Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Lions G.M. Martin Mayhew admits he botched the 2011 draft

Seattle Seahawks v Detroit Lions

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 28: Wide receiver Titus Young #16 of the Detroit Lions returns a kick in the second quarter against the Seattle Seahawks October 28, 2012 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Getty Images

In the 2011 draft, many teams chose players who are now the cornerstones of their franchises. And then there are the Lions, who didn’t choose a single player in 2011 who’s still on the team in 2015.

Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew knows he did a lousy job in the 2011 draft.

“I think ’11 wasn’t a good draft for us. I didn’t do a good job in ’11,” Mayhew said, via the Detroit News. “I think I was overly aggressive. I learned a lot from that, and our drafts have improved since then.”

Mayhew didn’t answer follow-up questions about how he was “overly aggressive” that year.

“I’m just going to leave it at that,” he said. “You can interpret it how you want to interpret it.”

That may sound like candor from Mayhew, but if anything he’s understating just how badly he botched the 2011 draft. The Lions’ first-round pick, Nick Fairley, is now with the Rams after four up-and-down years with the Lions. The Fairley pick particularly hurts because of the players the Lions could have selected instead. The next three players taken -- Robert Quinn, Mike Pouncey and Ryan Kerrigan -- have all made Pro Bowls.

The Lions’ second-round pick, Titus Young, was drafted despite some character red flags and was an unmitigated disaster who is now out of the NFL and facing a lengthy prison sentence for a string of arrests. The Lions traded their third- and fourth-round picks to move up and draft Mikel Leshoure, who is out of the league. The Lions’ fifth-round pick, Doug Hogue, is out of the league. The Lions traded their sixth-round pick for Lawrence Jackson, who is now out of the league. The Lions’ seventh-round pick, Johnny Culbreath, was hardly ever in the league -- the Lions cut him before he ever played in an NFL game, and no other team picked him up.

With the departure of Ndamukong Suh, the Lions don’t have any players remaining from their 2010 draft class, either. It’s hard to build a winner in the NFL when entire draft classes disappear that quickly, but that’s what happens in Detroit.