Mayhew: 'We'll be more efficient' on the clock
More notes from general manager Martin Mayhew's pre-draft press conference today:
Mayhew said he expects the Lions, notorious for their last-minute wrangling under Matt Millen, to be more efficient when they're on the clock this weekend. I think we'll be much more prepared, he said. We spent a lot of time already talking about how we stack players the first 33. We've had several meetings on that. We're having our dialogue now. This week we're having our dialogue. And then when it comes time on draft day, we'll have had a lot more discussion about players prior to being on the clock. I think sometimes you can get on the clock and try to have all that discussion when you're on the clock and it's hard to make the right decision then. We're having a lot of discussion now.
Though Mayhew will make the final call, he said he and coach Jim Schwartz will be in agreement on every player they select. If one likes a player and the other doesn't (at that spot in the draft, presumably), it's on to the next guy. We're going to spend time together all the rest of this week watching film together and talking about players. So whoever we pick, it'll be a player that Jim and I both like, and Scott (McEwen) and our scouts like him, too. We'll be on the same page, and that's what we're doing this week. We're going to spend time together talking about that so it doesn't happen in the way you just described.
I will say this, from everything I've gathered during the evaluation process, that doesn't sound like lip service. The Lions have done their homework on every position group in this draft. That doesn't mean they're going to hit on every choice. In fact, it's good to be skeptical considering most of the scouts from the Millen era are still in place, but they've at least been thorough about their evaluations.
I mentioned in my last post Mayhew's praise of McEwen, the Lions' director of college scouting. Here's the quote exactly: Let me just say this, I think Scott McEwen has done a phenomenal job for us setting the board this year, as he has in the past. I think he's just a tremendous evaluator. I like our college scouts. I think to your point, there've been some mistakes made in the past and there've been a lot of noise in the system, so to speak. But again, I'm totally focused on the future and not the past.
Teams spew a lot of BS this time of year, but here's an absolute truth from Mayhew about what an anchor No. 1 money can be to a franchise. I think the system is broken, he said. I think that's been addressed and talked about. The way it's set up, the idea I believe was to have teams who hadn't been as successful have an opportunity to get better by picking first, and now, if you miss at that pick or you miss early, which we have, it really sets you back even more so it's even harder to get out of that cycle. But I think hopefully that will get resolved some time in the near future.
Mayhew on how much production the Lions need from their No. 1 pick next year: I think it's important. I think it's very important, but again like I talked about before, the draft is not for opening day. The draft is for this franchise, for now, for three years from now, for five years from now. We want to be able to extend these players, we want these guys to be here for 10 years. So it's a big picture, it's a bigger picture than just filling in spots and holes in the roster for opening day.
Mayhew on the pro-Aaron Curry (and anti-Matt Stafford) chants at the unveiling of the Lions' new logo Monday: I didn't give it a whole lot of thought. I'm excited about their passion and they've always been passionate about it, but I'm hopeful that when we get a player, when we select somebody, they come in and start playing, that everybody likes them no matter who that player is.
Mayhew also said the Lions don't plan on signing last year's seventh-round pick, Caleb Campbell, before the draft. Campbell will re-enter this year's draft pool.