I AM BACK!!!!!

In the past, I tried to do too much with this site with way too little time. Yet, I have been feeling a need to write about the Lions lately. So I have decided to change the Detroit Lions Observer to a few basic things. Writing articles when I feel a need to, keeping track of their wins and losses, and I am still deciding if I will go through and update Ndamukong Suh's Sack List.
Ndamukong Suh's Sack List
Keep track of which quarterbacks Suh has faced and which ones he has taken down.

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7/25/12

Mayhew and the NFL Drafts: How Good Is He?


In 2009, Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz began drafting for the Detroit Lions. Last year the Lions won 10 games and made the play-offs. But is their drafting a bit misleading?

2009 - The first year was easy for them. They took over a team with no talent and they went into the draft with one goal. Add star athletes, no matter their position. In came Matthew Stafford, Brandon Pettigrew, and Louis Delmas in the first three pick and two rounds. After that, they added DeAndre levy in the third, and Sammie Lee Hill in the fourth. With 10 picks in 2008, 5 of them are starter worthy and still on the team as strong contributors.   Grade = A


2010 - The Draft started off as easy as it gets. It was obvious the Lions had only one choice they could make with their second pick over all. If they would have taken anyone other than Ndomukong Suh, it would have been the worst pick in the draft. Suh was a once in a lifetime player to draft at DT and simply put, a no-brainer. When the Lions moved back into the 2nd round to take Jahvid Best, it was a gutsy move to get a superstar talent at RB. With his concussion suffered the year before, the pick was a little dangerous, but one that was worth doing at the time. In the third, they drafted Amari Spievey, knowing he was not going to be a very good CB. It didnt matter. They had intentions to turn him into a Safety. Spievey has shown some ability but has yet to prove he can be a worthy every day starter. This pick is still questionable. In the 7th round, they added Willie Young, who is turning into a decent contributor and someday may be a solid every down player.

With 2 players (Suh & Young) looking good, 2 players (Best & Speivey) who are questionable, and 2 other players (Fox & Toone) who look to be busts, the Lions draft was not as successful as the previous year. The only reason they get a good grade is because one of their good picks came late in the draft.
Grade = B-


2011 - The drafting of Mayhew and Schwartz took a bit of a down turn with this draft. The Lions defense had a very glaring weakness at CB and there were very good CB's available when their pick came. They ignored need and went with BPA to take Nick Fairley, a Defensive Tackle. With three good DTs on the team already, it was not a needed move and not a pick that would improve the team very much. The only reason they get a pass is because they did get a great talent... supposedly.  In the 2nd round, they took Titus Young, a WR to compliment Calvin Johnson and Burleson. So far this looks like it may have been the best pick of that draft. The Lions moved back into the 2nd round and once again, continued to ignore the weakness on the team at CB and took Mikel LeShoure, another RB.

So far, only Young has shown he can play. Fairley has seen little action due to an injured foot and LeShoure has yet to play due to a serious achilles injury and will miss games this year due to off field problems. The only other picks were LB- Doug Hogue, and OT- Johnny Culbreath, who was recently cut.
Grade = C-

2012 - Once again the Lions most glaring weakness was CB. Once again there were a couple very good CBs available when their pick came. Yet again, the Lions ignored the need. In the first round they took OT-Riley Reiff. Did the Lions need to start addressing the offensive line for the future? Sure. But they needed a CB far more than they needed a Tackle. When the 2nd round came, did they address the CB position? They took a Wide Receiver. With one of the best passing games in the NFL and three good receivers already on the team, they took another WR. That reasoning alone makes this pick very questionable. Add to that, the WR they took, Ryan Broyles, recently suffered a major knee injury and will not even be ready to play when the season starts, and it is not guaranteed he will ever be 100% again, this pick is nearly laughable. After that the Lions drafted three CBs and three LBs. This move screams a couple things to me. They knew very well how importantly they needed to address the secondary before, and chose to ignore it for BPA, and they do not have faith in any of these draft picks to start, otherwise they would not have drafted three of them.

With a slight improvement on the offensive line, they added an injured WR to a good WR crew, and tossed in three CBs and three LBs hoping they get lucky with one of them.
Grade = D-


My Opinion - Mayhew and Schwartz are good at picking talent. There is no doubt they know talent. So when the team was void of any talent, they had an easy time of drafting talent to add to it. Then the team got better and they had to pay some attention to making a good team better. It should have been time to let go of the Best Player Available draft theory and start finding the Best Players that fill Needs. They did not do that and their drafting has steadily gotten worse.  Because of this, the Lions, who won ten games last year, will be entering the new season, not with a better team than last year, and not with the same team, but with a team that is not as good. And they will be facing a tougher schedule.

Schwartz ans Mayhew know talent. What they have not shown however, is the knowledge on how to build a great team. They continue to draft talent and not care about addressing needs. So they continue to build up certain areas of the team while going into new seasons with the weaknesses getting worse.
Mayhew & Schwartz Grade = C


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