With the 20th overall pick, fans projected with Ray Maualuga or Michael Oher. Easy, right?
Not if you were sitting in front of Detroit's draft board, which actually made more sense than both fan projections and draft analysts.
HEIGHT :: 6-5 WEIGHT :: 257
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While the Lions have a need at linebacker and on the offensive line, Brandon Pettigrew was considered the best prospect on the board -- many pegged him as a top 15 selection, but had him sliding one way or the other based on the team's need.
Lions GM Martin Mayhew had stated that prior to the draft, the team would acquire based on the BAP (Best Available Player), not necessarily need. The reason is simple: Detroit isn't solid at any position on the roster. But tight end is one position that certainly required the help.
Pettigrew will enter Detroit immediately as its No. 1 tight end, and should have the opportunity to flourish under offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Linehan's offenses have always employed talented and productive tight ends, including Jermaine Wiggins in Minnesota and Randy McMichael in Miami.
The Lions didn't have that until now.
While the Lions still have needs to fill (the league's most porous defense from last year hasn't been addressed), Pettigrew simply makes sense in Detroit.