With the NFL Draft only a few days out, you can be sure that teams have all but solidified their draft boards.
Team officials have spent countless hours preparing each year for every possible outcome imaginable, in preparation of acquiring as much quality depth as possible in the draft. Teams trade up and teams trade down, but the objective remains the same: "How can we better facilitate the growth of our team now?"
For Martin Mayhew and Co. their mission has been clear. They’re drafting with a "Win Now" mentality. They not only want the best player available, but they are looking at players with specific roles in mind.
If Mayhew believes there’s a need, he’ll look at filling it. He has shown the willingness to aggressively address needs through both trades and free agency. Case in point, the three team trade in 2010 that brought Tony Scheffler, a second pass-catching tight end, to Detroit to play alongside Brandon Pettigrew.
It’s not easy attempting to project exactly how a team such the Detroit Lions will address their needs via the draft. But, in preparation comes preparedness.
Analyzing game footage and taking into account player workouts and combine results, you can formulate a good idea as to which player’s teams are leaning towards. In doing that you can formulate a player's worth and/or possible draft position. When you figure an individual’s approximate draft position, you can assimilate a draft board.
This is how I project Detroit’s board to look come draft day.
*This article was written assuming that Detroit doesn't move franchised defensive end Cliff Avril on draft day. This is of course a strong possibility.