Ahhh... breathe in that suffocating, stinging air. The smoke is floating thicker than at a Rastafarian frat party, or a 6-alarm blaze at a smoke flare factory...
Yep -- it's the week of the draft all right!
Candidates for the #1 overall pick have their agents negotiating with the Lions, while the players make the radio circuit and subtly (or not so subtly) try to kiss the right backsides in public to lobby to be the pick as well.
Matt Stafford was offering up how he's gonna buy a Ford if he gets drafted, and Aaron Curry came right out and said he told his agent and the Lions he would take a deal LESS than what Jake Long got at #1 overall last year! (I'd be all for that... and it confirms what I said earlier about Curry being serious about minimizing the cost factor fear and wanting to be the first pick -- and come to the Lions.)
I laughed at the all the "Lions have honed in on" stories. They are just blowing the smoke around and feeling giddy from the contact high. The players don't know. The agents don't know. The media certainly doesn't know.
So what do we know? We know already that Mayhew and Co. are worlds more competent than Millen was. We know that Mayhew has come right out and said that Schwartz and Him will have final say -- and that they both will have to agree on a player before they take him. This means no more Joey situations where the GM is saddling the coach with a guy he doesn't want.
I also found it interesting that the Lions are finally discussing all the players who may be available at given spots, and trade scenarios, how their board is stacked, etc. ahead of time (like, well, like good teams do.) . This should mean an end to the "A voice from the back of the room yells out how about Calhoun?" type situations.
I believe what Mayhew says about how they are picking -- it lays the responsibility equally on him and Schwartz. This negates his ability to effectively scapegoat the coach and ties him directly into how successful Schwartz is, and vice-versa. The Lions front office and coaching staff are a true team at this point, and we'll have to wait for results. I also believe what Mayhew was saying about general draft practices as it didn't give away anything other teams could use to their advantage.
Actually, it made worrisome trends for other teams with Mayhew indicating he would go any position if talent was there because "with our roster, you can't pass up talent". This should further open trade options for the Lions at #20 and #33.
I don't believe anything he or anyone else says about players at this point -- there is more stink from crap flying around than off a manure spreader in the hot summer sun laying down the fertilizer on hungry fields.
Who will it be? How will they do?
Only time can tell that -- and while we will have some ideas come Monday, we won't truly know for quite some time...