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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Mayhew sticking to his draft plan

I'm resisting the urge to hand out draft grades this year. They're pointless. I won't be able to tell you how the Lions did until three years from now (minimum) when I see what kind of players Matthew Stafford, Brandon Pettigrew and Louis Delmas turn out to be, and for that matter how good they are in relation to Aaron Curry, Michael Oher and Rey Maualuga.

I like the Stafford pick. I think he fits what the Lions want to do and I believe you go as your quarterback goes. The Lions have proven that for decades. I like Pettigrew and Delmas as players, too. Pettigrew excels at the most underrated aspect of the game, blocking, and Delmas has a chance to be a playmaker in the secondary, something the Lions sorely lack currently.

I also think the Lions should have drafted Maualuga to fill their canyon at middle linebacker. I probably would have taken him at pick No. 20. I definitely would have taken him at 33. But I'm not a talent evaluator and it appears I liked the USC product more than most of the 32 NFL teams, who employ much smarter men on the subject than me.

I can't hammer the Lions for Day 1 of their draft, though. Sorry if this is redundant. I know I've written it a thousand times. But there are dozens of ways to win in the NFL. The key is not that you choose a certain one (though the Patriot and Steeler ways have their privileges), but rather that you stay disciplined within whatever you plan you have. OK, unless it's the Al Davis Plan. That one never works.

Like it or not, the Lions did that Saturday. They went best player available with each of their picks. At 20 and 33, they probably went safest available, too. (Oher and Maualuga have more red flags than the Russians.)

They didn't make the splash pick and surely didn't win over fans, but they did take the top players in the draft at three different positions. No other team can say that.

If the goal is to win this year, I'd say the Lions are in trouble. Stafford will start the season as a backup, who knows who'll start at middle linebacker, and Pettigrew and Delmas play low-priority positions (at least compared to Oher and Maualuga).

But general manager Martin Mayhew and coach Jim Schwartz have made it clear they're building for the long term. Three years from now, when the real grades come out, they see Stafford throwing passes to Calvin Johnson, Pettigrew sealing off the edge for Kevin Smith, and Delmas covering ground in the secondary behind …

OK, so they still don't have much in the way of defense, but Mayhew said the Lions weren't going to fill every hole in one draft. I can't gush about his work yet, but I can't slam it, either. Not until I see the vision take a little more shape.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad some Lions fans are complaining. Because those people are likely the same ones who were cheering the Mike Williams selection, which pretty much says it all, doesn't it?

1:50 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


these fans think they know what's best for the team. i'm inclined to trust what mayhew and schwartz are doing since that's what they're PAID to do and do well.

wish lions fans would just stfu and keep their negative comments/energy to themselves.

2:00 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I have seen more complaining after this years Draft Day 1 then I can ever remember ... given how much we have liked previous drafts and then seen years later how bad they were, perhaps this years whining will have us all cheering 2-3 years hence ...

4:04 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Four years from now this could be the best draft ever for the lions. Best QB, TE, Safty. There must have been some issues for Rey M. to drop so far. Stay positive. Go Lions!!!

6:27 AM 
Blogger Jesse said...

Bottom line is that this team was dangerously thin at every position, and that this turn-around is going to be a multi-year process. They're doing what they Millen never could--emphasizing SAFE talent--and I can uppreciate that. This year they took a starting caliber safety, tight end and QB to complement a starting caliber RT, RB, WR, WLB, SLB and RDE. Pieces.

7:19 AM 
Blogger Jesse said...


7:20 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


First off ... love the blog.

However, I have to disagree with you ... I think the Lions picks thus far, as they are almost every year, are head scratching at best and utterly impotent at worst.

If Stafford was so good, then why wasn't Georgia playing for the national title last season instead of underwhelming against MSU on Jan. 1?

I realize Georgia had a lot of injuries, but still ... No.1 pick in the entire draft talent couldn't help the Dawgs -- one of the best recruiting teams in the country with solid depth --overcome them?

Dude does not appear to make good decisions under fire, as witnessed in the first half against MSU and has a history of making bad decisions with the football.

Why should we think that will change in the NFL, playing for a team with a terrible offensive line and one decent receiver?

Then Pettigrew ... he might be a better blocker than I recall, but what stood out most to me when I watched him was his athletic ability in the pass game, not his blocking ability.

Like you said, you and I and most who talk about this stuff aren't NFL talent evaluators for a living ... but you could probably say the same for most of the Lions' front office.

Just saying.

10:53 AM 

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