Schwartz not set on drafting a QB
The most memorable line from Jim Schwartz's meet-the-media session Monday came when I asked him what his plans would be with the No. 1 pick.
"I think the important thing is finding the right person," Schwartz said. "I don't think you tie yourself into positions. Obviously there's a lot of needs. I think obviously the most important position on the team is quarterback. It's probably time to find a replacement for Bobby Layne."
Schwartz's Layne comment got lots of play, but the meat of what he said actually came a couple lines earlier about finding the right person. Look, he's a realist, a numbers guy. He knows that the best teams in this league usually have the best quarterback. But that doesn't mean he's dead set on taking a signal caller No. 1.
If Georgia's Matt Stafford or USC's Mark Sanchez fits the profile of a franchise quarterback, Schwartz and GM Martin Mayhew will have a hard time passing him up. If not, if they like Ball State's Nate Davis or Sam Houston State's Rhett Bomar better, you can bet they'll draft a quarterback in the later rounds.
Schwartz has a background in scouting (three years with Bill Belichick in Cleveland) and his voice will be heard in draft preparation (though Mayhew, as he should, will make the ultimate decision). But he also has roots as a defensive coordinator (the last eight years) and he saw up close in Tennessee how a team can win with a veteran quarterback and a strong defense.
If neither Stafford nor Sanchez is worth the money at No. 1 - and expect the Lions to float plenty of test balloons that they are as they try to deal that first overall pick - then the Lions will go with experience under center and use the top of the draft to build the best defense they can.