Following the 2011 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions received quite a bit of praise for picking Nick Fairley, Mikel Leshoure and Titus Young. Some within the NFL saw things a bit differently, though. As reported by Albert Breer last year, it was a bit curious to some that the Lions selected three players in a row with perceived red flags, and as reported by Breer earlier this week, the off-field problems involving Fairley, Leshoure and Young aren't a huge surprise to some people.
"For those three, the signs and the flags were there -- it's not like they didn't have issues," one AFC personnel executive said. "It shouldn't be a huge surprise that these guys are having decision-making problems. Off the field, on the field, the flags were there. And it goes back to this: 'What's your philosophy on character risk? How do you approach the risk? Will it need to be significantly policed?' Those are the questions you need to answer."
This year, there was a lot of talk about the Lions potentially drafting Janoris Jenkins, who had several red flags going into the draft. This resulted in him falling to the second round, and the belief was that the Lions essentially took him off their draft board. They obviously did not end up taking him, and although there are many factors in play (draft position, trading up, etc.), perhaps the fact that the Lions didn't make a move up in the second round to get Jenkins is a sign of a change in philosophy.
Regardless of what happened with Jenkins, I think the Lions will think twice before they even consider drafting somebody with serious red flags in the future.