Monday, April 28, 2008

Detroit Lions Draft - Kevin Smith

No, not that Kevin Smith - the one that plays football.

I'm not going to review the entire Lions draft board, but I would like to discuss the wisdom of one of their picks, third rounder Kevin Smith from UCF. The last time the Lions drafted a running back coming off a junior season in which he gained over 2500 yards, it worked out pretty well for them. His name was Barry Sanders. It's well documented that Barry Sanders had a great career, but he had what is widely considered to be the finest single season of any college football player ever. In fact, Smith had a great season last year - one that compares pretty favorably with Barry's last season.

  • In 14 games (2007), Smith rushed for 2567 yards, and scored 29 TDs (in 450 carries). This includes his bowl game.

  • In 11 games (1988), Sanders rushed for 2628 yards and scored 39 TDs. (in 356 carries). This does not even include the bowl game in which he rushed for an additional 222 yards and scored 5 TDs (bowl game stats did not count then).

While Smith's season was great by any definition of the word, Sanders' Heisman winning season was one that I feel comfortable in saying will not ever be duplicated. In twelve games, Sanders gained 2850 yards (237.5 yards per game), and scored 44 TDs. Those kinds of numbers are absolutely unreachable in the foreseeable future - even when bowl games counted in the stats.

The bottom line, and the point of this post, is that I think Kevin Smith is a very good pick and has a very good chance to be a star in the league - even if he is not Barry Sanders. Even if he turns out to be only half as good as Barry, he'll be the second best RB the Lions have ever had.


Brakeman said...

You just dissed Doak Walker, Billy Sims, and possibly even Mel Farr Superstar, who might just kick your ass when he gets out of prison. Kevin Smith is a stud and Millan did a very smart thing trading up two spots to get him on the first pick of the second day of the draft. He will start game 1 for the roar and he will be exciting to watch. Barring injuries he has all the skills to make multiple trips to the pro bowl. The Lions actually had a decent draft, not great, but no glaring mistakes. They had needs everywhere and filled some of the holes. The still are very vulnerable at Saftey and Kitna is not the guy who will win you a playoff game, which of course is goal #1 in D-town. Great to see ESPN flash up on the screen during the draft that the Cardianls franchise, (Arizona, Phoenix, St. Louis, and Chicao) have one exactly one playoff game in the last 60 years. I think the Lions are next in lameness after them. Next year Matty better look for a good kicker to replace perennial team MVP Jason Hanson. This could be his last year.

Assman said...

No offense to the RBs you mentioned. In fact, I was a HUUUGE Billy Sims fan back in the day and was devastated when he wrecked his knee. But being half the player Barry Sanders was is no insult.

Mel Farr was not half the player Billy Sims was, but he was a helluva used car salesman...

"Push it, pull it, or carry it - I'll give you 500 dollahs for yo' trade."

Plus he sang backup on Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On." So he's got that going for him...