NEW YORK -- Every Saturday, we take some of your questions for a weekly Lions Mailbag. To ask a question for a future Mailbag, use the hashtag #LionsMailbag on Twitter or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, on to this week's questions.
At a quick glance the schedule seems tough. The home opener seems like a must win already. The goal is always to win the North. Is a fast start a must? #LionsMailbag— doug mccready (@dgmccready) April 20, 2018
Wrote a bunch about the schedule the other day, Doug, and yeah, it's not easy at the beginning or the end. Detroit caught a break from Seattle seemingly wanting to dismantle its defense, so the Seahawks game isn't quite as challenging as it once was (although Seattle is still good). For a lot of reasons, Week 1 is a biggie. It'll set a tone. It's on national television. And considering the Lions have a short week on the west coast and then the Patriots the two weeks after that -- avoiding 0-3 by picking up Game 1 against a Jets team with less talent than Detroit is imperative. Saying Week 1 is a must-win is tough, but yeah, for the purposes of a successful season a fast start would be helpful. Being 2-3 or 3-2 at the bye could position Detroit well. Anything more and the Lions could be considered real contenders. Anything less and it's late early in Matt Patricia's first year.
#LionsMailbag Which of the books that you have read surprised you the most in your book a month goal? BQ has taken power 5 conf guys with first pick, think that continues? Players with good stats, good film and played against the best in the country.— Beer Worshiping Cult (@cerevisi) April 19, 2018
Two-part question here. As far as the second question -- the draft question -- I think it depends on how the board falls. If former UTEP teammates Marcus Davenport and Will Hernandez are around at No. 20, both should receive consideration from the Lions unless Vita Vea were to slip (that guy, if he's there, would be my pick over almost any other prospect expected to be available). The other guys that I think could be available then are all from major conferences: Defensive linemen Taven Bryan, Da'Ron Payne and Harold Landry could be options, along with LSU running back Derrius Guice. Inevitably, I think the Lions get a good player at a position of need at No. 20.
As to your second question, I'm reading Destiny of the Republic, by Candice Millard, and so far, so good. Really enjoyed Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, by Matthew Sullivan; Molly's Game, by Molly Bloom and $2.00 A Day, by Kahtryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer so far this year. Very different choices, though. Midnight is a crime/thriller fiction; Molly's Game is non-fiction (and made into a movie) and $2.00 is about extreme poverty in America. Destiny is about former president James Garfield.
Do the lions have any use for Dez Bryant? #LionsMailbag— Joe (@MajorxKeyAlert) April 19, 2018
Short answer: No to Dez Bryant. Lions have good receivers both old and young and need to spend resources elsewhere.
If they're both still there somehow, would the Lions take Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport at 20? #LionsMailbag— Varun Vadnala (@varun_vadnala14) April 19, 2018
If I were picking between the two, I would probably go Davenport over Landry. I like Landry's athleticism and positional flexibility, but if I believe in defensive line coach Bo Davis (who was also Davenport's defensive line coach in college), I'm taking the guy with all the tools to be a potential star. That said, I could see an interior lineman being the selection at No. 20.
#LionsMailbag Bob Quinn said he'd like more draft picks. I have to imagine the team would need to be in a comfort zone to be able to move back in rounds to gain picks. Would you place the Lions in that comfort zone to be able to move back to hoard picks?— Brian Ankley (@BrianAnkley) April 20, 2018
Brian, fair question. Bob Quinn clearly wants to acquire more picks if he can. Whether he does that by moving back in the draft or by trading a player on the roster, something we covered last week, are the options. Of course, Quinn would need a willing trade partner. Would the Lions benefit from trying to move back throughout the draft? Sure, if they think they can still acquire their targeted player or feel good enough about a group of players that it wouldn't hurt them in the long run. But if there is a player the team wants and he's sitting there at No. 20 or in the later rounds, Detroit should take said player instead of gambling that said player will be around two, three or five picks from then.
Bill from Dolan Springs, Arizona asks: My question for the week is very simple and straightforward. The Lions as a team need an identity in all three phases of the game. My suggestion for the team is simply this. A: (Detroit Demolition Squad) or B: (Detroit's Demolition Crew). I prefer A but could live with B. Which is your choice or do you have a different idea?
Bill, I've never been openly tasked with creating a nickname before and I'm not totally sure I'm going to start now. I don't think the Lions have proven anything yet to have earned a nickname like the Steel Curtain or Purple People Eaters or the Triplets. The offense is still in question and the defense has a bunch of holes. So if I were to name the Lions now, I'd go with Team of Question. Or maybe The Vast Unknown. That's where I'm at with this Lions roster (and coaching staff) right now. Too many things we don't know yet. Sorry, Bill.