, I want to stand off any “homer” bias with this pick, as it’s well-known that I am pro-Michigan. Those who have watched Dennard play see that this guy plays with an edge that will translate beautifully to the NFL. Think Derelle Revis with slightly less cover skills, but as good (likely better) ability to press a wide receiver at the line of scrimmage, and attack in the run game. Dennard isn’t the best DB in the draft, but is the best CB, a position the Lions have failed to field competitively since the beginning of time. A very good athlete, but a better ‘football player’. This guy can flat out play football. He brings a skill set that will be useful from the minute he puts on the Honalulu Blue and Silver. Darqueze joins Jedaveon Clowney, and Khalil Mack (Daddy) on the “all name” team in this draft so far.

**11. Tennessee Titans** select**Greg Robinson** OT. Auburn. This franchise simply can not afford to have their up and coming QB, Jake Locker knocked out of the lineup regularly. Robinson is a converted guard and at 6’5″ 305lb. (sound familiar?) And should adequately upgrade the Titans running and passing attack.

**12. New York Giants** select **Taylor Lewan** OT. Michigan.  This mammoth offensive tackle was once considered a lock in the top 5 if he had entered the draft as a junior. A combination of nagging injuries, an offensive identity crisis in Ann Arbor has caused Lewan’s stock to plummet. Not so fast my friends! This 6’7″ 315 lb. behemoth is one of the steals of the draft. Lewan has the athleticism to be the pass-blocking type of Left Tackle that all teams require in this pass-heavy league. The former Wolverine (in every sense of the word) is a plus run blocker as well.  Lewan stayed but wasn’t close to being a champion for the maize and blue, but he may be just what Eli Manning needs to once again sleep at night.

**13. St. Louis Rams** select **Mike Evans** WR, Texas A&M. Mike Evans is a beast at 6’5 225. His skills are equally imposing. He immediately becomes the best receiving option this team has deployed since the Vermeil/Martz era. The Lions could take a strong look at Evans. Do not be raged up if they do go this route. He’s a former basketball player and has shown significant improvement during his career at A&M and now is dominant. Do not be surprised if Evans gets into the top 10.

**14. Chicago Bears** select **Ha Ha Clinton-Dix**  S, Alabama. Pencil this man right near the top of the all-name team. Fuck it, he goes right to the top! Chicago may also look to reach on a defensive end here, and I certainly hope they do. HaHa is the best defensive back this draft has to offer. Chicago definitely needs all the help they can get on that pathetic excuse for a defense. I really hate the thought of having to deal with this talent bi-yearly. It would be like insult to injury should Matthew Stafford ever get intercepted by a guy named HaHa. Especially if he’s wearing a Bears jersey. This is pissing me off even thinking about it. On to the next pick.

**15. Pittsburgh Steelers** select **C.J. Mosely** LB, Alabama. The Steelers draft front seven or OL nearly every year in the first round. Mike Tomlin & co. will continue to do so. Mosley will fit in nicely in the interior of this linebacker unit, and will rake up tackles at a high volume. The Steelers may also be tempted to give big Ben an outside weapon here, but for now I like them pulling the trigger on this tackle-machine.

**16. Baltimore Ravens** select **Marquise Lee** WR, USC. Baltimore needs to get Flacco some  help and will look no further than this Trojan. Lee has shown flashes of greatness as a collegiate, but the circus act led by former coach Kiffin overshadowed this. Lee is a do-it-all type receiver and should see the field early. He is  slightly behind Watkins and Evans at WR.

**17.  Dallas Cowboys** select ** Louis Nix** DT, Notre Dame. At 340 lbs. Nix is a space eater inside. The Cowboy’s are thin on the defensive side of the ball, and there is nothing thin about this man. Nix is the # 1 DT in the draft, and  would be a good value pick here. Jerry Jones may have a wildcard in his back pocket here, but in the mean time, let’s assume he does the responsible thing and adds to his defensive front.

**18. New York Jets** select ** Kelvin Benjamin** WR, FSU. KB is a 6’5″ junior who elected to go pro. He chose wisely, and will be drafted in the first round this year. The New York Football Jets could use this big target on the outside. Benjamin could emerge as a dangerous red zone threat early. It’s hard to imagine the Jet’s looking anywhere else other than at offensive playmakers here.

**19. Miami Dolfins** select **Cyrus Kouandjio** OT, Alabama. Miami needs help up front in the worse way. They lost most of their offensive lineman in 2013 to injury, bullying, and suspension.  This unit was a colossal train wreck, as much as Incognito was s colossal Richard. The good news is Cyrus K is a top 15 worthy player that has started multiple seasons for the Tide. We’re talking about a program that churns out more quality offensive lineman than anyone else. Cyrus K is big, experienced, and can play several positions up front. Add this road-grater to the all-name team.

**20. Arizona Cardinals** select **Vic Beasley** OLB, Clemson. The front seven is aging in the desert so Beasley appears to be a solid fit here. Beasley is a well rounded, just solid overall linebacker. He has developed very good pass rush skills and especially showed them off later in the season.  He could be the injection of youth the Cardinals need on defense. This pick will likely be used on the offensive line, or front 7 on defense.

**21. Green Bay Packers** select **Calvin Pryor** S, Louisville. Nobody has heard of Pryor, mainly because he just declared as a junior. This man is a big, physical safety who is not shy around the line of scrimmage. He’s on the raw side, but could be a good piece for the future to the Packers sorry secondary. He’s the second best S in the draft, and will not fall much further than here.

**22. Philadelphia Eagles** select **Tim Jernigan** DT, FSU. Tim Jernigan is an ultra athletic DT who is a high upside player. He could be used in multiple ways up front for the Eagles. With a high-octane offense in place, the Eagles will undoubtedly load up on defense early and often on draft day. Jernigan is the most talented defensive player available at this spot regardless of position and is a legitimate gem.

**23. Kansas City Chiefs** select **Eric Ebron** TE, UNC. Tight end has really become a key offensive position in the modern NFL. Ebron is the best option in the draft and will immediately impact this mild offense. Ebron has speed, hands, and could represent someone who must be accounted for by defenses at all time.

**24. Cincinnati Bengals** select **Ryan Shazier** OLB, OSU. Shazier has the ability to play multiple linebacker positions, and plays with great speed. Cincinnati  craves speed on defense and Shazier fits the bill. With a good showing at the combine, Shazier could see his draft stock rise.

**25. San Diego Chargers** select **Kony Ealy** DE, Missouri. The Chargers are another team that will look to add defense. Ealy is a high end pass rusher that they are looking for. The Chargers could also look to improve their 29th ranked secondary here. Ealy is an interesting prospect whose draft position varies widely from mock to mock. For now I’ll put Early in that final third of the first round. Kony easily gets on the all-name team.

**26. Cleveland Browns** select **Justin Gilbert** CB, Oklahoma State. Cleveland has a solid defense but have the luxury of selecting the second best CB in the draft here. Gilbert, paired with Joe Haden will solidify their defensive backfield. Gilbert is too good to pass here.

**27. New Orleans Saints** select **Cedric Ogbuehi** OT, Texas A&M. Drew Brees was really beat up this year. They are set to lose their starting right tackle via free agency. Cedric is certainly the best player left on the board. He has potential to move up into the first half of this round. This would be a no brainer pick for NOLA.

**28 New England Patriots** select **Jace Amaro** TE, Texas Tech. Here the Patriots go again with the tight ends. Gronkowski’s injuries have robbed him the last two sessions, and he just isn’t reliable. Hernandez is off training with Ray Crew and the chain gang eager to take on the the prison guards. Meanwhile, Amaro is just the type of matchup nightmare Billicheck likes to deploy. Amaro is the second best TE in the draft, and not by much.

**29. Carolina Panthers** select **Jordan Matthews** WR, Vanderbilt. With Steve Smith getting up there in age, the Panthers need to add a WR. Matthews is not the physical specimen that the previous  wide receivers drafted are. He is a polished player who can step in and contribute immediately for this Panthers offense.

**30. San Francisco 49ers** select ** Cyril Richardson** G, Baylor. There could be a a WR selected here, but the 49ers will be overjoyed should this 340 lb. hauss slip this far. Richardson is the best interior lineman of this class and could anchor this group for the next decade. He plays with a Larry Warford- like mean streak. Cyril seems like as good fit in this power running attack. Cyril also gets consideration for the all-name team.

**31 Denver Broncos** select **Jason Verett** CB, TCU. This high powered offensive team will likely select defense early. Verett is considered the best CB this draft has to offer to some. At 5’10” he lacks the height to match up on the outside. With most offensive sets in the league being WR heavy, a solid nickel corner is necessary. It is highly unlikely he falls out of the first based on skill alone.

**32. Seattle Seahawks **select **Stephon Tuitt** DE/DT, Notre Dame. To round out the first round in this (way too early) mock draft Seattle selects this versatile defensive lineman. At 6’6″, 300 lbs. Tuitt can play both inside and out. His ceiling is high, and he hasn’t peaked yet. Seattle doesn’t have a lot of holes to fill, but there is no such thing as too many bodies in the defensive front seven in the NFL.

Joe D’s Draft History

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Joe Dumars Draft History Analysis

Contribution by M. Jones

For my first contribution, i decided it was time to start a discussion and evaluation around everyone’s favorite General Manager.  I am talking about the man who wore the Pistons white, blue and red for 14 years and helped lead the Bad Boys to back to back titles: Joe D.  For the past few years many pistons fans have been critical of the man as the pistons have slid deeper into the NBA cellar and turned into an annual lottery pick waiting to happen just to lose to the son of the man who now truly runs the D, Dan Gilbert.  I won’t get into the legitimacy of the lottery and my gut feeling that the NBA is rubbing the Cavs nuts for the whole LeBron debacle by just happening to draw that top pick repeatedly, we can revisit that in a later blog as the draft approaches.  For now, my focus will be on evaluating Joe D’s draft history and his ability to draft and develop his picks over the past decade or so.

2003:

Darko Milicic (Round 1, pick 2);

Carlos Delfino (Round 1, pick 25);

Andreas Glyniadakis (Round 2, pick 58)

The draft where it has to start….the infamous 2003 blunder.

Carmelo, Wade, LeBron, Juwanna Man (Bosh) and even Captain Kirk.  Ugh.  Without a doubt, one of the worst mistakes by any GM in NBA history happened on this day when Dumars fell in love with a Serbian who had a great YouTube clip and ‘unlimited’ potential.  I can’t decide if i should move on or dwell on this dark day in pistons history.  Joe D was convinced this guy could become the key to many key victories down the road, and he ends up being no more than the human victory cigar.  In retrospect, there was a lot of debate at the time whether or not a guy such as wade or melo would gel with the incredible core Dumars assembled as Rip and Tayshaun were in the prime and Motown was rolling but fuck it, we all know the story i will move on.

And then you have Delfino who showed potential for a small part while playing with Detroit and then went on to contribute to a few non-contenders down the road.  Delfino is still playing pro-ball.  And then there is Andres.  Who you ask?? Exactly.  Dumars has demonstrated a complete lack of ability to find talent in the second round of any draft he has ever overseen as you will continue to read.  It was clear that in 2003, Joe D was going through a phase of foreign love like a sophomore female in college who is studying abroad and getting stuffed like a teddy bear in Paris.

Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2003:

After Darko at 2: Melo (3), Bosh (4), Wade (5), Kaman (Oooh Ahhh you wish you were a Chippewa caveman at 6), Hinrich (aka the NBA 2K create a player you have all made at 7) and David West (18).

After Delfino at 25: Kendrick Perkins, Leonardo Barbosa, Steve Blake, Matt Bonner (Ginger based god) and Kyle Korver.

Draft Grade – Clearly a big Fucking F to start off the show.

2004:

Rickey Paulding (Round 2, pick 54)

The draft after hoisting the championship, the Pistons draft picks were limited to one late 2nd rounder, and no real gems would have come from keeping their late first rounder.  (Another article on his track record with trades/free agents to come at a future date).  Rickey Paulding never panned out but Dumars had very little work with.  As a result, this year is not applicable for grading.

Draft Grade – N/A – Hey it’s better than failing after 2003.  Let’s move on.

2005:

Jason Maxiell (Round 1, pick 26);

Amir Johnson (Round 2, pick 56);

Alex Acker (Round 2, pick 60)

Back to a normal draft year for Dumars to evaluate.   Jason Maxiell.  The next Big Ben.  He’s only 6 foot 7 but he was going to learn from the man and become a force.  I have always believed that Dumars invested way too much time and MONEY in maxiell.  Dumars believed so much in the dude that he pushed him into a starter role years later and tried to keep convincing someone, anyone, that he was a good pick.  Well it turns out he wasn’t at all.

On to Amir Johnson, and the trend of Dumars trading guys he drafted before they developed.  Looking back now, Johnson was probably a steal in the 2nd round and probably the only one you will see on this list.  Too bad he’s hanging out in Toronto spending all his loonies and toonies on the new Drake albums saying ‘hell yeah fucking right doggie.’  And Alex Acker, yup i will move on again but hey he was the last pick so no big issue there.

Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2005:

After Maxiell at 26: David Lee (30), Brandon Bass (33), Monta Ellis (40), Louis Williams (45)

After Amir at 56: MARCIN GORTAT (57) YES THE POLISH FUCKING HAMMER

Draft Grade – A Firm D – …. At this rate Joe D isn’t getting that diploma

2006:

Will Blalock (Round 2, pick 60)

Similar to the 2004 draft, the Pistons draft picks were limited to one late 2nd rounder, and no real gems would have come from keeping their late first rounder.  As a result, another N/A. Side note, this was Joe’s first attempt to find someone that Mason could call Will ‘the thrill’.

Draft Grade – N/A

2007:

Rodney Stuckey (Round 1, pick 15);

Arron Afflalo (Round 1, pick 27);

Sammy Mejia (Round 2, pick 57)

The first important draft of the rebuilding era for the Stones that has fallen so flat on its face.  At the time, the catch phrase was ‘reload’ instead of ‘rebuild’ still but we all know the steep fall from this point.  Stuckey is a tough one for me to be critical on.  I was very high on this pick from day one and always thought he was going to prove everyone wrong.  A high volume scorer at a time when the pistons core could not register 100 on the big board on the Palace with an aging Rip Hamilton.  The reason that this pick eventually fell flat was the belief that Stuckey was a star on a good team down the road and not a 5th/6th man on a good team in the long run.  Still have a gut feeling that if Rodney can escape Auburn Hills in the next 1-2 years, you will see a resurgence for him and he will live up to expectations more than he has.

To take a step back, Stuck for his career has posted about 13.5 points a game and always shows flashes every week or two.  At the end of the day, the lack of ability to ever shoot much above 40% from the field and under 30% from long range are the stats that stick with you and prevent him from excelling.  Still not Joe’s worst pick, and definitely not since 2003.

Now onto Afflalo.  Damnit.  An all-American in his final year at UCLA and a gritty player who could contribute in many ways on the court.  And he was from Compton.  In a battle for Compton street credit, i would take afflalo over Tayshaun and his lanky ass arms and he even gets a shout out on Kendrick Lamar’s latest album.  Battle over.  Joe D finally hit on a late draft pick and he’s now scoring 20+ a game and making an argument for a 2014 all-star appearance in a uniform that is not the Detroit Pistons.  And Sammy Mejia.  C’mon man.

Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2007:

After Stuckey: Marco Belinelli (18), Wilson Chandler (23) the man was never the same after spending time in China with JR Smith, go figure.

Draft Grade – Best of the bunch so far from a pure draft standpoint with no great talent below stuckey and the decision to get Afflalo even though he blew his load later by trading him.  B+

2008:

D.J. White (Round 1, pick 29); [Rights traded for WALTER SHARPE]

Deron Washington (Round 2, pick 59)

Walter Sharpe played one season and averaged 1.0 points per game.  Wow.  Let’s move straight to how he messed this one up.

Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2008:

After the 29th pick: Nicola Pekovic (30).  Let’s expand on this one.  Did you know this man was a stand in for the Goonies movie?  Turns out he is a rebound machine and now one half of the big white machine in Minnesota with K Love.  Turned out to be a big fuck up, because we had Maxiell so we didn’t need a big man, right?  Oh and then there is DeAndre Jordan (35), Omer Asik (36) and Goran Dragic (45).  That’s 4 guys drafted late in the draft who are now very solid players and not to mention 3 are big guys which the pistons desperately needed until Dre came to town recently.  Just terrible.

Draft Grade – Even though 2nd rounders are tough to call this draft by Joe was pathetic.  The list of guys we could have had leave me with no option but another F.

2009:

Austin Daye (Round 1, pick 15); [Drafted BJ Mullens at 15 and traded for Daye who was at 30, also acquired Jonas]

DaJuan Summers (Round 2, pick 35);

Jonas Jerebko (Round 2, pick 39);

Chase Budinger (Round 2, pick 44) – Traded to Houston for hand job and a smile.

And we continue on.  Joe Dumars clearly was trying to recreate the core he built that won the 2004 championship.  Austin Daye.  SMH.  Austin Daye?  DaJuan Summers played ok as a role player and then disappeared.  Jonas banged half of Lake Orion and Auburn Hills and then decided he wasn’t ever going to develop.  At least Joe D got than good ole’ fashioned in the deal from Houston.

Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2009:

After Daye via the 15: Tyler Hansbrough (16), Jeff Teague (19), Jrue Holiday (20), Ty Lawson (21) and Brandon Jennings (22).

Notable 2nd Rounders: DeMare Carrol (36) I think he sucks but he starts for the Hawks who own us this year, Taj Gibson (38), Darren Collison (42), Danny Green (47), Jodie Meeks (49) and Wesley Matthews (58).

Draft Grade – What the fuck?  A deep draft that could have resulted in Lawson and Green and we come out with nothing.  D.

2010:

Greg Monroe (Round 1, pick 7);

Terrico White (Round 2, pick 36)

Ok, so after years of absolutely failing Joe D is back in the top ten picks of the draft and has a chance to start again.  I still remember where i was for this draft and i still remember yelling at the TV begging for Joe D to trade up two picks to get DeMarcus Cousins at 5.  Fate fell into the pistons hands finally though on this day as Golden State topped even Dumars and failed hard by picking Ekpe Udoh at 6.  This is Dumars best pick to date in this review as the Moose has developed into a VERY good player.  I consider Monroe to be one of the most underrated players in the league today.  The man can do everything on the court well and is a knock down jump shot and a pistons playoff berth away from being an all-star.

But in all fairness, with a top 10 pick it deserves a deeper dive into who else could be sporting the Motor City jerseys on Sundays.

Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2010:

Gordon Hayward (9) – Still happy with Gmo at this point.

Then you see PAUL GEORGE (10) – Must have been the two first names thing.  But damnit, this guy is leading the Pacers to the best record in the land and he has developed into a top 10 guard in all of the world.  Damnit again.

Luke Babbit (16) – Terrible pick but Joe’s former apprentice (Hammonds) for the bucks but just still really funny to me that this guy went so high.  Milwaukee is the only team who drafts on our level year over year.

Eric Bledsoe (18) – Turned into a good player but still good with GMO.

Notable 2nd Rounders after Terrico: Lance Stephenson (40).  For the record Terrico has never registered even a single stat in the NBA.  Weak 2nd round besides Lance who is a starter for the league-leading Pacers.

Draft Grade – I still really like the Monroe pick.  If George wasn’t in the draft it would be an A, but i have to downgrade it to a B knowing we could have an elite wing player who is about to hit his prime in the next few years.

2011:

Brandon Knight (Round 1, pick 8);

Kyle Singler (Round 2, pick 33);

Vernon Macklin (Round 2, pick 52)

Well this is an interesting one for me.  I was a huge fan of the Knight pick on draft day and for his rookie season.  A one year college player who i thought could develop but he’s already off the roster in 2014.  For once we see Dumars getting some value in the second round with THE bucket man.  Singler is a solid contributor to the current team, even though the current record in nothing to brag about.  I think he will still be on the roster once things finally get turned around and i envision 20,000+ strong in the Palace chanting ‘bucket man’.  Macklin created some hype in the D League but still has never shown anything in the NBA so he is probably never going to at this point.

Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2011:

After Knight at 8 – Kemba Walker (9), Klay Thompson (11) DAMNIT, Kawhi Leonard (15), Iman Shumpert (17), Tobias Harris (19), Kenneth Faried (22), Reggie Jackson (24) and Jimmy Butler (30).

Notable 2nd Rounders after Singler at 33: Chandler Parsons (38) and Isiah Thomas (60).

Draft Grade – Was ok with it at the time, but who wouldn’t honestly take essentially any of those guys listed above over Knight (and by association Jennings) today?  Not many of you.  Thompson, Faried, Jackson, Parsons and Thomas would all look pretty damn good in the Stones uniform these days.  Given the fact that i thought Knight was a steal on draft day and he was later swapped for Jennings who can hoop, i will let Joe get away with a C+ here.

2012:

Andre Drummond (Round 1, pick 9);

Khris Middleton (Round 2, pick 39);

Kim English (Round 2, pick 44)

Finally a true bright spot.  Andre is one of the best centers in the league at a very young age and will only continue to develop.  Joe D hit the jackpot on this one and now has the piece he needs to build a contender once again.  Middleton and English are both already no longer affiliated with the Pistons, so i consider those wasted picks.

Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2012:

After Dre at 9 – After closer review of the 2012 draft after the 9th pick, it is clearly one of the weakest drafts in years.  Again a pure home run here for Joe D, which may have saved his job.

Draft Grade – A+.  Yes an A+, trust me the rest of the draft is terrible at this point.

2013:

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Round 1, pick 8);

Tony Mitchell (Round 2, pick 37);

Peyton Siva (Round 2, pick 56)

This is toughest to rate so far given that we are not even at the all-star break yet for the rookie season of the draft class.  I was surprised by the pick on draft day, but i have seen a few flashes from KCP that suggest there may be some light at the end of the tunnel here.  He is currently on a roster full of guys who shoot like they will never touch the ball again with J Smooth, Jennings, Stuckey and Will the Thrill.  Mitchell showed big flashes in summer league but is having trouble getting on the court.  Siva seems like he should see some time but the backcourt, like always under Dumars’ rule is log-jammed.  Still worth analyzing the early results to see if there was a miss here.

Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2013:

After KCP and 8 – It starts with Trey Burke at 9.  I watched nearly every game of his career at Michigan and was disappointed we passed on Trey Trey.  He has started to turn around a terrible Utah team, so probably a mistake here all bias aside.  Then you have Carter-Williams at 11 who has been lighting the NBA on fire and may be on the way to rookie of the year honors.  Can’t forget to give Timmy a shout out at 24 too, he is starting to play well for the Knicks and will benefit if they can ever rid themselves of the debacle that the resigning of JR Smith was this offseason.  Just watch out Timmy, this dumb asshole may untie your shoes in practice of straight-up bring the glock to work Gilbert Arenas style.  Probably too early to judge the 2nd rounders just yet, but no obvious misses at this point in time.

Draft Grade – B.  Outside of MCW and Trey, no obvious screw up just yet.  Let’s give KCP sometime before throwing Joe D under the bus AGAIN. 

Overall Consensus:

Overall there are definitely more failures than success stories to speak of.  And though I realize the drafts are crap shoots at times, there are successful NBA GM’s that are very effective and reload over and over just ask the Spurs.  Joe D has been on borrowed time for years now, but has hung on by throwing nearly a dozen coaches under the bus.  In this guy’s opinion, he has made more of a case for replacement than extension.  Tom Gores (and his hair) should be on the recruiting trail now unless some drastic happens.

Welcome

Good evening gentlemen. This post will be dedicated to opening our prestigious Detroit sports blog.  I want to get input and ideas from everybody concerning what you guys think. I would also like to discuss in what area each of you would like to contribute to this dynasty-to-be.

**Our roster and roles are as follows:**

Dirty Birdie: Golf. Golf. and more Golf.

Matt Jones: Detroit Pistons, College Hoops.

Austin Fletcher: Sports Betting, Michigan State Spartans.

Paul Giannosa: Detroit Red Wings.

Scott Millington: Twitter

Zachary Fict: Detroit Lions.

Trevor Parnell: University of Michigan Sports.

Dennis Beamer: MMA fighting.

Steve Jacobs: A look at Michigan-born athletes.

Mike Pawlak: Mock Drafts, NCAA Recruiting, other odds and ends.

As you see, we have a lot of areas covered. I am interested in adding several other analysts, if you guys have any ideas spread the word. What we are looking for out of each man is to provide a minimum of 1 blog post a week that relates to your area of analysis. You are welcome to write as much as you like, but the minimum requirement will be 1. The mood of this blog will be a “no holds-barred” approach  to local sports analysis.There are a lot of ideas floating around, and I would like to use this initial post to acquire ideas on how you guys want to structure. Please leave your name when creating a post or commenting (were all using the same login avatar).

Our e-mail is:

meltdownmotown@gmail.com

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If anyone has any questions please e-mail us.

-Your fellow admin, Michael Pawlak.