It would appear the Detroit Lions have finally escaped the Matt Millen days. No longer are these Lions worried that the ghost of the team’s former general manager will haunt them.
But now the team must take their most recent draft picks and make them playoff strong. So far, that has not happened.
It can happen is the new coaching staff puts everything in motion and Jim Caldwell can make Matthew Stafford the next Peyton Manning.
We all might be holding our collective breaths on that one.
When you think NFL Draft and the Detroit Lions, you think nightmare and redemption.
For the major moves that have not panned out, players like Chris Spielman make everything balance out. Detroit might be a team on the rise, but their past and their affinity for making poor draft choices have left the franchise holding its breath over draft weekends. Here is a look at the five worst draft picks of all time.
All information on these players was obtained from NFL.com.
Charles Rogers -- 2003
The string of Millen-selected receivers began with the disastrous selection of the Michigan State wideout in 2003. In three NFL seasons, Rogers played only 14 games, caught just 36 passes with four measly touchdowns. During that short time he broke his clavicle twice and violated the NFL's substance-abuse policy three times (leading to a four-game suspension).
Mike Williams -- 2005
As Williams infamously fell on draft day in 2005, Lions fans prayed to the old gods and the new that their buffoon of a general manager wouldn't take a third receiver in as many years, especially one who sat out an entire season after trying to leave USC early.
Of course, Millen ran it back again like a drunkard at a roulette table. Williams was overweight and outmatched in his two seasons with the Lions. He caught just 37 passes (eight in his second season) before being traded in 2007 with quarterback Josh McCown to the Oakland Raiders for a fourth-round draft pick.
Drew Stanton -- 2007
I'm taking liberties with the format here to underscore just how awful the Millen era was for the Lions. For a terrible team, second-round picks are gold, but Millen used his 2007 picks on a third-string quarterback, an injured defensive end who washed out of the league after four invisible seasons, and a molasses-slow, future-journeyman safety. Worse for the defense-starved Lions, future studs and local products, LaMarr Woodley and David Harris, were both on the board when Millen selected the superfluous Stanton from Backup Quarterback University.
Andre Ware -- 1990
Some Lions fans will want Joey Harrington in this spot, but truth be told, Ware, the 1989 Heisman Trophy winner, was a bigger bust than the piano player. After putting up gaudy numbers in the University of Houston's Run and Shoot offense, Ware was supposed to be the perfect complement to Barry Sanders.
However, Ware started just six games in four seasons with the Lions and completed just 83 passes. He couldn't beat out the oft-injured Rodney Peete or anemic Erik Kramer for playing time. Ware was so overmatched after he left the Lions that he was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars before their expansion season in 1995.
Reggie Rogers -- 1987
Rogers, a defensive end, had a ton of upside coming out of Washington. However, he never stayed on the field in two seasons with Detroit. He played just six games in his rookie season due to an assortment of emotional problems. Then in 1988 while driving drunk he slammed into a car, killing three teenagers. The Lions released him prior to his spending a year in prison for vehicular manslaughter because he also broke his neck in the accident.