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4/10/2007 02:41:00 PM

This Year's Mario Williams?

Gaines Adams, who was impressive at the combine, is moving up draft boards.

VIDEO: Gaines Adams

Gaines Adams is starting to remind me more of Mario Williams every day.

Like Williams, who went No. 1 overall to the Texans last year, Adams appears to be making a late run toward the top of the draft. The Clemson defensive end has shot up to No. 2 in some mock drafts. And like Williams, Adams has drawn attention because of his combine workout and because he was much better in the second half of his senior season.

At 258 pounds, Adams ran a 4.66 40, a 4.36 20-yard shuttle (that's a great time) and had a 35-inch vertical in Indy. He is the all-time sack leader at Clemson, so it's unfair to label him just a workout wonder. But eye-popping combine numbers seem to be a red flag for potential busts.

You would think if the Lions really wanted Adams, they'd try to trade down and take him at No. 4 or lower. But as Peter King pointed out on Monday, teams are afraid to move up this year.

I know Detroit has been burned by drafting skills' positions, but can you imagine if Calvin Johnson goes No. 1 to the Raiders, quarterback JaMarcus Russell is availabe and the Lions still go with Adams? If Detroit's Matt Millen is motivated by saving his job and thinks a veteran QB like Jon Kitna has a better chance of winning this season, then this franchise is in trouble.

If the Lions did go with Adams, then some weird things could happen at the top of the draft. Say Johnson goes first, then the Browns take Ohio native Brady Quinn. The Bucs at No. 4 can't take another quarterback and the Cardinals at No. 5 have Matt Leinart. Barring a trade, Russell could fall to 'Skins, who already have a young QB, at No. 6. A doubtful scenario, but we've seen top-rated QBs plummet in recent years.

A great pass-rusher is invaluable, but I'm not sure Adams is the right guy to lead the Lions back to respectability. Let me know what you think will happen at the No. 2 spot.

posted by SI.com | View comments |  


Posted: 2:55 PM   by Anonymous
would the redskins take russell at #6? they already have campbell....although i'm sure they'd love to trade down
Posted: 2:58 PM   by Anonymous
the thing no one really understands is no one player is going to make any sort of impact on the lions this year regardless of who they take. im just happy they have so many later round picks so they now have a foundation to build from. besides furrey, williams and sims who on the lions is worth keeping?
Posted: 3:24 PM   by Anonymous
Depends on who goes at #1.

If Johnson goes #1, Detroit won't find a trade partner and will be forced to take Joe Thomas.

If Russell goes #1, Johnson will go #2, but I doubt it will be to the Lions. I suspect Tampa Bay, Washington, or Minnesota will swap places with Detroit and take Johnson at #2.
Posted: 3:26 PM   by Anonymous
If Johnson goes 1, then who is to say the browns would not choose Russell over Quinn.
Posted: 3:47 PM   by Anonymous
Matt Millen totally has the stones to pick another skill player. Why is everyone assuming he's going to pick Joe Thomas? Roy Williams on one side and Johnson on the other would be pretty deadly. Don't put it past him.
Posted: 3:53 PM   by Jay
Anyone who watched Detroit play more than two games last year saw alot of things:
they couldn't stop a brown paper bag against the run. They didn't create enough stops on third down. They didn't generate any pressure with their pass-rush. On offense they couldn't establish the run (which was why Kitna's numbers were so bloated), they couldn't adequately protect Kitna on third and long (which they got into because they couldn't get easy yards on first down)
So to answer the question, is Gaines Adams this year's Mario Williams? No. Because Calvin Johnson, Joe Thomas, and JaMarcuss Russell are all more highly sought after than Adams and each represents a player position which could be considerd (in Detroit's sad state) a luxury. The Lions will go with a pass-rusher somewhere in the first two rounds though. They have to. In a division with two QBs (Senor Bobbles AKA Grossman, and Brett Favre) infamous for liking to hold onto the ball, they need to generate more pressure from the outside.
About Millen... Say what you want about Millen, he's got some saavy come draft day. In 2004 he turned the Brown's infatuation with Kellen Winslow Jr. and the 6th overall pick in the first two rounds into two first round picks and an early second round pick. I see Millen doing something similar again picking up at least two, if not three of
-a pass-rusher(see above),
-a corner who fits their scheme,
-an offensive lineman
-an understudy to Kitna (Trent Edwards, Brian Brohm)
Posted: 4:37 PM   by F Star
Joe Thomas is the safest pick at this point in the draft. Will be an immediate starter, and possible pro bowler. No off field trouble, an good skill set make him the right choice. Not the sexy choice, but the right one.
Posted: 5:20 PM   by Anonymous
Dream scenario:

1) Oakland takes Russell
2) Lions swap with Bucs #4 and get their second round pick - Bucs take Johnson
3) Browns take Quinn
4) Lions swap with Cards #5 and get their third round pick - Cards take Thomas
5) Lions take Adams (the player they always wanted) while picking up a high second and high third round pick

Unlikely, but we can still hope.
Posted: 5:23 PM   by Anonymous
The Lions should take Quinn. Let him sit a year and then let him go nuts. The truth is no one is expecting more than four win. I would love to see six. Six would actually be awesome
Posted: 8:41 PM   by Anonymous
the browns will take russell and quinn will fall to mn at #7. gibbs is all about campbell
Posted: 9:01 PM   by Rick
There are two teams that need a QB, Minnesota and Miami. I would love to see the Lions trade down and pick up Alan Branch, will help stop the run and collapse the pocket which is something they desparately need. They can grab a OT in the second round (Staley or Ugoh). That helps fill two glaring needs. Still not sold on another can't miss ND QB ie Quinn.
Posted: 10:06 PM   by Anonymous
I really think the Lions should trade down and take a defensive player such as Gaines Adams or Laron Landry. Our secondary is in shambles and our our defensive ends have had their chance to prove themselves. I say lets see what Dwayne White can do this year as a starter and maybe compliment him with Adams.

I would have no problem with Millen taking Johnson number two but lets be honest he cant pass on a quarterback if Russel or Quinn are still available.

And whats all this talk about Detroit trading with Minnesota so they can take Johnson? Theres no way Detroit would ever be dumb enough to trade down with a team in their division and give them a potential superstar like Johnson.
Posted: 10:45 PM   by George
the lions are terrible, they shouldnt even win more than 2 games based on talent, marinelli has these guys hustling like crazy which is good but i say they need to take calvin johnson if he's there, u cant miss on a player like this just because of past screwups u've made, this would just be another one and that's how franchises end up in this state in the first place. and if hes not there take joe thomas build a solid foundation on the offensive side. one thing i dont get is the speculation surrounding mccown, if hes really that buzzworthy wouldnt u think the lions would like to give him a chance before they just ship him off after one year of riding the bench behind kitna forget wasting a pick on quinn or russell and grooming them, groom the guy you already have....its not hard to see why the lions are in the shape they are, my only regrets are that i didnt start the fire millen club first, nice, classy guy but hes proven hes not capable
Posted: 11:18 PM   by Rick
Kitna probably has two good years left in him, provided he stays healthy, and is protected unlike last year. I say take thomas, then next year draft a qb to sit for a year and learn from kitna, who is an excellent role model and teacher for a young qb. (i.e. carson palmer)Fill need positions from the inside out like the eagles have done, and avoid distraction players. A respectable playoff run in two or three years if millen can find the brain cells to do this.
Posted: 7:23 AM   by Anonymous
The Lions should take Quinn at the 2 spot. Their O & D line do need to be addressed but that can come in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Quinn is the most NFL ready QB in the draft and I don't understand why his stock is falling. They say he can't win the big game last time I checked he didn't play on defense at Notre Dame. Thet're defense was horrible which has out of Brady's control. After sitting for the first ten games or so Brady will be ready to take the wheel and be the QB Joey Harrington never was.
Posted: 8:11 AM   by Anonymous
If the Lions are smart, they take Joe Thomas and put him at left tackle. Move Jeff Bachus to right tackle, and you will have improved both tackle spots in one move.
Posted: 8:41 AM   by Anonymous
I can't presume to know what any personnel man in the league is thinking. That being said, I am not convinced that the Lions must take a QB at #2. If just by looking at Kitna's stats one is concluding that the Lions absolutely need a QB, you're not looking at the whole story. Kitna's passing yardage was bloated not just b/c of a lack of consistent running game, but b/c he is in a Martz system. In a Martz system a QB is urged to throw the ball into coverage if there is a decent shot of a big gain--nevermind that there is an equal chance of an interception. Kitna, who has a history of throwing plenty of INTs, is playing QB in a system where you are guaranteed to throw lots of INTs. Its a bad combination yes, but take into account that if Kitna were playing for a more conventional offensive coordinator his number of INTs would be maybe one-third less. I think other than improving the team at the point of attack on the offensive and defensive lines and also in the secondary is to simply run a more conventional balanced offense. I won't dispute that Martz produces tons of yards on offense. The problem is that his offense creates lots of turnovers too. His unbalanced pass wacky offenses produce lots of turnovers for the defense and by not committing himself to a balanced offensive game plan he is the reason that the running game isn't better. Put Scott Linehan or Ken Whisenhunt in Martz's job and you will see a great change in offensive quality. Its no coincidence that balanced offensive teams have great success in the NFL. Even if they draft Quinn or Russell I can't imagine much of a philosophical change in Martz's game planning. Which is why I doubt drafting either QB would make a negligible difference while Martz is at the helm.
Posted: 9:07 AM   by Anonymous
I've heard that Phil Savage has liked Russell since he went to a football camp in high school and would jump on him at # 2. That could be predraft posturing, but it's what I've heard.
Posted: 9:21 AM   by Anonymous
I think the Lions have to make the "safe pick" because of mistakes Matt Millen has made in the past. The safe pick would be LT J. Thomas. It may be a boring pick for the Detroit fans, but if Millen expects to see another war room as the GM he needs SAFE! As for Russell, if he isn't the 1st pick, how can Cleveland pass on this kid with the history between him and Phil Savage? The "Hot" spot will be the 4th pick. What will the Buc's do? If there is no CJ, or J. Thomas will they try to trade down, or pick the best player that fits a need such as; DT's A. Okoye or A. Branch? DE G. Adams? Or maybe the finally get a replacement for J. Lynch in L. Landry? Time will tell!
Posted: 11:23 AM   by Anonymous
What the lions should do, is trade down in the draft for a late or mid first and a starting corner back , take joe staley at tackle in the first, then pick up drew stanton in the second with the 2nd pick. there ya have 2 starters, and the future qb gettin a year or 2 to grow under kitna like palmer did.
Posted: 12:42 PM   by Anonymous
Browns won't take Quinn or Russell, too many needs @ other positions. It's either Peterson or Thomas for Cleveland.
Posted: 1:15 PM   by Anonymous
I think that the lions can ill afford to pass up a possible franchise QB with the second pick (Quinn or Russell) unless they get the motherload in pick in return. Detroit is in the position that they need to fill several serious gaps, but after passing on QB's for several years they can't be gunshy because of Joey Harrington.
Posted: 2:56 PM   by Anonymous
Being a Badger fan I love Joe Thomas but there is no such thing as a safe pick. The same was said about Robert Gallery when he came out of Iowa and he didn't have the past injuries that Joe had to overcome. Do I think J. Thomas is going to be good, yes but I also think Joe Staley from Central Michigan can be just as good.
Posted: 3:48 PM   by Cult
sports. How this guy ever got the job based on his braindead bellowing as a bad announcer following his overrated mediocrity as a linebacker, is the ultimate tribute to Detroit's ineptitude. That they've kept him this long is stunning.

As for Brady Quinn: His stock certainly rose fast. For quite awhile he was viewed as a almost sure bet to end up as the Dolphins pick at #9. Miami is really dragging its heels solidifying the QB position. No one knows whether Daunte Culpepper has anything left (always thought he was only good at throwing it up for grabs to Randy Moss anyway)and they've made no move for Trent Green. With a decent QB, the Dolphins talented wideouts and a backfield duo of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown could do some damage.
Posted: 4:21 PM   by Anonymous
I hope everyone here realizes that Branch is not going to be the impact player people are expecting. The Lions are safer taking Adams. Name one impact player from any Michigan defensive front seven players in the NFL today. Michigan has great run defense in college but it amounts to nothing in the NFL. Lions should take Adams or Quinn and stay away from Branch, he will be a bust, lazy and from Michigan spells trouble.
Posted: 4:59 PM   by Anonymous
you have to take joe thomas, anyone who ever watched the great berry sanders knows that he made incredible runs that only got him back to the line of scrimage, he had no line then and the lions still have no line, no matter how good a quarterback is he cant throw touchdown while stairing straight up
Posted: 5:04 PM   by Anonymous
If the Lions stay at #2, they should draft a QB to rebuild their franchise around. After all, having 3 first round WRs won't help your offense if there isn't a solid guy under center (addressing the O-line comes to mind too).
If the Raiders don't pick a QB at #1, I'd go with Quinn over Russell, but if they do, the Lions should draft whoever is left
(And pray Oakland didn't leave them with the next Ryan Leaf).
Posted: 5:11 PM   by Anonymous
Us Lions fans are allowed to dream. After all, that's about all we've gotten to do the last 5 or 6 years. Along those lines, I'm going to dream up the perfect draft for the Lions. Odds are pretty good this would never happen, but it's not impossible. We know Tampa Bay's been creaming in their pants for a while now hoping to get CJ, so let's convince them we're taking him so they swap first round picks with us and we get thier 2nd and 4th to do so. That put's us @ 4. Now either Quinn or Thomas will still be there. If it's Quinn, trade the pick to one of the teams who really want him, be it Minnesota, Miami, or even Washington. If it's Thomas that's left, convince Arizona we want him and they'll trade up to get him because they really want to start protecting Leinart. That'd drop us down to either 4, 6, 7, or 9, and we'd pick up another 2nd rounder and probably a third or fourth as well. Now if Gaines Adams falls to us there, take him. If not, reach a little and take Patrick Willis. He's got size (6'2", 240), speed (4.37 @ pro day), great insticts, and he's a tackling machine who fits perfectly into our Cover 2 defense. With our IL spot locked up for the next 10 years and now having 3 early 2nd round picks, we can use one of them to draft Drew Stanton or Trent Edwards, whomever Martz likes more. Then we could use the other 2 early second's and package them to move back up into the middle of the first round with our eye on another player who fits perfectly into our Cover 2 defense, Leon Hall. He's the prototype Cover 2 corner with good tackling ability, good coverage skills, and impecable character. I know a lot has to happen for this to be possible but it can be done. Imagine it Lions fans, we could get 2 immediate starters on defense and our quarterback of the future with the 2nd pick in the draft if we do things right. Hey, a guy can dream can't he??
Posted: 6:31 PM   by Anonymous
No way is Gaines Adams this years Mario Williams Gaines Adams is his schools all time sack leader, unlike Mario Williams. Gaines Adams also has played great all year long unlike Mario Williams who was accused of taking plays off. Adams is much more talented then Williams.

However I think that the lions will draft Johnson if he is there because he is arguably the best prospect in years. If Johnson is gone then I think that the lions will draft Joe Thomas, because he would instantly make their O-Line better. I doubt they would take Adrien Petterson because they already have a runing back who the got in a trade (Tatum Bell, and T.J. Duckett). also John Kitna is good if he gets some tome which Joe Thomas would give him, so they don't really need a Quater back they could also draft a QB in the 2nd or 3rd round to sit and groom him for the future.
Posted: 8:27 PM   by Jeff
How about a real safe pick and take Joe Thomas who could be their starting left tackle for quite awhile barring any serious injury.
Posted: 8:48 PM   by Anonymous
Whether Oakland takes Russell or Johnson, someone will move up and trade with Detroit...it's just a matter of how far down Detroit is willing to go. If they are stuck at #2 take Johnson if available, if not Joe Thomas. If they move down to #4 they can take Thomas or Gaines Adams. If they go past #6 they can still get needed help with MLB Willis or a top corner...beauty of their draft this year is that they need so much that they can afford to drop a little for extra picks.
Posted: 5:15 PM   by Anonymous
Detroit should draft Johnson if he is there at the 2nd pick in the draft. You can't pass on talent like that, especially at Wide Receiver. Size/Speed combo is unbeleivable. Johnson might be the 2nd pick either way in this year's draft, just might not be to the Lions.

Then, Adrian Peterson really SHOULD go to Cleveland at #3 but they are going to draft Brady Quinn and they'll enjoy a career full of losses. I would be surprised to see Peterson fall out of the top 10.

Another name I'm hearing all over is Leon Hall. I know he was a bluechip recruit, but I haven't seen him do anything this past year. He got burned by OSU wideouts as well as USC. (0 INT, 0 PASS DEF in both games). It's about stepping up in the big games...that is why Dwayne Jarrett is going to be a consistent 1000yd man for whoever drafts him.
Posted: 4:46 PM   by Anonymous
Look, if CJ is there at 2 and no trade offers that are worth while are there, you take CJ and force a trade. The Bucs are hoping that CJ falls to them. But do not let him. Even if you cant trade him afterwards, you are stuck with the number one player at number 2. Look at Reggie Bush last year. The Saints didnt need another Running Back. But you take the best player in the draft if he is there at number 2. If you can get a trade down, I think it would be smart to draft MLB Patrick Willis or FS LaRon Landry because the DE class is VERY DEEP. You can get a talent like Charles Johnson, Anthony Spencer, or Jarvis Moss early in the second round.
Posted: 4:49 PM   by Anonymous
To add onto what I just sent in for those who think Millen can't take CJ. Charles Rogers is gone, Mike Williams is as good as gone. Roy Williams is a stud, and Furrey is better suited as a slot reciever. CJ makes sense, defenses wont be able to double Roy all the time because Furrey does not draw attention from Roy. CJ is a very high Character guy, a Marinelli Guy.

Also Gaines Adams reminds me too much of Kalimba Edwards...scary to think about that is why if a trade down occurs, Landry or Willis are better options.
Posted: 10:20 PM   by Anonymous
for detroit their are a lot of needs on defense and offense. takin johnson would be cool cuz when he is paired with williams those are two big threats. he's the best prospect in the draft and who cares about the other receiver busts they've had. they could also take quinn at this spot but if they keep mccown and give him a shot instead of being a bench warmer and see what he does. if he isn't what they are lookin for then trade him. they could take a QB in later rounds but they could also wait till next year and draft henne or booty and let them develop. what happened to them letting orlovsky develop he's just been sittin on the bench and holding a clip board. he has a strong arm and could be a good player i mean they picked him because they liked him for a reason. they could also draft thomas but they have a lot of lineman and they signed two in the off-season. if they draft him put him at the right tackle because backus is a good left tackle. the lions could do a lot of things at the #2 spot and nobody knows what they'll do so lets wait and see.
Posted: 12:14 AM   by bbamford
precisely. If Johnson is available, you take him and force the trade, because somebody is going to want him. Perhaps they hold him all the way until the whateverth pick, trade him for a few picks, and take the best player available. They have many needs, and this is a very good draft to own many picks between 30 and 100.

The worst thing that happens in that case, is you get Calvin Johnson. I'll go to the Pro Bowl if I get to throw to Roy Williams AND Calvin Johnson.
Posted: 8:54 PM   by Anonymous
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd really Millen just take Johnson with the second pick rather than trade down and go for Gaines Adams....Kitna will last probably one more year (possibly two, but I doubt it) and he can have a damn good one throwing to R. Williams and CJ.
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