Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew had a simple formula entering May’s NFL draft.
“We go into every draft, and we talk about this in the personnel meetings, we want to find three starters in every draft," he said. "We want to find three guys that contribute in every draft and three developmental guys.
"That’s our goal going in to every draft. It’s been that way since 2009 when I first got here. That’s what we seek to achieve. It’s an aspirational goal. You don’t always hit on it. Sometimes you hit a little bit better, so it just varies.”
Mayhew exceeded those expectations last year as Ziggy Ansah,
Ansah, Warford and Martin should contend for Pro Bowl consideration in year two, Slay and Waddle will likely be starters and Taylor, Riddick and Fauria will all be big contributors.
Fast forward one year and the 2014 season has officially begun for this year’s crop of rookies after they reported to Allen Park for duty on Tuesday.
First-round pick Eric Ebron learned a lot of different roles in the offense and he’s expected to be an important part of the Lions’ attack on offense.
Defensively, second-round pick
After Ebron and Van Noy, the Lions are hoping a couple developmental players surprise them, much like Taylor, Fauria and Waddle did last year.
Detroit returns 19 of 22 starters, so cracking the starting lineup isn’t going to be easy for a lot of these rookies. Contributions are always welcome, however.
Time will tell if Mayhew gets his three starters and three contributors from this class. One thing is certain, however, consistently good football teams are built on the backs of good draft classes that are stacked one after the other.
The Lions hit a home run last year. How will we view this class when it’s all said and done?