Detroit Lions: What do we know about the NFL Draft?

We’ve been waiting for months to see who the Detroit Lions select in the NFL Draft. But what do we really know about the draft?

Times have changed for Detroit Lions fans. There was a long dark period where the NFL Draft was our Super Bowl. There was hope and dreams for improving the roster and turning the corner, finally becoming a perennial winner.

In the past four years, competitive and playoff football has been consistent in Detroit. But the anticipation of adding the missing piece to the puzzle still remains. We’re all hopeful and have faith in the team doing the right thing, even if we all have different ideas about what the right thing is.

There are mock drafts left and right trying to guess what teams will do based on player rankings and team needs. While that’s hard enough, some even try to guess what trades will happen including what picks are traded and what player will be selected. Talk about making the odds of being correct astronomical.

Here’s what Arizona Cardinals SVP/Media Relations Mark Dalton shared yesterday about mock drafts:

The truth is, we’ll never know for sure until the draft happens. (Insert “duh” comments here.) It seems every year there is a player that falls much further than expected. Last year, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster seemed like a surefire top 10 pick. He fell down draft boards until the 49ers gleefully traded up to bring him to the west coast. Coincidentally, it appears Foster is still falling…right out of the NFL due to off-field issues.

You can argue the other side, too. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers sat in the draft room for a long, long time. Finally, the Packers saved him from the agony of being the last person present at the draft to be selected 24th overall. He’s continually talked about as being one of the best quarterbacks currently playing the game and bound for the Hall of Fame.

We just don’t know which it will be. And neither do general managers. A strong comparison to fantasy football can be made.

Matthew Berry says regularly in his Draft Day Manifesto, “At a fundamental level, fantasy football is all about minimizing risk and giving yourself the best odds to win on a weekly basis.”

You could remove the word “fantasy” from that statement. Berry is talking about drafting players and rounding out a team. Every actual football team is doing the same thing this week. They’ve scouted players from all over the country trying to find talent to improve their team. This week, they’ll be selecting players based on their research.

Every team, including our beloved Lions, will be picking the players they think will help most. As fans, we’ll be hoping for the same. We’re all crossing our fingers that they select that edge rusher or offensive lineman or defensive tackle or running back or…well, you get the idea.

The one thing we do know is that nobody knows how everything will turn out. For example, take this reaction to former Carolina Panthers quarterback Jimmy Clausen getting drafted in 2010:

After our Detroit Lions make their first pick 20th overall, we’ll all be researching the player, looking for the good and the bad, and then hoping for the best for our team. It’s what fans do. And we’re only two days away from finding out how excited we’ll be for the selection or how much finger crossing we’ll be doing hoping our team knows what they’re doing.