Detroit Lions 2009 Draft Class: What Should Fans Expect from Them in 2011?

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Detroit Lions 2009 Draft Class: What Should Fans Expect from Them in 2011?
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions' 2009 draft was, in many ways, the end of an era.

Though Lions fans were apprehensive about the organizational sense of hiring Martin Mayhew, the apparent understudy of the worst GM in team (perhaps league) history, his first draft produced value at every level.

Now, we find ourselves two seasons removed from that draft, and the components from it will be under the microscope in 2011.

Many of them are facing make-or-break years. Derrick Williams and Aaron Brown are in danger of losing roster spots, Matthew Stafford needs to prove detractors wrong about his health, and the other players from that 2009 draft will have a lot to prove about the ultimate direction of their careers this year.

Of course, this analysis excludes seventh-round picks Lydon Murtha (taken off the practice squad by the Miami Dolphins) and Dan Gronkowski (traded to Denver for Alphonso Smith). Whether those two succeed or not is no longer of any great issue to Mayhew and the Lions, though if they produce, it does speak even more highly of Mayhew's drafting prowess.

So, of the remaining players from the 2009 draft, what should we expect when the 2009 class takes the field?

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