If there’s one draft rule that’s universal throughout the league, it’s not to miss on first-round prospects.
There’s no quicker way to sabotage a roster than for a team to miss on their first pick in the draft. The first round is where teams are supposed to find starters and core players for the next four or five seasons and beyond.
The most effective way to build the core of a football team is through the draft, and with the new CBA and the rookie wage scale in place, it’s also the most cost effective.
The Lions, unfortunately, built their core of
According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, of the 222 inducted players who entered the league starting with the college draft in 1936, 104 of them were selected in the first round, including two bonus picks, who were awarded at the top of the round from 1947-'58.
That’s 47 percent of all the Hall of Fame players commemorated in Canton, Ohio, since 1936.
A total of 32 Hall of Famers were selected with second-round picks and 21 were third-round picks, which means 70.7 percent of all draft-eligible members of the Hall of Fame were taken in the first three rounds.
Teams that build dynasties and become consistent winners usually do so with Pro Bowl and Hall of Fame-caliber players on their roster. Teams that draft well in the first three rounds are typically those teams.
Here's a breakdown of Mayhew's first three rounds since 2009:
QB Matthew Stafford: 17,457 career passing yards – 109-73 TD/INT ratio
S Louis Delmas: Core player on defense the last four year – no longer with team (Miami)
WR Derrick Williams: Had only nine catches for 82 yards in two seasons
DT Ndamukong Suh: Three Pro Bowl selections in first four seasons
RB Jahvid Best: Forced to retire after the 2011 season due to concussions
No selection for moving up to select Best
S Amari Spievey: Drafted as CB but converted to S – no longer with team
WR Titus Young: 81 catches and 10 TD’s first two seasons -- released after 2012 season
No selection for moving up to select Leshoure
DE Ziggy Ansah: Led all rookies with eight sacks last year
The Lions have drafted some talented players in the first three rounds over the last five years, but they’ve also had some misses -- Titus Young was a big one.
Suh is the only player among that group who’s made it to a Pro Bowl. Stafford could get to one soon, and so could Fairley, Levy, Warford, and Ansah, but if the Lions are going to become consistent winners and playoff contenders, they need to continue to build on the success of the 2013 draft and stockpile more Pro Bowl-caliber players.