A lot has been said about Mayhew’s drafting. I am under the opinion that is hasn’t been good. Other than top picks, he hasn’t nailed many draft picks. Good teams draft well, they find starters in the mid rounds.
1. Matthew Stafford – Stafford was the right pick. I don’t think anybody else in that draft class can have the impact on a team that a franchise QB can have. Alternatives: None.
1. Pettigrew – A major reach and has yet to show he can be elite, which is what you should expect from a guy picked at 20. Alternatives: Alex Mack, Percy Harvin, Michael Oher, Clay Matthews, Vontae Davis, etc. The back of this round was full of good players.
2. Delmas – Great player when healthy, but that’s becoming more of a rarity every year. I’ll give him a pass since he wasn’t an injury concern coming out of college. Alternatives: I wanted James Laurinaitis or Ray Maualuga, both of which have been more consistently good than Delmas.
3. Levy – Acceptable for a third round pick. He’s not elite by any means, but he’s a guy that can start. Alternatives: Nobody immediately after him jumps out at me.
4. SLH – Good for a fourth, hard to find guys as good as him here.
6. Aaron Brown – What has he done? To be fair though, anybody in round six or seven is a crap shoot.
Notable undrafted players: Arian Foster (wouldn’t you love him right now?),
1. Ndamukong Suh – One of the most dominant defensive players in football, be he was kind of a no brainer. Alternatives: Jason Pierre Paul and Earl Thomas have been very good, but not better than Suh.
1. Jahvid Best – Had major concussion issues coming out of college and they continue to plague him. I’m just not keen on players with major injuries, especially concussions. Alternatives: Patrick Robinson hasn’t been terrible. They could have stayed in the second and gotten Dexter McCluster or Ben Tate, both of which have done more than Best. And there’s always Rob Gronkowski.
3. Amari Spievey – Has progressed, but can’t stay healthy long enough to evaluate anymore. Alternatives: Major Wright would be a huge upgrade in Detroit’s secondary. Navarro Bowman is an all-pro, as is Jimmy Graham.
4. Jason Fox – Has never seen the field. I mean, you can’t expect much from a fourth, but more than what they’ve gotten here. Alternatives: Kam Chancellor is starting for Seattle in the league’s best secondary.
7. Willie Young – Has had a few flashes of talent, but never sustained any of it. I’ll take it for a seventh though.
7. Tim Toone – Mr. Irrelevant lived up to his nickname.
2. Leshoure – Probably the only player Mayhew traded up for that has shown anything. He was essentially a rookie, so I’ll give him another year to really judge him. Alternatives: Randall Cobb.
5. Hogue – Nothing, though he was a fifth.
7. Culbreath – Nothing, but he was a seventh.
Notable undrafted players: Chris Harris (CB Denver), Doug Baldwin (WR Seattle)
It’s too soon to accurately gauge the 2012 draft picks. However, not one of them was starting throughout the season and only one saw significant playing time without getting injured.
In total out of these four drafts, only six players have been starting consistently. The lack of starters from the draft is the exact reason why Detroit is tight against the cap, yet riddled with holes in multiple positions. For direct contrast, 17 out of 22 Seattle starters were taken in the previous three drafts.
The bottom line is that unless Mayhew starts drafting better, Detroit is going to struggle for years to come.