There are a lot of mock drafts floating around this time of year and some of them get more attention than others.
Mel Kiper of ESPN gets as much attention as anyone, so it’s little surprise that word of his recent entry (subscription required) made its way to Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew. Kiper, acting as general manager on both sides, had the Lions swapping first rounders with the Chiefs and dealing their 2014 first-round pick to Kansas City as well. Mayhew was asked about trading up at a press conference on Thursday and didn’t rule out making a deal, but did rule out moving up to the top pick.
“There’s a lot going on right now. I think what happens in this process, as you get closer to (next) Thursday, some things start to crystallize a little bit. I think there’s a lot going on. There’s a lot of rumors, speculation; we’re going to trade up to 1, which is not going to happen,” Mayhew said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “So I think there is a lot of speculation right now because, as you said, you don’t have those seven immediate-impact starters that change your franchise at the top of this draft. You have a bunch of good, quality players. I think that’s why there’s so much speculation about it.”
Mayhew also said that the lack of impact players at the top of the draft — the Lions have fewer players with first-round grades on their board this year than in years past — makes him leery of swinging for the fences if the team remains at the fifth overall spot. With needs at cornerback and on the offensive line, the Lions could well wind up staying put and making a safe choice that helps the team.