NFL Films’ Greg Cosell breaks down Lions’ first three picks

Posted by ttwentyman on April 28, 2012 – 12:32 pm

NFL Films senior producer and executive producer of “NFL Matchup” Greg Cosell, who’s been at NFL Films since 1984, watches as much game tape on draft prospects as most NFL teams do.

I asked Cosell to give his opinion on the Lions’ first three picks – Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff, Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles and Louisiana Lafayette cornerback Bill Bentley.

Here’s what he had to say:

On Reiff:

“I suspect there’s been a lot of talk in Detroit about Riley Reiff vs. David DeCastro. I think Reiff is the better pick. This is a passing team. Reiff is a pass protector and DeCastro is a run blocker. Reiff is a good pick for this team. He can play right tackle immediately, I personally think he can transition to left tackle down the road.”

On Broyles:

“I love Ryan Broyles on film. Absolutely love him. What I don’t do is give prospects grades, as far as rounds. I transition guys to the league based on what I see on film and I think this is where the Lions are thinking longer term. Nate Burleson is getting up there in years and they don’t want to get stuck not having weapons for Matthew Stafford.”

These are the notes Cosell took on Broyles while watching him on tape.

  • He has natural quickness as a route runner, especially from the slot.
  • He has deceptive speed and burst as a vertical route runner.
  • He is very fluid and smooth with excellent ground control.
  • He caught the ball easily with his hands with excellent body control to snatch the ball and run.
  • Does not have top-end long speed, but that’s not a big factor in the slot.
  • Transitions best to the NFL initially as a slot receiver.

“I think he’s a kid that can contribute as a rookie. He’s going to be a slot guy to start and some people might say, ‘Hey, I’m not going to take a slot guy in round two,’ but it comes down to opinion.”

On Bentley:

“I liked Bentley on film. I think he’s an off-coverage corner. He’s what we call a cluer and keyer. He does a very good job reading the triangle (reading from the corner through the quarterback). He has similar attributes to Asante Samuel. That’s the style of corner he is.”

You can follow Cosell on twitter at @gregcosell


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 42 Comments »


42 Responses to “NFL Films’ Greg Cosell breaks down Lions’ first three picks”

  1. By Tom Miles on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Can Lions get smaller?? Trade CJ for an older, smaller,
    and left healthy than CJ??

  2. By Tom Miles on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Maybe Mahew is looking for the Lions to go downwards with their record?

  3. By GuyB1958 on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    @ Twentyman: Why don’t you let us hear from the “Experts” that DON’T agree with the Lion’s picks so far? Let us hear from the people that can see that the Lion’s are NOT addressing more critical NEEDS.

  4. By russbell on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    thelions should tell the nfl we are all pot smokers we dont need the draft
    just a big bag of kush hell we dont even want to win the super bowl
    so what the fxck we dont even need a corner back we willam ford in
    a lions jersy he is our next shut down corner losers again 41 sorry
    years wasted watching these losers no more thought my tv out the window
    done

  5. By russbell on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    this team will not get one penny out of me until the lions win a super bowl
    and then i might not still give them one red cent to all of you fans i got one
    thing to say just like me SUCKERS

  6. By Megasuhnami on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Ya lets be like the eagles and give up all our money on cbs and then get torched on our line and lbs like the eagles. You ever heard of brent grimes 5’10 180 was considered too small and from a small school. 3 years in the probowl. Bentley covered the best wr blackmon in the senior bowl and picked twice. hmmm you never know what might happen.

  7. By LA Lite on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Really? It’s like that already before the season is played out? lmao Good luck with band wagoning it the rest of your life then. *shaking my head* lol

  8. By LA Lite on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    You do realize that until the season starts ALL draft picks are suspect! Get a clue on how many busts happen when they are said to be the next best thing since sliced bread! lmao Panic stricken fans are so funny to me!

  9. By montae75 on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    big name picks in the draft does not mean they going to do good to the next level which is the NFL, u guys got wait until season start then see where the lions are at the start of the season.Top draft picks don’t guarantee a super bowl win nor a playoff berth its all about puttin the right pieces together with right guys that fit plain & simple

  10. By KJ on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    These panic first ask questions later idiots are not Lions fans. “Waaah! we didn’t select a CB in rounds one or two we are never gonna win a super bowl.” Throw your TV out the window and go root for some other team. Or grow up and quit being such a whiner when things don’t go exactly how you want.

  11. By Doug on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    We improved our team today by selecting a great receiver instead of reaching for an average CB. Now we have the best receiving corp in the NFC North, instead of swapping one avg CB for another. Get how it works all you haters??!!!

  12. By brimmer11 on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Mayhew and co. are doing a great job of building this team from 10 yrs of being teams doormats this team has gotten better every year since schwartz and co. took over. this is a PLAYOFF TEAM……. now take the next step GO LIONS !!!

  13. By Doug on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    I am bummed we didn’t take any RB’s though. We are taking a huge risk w/3 very injury proned RB’s. I hate to say it but if don’t have a running game we won’t go very far in the playoffs.

  14. By BH on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    I think the first round pick was perfect. We needed to solidify the OL and have Backus replacement play in the league on the right side or at guard for a year or two before moving to LT. Second round I would have prefered either the C or OT that were picked right after Broyles but Broyles would have been a first round selection if not for the ACL injury. As long as the Lions are willing to wait for him to recover he could be a big addition to the team and Burleson is not getting any younger. Small school CB in the 3rd but played lights out in the Senior Bowl. Biggest puzzler to me is the CB from Albion a very small Div III school. Albion lost in the Div III playoffs 58-0, how well will he be able to cover NFL receivers?

  15. By Brian Hart on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Other than the running back comment, most of these people don’t have a clue. So we’re gonna start doubting guys that have created, in each of the first 3 years since taking the reigns +2,+4,and+4 wins each season. I don’t see where they made things any worse,and with MINOR GB implosions, I say we ARE a playoff team again this year, maybe even division winners. Especially, if we can have at LEAST 2 out of those 3 RB’s healthy for each game.

  16. By JC on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t think much of Mel Kiper, but from the 4th round on, none of our picks were even in his top 10 available players. Our scouts are either absolute geniuses or they really suck. As for a receiver in the second round, you don’t build a porch when the roof is leaking, you fix the roof first. But not the Lions …NOOOO …. they draft another slot receiver (how’s that make you feel Mr. Young?) while TD’s will once again be raining down upon our heads. Oh well, scores like 49-45 aren’t that bad to watch, even when we lose.

  17. By lionnuts on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    I think the picks were good. We got a pass protector for Stafford, and possibly a huge steal at WR. Help for the defense and special teams. I don’t know what everyone is bitchin’ about.

  18. By bamfu on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    bottom line – you guys don’t deserve to be lions fans. buncha big fat whiny babies. SHUT UP.

  19. By Paul on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    after the first three..linebacker,linebacker, corner,corner,linbacker,corner,linbacker..lol Best player available my but

  20. By orrin on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Scwartz had imput with the titans, and look what they became as a defense, we got a couple of them, and look at last years record (playoffs) Reiff was an excellent pick, and the others as well good solid pick,WR was a great pick and they addressed there needs in the CB & LB’S in the later rds. Rams were picking the 1′s the LIONS were targeting maybe 2 much talk between Fisher & Schwartz, don’t know, i agree with looking for a RB, but i think there will be a few avail. before camp, as well as a couple of CB’s, Dallas is trying to unload Martin, not a bad pick-up, for a yr.ALL the STARS have restructered there contracts to help the team, patients young fans, Schwartz, Mayhew & Lewand, have done FANtastic the last couple yrs. let’s see what they’ve pieced together this yr. and the impact these players will have, special teams is a great start and to back up our starters would make a pretty good draft.

  21. By fred on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    I’m still surprised how many ‘lion fans’ want to claim to be ‘experts’ and bash the Lions on their picks. I agree that a WR may not have been the BEST pick, but Burleson is slowing down a bit and the Lions want to be a young franchise to win super bowls. As for RB, yes last year was pretty tragic. Best and Smith had injuries and Leshoure got hurt before the season started. Now, Best is back, Leshoure will be back and I would really be surprised to see that scenario AGAIN this year

  22. By fred on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    As for the ‘special’ people that are giving up on the lions before the season starts, I really hope the Lions make you feel like idiots when they do well despite being a little smaller. Wait and see. Lions are fixing to be a dynasty in the near future.

  23. By Jason Tikkanen on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    I love Detroit’s draft!! We got a big time OT, a big time WR all time NCAA leader in Rec, 4,500 yards, 45 TDs!!, Under rated Cornerback in Bentley who had 2 ints against Brandon Weeden in senior bowl, and the LB lewis from OKL had most bench press reps than any other LB at combine.. Good Job!!!

  24. By mjvb007 on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    It is intresting how people tear down the picks, it must be because of our great history. Well history is there and the Lions are not a shiney team over the past 30 years. I have been watching them for 45 years and I have more faith in the current leaders. Time to sit back and watch the drama play out. Then everyone can play armchair GM. There have been too many times that many NFL picks are busts in the great science of the draft. And there have been Diamonds in the Rough. I would rather see the picks on the field and see what happens. I am not drinking the Kool aid yet. But to me, it is the most tempting in many years. Let us all look at the glass as Half full for a change.

  25. By LeoBoiler on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Yes very good draft. As a GM you have to look to the future as well and live within the cap. Broyles will be a great add, we had trouble in the past just having three good receivers until we got Titus last year. Kickoff return is going by the wayside with the new rules, and I’ll bet Stefan won’t be with the team past this year. Broyles will be our punt return man, frees up a spot on the roster. Forward thinking business moves that match talents with the team plan – and isn’t it really nice to know that there is a plan – hmmm never seemed to be one in the past…

  26. By Haywood on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    to everyone on the ledge after this draft: please jump. we wont miss ya.

  27. By Matt on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    I’ve followed this team for over 50 years, I’m 64 so I’ll say 56 years, I remember Milt Plum, & Karl Sweetan, I remember when Joe Schmidt was still playing for us.
    And I’m not alone, A lot of us have worn our Detroit Teams Hats & Coats, Shirts, for as long as we can remember, win or lose, and yet were all still fans!
    Al Kaline was my hero, so was Gordy Howe, I liked Dave Bing & Bob Lanier.
    And I loved winning Championships the 57 Lions, the 64 & 84Tigers, The Pistons of the 90′s & the 2000′s and I’ll never forget my Red Wings, I’ve met a few over the years. I’m a fan and your a fan because we want to feel proud of something.
    I’ve always believed that Respect, was the most important thing in life, since you can’t buy it or even inherit it. it’s just something that you have to earn everyday of your life. that what makes us feel Proud when we start to win it All Again. and for the last few years now this Team is starting to make us all feel good about our Team, They’re not trying to hurt us, so be patient, some of us have been waiting a long time already. and we want us to win as soon as possible, we don’t know how much Sand is still in our glass.
    So sit back and enjoy the ride I don’t think we will have to wait too long anymore. it’s right around the corner, and I’m having a lot of Fun with just my expectations of better days ahead.

  28. By Skip Corey on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Firs tof all, TRUE HONOLULU BLUE, thru and thru. That being said, we need alot still. We sit and listen to Kiper, McShay, and the rest. They should get graded 3 years later, yo’ll find they are conference cronies. Schwartz talks to them, watches much more, and has ‘football eye’ guys doing the same. I like what I see, Reiff-Broyles-solid. The rest, only 1 or 2 to pan out and we’ll have another solid draft. All of them wont make it, same as the other teams. Get Kellen Moore in undrafted, things look good to me. I like Greenwood and Benley picks. the latter 2 may compete for the start. Chill out and learn.

  29. By robt. on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    I wouldn’t be complaining on anyone that the Lions draft. All along Mayhew has said that they will pick players that have talent. They will not draft solely on need. If a player has talent, they will draft him. Mayhew has stuck to this philosophy. Also you don’t have to be a first or second rounder to be extremely talented. Quit complaining and let them do their jobs. I will leave you with one other thought. Remember the Millen era? Look where the team has come in three years. Be proud of that as we true lions fans are.

  30. By Marcus on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    to all you fans abandoning the lions just because you don’t agree with the draft picks… Good riddance!!

  31. By James Thatcher on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    Some Lions fans don’t understand business. You cannot take a player just because has a big fancy name. You will all understand in a couple of years when the the Lions can’t afford to resign players. You will also understand that signing CJ for all that money for so many years has a negative impact on what the team will be trying to accomplish for years to come. Being in NFL purgatory for so many years has cost the Lions dearly. They have all the fancy names they can AFFORD and must develop the small names for years to come if they want to be more than competitive! The Lions simply cannot afford a big time corner. So, get back to work Lions fans and let the business minds make the big decisions!!

  32. By Don on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    We had a Way Better Draft than a lot of people think.
    And Skip Corey is right on, The Competition is going to be fierce! And When it’s over we will have the “one” and then some Back ups and some that just don’t make the cut.
    And the LBer and CB competition is going to be fun to watch during Spring Training.
    And Too.I am looking forward to see who we bring in Undrafted FAs.
    There are STILL more CBs and Safeties out there that could be brought in and checked out besides the players that we drafted.
    Allthough I have to tell you that the LBers from Oklahoma are Beast’s!
    SO they are going to Push the compitition over the edge.
    And the Lions will also be bringing in G’s,RB’s,QB’s (If Kellan Moore doe’snt work out for whatever reason) There is a lot more Happenings before the final Choices are made.
    Dang Man it is All exciting, What are we worrying about? It’s Football Man!
    GO LIONS!

  33. By redwingliger on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    All of you morons need to do your homework, and NOT just listen to the press conferences. Broyles was a solid 2nd round pick prior to being injured last November he would have still been their in 4th, or 5th round for sure. Chris Polk wasn’t even drafted because of a rumored injury, so just because Schwartz and Mayhew say “we were lucky to get him where we did” is BS.

    Dwight Bentley is an undersized nickel cornerback (only) whom graded out at the combine’s 35th best out of 35 cornerbacks that were invited to the combine with the grade of 47.5. He had the worst vertical of all the defensive backs with a vertical of only 31 1/2 inches and the book at him is that he is almost nonexistent as a run defender. Picture him covering a caller athletic receiver, or tight end out of the slot in the NFL, that will not be a pretty picture because not only can he be out jumped, but and NFL quarterback will exploit his small size and put the ball where he has no hope of intercepting, or even breaking it up.

    Ronnell Lewis is one of the dumbest (if not the dumbest) football players drafted. This kid is so intellectually inapt that his coaches suggested he forgo his college education and enter the draft after being suspended because of his poor academic grades. He is slow to recognize and react to a play and when he was at the conbine he needed special instructions (a lot of them) in order to be able to do the drills that the linebackers do. He also has a chronic bad back, he’s had a knee injury and a neck injury it is doubtful that he will ever be able to play any of the linebacker positions, but he should be an awesome hammer and special teams, and probably a halfway decent defensive end. He is the type of player that fits a team with a 3-4 front much better than a 4-3 defensive line, because he’s the type of player that coaches can tell to line up by the end and go get the ball boy.

  34. By Don on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply


    This is a Video about our 2nd RD Pick Ryan Broyles and I totally think that Most of us will love it! I also Hope that the Link will link up?
    I’m not to good at this video Stuff on the Puter, So if I get it wrong would someone go and get it.Please! Cuz I think it is GREAT!
    GO LIONS!

  35. By Damon on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    Everybody remember that Fans are fans…..some fans are fans of complaining…..some are true fans…This draft is a toss-up, and there really wasn’t that much talent out there…after gilmore, and claiborne were gone, there was a big drop in CB talent….big…..so taking guys who fit the part and could be groomed for the next level was smart. They took a gamble on WR and addressed depth at LB.. You are not going to fix your team in one draft and to think by drafting 2-3 guys your teams is superbowl bound is retarded… You are superbowl bound based on your current team before the draft. minus first round drafteees most people drafted are not ready to start by the first game anyway.
    Mayhew knows what he’s doing. This team is much better… We will have a solid year and because of drafting the way they do…a solid and improving team for years to come.

  36. By redwingliger on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    Don, I am not arguing the fact that Ryan Broyles didn’t have an outstanding college career, because that is well known. What I am arguing is that he was considered a solid mid second round prospect prior to being injured, so for Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz to act like he was a steal in the second round is a joke. He may or may not have even been drafted much like Chris Polk due to the fact that he is still recovering from a torn ACL, and probably won’t be ready for the start of this season. He definitely would have still been on the board in the fifth round, so if the Lions love him (which they obviously did) they could have still gotten him then, and got a better player in the second round that would have been more likely to start immediately. The Lions fell in love with all of the records he sat at the NCAA level, and I am sure they are expecting similar results at the NFL level, but realistically that hardly ever happens. How many can’t mess wide receivers have the lion’s drafted (especially when Matt Millen was here) that wound up being total busts? I doubt that Ryan will be a bust, but don’t expect him to be scoring 50 touchdowns in four years in the NFL, or anywhere near that many. Also, I do understand that we needed more depth at the wide receiver position and I do have a lot of confidence in Ryan Broyles being a very productive slot receiver, but I will always believed that he would have been available still in the later rounds.

  37. By Kale on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    It’s clear that the best way to draft is picking the best available player on the board despite your needs. This is how teams are consistently in the playoffs. If the guy happens to be in your area of need that is a double bonus. If you look over the Lions drafts over the Millen Era, we would have taken any other player over most of his picks, even if we had 10 guys at that position, at least they would be on the team and contributing. Taking a CB cuz we need one does nothing for you if he isn’t good enough to make it in the league in 3 years. Clearly Mayhew didn’t feel the CBs were good enough. Based off his past drafts….I don’t know how anyone could disagree.

  38. By spits555 on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    smart moves made by lions staff, they went with what they saw and studied and addressed areas of need. they went after lean, hungry talented ballplayers/atheletes that have demonstated a good attitude on and off the field. does not matter where they played, ball is ball and they consistently excelled at the game. they all seem to be very coachable and will do very well. thank c—-t the lions brass does not have to listen to all the pro coaches in this room.

  39. By ElReyDeLeon on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    So Exactly how are we supposed to run the ball this year? Let’s look at the situation in reality, not with rose colored glasses of fan fervor:

    1) Mikel Leshoure – Multi-game drug suspension, post-Achilles rupture, 80-90% probability of full return of functional strength.

    2) Jahvid Best – Likely 1 or 2 concussions from end of career. The odds indicate he will likely will not last into second half of this season.

    3) Kevin Smith – Injury history over entire career gives him exceedingly low probability of completing a full season.

    Now this is not news to the front office, however, their sheer neglect of addressing the position during the draft and bypassing a legitimate prospect in LaMichael James implies wishful thinking against the 3 aforementioned, and highly likely scenarios or they simply have abandoned the running game altogether and are hoisting the fortunes and future of the team’s success squarely on the shoulders of Matthew Stafford. He’s one of the best currently, but even Tom Brady needs a running game.

  40. By ElReyDeLeon on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    By the way, most of us here are long-term, long-suffering Lions’ fans. I’ve been one, and proud of it for 37 years. So I think that those of us who have been faithful to the team through the darkest of the dark days have every right to complain when we see history repeating itself with early round picking of WR’s. At least the receivers Matt “Sidious” Millen did pick were healthy at draft time. (Chronic use notwithstanding)

  41. By raparisza on Apr 30, 2012 | Reply

    to all the haters screaming about “DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE” I say New England Patriots..31st ranked def. in the league(thats 1 above the worst for all those who cant do the math) and they were in the SuperBowl. Thats right the league has changed. Offense is power and we have a great offense. Shored up our OL, added another weapon, and while they wernt the “TOP PICKS” we did improve our secondary. We can now force people to keep up with ourscoring, and with our pass rush, teams will be be getting beat up , winded, and collapsing by tghe second half, hwen we will just outpace them.

  42. By UnknownWriter on Apr 30, 2012 | Reply

    I actually liked the draft. Riley Reiff was a must have with the first pick. No extra explaining is needed. Mathew Stafford needs to be kept up right and Reiff can do just that.

    Picking up an extra WR in Ryan Broyles was a wise move. The Lions can now run a 4 WR set and be strong at all four positions. But I think this is more of an insurance policy if Titus Young doesn’t make a solid improvement this year.

    And Bill Bentley was a big time need as the Lions only had one bona fide starting CB on the roster.

    I can go through more of the draft, but let’s discuss LB’s. Yeah, Lions need more talented LB’s. The defense will not be able to stop runs or short passing without them. Not picking any LB’s earlier than the forth round may come back to haunt them. But if you look at the Lions selection, I think they all can make the team and contribute.

    Over all: I think this will become a deceptively good draft over time. But currently I must give it no better than a solid ‘B’.

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