You know what it means. Loosely translated, it’s whatever can go wrong usually will, including bad things (an 0-16 season), innocent things (a coin toss) and even supposedly good things (like a No. 5 pick in the draft).
That’s where the Lions select tonight. They earned this spot the old-fashioned way — by losing. A lot. They were 4-12 last season.
Most years, a team with that bad of a record will need a spark from the glamor positions — quarterback, running back, wide receiver, pass rusher.
But guess what? It just so happens the Lions are fine in those spots. Got a great young quarterback, Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 pick four years ago. Got a superstar wide receiver, Calvin Johnson, the No. 2 pick six years ago. Got an explosive young pass rusher, Ndamukong Suh, the No. 2 pick three years ago. Got an exciting new running back, Reggie Bush, the No. 2 pick seven years ago.
Usually, with those jobs filled, you’d figure a No. 5 pick is like having a No. 1. Let the other teams fight over the passers, rushers, catchers and sackers. When No. 5 comes, you’ll have your choice of the best player in the country — at whatever position you need, right?
Lucky to get the third-best tackle?
This year, of all years, there are no quarterbacks, no running backs and no wide receivers in the 10 best players, according to Scout Inc.’s ranking system.
And in almost every mock draft, not a single quarterback, running back or wide receiver is projected to be in the top four picks.
You know how many times that’s happened this century? Zero. You know how many times a quarterback has been No. 1 the last four years? All four.
But this year the Lions need an offensive tackle. And guess who’s projected as the top pick in the draft?
An offensive tackle.
Guess who’s projected as a No. 2 pick in the draft?
An offensive tackle.
As completely ludicrous as this sounds, the Lions must be hoping the third-best offensive tackle will “fall” to them at the No. 5 pick.
How do “fall” and “No. 5 pick” and “offensive tackle” land in the same sentence?
Of course, Detroit is in this situation partly due to the retirement of Jeff Backus and the departure of Gosder Cherilus. Cherilus was a first-round pick in 2008. He never worked out. Backus had been here forever. He hung ’em up.
Thus a team that used its No. 1 pick last year to select an offensive lineman (Riley Reiff) now finds itself looking for … an offensive lineman.