Do the Lions (and fans) need to transition draft strategy?

For the last two years I think the Lions were in a talent deficit as far as the roster was concerned and had a draft philosophy of drafting BPA. With the upgrades to their roster, are the Lions now in a position to draft for need rather than BPA?

I ask because I see some suggesting drafting Bijan or the best WR rather than drafting say an interior lineman or CB which is clearly more of a need.

You certainly don’t want to diminish the draft value you get by forcing to fill a need rather than BPA, but are the Lions now in that position?


Nope. Not even close.


It’s always a balance between need and best player available. Sometimes a guy is just too talented to pass on even if you are pretty set at the position though. In a sport with so many injuries, hard to pass on talented guys to reach for needs.


Guilty of discussing both those things. It’s just thought exercise. I’m personally hoping for a trade down with pick six and hope we exit the top few picks with two DBs and a DT

But you know the Lions brain trust is going to be looking at all the players and all the possibilities so no reason we can’t as well :blush:


It’s not so cut and dried because there’s so many factors that go into the BPA v. Need debate but you should always draft for upside, who you feel will be the best player long term, even if you’re a SB contender then fill out needs through free agency/trade.

I suppose this is kind of a RB/Wr v. CB/DT argument. If they feel Bijan or Quentin Johnston will be a better player long term than Bresee or Gonzalez then they should take the former. I wouldn’t draft for positional need unless all else was fairly equal. TE is the one position I’d ignore completely in the 1st regardless of how good they are unless it was a generational talent. Way too much Lion 1st round TE PTSD seeped deep into my brain.


Agreed on no tight ends in round 1. I’d probably add no off ball LB’s and RB’s in round 1, unless they are freaken unicorns.


Bijan might be one of those exceptions. Looking at the talent in this draft which is more spread out than top heavy, he might very well be BPA at 6.


Long term forecasting as it relates to the NFL is an interesting topic itself

For example: Had two players at the same position that were draft prospects in the same class at the program I worked for

Player A. Better player right now

Player B. More raw, not as good currently as player A but would be the better player in time

3/4 of way through season had an NFL coaching buddy ask me who was the better player. I responded player A, but player B should be drafted higher because he’ll be the better player 2-3 years from now

Drafts comes, player A gets drafted before player B. Text my buddy “wtf” he reponds. “It’s the NFL (Not For Long) Teams, Coaches, GM’s don’t have time to wait for who will be better in the long run. Have to win right now”


I don’t think the BPA/need divide is ever that cut and dry. (For example, the Lions traded up for Jamo because they thought he was the most talented player left on the board at a position of need.) But in general, should the Lions change their draft strategy? I say NO. Don’t fix what ain’t broken! Since our GM can apparently nab studs and starters in every round, keep doin what you’r doin Brad.


And position too at the top of the draft: QB, Edge, and OT. At #6, I’m having a hard time budging off of adding to our D Line, even though I’m entranced by Gonzalez as a safe pick.


I think that Holmes is more often a BPA type for 3 reasons.

  1. The lions want 2 quality starters at every single position on the team (meaning the backup is that good). They don’t have that. So even if you feel like Offensive Tackle is a strength of this team, you can still draft a great OT prospect and let them develop a bit. It would not shock me to see the Lions take an OT at #6 or #18 because of this philosophy. Decker is getting older and more injury prone. Brad may be looking ahead and thinking they need another OT if that is the best available.

  2. If you are thin at a position, Brad doesn’t believe in selecting one guy and hoping that player works out, even in the first round. He will want 2 or even 3 guys that can come in and compete and may the best player win. There is a history of him taking multiple DBs later in the draft almost every year. The UDFA roster will also consist of guys they think have a shot even if there was some kind of knock on them in the scouting process.

  3. In Holmes rankings, there are certain positions that have a higher BPA rating. Those are usually QBs and Lineman because there are so many fewer NFL quality 6’3+ 280lb+ men available than 5’11 185lb. So unless the guy is a game changer like Jamo, or a special QB, the BPA is usually going to be a OL, especially early in the draft and we’ve seen that time and again.

Brad has a formula and I think it will look similar to the last 2 years. More linemen early. more dbs late. Wouldn’t be shocked to see an elite graded CB taken in the first round, but could also see them taking a second one say in the 5th/6th round as well.


Actually, I think its exactly the opposite. We have most of the holes filled. That gives us the freedom to let the draft come to us.

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Why do we need a trade down

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Because a small TD to #9 with the Panthers would net us the same tier player and give us draft capital.


Brad touched on strategy a little bit a couple weeks ago.

Dave asked him about being “one player away”…:


It’s definitely a balance but a monkey wrench could be a players attitude towards football. Some guys love it some guys like it. The makeup is 1 of the most important traits when considering players imo.


Great point! You’re right, Holmes has really been focused on drafting kids that love football and have chips on their shoulders even… love that drafting strategy. Find guys that want to prove people wrong and that aren’t just collecting nfl paychecks.


Yep, also lots of guys. Have a goal to make it to the NFL. Not as many have a goal to succeed in the NFL.

Hard to get that 2nd contract when you’ve already achieved your lifelong goal of making it to the NFL


mmmm I got another thought, that is we were in rebuild years 1 & 2 and that said…I think our staff drafted pretty dang nice actually. yet the saying is true, "you cannot fix everything in a single offseason. We didn’t have everything set the way WE would have loved, but we had to try and compete with what we had, just like rebuild #1. right now we are kicking around draft ideas and wants but like always…we just have to set back and see what happens-shrug.

Dan said that Brad doesn’t consider need over talent. He considers need when everything else is about equal.

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