The Detroit Lions 2011 Draft Class: Deeper Than Most Think

The Detroit Lions ended up with five total picks in the 2011 NFL Draft.  There was some skepticism among fans that they did not have enough picks and with the picks that they had they did not address major needs.  We have been over it and that’s not what this article is going to address.

Martin Mayhew has said publicly that there are more ways to add to a roster than just through the draft.  Most people upon hearing this would think he is talking about free agency but if we look at how the Lions used every pick we will see that there is much more to what Mayhew is talking about.

We know that Nick Fairley fell to the Lions at No. 13 overall.  We also know that the Lions selected Titus Young in round No. 2 and traded back into round No. 2 to grab Mikel Leshoure.  In round No. 5, the Lions selected linebacker Douglas Hogue and in round 7 they selected offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath.

Where the draft ended is where our little discussion begins.  I think that most will be shocked to read what else they got out of the 2011 NFL Draft.  The following is how they used picks to make trades to acquire players.

The Lions traded a 2011 7th round pick to the Atlanta Falcons for cornerback Chris Houston.  (They also used a 2010 6th rounder to make this trade happen)

The Lions traded a 2011 7th round pick to the San Francisco 49ers for quarterback Shaun Hill.

The Lions traded a 2011 6th round pick to the Seattle Seahawks for defensive end Lawrence Jackson.

The Lions traded a 2011 6th round pick and Dan Gronkowski to the Denver Broncos for cornerback Alphonso Smith.

To sum it up, the Detroit Lions got 2 starting cornerbacks, a backup quarterback and a defensive end.  They also got one of, if not the most dominant defensive lineman in the draft.  They got a speedy wide receiver and a bruising running back.  They got a linebacker who most think will be a special teams player in 2011 but is a nice project going forward.  They also got a very physically gifted tackle in round 7. 

The point, at least for me, is that when I look back at the 2011 draft class I see a haul of 9 players and not just 5.  That to me makes all the difference.  Please post some comments as I would love to know what other Lions fans think.

Topics: 2011 NFL Draft, Alphonso Smith, Atlanta Falcons, Chris Houston, Dan Gronkowski, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Douglas Hogue, Johnny Culbreath, Lawrence Jackson, Martin Mayhew, Mikel Leshoure, Nick Fairley, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Shaun Hill, Titus Young

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  • http://www.sidelionreport.com Dan

    That is a great point, Jackson was a first round pick and Smith was a second and Houston was a second and Hill may be the best back up QB in the league. Well done Martin Mayhew.

  • http://sidelionreport.com/ Zac Snyder

    Goes to show how much value can be gained by using mid to late round picks on guys already in the league that are misused or no-longer relevant on their current teams. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this trend continue under Martin Mayhew.