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Re-Grading Detroit Lions' Past Five Drafts

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Re-Grading Detroit Lions' Past Five Drafts
Carlos Osorio

The last five NFL drafts for the Detroit Lions coincide with Martin Mayhew's reign as general manager and Tom Lewand as team president. They were hired in the wake of one of the most egregiously unsuccessful management tenures in professional sports history, better known as the Matt Millen era. 

From that pit of despair, Detroit has rebuilt itself into a competitive franchise. It even made a rare playoff appearance after the 2011 season and was poised to run away with the NFC North in 2013 before a late-season collapse that led to the firing of the third man in the above picture, head coach Jim Schwartz. 

Much of that groundwork has come via the draft. In five seasons, Mayhew and his staff have added several key starters and improved, in some cases dramatically, the overall depth and talent level of the entire roster. 

Grading those five drafts must take into account where the franchise was at that point in April of 2009. 

Some other factors into the grades include:

  • Value/impact of the pick
  • Other options the team considered for the pick, if known
  • Ongoing value looking forward
  • Positional needs at the time of the pick

Here are the grades for each draft of the Mayhew era.

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