It’s Friday – Time for the Lions Congregation to meet once again! With Mayhew still making moves in free agency and the draft fast approaching, this is an exciting Ifseason to be a Lions fan. Looking at current Free Agent moves and some draft thoughts is this week’s panel:
NetRat of The NetRat.com
Steve of Detroit Lions Weblog
Al of The Wayne Fontes Experience
Phil of The Highlight Reel on Mlive.com
Blades Boyd formerly of the Church of Schwartz
Joshua (DetFan1979) of Roar of the Lions
1. Rob Sims Trade: yea, nay, meh? Does it impact draft/how?
NetRat: Sims was a great trade! They traded away their 5th round pick and a practice squad guy for a 7th round pick and an immediate starting left guard with experience. On top of that, sites that rank players has Sims ranked as the 8th best left guard in the league. The Lions no longer need to look for a starting left guard in the draft or post draft, though they can still use depth, so one of those many 7th round picks might be a LT/LG type player who needs tons of work.
Steve:I really like the addition of Sims. Sacrificing a fifthround draft pick for a starting offensive linemen, who is reasonably young, is a wise investment by Martin Mayhew.
Sims allows the Lions to adhere to their publicly stated draft day modus operandi, to take the best player available with each selection, regardless of the team’s personnel need’s. Diminishing the team’s personnel needs, allows them to focus only upon adding to their talent inventory, which is the most efficacious means to turn a team around.
Even if Sims does not become a starter, which is highly unlikely, the Lions offensive line will benefit from his addition.
Al:Anytime you can trade for a 26 year old starting guard, made available not due do a lack of performance, but a change in offensive philosophy, and do so for essentially pennies on the dollar (a 5thround pick and a backup DE named Robert Hend…Hell, I don’t care, the guy was roster filler), you do it. As left guard has been a revolving door for the past decade, and Jeff Backus can always use the help, trading for Sims gets a yea from me.
I don’t see it impacting the draft much at all, for one reason only. Martin Mayhew’s philosophy of selecting the best available player on his draft board, regardless of position…save for QB, of course. The acquisition of Sims doesn’t matter. If a stud tackle or guard falls to the Lions from the 2ndround on down, expect Mayhew to jump all over him.
The Lions made the mistake of drafting solely for need too many times the past…and Mayhew was front row center in witnessing the mustachioed moron making the same mistake year after year after year. History will not repeat itself under Martin Mayhew.
Phil: The Rob Sims trade was a great one in that the Lions gave up a high fifth-rounder for a young, proven player at a position of need. It’s hard to do better than that. Now, this isn’t to say that Sims will be in Detroit for the long haul — note that he’s only under a one-year contract. But he gives them flexibility in terms of the draft; they don’t HAVE to find a left guard for this season.
Blades Boyd:The Rob Sims trade seems to me to be a very “Meh” type move. He reminds me alot of Looper and Rameriz and it really doesn’t get me all that excited. I guess we’ll have to just wait and see but that’s my attitudewith all Lion free agents whom they bring in. I mean if Jesus Christ came back to earth and suited up for the Detroit Lions I would still have a “Meh” attitude because I can’t think of one free agent in the last ten years that has come in and made a big difference.
Joshua:Sims was rated as the 8th best OG in the league by more than one rating site. The question becomes how did Detroit get such a highly-rated player for a 5thround pick? The key is that the top of 5 is close enough to a 4th that Mayhewwas able to get Seattle to go along withit. Also, Seattle wanted a DE prospect which Detroit had to give. So is Sims really a good OG, or worth a 5throunder? It depends on what system you are running for your offensive line. Seattle went from a power running-play-action team to a WCO, and now moving to Zone Blocking. Sims is not a fit for their new scheme, andwith more teams in a zone-blocking mode Detroit was able to sneak in and get him. Sims is not the next Steve Hutchinson, but he is a proven, solid starter in offenses similar to what Detroit runs. Unlike Loper last year, who was a backup trying to earn a starting spot Sims has been there and done very well.
While it is still the Ifseason, IF he plays as well as he did in Seattle Detroit will be in a better position at LG than it has been in about a decade. What is the likelihoodof an immediate starter at LG coming in round 5? My response is a qualified “yay!”
2. Martin Mayhew stated recently that most of what was being written about the Lions’ draft plans was not accurate. What are your thoughts on what he is referring to and possible differences?
NetRat:What does Mayhew read? I mean, is he reading Killer who continually states it could be Okung? Is he reading that it’s McCoy (as some sites say it will be)? Is he reading it’ll be Suh? If I knew what he was reading then I could say if he is being truthful or not. It could be they will take Spiller for all I know, but Mayhew saying what he said changes nothing as we don’t know what he is reading
Steve:Martin Mayhew stated recently that most of what was being written about the Lions’ draft plans was not accurate. What are your thoughts on what he is referring to and possible differences?
Misinformation and unchecked speculation drive the cottage industry that comprises the NFL draft. Mayhew realizes that fans love the draft andthat in particular, given the Lions struggles, the draft provides fans with reasonable hope for the future of their favorite team.
In the Lions case, the consensus indicates that the Lions will take their pick between Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy, and then bolster their offensive line, running back and defensive backs personnel, during the later rounds of the draft.
I believe that the Lions are afraid of betraying their true intentions and that there will be no significant change in their draft plans, unless they eventually trade a draft pick for Albert Haynesworth, who is currently in hot water with the Washington Redskins organization.
Al:If there is one thing we’ve learned about the Lions’ GM during his short tenure, he holds his cards close to his vest, and holds his true intentions even closer. I think Mayhew’spurposely spreading so much BS about his intentions, the media won’t know which way is up, down or around.
Realistically, Ndamukong Suh is going to be the Lions pick at number 2. To have any shot in trading down, as many reports claim, Mayhew has to make as many teams believe he’s interested in picking a player other teams have targeted and thus, won’t be taking Suh. In other words, it’s all about creating FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) in the other NFL GM’s. From what I’ve seen of Mayhew, and going by the deals he’s managed to pull off, FUD is his stock in trade.
In the end, if Mayhew knows (or even suspects) someone has sniffed out his true draft intentions, he sure as Hell isn’t going to admit it.
Phil:This one’s going to be brief. Martin Mayhew is fantastic at playing his cards close to the vest. So he could be referring to literally ANYthing that’s been written. But because my hunch is that the Lions are going for an offensive tackle, I think that Mayhew is referring to all the coverage being dedicated to Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy, and the assumption that the Lions are going to take one of those defensive tackles.
Blades Boyd:I think he was being honest on some level. I think the Lions #1 hope was to get Big Russel, the OT, but they can’t justify picking him at #2. I also think it’s likely the Lions could andwould drop to anywhere in the first round. Yeah I know that sounds crazy but the Lions are REALLY high on Kyle Wilson after his Senior Bowl performance and if they traded all the way down to say 23, they could get him there. I think it’s interesting the Eagles now have I believe7 picks in the first 4 rounds andif they give the Lions boththey’re secondround picks, I’d seriously consider moving down.
Joshua: *cough* *Cough* sorry, hard to respond with all this smoke. Making it hard to see what the heck is going on here too! Must be that cigar smoke coming from Col. John “Hannibal” Smith’s office… I mean, Allen Park. Martin Mayhew plays his cards as he needs/wants to. He wheels and deals like he is a shop owner on Pawn Stars. He plans, plots, and the only predictable thing about him thus far is unpredictability.
There is SO much in the media right now (including the plethora of ill-informed and over-done mock drafts and trade scenarios at the top of the draft, to go along with the abundance of well informed and over-done mock drafts and trade scenarios) that he could be referring to everything or nothing. It is just one more way to throw confusion at other teams and the media to get them thinking that what they were thinking about what he is thinking may not be what he is thinking about.
If I had to give a straight answer? All the focus on the second overall pick, when the draft format favors the Lions trading out of the #2 overall pick on DAY 2– so pick #34. While there are boundto be guys that “slide” out of round one, I don’t think Mayhew will be in a “must have” mode and be looking to acquire additional picks. Thus far, most coverage of pick #34 focuses on who will be available, and who they will take — assuming the Lions will stay there.
3. If the Lions were to trade out of their #2 pick in round 2 who is a likely partner, and what would it take?
NetRat:Trading out of the 34th pick… who and what would it take? Who is 28 teams (won’t be any NFC Northteams) What it would take would dependon how far the drop. Will they actually do it would depend on who they have targeted at 34 and how many of those targets still are on the board when it’s their turn to draft. If there is only one left, they will stay put. If there are 5 they might drop 4, 5, or even 6 or more spots, depending on the deal and what they believe will happen in those spots. Heck, maybe they’ll trade Backus and #34 to move back up into the 1st, taking Okung at #2 and Spiller at #14 or something. We just can’t know what Mayhewwill come up with, and that is what makes the Lions off season so interesting these days.
Steve: If the Lions were to trade out of their #2 pick in round 2 who is a likely partner, and what would it take?
I am not sure who would be a likely trade partner for the Lions second round draft pick, but I am certain that the Lions would be interested in acquiring multiple early round draft picks, as they continue to attempt to build a more talented franchise.
I don’t expect the Lions to be able to successfully trade down during the early rounds of the ‘10 draft, but as the draft progresses, Martin Mayhewwill continue to impress Lions fans with his impeccable ability for executing the art of the deal. I can’t wait!
Al: For all intents and purposes, the 34th pick is another 1st round selection. With this draft class being considered one of the deepest ones in memory, there will be a handful of players with 1st round talent who slip into the 2nd round. It happens every draft. So there should be a very talented player available to the Lions when they go on the clock.
Those 1st round talents dropping also makes the Lion’s 34th pick very attractive trade fodder. “Personally, I’d be loathe to give it up. So if I’m Mayhew, I’m asking for a pretty hefty price. I start any trade discussions about the 34thpick by asking for a 1st round pick in 2011, and go up from there, as I’d want multiple selections in the 2010 draft as well.
As to who a trade partner could be, it really depends upon what player drops into the 2nd round, and which team is in love/lust with said player. Though any team willing to risk a 1st round pick in ‘11 is likely going to be a playoff contender.
Phil: I really hate to give an “I don’t know,” but really, I’m clueless. Seriously. These are some of the most valuable picks in the draft. You still get a likely starter and the contract is very manageable.
What’s interesting, though, is that this year, there will be a day between rounds. So GMs get to fret about players they love who might be gone by the time they pick, which definitely plays into the trade scenario of the Lions getting an offer for their second-round pick. That said, it will have to be a pretty strong offer — Arizona has a low second and multiple thirds. Maybe they’d be willing to give up a third to move up in the second? New England has three seconds, but none of them as high as the Lions. Maybe they’d like to jump up and grab someone. (Then again, the Pats are likely aware that it’s better to stand pat than move up in this part of the draft.)
At any rate, there are simply too many variables to hazard a meaningful guess.
Blades Boyd:Well I answered that a bit in the last question but after the trade of McNabb to the Redskins, it’ll be nearly impossible for the Lions to trade out of #2.
Joshua: If I had to hazard a guess, I would say New England or Cleveland. The Pats have 3 2nd round picks, and if the Lions see a grouping of players they would like, and if they see getting two in round 2 as being better than the one guy they would take at #34 I could see it happening. New England likes to stockpile 2nds to give them flexibility, but they have more need of specific positions that need of more players. Their later round picks have trouble making the roster as it is, and their higher round picks still fight for their spots in most cases. If the right guy falls, I can see them possibly giving up their higher two 2’s for #34. This leaves NE with high and low 2’s, and Detroit with two mid-two’s. That is a deal I’d take. Cleveland has a plethora of 3rds, and it would take their 2nd, and at least one of the 3rds, maybe two. I don’t know if they covet anyone that much though.
It will be interesting, and much will play on Martin Mayhew’s ability to create fear and doubt among other GM”s — he is very adept at the art of the deal, and it only takes one team to fall for one guy they “must have” to get a trade done. Again, the only thing predictable about Mayhew’s moves is that they are unpredictable.
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