Was Dizon the pick if DUI charges were known?
Lions president Matt Millen acknowledged Tuesday that the team was not aware of second-round pick Jordon Dizon's arrest for driving under the influence six days before April's NFL draft.
"We do all the background checks, we run all that stuff right up to the draft," Millen said. "None of that came through."
Dizon was cited April 20 for DUI and driving the wrong way on a one-way street. His blood alcohol level was .097, above the legal limit of .08. Two days before training camp opens, the question remains whether that would have been enough for the Lions, had they known, to pass on Dizon in the draft?
"I don't know" how it would have impacted our decision, Millen said. "I don't even want to think about it because it didn't happen."
Given all the facts, it's quite possible the Lions would have bypassed Dizon and drafted running back Ray Rice, taken 10 picks later by Baltimore, with the 45th overall choice. The Lions liked Rice and needed a running back, and traded up at the start of the third round to grab Kevin Smith.
Still in the market for a middle linebacker, Dizon likely would have been available at the top of Round 3 no other linebackers went between Dizon and Tavares Gooden, who went 71st overall to the Ravens and, with his judgment in question, the Lions probably would not have needed to trade up to draft him as they did Smith. There's a lot of projection involved, but that, in turn, might have saved the team its fourth-round pick next year, which the Lions sent Dallas' way to move up and draft Cliff Avril.
All that said, we're still in the giddy stage about draft picks (soon to change once pads come on). Smith will be the starter at some point this year and had an ultra-productive career at Central Florida, Dizon will have an opportunity to contribute at some point this season, even Avril looks like a solid add as a situational rusher. Still, the Lions won't know if they made the right call until the careers of Dizon, Smith and especially Rice play out.