The Lions, lying in wait for a new year ...
When the final day of the NFL draft began Saturday afternoon, Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew knew he was going to focus on defensive players. They had some of their top players identified, but unlike every other round in the draft, Detroit had to sit and wait.
And wait and wait. By trading up for linebacker Kyle Van Noy, the Lions gave up their first fourth-round pick, meaning they wouldn't select a player until the compensatory period at the end of the round. And while Van Noy was a smart pick that filled a major need, Mayhew saw a bunch of players he wanted on the final day disappear off the board before he had a chance to make a move.
"When you start getting into the sixth, seventh rounds, we were seeing good players, so the depth was there," Mayhew said. "It’s hard sitting there, especially the whole fourth round and watching that whole round go by because we liked a lot of those guys, and then see them getting drafted.
"There were still good guys in the fourth, fifth round.”
The waiting is essentially long for everyone on the final day -- a day that can stretch sometimes over five or six hours. It's long for the coaching staffs and front offices, who have to wait on selecting players and then start to make free-agent moves. It is long on agents, who likely have to do some ego control on their clients.
And it is long on the prospects, who still have little control over anything in this entire journey -- especially once the draft hits.
On the Lions' final day, they snagged a cornerback (Nevin Lawson), defensive end (Larry Webster), defensive tackle (Caraun Reid), wide receiver (TJ Jones) and a kicker (Nate Freese). The list of undrafted free agents -- while many names, including Kansas State offensive tackle Cornelius Jones and Missouri quarterback James Franklin have started to surface -- has not been released yet.
No matter if the players are picked, though, much of that changes this weekend, when Detroit holds its rookie minicamp.
And now a look around the Interwebs in search of Lions news:
Wrapping up the Lions' draft. Some more thoughts on what Detroit was able to do and not do in selecting players. Mel Kiper grades the Lions' draft. In the early rounds, relationships were key to some of the selections. Detroit filled holes -- just not in the secondary.
Van Noy and Ezekiel Ansah are reunited in Detroit.
If Van Noy works out -- he'll be worth the wait, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
This year's Lions draft class looks a lot like last year's, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News.
Kyle Meinke from MLive tries to debunk the defense wins championships deal.