Mayhew: Lions Likely To Trade During Draft
With a date at next week's NFL draft looming, the Detroit Lions are finalizing their draft preparations.
Or basically, they don't know who they want. Yet.
At least that was the notion implied by Lions GM Martin Mayhew, who fielded media questions on Thursday concerning the team's draft day agenda. Mayhew naturally didn't tip his cap, but did offer some insight to the organization's plans.
"I don't even know who we're going to take right now," said Mayhew in response to the annual plethora of insider prognostications. "It's a process and we're working through (that) process right now. We'll have a lot of discussion about those players. There are probably a little bit more than a handful of players who were talking about (at the No. 13 overall pick) and we'll continue to talk about those players until we make a final decision."
A gamut of prospects have been proposed via the prevalent mock drafts and analysis this time of year, and even more have visited the team's Allen Park facilities. Among the top names suggested to Detroit's first-round position include Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith, and USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith.
Regardless, Mayhew said he believes the team -- drafting outside of the top 10 for the first time since 2008 -- can find long-term help at the spot.
He also shrugged off suggestions that the team doesn't have as many needs to address.
"There are a lot of places we can get better and there are a lot of good players in this draft," he said. Our philosophy has been to take the best player. I don't think that's going to change.
Added Mayhew: "We think there's going to be a good player there at 13. I think we'll get a quality player that should be here for a long time."
But even if the team's draft board remains ambiguous, Mayhew's reputation as a draft wheeler and dealer is likely to continue.
In his first two years as the team's president, Mayhew was able to secure an additional first-round pick. Although admitting the price might be too high to continue his streak, that doesn't mean the team is content with staying at their six selections, either.
"I don't know if we'll end up with more or less than that, but I think it's a safe bet that we probably won't have the same six when it's all said and done," said Mayhew, stating earlier that he has "contact with a couple of teams."
"We can keep our options open; we could go up, we could go back. It could go either way for us, but we make calls on both ends of that."
More from Mayhew:
On the continued lockout:
"It's awkward but it hasn't really affected (me)."
On following the progress of Matthew Stafford (the Lions are forbidden to have contact with Stafford during the lockout)
"He's coming along well. I guess he was in the halftime show at the Georgia spring game -- got good reports on that. From what I understand, his rehab is going very well."
On Colorado CB Jimmy Smith:
"I had a great talk with Jimmy. After meeting him I felt much better about him as a player. I spoke with his position coach, Ashley Ambrose, who is now coaching at Cal, and he had nothing but great things to say about him. We've done a lot of work on Jimmy and I feel better about him than I did before I met him."
On the team's Monday night contest against Chicago
"It's great for our franchise, I think it's great for our players who haven't played in some of those games. I know how exciting it is when your whole family can see you play and people you went to grade school with and all that can see you play. The entire league watches that game -- it's a showcase for us as a football team and we can show our brand of football to the rest of the NFL. It's a great opportunity for us to show off what the Lions are."