It's third and a pick six situation.
This may be my first mock draft, but it's Martin Mayhew's (Lions GM) third real draft and he's got six players to pick.
I admit that I have avoided putting any mock drafts together for the Detroit Lions. There have been too many questions and too many partial answers to know exactly where to go with picking the "right" guys for Detroit.
You can study Mayhew's drafting patterns all you want, and all you'd see is that he picks players not just based on highest need, but also on who may put pressure on the existing players to step it up to next level or be replaced. Generally speaking, the last list of "pressure" guys are picked up through free agency. I don't personally see his draft strategy changing, even if we don't have a free agency available this year.
The Lions front office will choose in the top rounds the players in the draft who can be immediate impact players, as expected, and in later rounds, development players who they hope can become the future of the team.
The truth is that the Lions have a tough schedule and need to get off to a fast start if they are looking at the playoffs this year. This may be in the back of their minds, but I don't see the team of Mayhew and Schwartz (head coach) changing their strategy at the draft at all.
It is interesting, though, to see the draft fast approaching without the experience of free agency. It may change the way some coaches and GMs head into this draft that can put another wrench into the usual list of unknowns.
Mayhew knows that he has to be ready for anything. Scenarios can change several times before you get the chance to call the next player to wear the Honolulu Blue and Silver. You have to have your list of players figured out based on any and all possible contingencies.
While I throw my hat into the ring, there is one thing I know for certain and that is this: I don't know anything for certain.
I have chosen to focus on immediate position needs, specifically OLB, CB and OG/C, and less immediate but still important needs at RB, WR and RT.
I hereby raise my glass and propose a toast. May the best players for our Detroit Lions win the battle of contingencies!