Join us each day as we count down towards the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. The countdown runs from 50 to zero and the number of days remaining will inspire the post for that day. Think of this as your NFL draft paper chain that loses one link each day!
The slim chance that there will be any free agency prior to the NFL draft is especially small now that we’re down to 13 days to go. Last off-season saw the Lions snag their new number 13, Nate Burleson, to fill a need at wide receiver through free agency.
The Lions have stated that they won’t be looking to make a splash in free agency this time around, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have an impact on how the team continues to take shape. Some believe that the upcoming draft could be more of a “needs” draft than ever before. Without the benefit of a free agency period, the draft will be the first opportunity for teams to fill their biggest needs. Free agency will open eventually but landing that coveted player is never a guarantee.
The Lions have built on a consistent approach of hoarding talent. Expect that to continue this draft. With other teams potentially reaching for needs, more talented players may be available than would otherwise be available for the Lions with each of their draft picks. To what extent this actually happens remains to be seen. The Lions are quite clear that they are building for the long term, sometimes that means being willing to be pass over an immediate need for the sake of what’s best in the long run. The Lions stand to benefit if other organizations ignore this philosophy.