What a difference an offseason or two can make. In two quick years Martin Mayhew has done nothing but a brilliant job with the Lions, taking over after Matt Millen. Martin started strong by hiring new head coach Jim Schwartz, and good coordinators in Scott Linehan and Gunther Cunningham.
He then drafted and signed a QB with a huge arm in Matthew Stafford out of Georgia instead of Aaron Curry OLB out of Wake Forest. They then went with a big name tight end, Brandon Pettigrew out of Oklahoma State to give Stafford a big target to team with Calvin Johnson.
But they really hit it big with a big hitting safety out of Western Michigan, Louis Delmas. While most knew the Lions would struggle in Schwartz's first year, this off-season has given fans hope the Lions can compete for a playoff berth.
Enter Kyle Vanden Bosch, Nate Burleson, and Corey Williams from free agency and trade. When the draft came around we all knew the whole time the Lions were going to take Ndamukong Suh DT out of Nebraska with the second pick, but trading up late into the first round to get running back Jahvid Best from Cal could really help them down the road.
Best is a high risk, high reward type of player. Amari Spivey, CB out of Iowa, is another kid who will have to play a lot of minutes as a rookie due to the Lions terrible secondary. They can make the secondary better if they sign O.J. Atogwe, and rumors keep going around of Keith Bullock signing to complete a solid line-backing corps in Detroit.
The Lions still have a lot to do, but they are inching ever so close to the playoffs with off-season development after the past two seasons.