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Notes: Lions were prepared to take a WR if Penei Sewell was off the board at pick No. 7

Lions Coach Dan Campbell brought up the draft strategy on the Pardon My Take podcast.


The Detroit Lions are enamored with OT Penei Sewell. Look no further than the plethora of articles we have covering this fact in our full coverage of the Lions 2021 draft class. General manager Brad Holmes twice tried to trade up for Sewell because he didn’t think he would still be available at pick No. 7 overall.

But what would the Lions have done if Sewell was off the board? Well, coach Dan Campbell may have given us an indicator of the Lions' plans when he appeared on the Pardon My Take podcast.

“We did not think he would fall to us like that,” Campbell said of Sewell being available. “We were hopeful, but we didn’t think he would. Man, we want to take the best player at that position is what we wanted to do. So listen, we were prepared now to take a receiver. I mean, we had no problem with that. If he was the best player on the board because Sewell was gone, we would have taken him, no problem.”

While this is as direct a comment as we have seen on what the Lions might have done if Sewell was gone, there’s still a little ambiguity here. When Campbell says “If he was the best player on the board”, it leaves the door open to interpretation.

The Cincinnati Bengals, the team most likely to select Sewell, took WR Jamaar Chase at pick No. 5, and the Miami Dolphins took WR Jaylen Waddle at No. 6. Were these the two next best options after Sewell on the Lions’ board? Was it only one of them? If it was only one, and that player was gone, would they have gone another direction, like say QB Justin Fields? Or maybe they would have traded back—they did turn down a “solid” trade offer.

It’s hard to say for certain what the Lions would’ve done if Sewell was gone, but the fact that they were at least considering a wide receiver is intriguing and adds more fuel to the “draft the best player available” theory.

Now, on to the rest of today’s notes:

  • During the rest of Campbell’s appearance on the Pardon My Take podcast, he discussed a variety of topics, including his playing days, his time as an interim coach in Miami, his approach to game management, and not wanting any “turds” on the roster.

“A turd is somebody that’s constantly getting in trouble off the field,” Campbell said. “He does not love football. He’s not very smart. He doesn’t care about studying. He’s not a team guy. He’s got major ego problems. That’s a football turd, man. I don’t want to deal with it. It’s not worth it.”

He credited former GM Bob Quinn and former coach Matt Patricia for not having any of those guys on the roster that he inherited.

  • Campbell also ruined Jeremy Reisman’s vacation:

  • And finally on the podcast, Campbell made a joke about wanting to adopt an actual pet Lion as a mascot and have him roaming the facilities:

  • Our friend Jeff Risdon over at Lions Wire noted that former Lions WR Chris Lacy has signed with division rival, Chicago Bears:

  • The Jacksonville Jaguars waived RB Ryquell Armstead and Eagles beat writer Mike Kaye suggested the Lions may be interested in him because assistant head coach Duce Staley worked him out at Temple’s pro day back in 2019:

Armstead is a rotational power runner who is excellent as a pass protector, which could be appealing to this coaching staff.

  • PFF took a shot at projecting the Lions depth chart—here’s mine—and noted that the toughest battle to project was, who would start at safety next to Tracy Walker? They settled with Dean Marlow over Will Harris at strong safety.

  • It’s Frank Ragnow’s birthday today:

  • And speaking of birthdays, the Flowers’ family welcomed their newest addition, Ashai Lume Flowers yesterday!

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