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Where Are They Now: Martin Mayhew's Detroit Lions Draft Picks

Martin Mayhew has been the Detroit Lions general manager for three NFL drafts. This means by now we have learned quite a bit about how his first class has panned out, and we are continuing to get a better idea of how his second class is performing. The jury is out on his most recent class of picks considering none of them have played in a regular season game, but we do already know that two of the players in the 2011 class won't play any games this year.

With this year's roster cuts now behind us, I figured now would be a good time to take a look back at where all of Mayhew's picks -- ones still with the Lions and ones elsewhere or without a job -- are right now. Let's start with the 2009 class. (Note: Overall pick number is in parentheses.)


QB Matthew Stafford (1) - When the 2011 season opens, Stafford will be the Lions' starting quarterback. If he can stay healthy, 2011 could be his breakout year.

TE Brandon Pettigrew (20) - The only player selected with picks from the Roy Williams trade that is still on the roster, Pettigrew is slated to be the Lions' starting tight end when the upcoming season begins.

S Louis Delmas (33) - Delmas is once again going to be one of the starting safeties and one of the leaders in the Lions' secondary.

LB DeAndre Levy (76) - After starting at middle linebacker last year, Levy is expected to start at outside linebacker this year with Stephen Tulloch joining the team.

WR Derrick Williams (82) - Mayhew's streak of drafting starters came to an end with his second third-round selection of 2009. Williams was released on Saturday by the Lions after never really panning out as a receiver or returner.

DT Sammie Hill (115) - Hill is one of the many reasons why the Lions' defensive line depth is so great. He is not a starter, but he is an important part of the rotation and could someday take over for Corey Williams in the starting lineup.

RB Aaron Brown (192) - Like Williams, Brown was acquired with a pick from the Roy Williams trade. Also like Williams, Brown is no longer on the team. He survived Saturday's cuts, but he was let go on Sunday after the Lions claimed Keiland Williams off waivers.

OT Lydon Murtha (228) - Murtha was signed off the Lions practice squad by the Miami Dolphins in 2009. He played in one game that year and made eight appearances (and four starts) last season. On Saturday, the Dolphins placed him on injured reserve.

LB Zack Follett (235) - Follett was released shortly after the NFL lockout ended earlier this summer. He has not been signed by another team and is likely done with football due to the neck injury he suffered last season.

TE Dan Gronkowski (255) - The Lions dealt Gronkowski to the Denver Broncos around this time last year in exchange for Alphonso Smith. On Saturday, Gronkowski was cut by the Broncos.


DT Ndamukong Suh (2) - Suh is not just a starter for the Lions, he's one of the best defensive players in the league despite only having one season under his belt.

RB Jahvid Best (30) - Although he has dealt with injury issues, Best is returning as the starting running back for the Lions.

S Amari Spievey (66) - Originally drafted as a cornerback, Spievey switched to safety last season and developed at a quick pace. He is expected to start alongside Delmas at safety this upcoming season.

OT Jason Fox (128) - Fox spent 2010 recovering from an injury he suffered in college, and he spent most of the preseason this year recovering from a foot injury. He has developed quite well in spite of the injuries and is set to be one of the Lions' backups at offensive tackle once healthy.

DE Willie Young (213) - Young has quickly gone from a raw talent to a talented backup on the Lions defensive line. He looked great in this year's preseason and will be part of the rotation at defensive end this upcoming season.

WR Tim Toone (255) - 2010's Mr. Irrelevant spent last year on the practice squad. He was released by the Lions during the final round of cuts on Saturday, and right now it doesn't look like he will return as a member of the practice squad this year.


DT Nick Fairley (13) - After breaking his foot early on during training camp, Fairley has spent the last month trying to get healthy. It seems unlikely he will be ready to go for Sunday's season opener, but once he returns he will be join the already talented rotation of players at defensive tackle.

WR Titus Young (44) - It seems like Young is finally healthy after being plagued by a hamstring injury for the majority of training camp. If he can stay healthy, Young will be the Lions' third receiver.

RB Mikel Leshoure (57) - Leshoure went down with an Achilles injury early on in camp and is out for the season. Hopefully he will be able to recover from the injury and return next year as a key contributor on offense.

LB Doug Hogue (157) - Hogue survived the roster cuts despite being behind a number of players on the depth chart at linebacker. Chances are he will spend most of the 2011 season on the sideline barring injuries to other linebackers. This was expected, though, as Hogue did just convert from running back to linebacker a couple years ago in college.

OT Johnny Culbreath (209) - Despite being very raw, Culbreath showed promise during the 2011 preseason. Unfortunately, he was placed on injured reserve on Saturday due to what has been described as an illness or medical condition. It's not clear what specifically the issue is, but Culbreath is out for the season.

To recap, Mayhew has made 21 picks for the Lions over the last three drafts. Of those 21 players, 13 are currently on the 53-man roster. Seven of the 13 players on the 53-man roster are projected to be starters this upcoming season. The other six are expected to be key rotational players or backups.