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 Philosophy 
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Post Philosophy
Thought I would post this article from bleacherreport.com, think it pretty much hits the nail on the head.


Detroit Lions 2012: NFL Draft, Best Player Available & Drafting a Defensive End
By
Scott Bischoff
(Contributor) on March 20, 2012

It's a curious thing, the whole concept of "best player available" and how it relates to a team's draft outcome. The concept is that a player will fall to your team during the draft, a player that should not be available when it is your team's turn to draft. Your team selects "best player available" and seems thrilled, but this drives fanbases crazy because for the most part, needs are rarely addressed.

Looking at the draft history of the Detroit Lions under general manager Martin Mayhew, you can see that the Lions employ the "best player available" concept almost all the time. Mayhew does take heat amongst some Lions fans. This was on display during the 2011 NFL Draft when the Lions did not take a cornerback or a safety in round one. They had two selections in round two and still ignored the secondary. In fact, they ignored the position throughout the entire draft.

Detroit area sports talk radio was flooded with callers who were angry and confused. This anger and confusion is unfounded as the Lions have seen success under Mayhew that has come surprisingly fast. Mayhew and the Lions have hit a home run or two in each of his first three drafts. The bottom line is that his decision-making has earned him the respect and the trust of the majority of the fanbase.

No one thought that the Lions needed an interior defensive lineman last year. Ndamukong Suh had a dominant 2010 season; it was clear that the defensive line was all set. Rewind to the 2011 NFL Draft and somehow a talent like Nick Fairley falls to where the Lions are in the draft. The Lions viewed it as a no-brainer and drafted him.



This is where it will get interesting during the 2012 NFL Draft. The Lions have clear, pressing needs at cornerback and safety on defense and at right guard, center and left tackle on offense. Given Mayhew's history it should not surprise anyone if they draft a player that is an elite talent but doesn't play in one of those positions.

At some point "best player available" will match a need and this could be the year, especially with the Lions having a selection later in the draft. It could be this year that a player falls a few spots, and the Lions will get to satisfy the fans by telling them that the best player available was also a cornerback, or a left tackle, but don’t count on it.

It's the draft and the one thing we do know is that no one knows how this thing will play out. History tells us that we will be surprised during the draft at the player that Mayhew selects. As much as I want him to address the offensive line or the secondary, I know that those are moves that will have almost no impact on the field in 2012.

It is for the following reasons that I think it makes sense for the Lions to take a defensive end in the first round of this year's draft. The Lions de-prioritize the corner position and are happy to fill it with players that they can grab elsewhere. The idea is that the pressure that the defense creates can make average cornerbacks look good in this system.

There is also the age of Kyle Vanden Bosch and his health concerns. He won't be around long, and if the Lions can find his replacement now by getting a player that doesn't belong on the board when they draft then they should select him. Follow that up by allowing Vanden Bosch to teach this player while he plays out the rest of his career.



Another factor is the contract status of Cliff Avril. You can blame the Carolina Panthers for this one. The Panthers paid Charles Johnson $72 million over six years with $30 million guaranteed. The problem is that Avril has out-performed Johnson and wants "Charles Johnson" money, and the Lions can't afford that. The Panthers set the bar far too high, and the Lions can’t reach it long term. The Lions and Avril are apparently very far apart in negotiations.

I am not advocating passing on a premier left tackle or a stud cornerback if that player falls to them, but we know that is very unlikely to happen. The defensive end class is deep and full of talent. There will be a player on the board at number 23 who can make an impact right away and down the road. They are calculating and will not reach and put themselves in a bad spot, whether it is in free agency or the draft.

I like what Mayhew has done and couldn’t be happier that I saw the Lions in the playoffs last year. I like the idea that they continue to trend in a positive direction, but I understand that needs are not necessarily a priority for the Lions and I won’t be surprised come draft day when the take “best player available” again.

I think fans should get ready for needs to get ignored again, and that’s fine as long as the Detroit Lions improve on draft day, like they have the previous three years with Mayhew at the helm.


March 20th, 2012, 8:58 pm
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Post Re: Philosophy
I understand the theory of Best Player Available, and I support it. But at the same time, it can go overboard. Mayhew has said in the past that they will do BPA with some common sense, so I trust that.
But the writer spoke of getting a defensive end "because the pool of talent is deep at that position" or something like that. If that's the case, that's precisely why you don't draft one in the first round. The likelihood of getting a very good talent at that position in the second round should still be fairly high. There is a tremendous drop off in talent at both corner and safety after the first round.

I think all these things are taken into consideration by almost every team. The Lions took Fairley last season not JUST because he fell to them, but also because they platoon their DTs and they needed a fourth. Andre Fluellen was used as a swing man, and barely saw the field once Fairley was able to play. The Lions typically carry four DTs and five DEs on their roster. With Fluellen resigned, they have all their DL coming back from last season. Who gets bumped if they do draft a DE? LoJack deserves to stay, if for no reason than the fact that he is the best DE we have against the run. And he has been productive in his limited playing time. Willie Young is a straight up pass rusher. You don't simply part with those kind of players. Avril, KVB and then Fluellen. So the Lions just signed Flu to a one year deal, to continue to play the swing position for them as both a DT and DE. If they draft a pure DE, that versatility is gone.....unless they trade Avril away to open up that spot, and then retain Fluellen.

Another thing to think about is that your first round picks are typically used on a player that sees significant playing time in his first year, unless you're talking QB. Taking a DE to play behind either KVB or Avril doesn't really thrill me. But I wouldn't go ballistic if that was the choice.

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March 20th, 2012, 9:53 pm
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Post Re: Philosophy
I personally feel we're going to end up with an offensive lineman. Not because we have a history of drafting them (we don't), or because it's a need (it is), but because that's where it seems most likely that a great value will be sitting there at 23--like with Fairley last year.

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March 21st, 2012, 8:38 am
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Post Re: Philosophy
thelomasbrowns wrote:
I personally feel we're going to end up with an offensive lineman. Not because we have a history of drafting them (we don't), or because it's a need (it is), but because that's where it seems most likely that a great value will be sitting there at 23--like with Fairley last year.



I very much agree with you based on "value", but in my opinion I think theres no doubt we go CB in Round 1 simply because other than Houston, WE DONT HAVE ONE. If they dont draft a quality CB, then expect to get burnt yet again through the air.

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March 21st, 2012, 9:29 am
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Post Re: Philosophy
I'm in favor of drafting need 95% of the time. The other 5%, it just doesn't make sense for various reasons--if you have 20% of your cap locked up in a stud QB, you simply can't afford to go after another one when only one can be on the field at a given time.

The simple fact is: finding talented players is hard. Finding stop-gap starters is not. There are always mediocre players you can sign if you really need to.

Football is a game of enormous variability--nothing is ever "set." Players get season ending injuries. Players get old fast. Players get suspended for a game or two when the team is in the middle of a playoff push. Players you drafted high and were counting on turn out to be busts. Players holdout, or won't resign or demand a trade etc. etc. Trying to build a balanced team of B+ players is impossible. Just get as much talent as you can, and go from there. (not saying be like the Yankees and buy teams--although they have had success with that, chemistry/system fit is important too)

Having too many talented players at a given position is like having too much money. You can always trade them away for what you need, or build around particular units (like having a killer defensive line cover for bad secondary).


March 21st, 2012, 10:50 pm
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Post Re: Philosophy
The funny thing about bpa is best player to who.cause mayhew has drafted players who were not considered bpa.he selected stafford when the linebacker was considered by most the best player in the draft.Pettigrew was rated lower then oher.mayhew the best player on his board.I made it clear who the lions felt was the best guy on there board.but there gonna take a corner unless some disaster happens and all top 4 guys are gone.


March 21st, 2012, 11:34 pm
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Post Re: Philosophy
thelomasbrowns wrote:
I personally feel we're going to end up with an offensive lineman. Not because we have a history of drafting them (we don't), or because it's a need (it is), but because that's where it seems most likely that a great value will be sitting there at 23--like with Fairley last year.


I don't see any offensive lineman of value falling to the Lions in the first round, but definitely in the second. Unless you are talking about Konz, there's nobody that will be available. And Konz might even come off the board if he improves his BP number from the Combine. His technical skills and field strength are really, really good. Centers have begun to gain value in recent drafts, so don't be surprised if Chicago or even San Diego takes a liking to him.

Mike Adams is not worth our pick. Reiff, DeCastro and Martin will be off the board. Who else is there?

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March 21st, 2012, 11:56 pm
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Post Re: Philosophy
Don't be surprrized iff we address the oline in both rounds 2 and 3.mayhew likes the group of tackle,s that will be there with ouur 2nd pick.and if brandon brooks is sitting there in round 3 they won't pass on him.


March 22nd, 2012, 6:38 am
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Post Re: Philosophy
m2karateman wrote:
Mike Adams is not worth our pick. Reiff, DeCastro and Martin will be off the board. Who else is there?


I've seen Martin falling to us in quite a few mocks. National Football Post has Mike Adams as their #2 tackle prospect.

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March 22nd, 2012, 6:46 am
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Post Re: Philosophy
I. Have scouted mike adams and you don't want him.yes he has skills but I don't like his feet.but my main problem wwith him is that he is a low effort guy.and your web guy is making his evaluation from some tv watching and reputation.for example I looked up 6 scouting reports from the leading web sites and 3 said that kirkpatrick excelled in man coverage and was a week zone player the other 3 said the exact opposite in that he was a natural zone player and was not a good man cover guy.but everyone of them talked about how strong his techinique was.and the funny thing was af the combine I and all my cooleagues remarked on how raw his technique was coming from a saben coached team.the point.don't put any stock into these internet evaluaters.99% just base there rankings off of kiper.now kiper scouts these kids and has a pretty solid team of scouts.


March 22nd, 2012, 9:22 am
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Post Re: Philosophy
Kipers latest mock has us taking Stephon Gilmore.


March 22nd, 2012, 10:27 am
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Post Re: Philosophy
allenslions wrote:
I. Have scouted mike adams and you don't want him.yes he has skills but I don't like his feet.but my main problem wwith him is that he is a low effort guy.and your web guy is making his evaluation from some tv watching and reputation.for example I looked up 6 scouting reports from the leading web sites and 3 said that kirkpatrick excelled in man coverage and was a week zone player the other 3 said the exact opposite in that he was a natural zone player and was not a good man cover guy.but everyone of them talked about how strong his techinique was.and the funny thing was af the combine I and all my cooleagues remarked on how raw his technique was coming from a saben coached team.the point.don't put any stock into these internet evaluaters.99% just base there rankings off of kiper.now kiper scouts these kids and has a pretty solid team of scouts.


Good to know. I thought Wes Bunting was pretty good because he seems to approach it in a serious manner, but I guess he's just another talking head.

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March 22nd, 2012, 11:47 am
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Post Re: Philosophy
thelomasbrowns wrote:
allenslions wrote:
I. Have scouted mike adams and you don't want him.yes he has skills but I don't like his feet.but my main problem wwith him is that he is a low effort guy.and your web guy is making his evaluation from some tv watching and reputation.for example I looked up 6 scouting reports from the leading web sites and 3 said that kirkpatrick excelled in man coverage and was a week zone player the other 3 said the exact opposite in that he was a natural zone player and was not a good man cover guy.but everyone of them talked about how strong his techinique was.and the funny thing was af the combine I and all my cooleagues remarked on how raw his technique was coming from a saben coached team.the point.don't put any stock into these internet evaluaters.99% just base there rankings off of kiper.now kiper scouts these kids and has a pretty solid team of scouts.


Good to know. I thought Wes Bunting was pretty good because he seems to approach it in a serious manner, but I guess he's just another talking head.


I dont know much, but id rather listen to Bunting than Kiper.

As far as Kiper having us taking Gilmore, id be ok with that.

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March 22nd, 2012, 12:38 pm
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Post Re: Philosophy
allenslions wrote:
Don't be surprrized iff we address the oline in both rounds 2 and 3.mayhew likes the group of tackle,s that will be there with ouur 2nd pick.and if brandon brooks is sitting there in round 3 they won't pass on him.


I like this train of thought. I personally like Brandon Mosely in round two. And I heard Brooks was really impressive at his Pro Day. Give us Kirkpatrick in round one, and I think we've done pretty well.

However, my concern then becomes safety. If we go CB, OT, OG...then who would be available in round four to select as a possible replacement for Spievey? Until we sign a capable FA (Yeremiah Bell?), I won't be comfortable with that hole in our defense.

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March 22nd, 2012, 1:03 pm
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Post Re: Philosophy
m2karateman wrote:
allenslions wrote:
Don't be surprrized iff we address the oline in both rounds 2 and 3.mayhew likes the group of tackle,s that will be there with ouur 2nd pick.and if brandon brooks is sitting there in round 3 they won't pass on him.


I like this train of thought. I personally like Brandon Mosely in round two. And I heard Brooks was really impressive at his Pro Day. Give us Kirkpatrick in round one, and I think we've done pretty well.

However, my concern then becomes safety. If we go CB, OT, OG...then who would be available in round four to select as a possible replacement for Spievey? Until we sign a capable FA (Yeremiah Bell?), I won't be comfortable with that hole in our defense.


And that is one big gaping hole too. :x

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March 22nd, 2012, 1:23 pm
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