IRVING - The last time the Detroit Lions ever featured the best player in the NFL his name was Barry Sanders, and he was a bad, bad, bad man. Still think Barry was the best running back who ever lived, but that's a sports bar debate for another blog.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett believes the best player in the NFL right now plays in Detroit again, this time in the form of WR Calvin Johnson. Garrett said as much today at his Wednesday press conference. Red is wrong; the best player in the NFL must be a QB, but Johnson may at least be the best receiver in the NFL.
Whomever from the Cowboys tries to cover this guy on Sunday, Godspeed.
Calvin Johnson is proof that former Lions GM Matt Millen was not totally clueless when it came to drafting wide receivers. Millen's philosophy of spending first round picks on WRs until one hit eventually came up big with Johnson. Take a look ...
2007: No. 2 pick - Calvin Johnson, Ga Tech
2005: No. 10 pick - Mike Williams, USC
2004: No. 7 pick - Roy Williams, Texas
2003: No. 2 pick- Charles Rodgers, Michigan State
Watching Johnson play and develop you can see why Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was so tempted to sell the farm to trade up for Johnson in the '07 draft. Johnson was selected only behind LSU QB JaMarcus Russell, who went to the Raiders (nice pick, Al). In case you are wondering, the Cowboys took Anthony Spencer with the 26th pick.
Anyway ... Johnson has developed into the player the Lions needed. He is a matchup from hell. Listed at 6-foot-5, 236 pounds, Johnson is a total freak. He has 16 receptions for 225 yards with 6 TDs in three games this season. As long as Matthew Stafford is able to throw to this guy, Johnson may not be the best player in the game but very close to it.
And he allows Matt Millen to look at his history of drafting players and say, "Yeah ... I nailed that one."
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