I’ve never graded a draft before, and I don’t want to start this year for the simple reason I love them all. I’ve finally come around on the Ryan Broyles pick in the second round. It wasn’t the actual pick that bothered me, it was WHO was still on the board at that point that had me hurling obscenities into space. Peter Konz, who went the very next pick, or Lavonte David, who went a few picks after that, would have been excellent additions to the Lions. In Mayhew we trust.
The Broyles pick smells a lot like the Brandon Pettigrew pick in 2009. How’d that turn out? I was dead wrong on that one, and many more than I care to admit, and I’m probably dead wrong here also. Martin Mayhew and Coach Jim Schwartz have earned the benefit of a doubt by their excellent draft record since they took the reins of the Detroit Lions in 2009.
The more I thought about the Broyles pick the more I liked it. With a QB like Matthew Stafford around, you want to have a full complement of weapons. Nate Burlson is getting up there in age and that’s what the smart teams do, they have the replacement waiting in the wings. Plus, the Lions are only a twisted knee away from it being a position of need.
I wasn’t too crazy about the first pick either. It took me a day to warm up to taking Riley Rieff, (sounds like something from a Jimmy Buffet song), in the first round. I just had a bad impression of him from the combine. History lesson here for the future, don’t judge football players on how they look in shorts. He just looked slow to me, but I felt immensely better the next day when I read that he led the police on a 20 minute foot chase trough. A guy that big that can elude the police for 20 minutes is plenty fast enough. Fortunately, the incident was just an example of youthful indiscretion and he’s been a model citizen since.. Looks like he’ll be the next left tackle for the Detroit Lions after Jeff Backus moves on. I hope to see him manning the right side in his rookie year.
The biggest thing I took out of the draft was the run of corners and linebackers in the last six picks. It took Martin Mayhew a while, but he finally committed his board to the defensive side of the ball. I like the Chris Greenwood pick, local kid at that, and the Ronnell Lewis pick the best. You have to love a Player with the nickname “The Hammer”, which Lewis got from his head coach Bob Stoops. The other Oklahoma linebacker, Travis Lewis, is another guy who brings the wood. I always felt that the Lions linebackers are a bunch of nice guys. I hate nice guys in football (on the field, at least). I’d love to see “The Hammer” bring a mean streak to the Lions.
Ever since Mayhew took over after Matt Millen’s firing, having 7th round draft picks that contribute has become the norm around here. That’s what is so exciting about the Lions draftees. Any one of them could become a starter. Even if they don’t, I like their philosophy of drafting players who excelled on special teams. If you aren’t a starter, then you’d better be demon on special teams to keep getting a paycheck in this league. Nice to be part of team that knows what it’s doing for once.