Has anybody noticed that Martin Mayhem appears to know exactly what he's doing? He says that he's building for the future and not just one draft. Looking forward to next year's draft class makes it seem that he not only plans for the current draft, but that he is also looking at least one draft into the future.
When you look at what the Lion's (perceived) needs were in this draft, most said that we should take a corner, a linebacker, or an OT in the first rounds. We got none of these early on. I know this is WAY premature, but if you peruse the mock 2012 mocks out there you'll see a draft that is much stronger at all three positions:
OT's that could go in the first round include Matt Kalil (USC), Riley Reiff (Iowa), Jonathan Martin (Stanford), Mike Adams (Ohio State), Bobby Massie (Ole Miss), and a few others. Jeff Backus is solid, not spectacular, but he will be better in the upcoming season, if there is one, than any of the lackluster tackles available in this year's draft. Next year's crop are expected to be better by a fair margin than this year. While there were no true plug-n-play tackles this year, next year may have half a dozen or more. For instance, Kalil manned the blind side for USC this year and kept this year's first tackle taken, Tyron Smith, on the right side. I assume because he was just as good or better than Smith. And it just happens to be at the time Backus' contract is up and he'll be turning 35.
2012 Cb's that could go in the first include Dre Kirkpatrick ('Bama), Stephen Gilmore (S. Car.), Cliff harris (Oregon), Alfonzo Dennard (Nebraska), Chase Minnifield (Virginia), and maybe Janoris Jenkins (Florida). Any of these, depending on this year's college performance, could be more highly regarded than any of this year's CB prospects with the exception of Patrick Peterson.
LB's that fit a 4-3 include Zack Brown (OLB, UNC), Manti Te'o (ILB, Notre Dame), Vontaze Burfict (ILB, ASU), Travis Lewis (OLB, Oklahoma), Luke Kuechly (ILB, BC), and possibly Donta Hightower ('Bama) and Donte-Page Moss (N. Carolina). After Von Miller, there weren't any backers in this year's draft that didn't have injury concerns or obvious shortcomings in some aspect of their game - at least in regards to what the Lions are looking for.
Do you think Mayhem knew this going into this year and planned to get some of these players high in next year's draft and that's why he passed over these positions this year? Could it be that he saw more value in taking 2nd running back/3rd receiver in a draft class that was relatively poor at those other positions of need? Depending on what we do in free agency, we could be set at all positions of major need after next year's draft. Building for the future - in Mayhew I trust.