Philosophy: The Lions seem to have the same approach as New England, Green Bay, and New Orleans. They are looking to put up points early and often, forcing their opponents to pass more early and become more one dimensional trying to keep up. By passing to set up the run they apply constant pressure exploiting their mismatches.
Some Draft History: In the 10 years he was with Tennessee plus 3 years with Detroit, a Schwartz team has picked an OL exactly twice in the 2nd or 3rd round and never in the 1st round out of over 40 picks. His teams did however draft six RB's in the first 3 rounds.
As the roster currently stands, with all 11 starters returning, some might think they are pretty set on offense. However it is conceivable that they spend more picks this year on offense than on defense. The Lions are good to go at TE, but will need a third QB and probably a fourth WR with speed and maybe return ability. The OL has some issues with age, but as we have seen don't expect an early pick on one unless they think a starter needs to be upgraded. I don't think that will be at C or T, as they seem pretty comfortable with Backus, Raiola, and Cherilus. A 1st round pick on a T would seem to provide no help this year, and maybe never with three developmental T's already on the roster with Hilliard, Fox, and Culbreath. While they haven't shown us a whole lot, they do have potential to be starting T's in the league. I also can't see them taking a C early, who has no chance at beating out Raiola, one of the smarter C's in the league. It would provide a much better value to draft a C later to develop. That brings us to G, where I feel that the front office would love to upgrade at RG. It seems they have been trying to replace Peterman every chance they get by bringing in anyone with a pulse to compete. However based on their draft history its going to at best be a 2nd round pick. They have brought in a bunch on 2nd to 4th rounds G prospects, and I think we can expect a pick in that range.
The main problem the Lions have on offense is at RB. With Best, Leshoure, and Smith, while talented, they have a plenty of issues with varying degrees. If the season started today, Smith would most likely be the starter. This is certainly not ideal. We will likely see another early pick on a RB, maybe even in the first round with someone like D. Martin. He fits the profile of what they look for with strong receiving skills. He doesn't have a great timed speed (4.55s/40), but watching him play I have yet to see him get caught from behind. He also has been very durable starting 40 of 41 games, and has also returned kicks and played on the kick coverage teams. The Lions interviewed him at the Senior Bowl, along with C. Polk. They have also brought in L. James and L. Miller, after T. Richardson that is 4 of the next 5 RB's in this class. With Mayhew saying how much they value the position, and even though most fans don't want to see it, the Lions will likely spend a 1st to 3rd round pick on a back in this draft.