What to do at No. 2?
When your team’s record over the past nine years is a combined 33-111—including a historical 0-16 campaign in 2008—drafting in the top five becomes almost second-nature.
And because of their experience, the Detroit Lions have a plan in place for this year’s draft.
"Philosophically, our position hasn't changed," Lions general manager Martin Mayhew told Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press last month. "We want to look for the best players we can find without regard to what side of the ball that they play, what position that they play.”
The Lions are currently in possession of the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft and—depending on what the St. Louis Rams do with the first selection—could have a very easy decision on their hands. Defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska) and Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma) are widely regarded as two of the top prospects in this year’s draft class and both possess the ability to come in and start from Day 1.
And whether the Lions want to evaluate the 2010 rookie crop based on talent or position, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the team ranked 25th against run in 2009 (126.6 yds/gm) and 32nd in points allowed (30.9 pts/gm)—two problem-areas that can be improved by addressing the defensive side of the football.
"Obviously, we wouldn't take a quarterback with the second overall pick at this point, so there's some common sense in there, too. But we want to continue to add talented players, no matter what side of the ball those guys play on or what their positions are,” Mayhew told Monarrez.
Having “earned” seven top-ten picks in the last eight years (four of which were in the top three), the Lions will need to make this year’s selection count if they want to get the organization back on the winning track.
And keep this fact in mind as well: The Lions' first pick has been an offensive player in nine of the last ten NFL drafts.
The evaluation process continues this week as all 32 teams will head to Indianapolis for the 2010 NFL Combine. The National Football Post arrives on Wednesday evening and will have you covered.
Just for fun, (Lions fans are advised to turn away) let’s take a look back on Detroit’s last eight first-round picks:
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