Pettigrew's impact will be on run game
April, 25, 2009
The Lions need help everywhere, so you can't get too upset about the fact that they've gone offense with each of their first two picks in the 2009 draft. Obviously, they got Matt Stafford with the first overall selection, and at No. 20, they just took Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew, the best tight end in this draft. Pettigrew isn't one of these Dallas Clark-style nouveau guys who's a glorified wide receiver. He's a blocking beast. For fantasy, our question is whether he'll be enough of a target to get some fantasy relevance in his first year. I have my doubts, but there's so little veteran talent at this position in Detroit, I don't have any doubt that Pettigrew is a starter in Week 1. But will I rank him in, say, my top 15 fantasy tight ends for Week 1? I doubt it. The Lions have one stud wideout (Calvin Johnson) and two functional veterans (Bryant Johnson out wide, Ronald Curry in the slot), and Kevin Smith does a very nice job catching the ball. For me, that means Pettigrew could be a fourth or fifth receiving option on a lot of plays. He's going to be a huge asset to the running game and should be good in pass protection right away, too. But I don't see a 50-catch season for him out of the gate.