The Detroit Lions and then-GM Matt Millen decided to go with LB Ernie Sims with their first selection in the 2006 NFL Draft. Sims himself later said that playing in Detroit was like a wasted opportunity, and that he would often stay up late partying during his time in the Motor City.
During his four years, the Lions went an abysmal 12-52, including the 0-16 2008 season before being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010.
So what if things had been different? According to a 2006 NFL Re-Draft courtesy of NBC Sports, the Lions should have gone with a talent right out of the Mitten State in the form of wide receiver Greg Jennings of the Western Michigan Broncos:
“He should have been a first round pick, not a seconder. Jennings, who played at Western Michigan and grew up in Kalamazoo, Mich., would have been the perfect Lion.”
As a senior at Kalamazoo Central High School, he was even listed 11th on the “Fab 50” rankings of the Detroit Free Press. When it was all said and done with the Broncos, he had amassed 238 receptions for 3,539 yards and 39 touchdowns. So why not take his talents to the Motor City? The Lions overlooked him.
Instead, Jennings was drafted in Round 2 of the ’06 Draft by the rival Green Bay Packers, and all he did was help them to a Super Bowl victory for the 2010 NFL Season; he scored two touchdowns in the deciding game.
A two-time selection to the Pro-Bowl, Jennings’ career spanned ten years – seven with Green Bay, two with another rival of Detroit’s in the Minnesota Vikings before playing his final season with the Miami Dolphins in 2015.
With 8,291 yards, 64 touchdowns on 571 career receptions, the Lions definitely could have benefitted from his services rather than what they got from Sims. Do you agree, or was their original pick the correct one?