The Detroit lions are approaching this offseason just as I expected: a whole lot of nothing. After years, more like decades, of searching for the right players to win with, the Detroit Lions actually have a roster that’s pretty damn close to what I see as a championship team. I thought during last season that the Leo’s were only one good offseason away from being legitimate Super Bowl contenders. As Jason Hanson said, “We were pretty good, but not good enough.”
Martin Mayhew is absolutely doing the right thing in securing his own free agents first before he tries to extend the talent on this team. The best way to do that is, as everybody knows, is through the draft. Building a team through the draft is on the first page of every GM’s handbook. It’s probably why teams would rather give money away than trade a draft pick. Hey, they print money all the time but where am I going to get a defensive end that can get me double digit sacks? Unlike his mentor, Martin Mayhew knows what to do with his draft picks.
Mayhew is a strict believer in drafting the best available player. That’s on page two of the manual. I can’t see Mr. Mayhew reaching for a player when he has a better one still sitting on his board. Mayhew likes to keep his cards close to the vest so don’t expect him to help the other card players by giving hints as to who’s the apple of his eye.
The Lions can’t run the ball and they couldn’t stop anything with a spiral. If you look at the way the mock drafts are falling, including mine, it looks like the two top corners, Morris Claiborne from LSU, and Dre Kirkpatrick from Alabama, are going to be gone after Dallas drafts at 14. The only possible corner left is Janoris Jenkins from Northern Alabama. He’s a head case that seems to have to straighten up his act after getting kicked out of Florida but he’s rated the best pure corner in the draft. If he’s there and Mayhew’s keen insight says he’s worth the gamble, then I think the Lions should take him. I have him going 20 to the Titans, so that just might be wishful thinking.
The Lions had a horrible run game last year and it’s not because they lost Mikel Leshoure and Jahvid Best to injuries. It’s because the offensive line couldn’t open holes for anyone. Barry Sanders would have re-retired if he had THAT line to run behind. NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi comments on the obvious: “They’ve got to rebuild the offensive line. They can’t ever get control of the game because they never get control of the offensive line.” He also stated that “It’s too hard to be really dominant on both sides of the ball, typically most teams have complementary defenses.”
That being said, it’s seems like taking an Offensive lineman is a obvious choice. In my first Mock, I had the Lions taking Wisconsin Center Peter Konz. I still would love to take him, but he definitely has to get stronger. I started changing my mind when I watched the Senior Bowl practices (Insert ‘no life’ joke here) and took note of Georgia offensive lineman Cordy Glenn. Who was this mountain moving around like a ballerina? He dominated every single snap. He’s a cab ride to get around and can scratch the back of his knees without bending over. Here’s the best thing about him, he’s listed as a guard but could also play either tackle spot. He owned Quinton Coples, a defensive end that should be off the board by the time the Lions pick, all day long. You know Coach Schwartz loves versatile players.
It’s still early in the ‘Draft’ season to get hooked on any one player, but Cordy Glenn looks like a Super Bowl winning lineman.