In a pair of eyebrow raising statements considering they were made the week before the draft, Lions G.M. Martin Mayhew indicated that he’s not overly concerned with Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers‘ health or Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith’s “character” concerns.
“There is some concern about Bowers’ medical condition,” Mayhew said via the Detroit News. “Our doctors have evaluated him and we don’t share that concern.”
Mayhew admitted Bowers’ knee isn’t in “pristine” physical condition right now, but doesn’t believe it should be a long-term concern. Mayhew also said he was convinced Smith’s off-field troubles were overblown.
“There is a threshold you can fall beyond where we would not consider a player,” Mayhew said. “A failed drug test is a cause for concern, but it doesn’t knock you out of the running to be drafted. . . . I definitely feel better about Jimmy now than before I met him.”
The comments are especially noteworthy because Bowers and Smith figure to be available at No. 13 overall and fill position of needs for the Lions. Both players been mentioned as potential Lions targets and make intriguing risk/reward values.
Greg Cosell of NFL Films said he thought Smith was a better player than Patrick Peterson based on pure NFL cornerback skills. Bowers has top-five talent if not for the injury concerns.
The fact Mayhew spoke so positively of Smith and Bowers, of course, makes us think the Lions are less likely to take them. Unless Mayhew is trying to pull a jedi mind trick because he knows the rest of the league will think that.
Man, we’re ready for this draft to start.