Calvin and Drew
The two big stories out of Allen Park today deal with the Lions' first two draft picks, Calvin Johnson and Drew Stanton.
Johnson signed a six-year deal early Friday morning worth about $27 million guaranteed. The No. 2 overall pick out of Georgia Tech took part in the Lions' morning workout and got immediate reps with the first team.
"I kind of expected it," Johnson said of his No. 1 reps. "They brought me out here for that purpose. They didn't pick me as high as they did for no reason, so I expected to be going in there with the ones cause that's what I did with the OTAs, so I expected to pick up the same spot."
While Johnson was the toast of camp after an eight-day holdout, Stanton had his season ended prematurely when he was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. The Lions' second-round pick out of Michigan State, Stanton had surgery to clean up a previous ACL reconstruction earlier this week. He was only expected to miss a month, but the emergence of NFL Europa quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan who continues to run second-string ahead of Dan Orlovsky forced the Lions' hand.
Rather than lose O'Sullivan or Orlovsky, Detroit decided to keep both veterans as backups for Jon Kitna. The move makes many question why the Lions, with pressing concerns elsewhere, would spend an early second-round pick on a quarterback who now won't be ready to play until 2009 at the earliest. Per NFL rules, Stanton cannot practice with the team this year but is allowed in classroom sessions. He'll need at least a year of seasoning, probably two, before he's ready to run the team.
Stanton said his goals for the year haven't changed, though he's disappointed he won't see any field time.
"This is going to be a really instrumental year for me to get an understanding of playing this position at this level," he said.