Lions drop ball on WR picks 

October, 15, 2008
In personnel circles, former Lions general manager Matt Millen will never be forgotten. From 2003 through 2007, the Lions used high first-round picks on receivers Charles Rogers, Roy Williams, Mike Williams and Calvin Johnson to upgrade the passing game. Rogers and Mike Williams are not in the NFL. Roy Williams was traded to the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday for three draft choices, including a first. Johnson is still with the team.

Other than disappointment, the Lions have very little to show for the four first-round receivers. From 2003 through 2006, the Lions climbed from last in the league on offense to only as high as 22nd in '06, which was Mike Martz's first year as offensive coordinator. The Lions rose to 19th in 2007 but fired Martz because he didn't run the ball enough. Despite four first-round talents at wide receiver, it took the Lions until 2006 to get above 300 yards of total offense a game, but much of that was Martz's scheme and willingness to throw, not the talent at receiver. Now, the Lions are 30th on offense and they are back to scoring only 15.2 points a game and gaining an average of only 253 yards.

New Raiders era: Tom Cable's first major decision in Oakland as interim coach was putting safety Michael Huff on notice that he could lose his starting job. Huff, the seventh pick in the 2006 draft, is now sharing the safety position with Hiram Elam. Huff is still the starter, but Cable said Elam will now challenge Huff for more playing time. It may not make Al Davis happy to see the seventh pick in a draft heading to the bench, but Huff has clearly struggled in coverage.