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Mayhew Shows His Worth in 2012 Draft

In the first two days of the 2012 NFL Draft, Detroit Lions GM, Martin Mayhew, shows his knowledge of how to build a team. And I was less than impressed.

Okay, I guess I can understand the first pick of Reiff. A top ranked Left Tackle who fell into their laps, who can be Backus' replacement when he retires. A solid offensive lineman who can pass block and run block. It was a solid pick. I did not like it!

Even though I can understand the pick, I believe it was the wrong choice. There were plenty of good linemen available still. The draft was deep in the position. There was still a chance of getting one with the second pick. And it was not an emergency to upgrade the position. Let's face the facts here. Stafford threw for over 5,000 yards last year. You just don't do that unless the line is doing a decent job.  Does Reiff improve the unit? Yes. But they could have improved another unit immensely.

With several good linemen still available, there was another position that was in dire need of upgrading and only one top talent left to fill it. This should have been a no brainer pick. The Detroit Lions weakest link in 2011 was the secondary. In the off season, Wright left in free agency, making the secondary even weaker. With Janoris Jenkins still available, he should have been taken without hesitation. But rather than draft a player that would have improved your defense immensely, the Lions drafted one of many offensive linemen who will likely start but not make a huge difference.

Still, I can understand the desire to take a top left tackle, so I will give a little leeway and give this pick a C+.

Then day two rolls around and guess what? CB Janoris Jenkins is still available.  With Mayhew's ability to trade and move up to get players in the last two or three drafts, he needed to do it again and get Jenkins. Adding Jenkins and a top left tackle would have made this draft an instant success. He made no such move and soon Jenkins was taken. When it was the Lions turn to draft, there was another top player available who could have improved the Lions more so than Reiff will. C - Peter Konz would have given the Lions a boost in the running game where Raiola, who is undersized has been lacking. But no, Mayhew had another idea. He drafted WR- Ryan Broyles.

Yes Broyles broke the NCAA record for most receptions, but there were several reasons this was a bad pick.  First off, the Lions did not need another WR. The last I checked, Stafford threw for over 5,000 yards in 2011. That is something like the 6th best passing season ever. Do you truly believe adding another WR will improve that much?  The fact is, adding another WR, no matter how good he is, will not improve the Lions passing game by much. With the Lions, this was a wasted pick. But it doesnt stop there. Broyles is coming off a major knee injury. So the Lions just spent their second round draft pick on a WR (who they did not need) who is coming off of a major knee injury? Seriously? Yes. I am serious! And sad for it too.

For their third and final pick of the two most important days of the draft, the Lions drafted CB- Dwight Bentley. A player who was virtually a no name prospect until he had a good game in the senior bowl. He was considered a timid tackler until he had one good game. And he is only 5' 10" tall. I know, Jenkins was no taller, right? But Jenkins had #1 shutdown corner speed and talent. Bentley has none of that. He will be a success if he is as good as Wright, and that really was not that good.

The Lions, after the first three rounds, ended up with LT-Reiff, injured WR- Broyles, and CB-Bentley. They should have had, CB-Jenkins, C-Konz and anyone else you want to add who was available.

What they should have had and what they ended up with? This shows me one thing. Mayhew does not know how to build a good football team.  In the first few years, he took us from 0-16 to 10-6 and a play-off birth, but the Lions are not a good team. Until they can actually beat a good team, they are not a good team. Right now, they are an average team that had a good year due to a very weak schedule. Not unlike what the KC Chiefs did the year before. Mayhew has added talent to a desecrated team. That is not a big deal. With early draft picks, he has added enough talent to turn the Lions into an average team. But Mayhew and his ridiculous BPA draft strategy has shown me he simply does not know how to take an average team and step it into the good or elite realm.

How can I say that you ask? He has yet to show us a team that can beat good teams, and he insists on drafting players to add depth while ignoring where the Lions are weakest. Last year he could have had a top CB in Jimmy Smith and instead drafted  DT- Nick Fairley, when they were already solid at the position. Once again, this year, he had a chance for a shutdown corner in Jenkins, and again he ignored the position to take an offensive lineman. Then he turned around and took a WR, when the Lions have three good WR's already rather than move up for Jenkins or take Konz who is the best Center in the draft.

Mayhew has failed miserably this year and quite frankly, it does not matter what he does in rounds 4 through 7, this draft gets a low grade. "D". The Lions needed this off season to improve the team. They did not sign one good player in free agency, lost their second best CB and did extremely little to improve the team in the draft. I seriously could not have imagined Mayhew could have done a worse job if he took advice from Millen.

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