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what my draft strategy would be

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Best player available at that spot, unless there is an Alabama player that fills a need! A third round Alabama player is still going to be better than any third round player from another school. Thats my thought. So basicly take a Bama player with every pick.

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After, say, the first five picks, is there really a best player available?

That is something organizations made up so that they can always say after any controversial pick "Hey, we picked the best player available."

When you get to the 20th pick, the 100th pick the 200th pick is someone really going to stick out as the clearly defined best player? Or is it more likely you'll see about 10 people that, while they may satisfy different needs, in the position they play they are similar in that they rate out about the same? That's what happens. Maybe a handful of players can stick out every draft. Beyond that, there's no such thing as this clearly defined "best player available" that we keep hearing about.

If you don't believe me, rate the people in your softball league from 1 to 100. Remember what happens when you get to the 40th selection on any fantasy sports league, start naming your top 100 college football players and tell me is there really that much difference from No. 74 to No. 77. Go to your office and start counting down people most valuable to least valuable. After the top 3-4, is there really that much of a gap? Test it out.

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After, say, the first five picks, is there really a best player available?

That is something organizations made up so that they can always say after any controversial pick "Hey, we picked the best player available."

When you get to the 20th pick, the 100th pick the 200th pick is someone really going to stick out as the clearly defined best player? Or is it more likely you'll see about 10 people that, while they may satisfy different needs, in the position they play they are similar in that they rate out about the same? That's what happens. Maybe a handful of players can stick out every draft. Beyond that, there's no such thing as this clearly defined "best player available" that we keep hearing about.

If you don't believe me, rate the people in your softball league from 1 to 100. Remember what happens when you get to the 40th selection on any fantasy sports league, start naming your top 100 college football players and tell me is there really that much difference from No. 74 to No. 77. Go to your office and start counting down people most valuable to least valuable. After the top 3-4, is there really that much of a gap? Test it out.

According to this franchise the #20 spot should get you game changers who are head and shoulders above the guy you could have drafted for need. Butterfingers was supposed to be the standout BPA in the 2009 draft. He was a must-have, franchise changing tight end that we absolutely stole at the #20 draft spot. We had to pick BPA!

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If Mayhew's strategy is to go for the "best player available," how come the Lions' roster is still dreadfully short of talent in many key areas (DB, OL) ??

It's a crock. Far far far too often Mayhew rolls the dice on question-mark players (injuries, discipline problems) then acts utterly stunned when it blows up in his face.

Remind you of anyone??

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According to this franchise the #20 spot should get you game changers who are head and shoulders above the guy you could have drafted for need. Butterfingers was supposed to be the standout BPA in the 2009 draft. He was a must-have, franchise changing tight end that we absolutely stole at the #20 draft spot. We had to pick BPA!

My whole point is there's no way only ONE PERSON is the ideal perfect 20th pick based on BPA. The thought that No. 20 ranks an 86 out of 100 (just making these grades up) and everyone else ranks no better than 83 or some considerable drop is pretty unrealistic. At 20, there's probably at least 3-4 players that will grade out to pretty much the similar grade, right at 86, or maybe even "just" 85.

The way I look at it, you should have 3-4 players (and probably at least two to three different positions) that can be looked at, even if you are going by BPA. Maybe occasionally you might get unlucky and those three or four people don't satisfy a need, so you are forced to go with someone BPA outside your needs, but that's certainly pretty unlikely considering the Lions' variety of needs. And the deeper you get into the draft, the numbers of players "at that grade" is going to be even greater. At 50, it's going to be 6-7 players. At 100, it's probably going to be 10 players. It's going to get greater with every position you go deeper in the draft. Again, test this theory with anything you want in life that involves a pool of 25 or more people. You'll see that it always works this way. Even in sports it does - check past fantasy leagues. Once you get beyond the elite, there's a million people similar. We see it on individual leader lists. Home runs might go 42, 40, 38, 37, 35, but then six more people with at least 30, 35 in the 20s etc (just making these numbers up). The farther you get beyond the elite, the gap just becomes incredibly small from player-to-player. The difference 30 players apart is still great, but from No. 33 to 35 - hardly any if at all.

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My whole point is there's no way only ONE PERSON is the ideal perfect 20th pick based on BPA. The thought that No. 20 ranks an 86 out of 100 (just making these grades up) and everyone else ranks no better than 83 or some considerable drop is pretty unrealistic. At 20, there's probably at least 3-4 players that will grade out to pretty much the similar grade, right at 86, or maybe even "just" 85.

The way I look at it, you should have 3-4 players (and probably at least two to three different positions) that can be looked at, even if you are going by BPA. Maybe occasionally you might get unlucky and those three or four people don't satisfy a need, so you are forced to go with someone BPA outside your needs, but that's certainly pretty unlikely considering the Lions' variety of needs. And the deeper you get into the draft, the numbers of players "at that grade" is going to be even greater. At 50, it's going to be 6-7 players. At 100, it's probably going to be 10 players. It's going to get greater with every position you go deeper in the draft. Again, test this theory with anything you want in life that involves a pool of 25 or more people. You'll see that it always works this way. Even in sports it does - check past fantasy leagues. Once you get beyond the elite, there's a million people similar. We see it on individual leader lists. Home runs might go 42, 40, 38, 37, 35, but then six more people with at least 30, 35 in the 20s etc (just making these numbers up). The farther you get beyond the elite, the gap just becomes incredibly small from player-to-player. The difference 30 players apart is still great, but from No. 33 to 35 - hardly any if at all.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounded like TaterSalad more or less agrees with you, or at the very least doesn't seem to disagree with you in his post you quoted. Sounds like TaterSalad is saying that this organization is so ill suited to make intelligent picks that they choose a TE with the #20 pick even when there were other players who "grade out" at a similar level who play a position of need (as you describe). I'm making quite a few assumptions and reading in between the lines a bit...but I think that was more his point than disagreeing with you. Sounds like he was just taking a shot at the ineptitude of this organization.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounded like TaterSalad more or less agrees with you, or at the very least doesn't seem to disagree with you in his post you quoted. Sounds like TaterSalad is saying that this organization is so ill suited to make intelligent picks that they choose a TE with the #20 pick even when there were other players who "grade out" at a similar level who play a position of need (as you describe). I'm making quite a few assumptions and reading in between the lines a bit...but I think that was more his point than disagreeing with you. Sounds like he was just taking a shot at the ineptitude of this organization.

He probably was. I just took the opportunity to create an example off his comment about the 20th pick. That's all.

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He probably was. I just took the opportunity to create an example off his comment about the 20th pick. That's all.

BPA isn't really about a positional "grade", it's a ranking of players according to their perceived value to that organization. If you have a great kicker, another kicker isn't going to rank very high on your board.

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BPA isn't really about a positional "grade", it's a ranking of players according to their perceived value to that organization. If you have a great kicker, another kicker isn't going to rank very high on your board.

If this is the case, I have even less faith in the organization. If their perceived best value was a TE at #20 after going 0-16, I'm not sure they have the greatest idea on how to build a perennial winner.

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If this is the case, I have even less faith in the organization. If their perceived best value was a TE at #20 after going 0-16, I'm not sure they have the greatest idea on how to build a perennial winner.

Having Gaines, Owens, and Fitzsimmons (who were all pathetic) at tight end probably increased their value of a tight end at 20.

I do agree that they probably do not have a great idea on how to build a consistent winner. They clearly have proven that they can't win consistently every season.

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If this is the case, I have even less faith in the organization. If their perceived best value was a TE at #20 after going 0-16, I'm not sure they have the greatest idea on how to build a perennial winner.

That pick still bothers me. That pick better have become a super-stud to make it worth it. I'd say that hasn't happened.

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If this is the case, I have even less faith in the organization. If their perceived best value was a TE at #20 after going 0-16, I'm not sure they have the greatest idea on how to build a perennial winner.

Is the problem that it was a TE or that it was the specific TE they got? I don't see the issue with the idea that a TE would be the best available player or would fit the franchise's needs best at pick #20 (especially if you already have a QB). A very good to great TE is a huge difference maker on the football field. Pettigrew obviously isn't that good but if the problem was that the Lions organization thought he would be good and were wrong then the problem isn't draft strategy but talent evaluation.

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Pettigrew had a down season but he is one of many Lions that played below average football this season.

I can only name about 5 Lions that played consistent and well this season.

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Is the problem that it was a TE or that it was the specific TE they got? I don't see the issue with the idea that a TE would be the best available player or would fit the franchise's needs best at pick #20 (especially if you already have a QB). A very good to great TE is a huge difference maker on the football field. Pettigrew obviously isn't that good but if the problem was that the Lions organization thought he would be good and were wrong then the problem isn't draft strategy but talent evaluation.

And one of Pettigrew's strengths at draft time was his ability to block like a lineman, so they thought they were filling 2 needs with one pick. It isn't like Oher has been great and other than last year, Pettigrew has been better than many of you are giving him credit for.

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And one of Pettigrew's strengths at draft time was his ability to block like a lineman, so they thought they were filling 2 needs with one pick. It isn't like Oher has been great and other than last year, Pettigrew has been better than many of you are giving him credit for.

Agreed and he is one of many Lions that played below average last season. I don't know what it was but a lot of them were flat out pathetic. I hope a lot of them rebound this upcoming season.

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Is the problem that it was a TE or that it was the specific TE they got? I don't see the issue with the idea that a TE would be the best available player or would fit the franchise's needs best at pick #20 (especially if you already have a QB). A very good to great TE is a huge difference maker on the football field. Pettigrew obviously isn't that good but if the problem was that the Lions organization thought he would be good and were wrong then the problem isn't draft strategy but talent evaluation.

Let me preface this by stating this is strictly my opinion and I have absolutely no tangible data to back it up. I think that TE is a luxury pick, teams can be great without having a top TE. I don't know of many great teams that don't have at least one shutdown corner, play-making LB, or some other great defensive player or at the very least some combination of very good defensive players. Considering we went 0-16, I think it is absolutely both a flawed draft strategy AND flawed talent evaluation in picking Pettigrew at #20.

Edit: Since 2007 only 4 TE have been taken in the first round, Pettigrew was drafted the highest of the 4. The others were Greg Olson (2007 31st by the Bears who had lost the super bowl one year prior), Dustin Keller (2008, 30th overall by the Jets), Jermaine Gresham (2010, 21st overall by the Bengals and has been voted into the Pro Bowl twice). TE's in the first round are a rarity and at least half the time were luxury picks by well established teams, the Bengals got lucky and selected a perennial pro-bowler...if Pettigrew was a perennial pro-bowler you are right, I probably wouldn't hate the pick. The fact that the 0-16 Lions took a TE in the first round AND he was a relative bust makes it a huge blunder.

Edited by EchO

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Let me preface this by stating this is strictly my opinion and I have absolutely no tangible data to back it up. I think that TE is a luxury pick, teams can be great without having a top TE. I don't know of many great teams that don't have at least one shutdown corner, play-making LB, or some other great defensive player or at the very least some combination of very good defensive players. Considering we went 0-16, I think it is absolutely both a flawed draft strategy AND flawed talent evaluation in picking Pettigrew at #20.

Edit: Since 2007 only 4 TE have been taken in the first round, Pettigrew was drafted the highest of the 4. The others were Greg Olson (2007 31st by the Bears who had lost the super bowl one year prior), Dustin Keller (2008, 30th overall by the Jets), Jermaine Gresham (2010, 21st overall by the Bengals and has been voted into the Pro Bowl twice). TE's in the first round are a rarity and at least half the time were luxury picks by well established teams, the Bengals got lucky and selected a perennial pro-bowler...if Pettigrew was a perennial pro-bowler you are right, I probably wouldn't hate the pick. The fact that the 0-16 Lions took a TE in the first round AND he was a relative bust makes it a huge blunder.

This is how I feel. I mean it's pretty important to have a good kicking game and return game but teams don't go spending 1st round picks on those guys. So although TEs are important they generally could be found later in the draft and certainly shouldn't be drafted in the 1st unless they are almost certain to be perennial pro bowlers. Also like you said they are more of a luxury pick, I liken it to a bad baseball team spending big money on a closer. Sure it's nice to have a great closer but when the rest of your team isn't any good it doesn't do anything for you. Same thing with TE, you should build the rest of your team and make sure you are set at other positions than spend on the TE, unless of course the TE is rated head and shoulders above any other guy on your board.

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I mean it's pretty important to have a good kicking game and return game but teams don't go spending 1st round picks on those guys.

If Hanson retires, the pathetic Lions probably will think about drafting a kicker early on.

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Let me preface this by stating this is strictly my opinion and I have absolutely no tangible data to back it up. I think that TE is a luxury pick, teams can be great without having a top TE. I don't know of many great teams that don't have at least one shutdown corner, play-making LB, or some other great defensive player or at the very least some combination of very good defensive players. Considering we went 0-16, I think it is absolutely both a flawed draft strategy AND flawed talent evaluation in picking Pettigrew at #20.

Edit: Since 2007 only 4 TE have been taken in the first round, Pettigrew was drafted the highest of the 4. The others were Greg Olson (2007 31st by the Bears who had lost the super bowl one year prior), Dustin Keller (2008, 30th overall by the Jets), Jermaine Gresham (2010, 21st overall by the Bengals and has been voted into the Pro Bowl twice). TE's in the first round are a rarity and at least half the time were luxury picks by well established teams, the Bengals got lucky and selected a perennial pro-bowler...if Pettigrew was a perennial pro-bowler you are right, I probably wouldn't hate the pick. The fact that the 0-16 Lions took a TE in the first round AND he was a relative bust makes it a huge blunder.

Side note, pro bowl appearances are pretty meaningless. Gresham isn't a top 5 TE (he's only on the team because most of the best TE's are in the NFC at this time) and I'd agree that if you aren't getting a great TE it's a stretch to make the pick. If you want to look at things like that I think you are better off focusing on all-pro teams. I don't think any of those picks worked particularly well.

Outside of QB every position is a luxury pick. You can win in the NFL without any position except QB and you can be good on defense without any position so long as you can generate a pass rush (which can be done in a variety of ways).

The reason TE's get drafted late is that it is extremely difficult to identify who is going to be a great TE (Gresham isn't one. honestly, I don't think Gresham). A great TE is a game changer. A good TE is like a good RB, they just aren't difficult to find and aren't difficult to replace (I'd actually prefer a TE over a RB early in the draft if all other things are equal).

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This is how I feel. I mean it's pretty important to have a good kicking game and return game but teams don't go spending 1st round picks on those guys. So although TEs are important they generally could be found later in the draft and certainly shouldn't be drafted in the 1st unless they are almost certain to be perennial pro bowlers. Also like you said they are more of a luxury pick, I liken it to a bad baseball team spending big money on a closer. Sure it's nice to have a great closer but when the rest of your team isn't any good it doesn't do anything for you. Same thing with TE, you should build the rest of your team and make sure you are set at other positions than spend on the TE, unless of course the TE is rated head and shoulders above any other guy on your board.

Are you saying that the best TE in the league is no more important to his team than the best kicker in the league?

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If Barrett Jones is available for the Lions in the second round, I hope, dream, wish the Lions would draft him and finally upgrade their interior line. I am getting tired of seeing the Lion's interior line getting blown up.

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Side note, pro bowl appearances are pretty meaningless. Gresham isn't a top 5 TE (he's only on the team because most of the best TE's are in the NFC at this time) and I'd agree that if you aren't getting a great TE it's a stretch to make the pick. If you want to look at things like that I think you are better off focusing on all-pro teams. I don't think any of those picks worked particularly well.

Outside of QB every position is a luxury pick. You can win in the NFL without any position except QB and you can be good on defense without any position so long as you can generate a pass rush (which can be done in a variety of ways).

The reason TE's get drafted late is that it is extremely difficult to identify who is going to be a great TE (Gresham isn't one. honestly, I don't think Gresham). A great TE is a game changer. A good TE is like a good RB, they just aren't difficult to find and aren't difficult to replace (I'd actually prefer a TE over a RB early in the draft if all other things are equal).

I'm not sure how to respond to this because I'm not quite sure what you are debating or trying to get it (not to be rude). I think TE is more of a luxury pick than practically any position on defense and most of the offensive positions which is why (IMO) more defensive players get drafted every year and especially during the first round. If it is extremely difficult to identify who is going to be a great TE and they are easy to replace, why would the Lions spend a first round pick on one after going 0-16? Are you suggesting the Lions were justified in picking Pettigrew and simply got unlucky that he didn't develop as expected? If you had to rank every position based on importance to winning where would you put TE?

IMO, it would be...

QB, DE, OL, CB, LB, WR, DT, RB, TE, S, K, FB, P

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I think listing positions in order is over simplifying things, but for the sake of things, how much does positional value affect things? Do you take a TE who is 20th on your board over a CB who is 21st? Sure, probably. What about a CB who is 30th on your board? Even lower? Do you take a 2nd round graded DE over the 1st round graded TE.

My point being, if Pettigrew and say, Michael Oher(or someone like Maualuga who everyone wanted for the defensive side of the ball and isn't all that good) were both a 92/100(arbitrary number as an example), I'm sure they'd have taken the OT(though we didn't need one at the time, at all) but if Pettigrew was a 94 and Oher was a 90, you can understand why they made the pick.

In the end, I can't say that Pettgrew was the perfect pick, but I don't consider him a miss either. 75 catch TEs who can block are pretty rare and I think you understate their value. I also think that sometimes, getting talented players is more important than upgrading a specific position for the sake of pleasing rabid fans.

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I think listing positions in order is over simplifying things, but for the sake of things, how much does positional value affect things? Do you take a TE who is 20th on your board over a CB who is 21st? Sure, probably. What about a CB who is 30th on your board? Even lower? Do you take a 2nd round graded DE over the 1st round graded TE.

My point being, if Pettigrew and say, Michael Oher(or someone like Maualuga who everyone wanted for the defensive side of the ball and isn't all that good) were both a 92/100(arbitrary number as an example), I'm sure they'd have taken the OT(though we didn't need one at the time, at all) but if Pettigrew was a 94 and Oher was a 90, you can understand why they made the pick.

In the end, I can't say that Pettgrew was the perfect pick, but I don't consider him a miss either. 75 catch TEs who can block are pretty rare and I think you understate their value. I also think that sometimes, getting talented players is more important than upgrading a specific position for the sake of pleasing rabid fans.

How about Clay Matthews? You bring up Maualuga who had clear knocks against him during the combine (hence, him falling to the second round), but what about a Clay Matthews? Would you trade Pettigrew straight up for Matthews?

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