clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A position-by-position look at Martin Mayhew's Lions draft picks

Taking a position-by-position look at the draft picks Martin Mayhew has made as Detroit Lions general manager.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Last month, we took a round-by-round look at all of general manager Martin Mayhew's Detroit Lions draft picks. Now, let's take a position-by-position look at his 38 picks.

Quarterback: Matthew Stafford (first round)

Mayhew's first ever draft pick as Lions general manager was used to select his one and only quarterback. Since adding Stafford, the Lions haven't had a need to draft a quarterback, thanks in part to the solid job Shaun Hill has done as the team's backup since 2010.

Running back: Aaron Brown (sixth round), Jahvid Best (first round), Mikel Leshoure (second round), Theo Riddick (sixth round)

If not for concussions, the Best pick would have been a good one, but that risk did not pay off. And if Leshoure hadn't torn his Achilles before his rookie season, perhaps he wouldn't have fallen to the bottom of the depth chart last year. He was actually passed by Riddick, although that could change this year with a new coaching staff in place and Leshoure potentially getting a chance to actually play.

Wide receiver: Derrick Williams (third round), Tim Toone (seventh round), Titus Young (second round), Ryan Broyles (second round), Corey Fuller (sixth round)

Oh boy. Williams was a complete bust, even by a third-rounder's standards. The same goes for Young in the second round; he was a bust because of massive character issues. So far, Broyles is heading down the path of being a bust as well because he can't stay healthy, but hopefully this will be the year that he finally avoids a serious injury.

Tight end: Brandon Pettigrew (first round), Dan Gronkowski (seventh round), Michael Williams (seventh round)

Pettigrew has been a starter since the Lions drafted him in 2009, but he has been plagued by inconsistency and hasn't really lived up to his first-round status. As for the two seventh-rounders, Gronkowski really didn't do anything in his one season with the Lions, and Williams is hoping to be a contributor this year after spending his rookie season on injured reserve.

Offensive tackle: Lydon Murtha (seventh round), Jason Fox (fourth round), Johnny Culbreath (seventh round), Riley Reiff (first round)

Aside from Culbreath, this is actually a decent group of offensive tackles. Murtha was plucked from the Lions' practice squad by the Miami Dolphins, and he actually started some games for them. This past season, Fox started some games for the Lions, although injuries continued to be a big issue for him. And then there's Reiff, who took over for Jeff Backus as the Lions' starting left tackle last year after spending his rookie season in a situational role.

Offensive guard: Larry Warford (third round)

Mayhew has only drafted one guard, and boy was it a good pick. The Lions got Warford in the third round last year, and he turned out to be one of the best guards in all of the NFL in 2013.

Center: None

Amazingly, the Lions have not drafted a center even once during the Mayhew era. That could change this year as the Lions search for Dominic Raiola's eventual replacement.

Defensive end: Willie Young (seventh round), Ronnell Lewis (fourth round), Ziggy Ansah (first round), Devin Taylor (fourth round)

Ansah and Taylor have only been in the league for a year, but they both have pretty promising futures. The same goes for Young, who is going to be a free agent this offseason after originally being a seventh-round pick. If you take the Lewis pick out of the equation -- he's now playing for a team in the "Champions Professional Indoor Football League" -- Mayhew has done quite well at defensive end.

Defensive tackle: Sammie Hill (fourth round), Ndamukong Suh (first round), Nick Fairley (first round)

Similarly, Mayhew has done quite well at defensive tackle. Granted, the Suh pick was an obvious one, and Fairley did surprisingly fall to the Lions, but Hill was an unknown from a small school who turned into a very solid player in Detroit before cashing in as a free agent last year.

Linebacker: DeAndre Levy (third round), Zack Follett (seventh round), Doug Hogue (fifth round), Tahir Whitehead (fifth round), Travis Lewis (seventh round), Brandon Hepburn (seventh round)

The Levy pick became a great one last year, but there's not much else here from a non-special teams standpoint. Part of that is likely related to the fact that all of the other picks came in one of the later rounds of the draft, and guys like Whitehead, Lewis and Hepburn are all still pretty young. However, only the Levy pick has really worked out for Mayhew so far (on defense, anyway).

Cornerback: Amari Spievey (third round), Bill Bentley (third round), Chris Greenwood (fifth round), Jonte Green (sixth round), Darius Slay (second round)

This is going to be an important season for most of these cornerback picks. Spievey was converted to safety after he was picked, and he's no longer on the team. For the other cornerbacks, though, they are facing a season where they need to really take a big step forward in their development. It's really too early to make any concrete conclusions about the non-Spievey picks, but none of these selections have looked overly promising so far.

Safety: Louis Delmas (second round)

When healthy, Delmas was a starter for the Lions from 2009-13. Even though he was released this offseason, there's still a chance he could be back for the 2014 season, but injuries will always likely be an issue for him.

Kicker: None

Thanks to Jason Hanson's longevity, there was no need to take a kicker in the first four drafts of Mayhew's tenure. The Lions also didn't feel a need to draft one last year because they signed David Akers, but with him not returning in 2014, this could be the year that Mayhew picks his first kicker.

Punter: Sam Martin (fifth round)

Mayhew's only special teams draft pick so far came last year when the Lions selected Martin in the fifth round.

Pride of Detroit Direct

Sign up now for a 7-day free trial of Pride of Detroit Direct, with exclusive updates from Jeremy Reisman on the ground at Allen Park, instant reactions after each game, and in-depth Lions analysis from film expert Jon Ledyard.