You remember Kevin O’Connell, right?
No? Come on, he is a former Detroit Lion!
If you do remember O’Connell, let me immediately apologize and let you know you’re probably in the top 1 percent of all Lions fans. If you don’t remember O’Connell, you’re probably a person that loves the Lions but has some semblance of a life outside of the team’s news cycle.
Kevin O’Connell was a 2008 draft pick of the New England Patriots but was put on waivers late in training camp in 2009 – due in part to the performance of former Michigan State Spartan Brian Hoyer. The Lions, thanks to their 0-16 campaign, had the right of first pickings off the waiver wire and put in a claim on O’Connell on September 1, 2009.
The brilliance of the move wasn’t that they needed a developmental quarterback, they had just drafted Matthew Stafford after all, but that someone further down the waiver priority list would want O’Connell. On September 6, 2009 the Lions shipped O’Connell to the New York Jets for a seventh round draft pick. This is the point in the story where you might sniff at a seventh round draft pick. You’d be wrong. That seventh rounder was subsequently sent to the San Francisco 49ers for Shaun Hill. Point Mayhew, times two.
The brilliance of Martin Mayhew is often discussed, although mostly in regards to things like the fleecing of Jerry Jones in the Roy Williams trade but the Kevin O’Connell situation is as close as turning nothing into something as you will find.