Fans had their hearts set on a defensive back – specifically a cornerback – heading into Day 2 of the NFL Draft.
“(He was the) best player on our board,” said general manager Martin Mayhew following the pick. “Very productive guy; 48-career touchdowns – just tremendous production of a four-year career.
“Fits our offense, will be a great fit for us and really helps our offensive skill. (He’s) another receiving weapon for our quarterback and we feel great about the pick.”
It isn’t just the position Broyles plays that has fans protesting. The four-year starter out of Oklahoma is also coming off an ACL injury he suffered last November.
Despite the injury, Mayhew and Head Coach Jim Schwartz felt confident in selecting Broyles who Mayhew says would have “been gone way before” the Lions selected 54th-overall.
“He didn’t work out at the combine, he worked at his pro day,” said Schwartz. “He wasn’t 100-percent, but he was five months off his ACL and he seems to be ahead of schedule.
“The good thing about it is: we’re not in a situation where we’ll be forced to rush him on the field. Again, you see teams that have a lot of different weapons, we’ve seen teams in our division that have found use for guys like that and they’ve affected games.
“He was the best player on our board and there’s a discipline that goes along with that thought process.”
Broyles told writers in his conference call following the selection that he is currently able to do everything – lift weights, run, etc. – in his rehab process and feels he is ahead of schedule.
At the same time, no one is ready to put a timetable on when he will be 100-percent ready to participate.
“We have the luxury of being able to rehab this guy very thoroughly, very carefully,” said Mayhew. “We’re just fortunate to have this guy on our team. We think he’s a great talent.”
But what about the fact that the Lions are already considered to have great talent at the wide receiver position, including arguably the best receiver in the game in
Said Schwartz, “Good players play. You don’t solve needs by drafting poor players. We said that last year when we were picking guys and we’ll keep on saying it.
“There’s discipline that goes into it and you have to be able to stick with that philosophy. The philosophy is: talent rules the board. He’s a talented receiver that we have a good plan for that fits our offense and can do a lot of things for us.”
While it may be a tough pill to swallow for fans that were looking for the Lions to draft a different position in the second round, history certainly shows – 0-16 to playoffs in three years – that the philosophy of Schwartz and Mayhew has been working well thus far.