The Detroit Lions showed some improved offense despite using three different starting quarterbacks last season. Matthew Stafford suffered two shoulder injuries so there are some questions about him coming into the next season. The running game had it's bright spots last season with Jahvid Best but he also had some problems with injuries. The Lions are also looking for another difference maker at the receiver position to along with Calvin Johnson. Bryant Johnson and Nate Burleson were not able to provide that extra weapon as the Lions would have hoped. I will breakdown the Detroit Lions 2011 NFL Draft in this fantasy recap.
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Round 2 (44th Pick) - Titus Young - WR
Young was on the most explosive receivers available in the draft. He has good speed, hands and the ability to get open. He is small by NFL standards but size is not an issue for the receivers in Detroit with Calvin Johnson on the other side. Young will also help out on special teams as an excellent return man.
Round 2 (57th Pick) - Mikel Leshoure - RB
Leshoure was by many estimations the number #1 available running back in the draft and he fell like a rock. He is very similiar to Rashard Mendenhall in skill set. Leshoure will have to share duties with Best for now which hurts his value but if Best goes down he has the potential to be a top 15 running back in his rookie season.
Round 7 (209th Pick) - Johnny Culbreath - OL
Culbreath will need plenty of development. He is undersized at only to 280 lbs and will need to bulk up to go along with being very raw. Culbreath will not have any factor during his rookie season.
If the Detroit Lions can keep Stafford healthy, they could be a top 5 fantasy offense. They have weapons at running back in Best and Leshoure, playmakers at receiver with Calvin and the newest addition Young, and a nice receiving tight end in Brandon Pettigrew who creates mis-match problems. I still question the shoulder of Stafford as neither hit that caused his injuries seemed very severe but we will have to see. Shaun Hill was a capable back-up but Stafford is needed to go to the next level for the Detroit offense. The Lions did a nice job in adding more playmakers but will need to eventually address the offensive line some more.
Grade = B+
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