Lions 2011 draft class hasn’t lived up to expectations


Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley probably had a point last week when he said he and Ndamukong Suh were the best pair at their position in the league.

But he’s also part of a less-distinguished record for the team.

As noted by Anwar Richardson of, Fairley’s part of a 2011 Lions draft class that has woefully underperformed and embarrassed the organization off the field.

Fairley’s play has been good, but his two arrests have him tied for second in his class. Former second-rounder Titus Young leads the way with three, and fellow second-rounder Mikel Leshoure has two also.

In fact, fifth-round linebacker Doug Hogue’s the only member of the five-man class who hasn’t been arrested since joining the league, since seventh-rounder Johnny Culbreath had one. Hogue’s with the Panthers now, and Fairley and Leshoure are the only players left on the Lions roster at this point.

That might not be Matt Millen-esque, but it is an embarrassing collection of choices by General Manager Martin Mayhew, and the fact they signed Reggie Bush this offseason further diminishes any impact Leshoure might have.

The Lions were aggressive making moves this offseason, and they probably should. Anything to keep from thinking about their recent past can’t hurt.

34 responses to “Lions 2011 draft class hasn’t lived up to expectations

  1. At least Matt Millen nailed the Calvin Johnson pick. Then again, any idiot could’ve gotten THAT one right (except for Al Davis)

  2. Starting to wonder if the Lions will ever live up to their billing. They have a ton of talent, isn’t it the coaches job to mold that talent into a winning scheme? (Get where I’m going here?)

  3. Wow I’m SHOCKED! Another rehashed, poorly written cheap shot at the Lions. No way!!!
    The only truly shocking thing about it is that it wasn’t written by MDS.

  4. They lived up to my expectations. I hated that draft and rejected vehemently. The Lions still have not ever had one good draft. They make loads of mistakes and aren’t strong at finding the value picks or maneuvering to the sweet spots of the draft. And their player evaluations are amongst the worst in the league. Couple that with suspect DC support and a lot of these guys that still have some potential end up slipping through the cracks.

    The Lions continuously are treading water at too high of a level and not strategically creating growth and development to become a powerhouse. They need a better vision and planning process as well as better efforts in executing results and development goals with the suspect players that they do select.

  5. I wonder what LionsDraftGuy thinks of this. To the contrary in the justice system. Their draft classes are quite productive.

  6. Nick Fairley and Ndamukong the best pair in their position? Hardly. Not even in the top 10.

    The Lions continuously add college players that do not make good professional players.

  7. Yeah, Titus was a bust…. no doubt. That far from defines the draft class. Fairley and Leshoure are still shaping their futures. I also think it’s naive to think that Bush’s arrival means anything about Leshoure’s future. Leshoure figures to be the goal line grinder and the thunder to Bush’s lightening. Unless your feature guy is named Peterson or Jones-Drew, every team has a pair.

  8. I used to feel sorry for the Lions but now I just dislike them, especially their HC. The fish rots form the head down.

  9. This is a good example of not knowing how good or bad a team drafted until 2 or 3 years down the road. Detroit was getting “A+” after that draft from just about everyone. They thought they fixed their Defensive woe’s when Fairley fell to them, but that hasn’t happened, at leSt not yet. Titus and Leshoure were “steals”, maybe Leshoure will end up being decent, but Young is just too dumb to recognize a “good thing” when he had it, fairwell Titus. Hope your cell mates are”nice”.

  10. Yet another media outlet noticing the horrible 2011 draft without pointing out that at the tie, the media LOVED the Lions’ draft, completely ignoring the character issues associated with so many of their picks. I can’t find a major media grade below an A- for them. When pointing out how wring the Lions got it, it seems easy to forget how wrong the media got it, too.

  11. It’s Detroit, what did you expect? Habitual underachievers ingrained in their history.

  12. Why does Martin Mayhew still have a job? When’s the last time a Lions 2nd or 3rd round pick did anything but get injured or arrested? Deandre Levy is only decent pick in the 2nd or 3rd the Lions have made and he’s average at best. Enough is enough. Yeah Mayhew’s better than Millen but a monkey throwing his feces at a draft board would be better than Millen, and probably better than Mayhew too is the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

  13. wow this is tough to read first matt millen now mayhew millen got calvin right but they drafted 5 wr in 3 -4 years and the others were busts at least while with the lions unlike the rams who are going for their second consecutive great draft the lions seem to get one or two right every couple years and in 2010 they picked second this year 4th they got to get better at finding players every year

  14. As a cowboys fan (or really I’m sure most fans feel this way), when my team passes up on some beast player because of character questions I always get so upset because you’re sitting there thinking (this dude is a top 5 pick and he’s fallen to you, for the love of god is character really that big an issue!?). But then sure enough you see that the teams that don’t have strong locker rooms and pick character risks often, find themselves with poor team chemistry, tons of off the field issues, and an overall poisoned locker room.

    During the draft us fans may forget about the intangibles of a player and get obsessed with the talent aspect, but intangible traits find a way of having a very tangible impact.

  15. Hey Strategy Expert why don’t u find another team to root for bro we don’t need all this hate from a fellow Lions Fan we get enough of that from the Writers and every other fan on this site.

  16. Leshoure’s first healthy season was last year and he scored 9 TDs, which made him top 10 of all running backs. In his first season he averaged more yards per carry than first round pick Trent Richardson. I’d say he’s meeting expectations. He wasn’t drafted as a feature back.

    Bush was signed to replace what Javid Best was suppose to bring the offense not to diminish Leshoure’s role.

    Fairly’s play has been great. His health has been more a problem than his arrests.

    Young was never arrested as a Lion. His disappoinment stems from an inflated ego, not arrests.

  17. I love the shots at the city it self. Of course these jackasses have never been here or realize that where the players live is Oakland county and its amongst the wealthiest in the entire country.

  18. I think any references to Titus Young at this point also need to refer to the strong possibility that he has an undiagnosed (serious) mental illness. He’s at the age where adult onset schizophrenia is known to “kick in” (for lack of a better term).

    Was he a draft bust? Yes. If not for his mental illness would he be an a great WR and a great compliment to Megatron? Yes.

    I’m in the line of people hoping that Young gets (and accepts) treatment asap. With the right medical care, he could be back in the NFL in a year or two.

  19. Wrong because Petterson is probably oboe single back in league! Imagine a split back set with Bush n Leshore.. Johnson Broyles n whichever TE! Who u covering n where? Leshore can go up middle, Bush can go up middle, run wide, go out to flats for screen pass… Haven’t even got to WR or TE yet!?! Gonna be a crazy season

  20. “Unless your feature guy is named Peterson or Jones-Drew, every team has a pair.”

    Yeah, but a pair of aces, or a pair of deuces?

  21. well when you consistently pick players with character issue’s and drug history can you really say we’re supposed to be surprised? you have a coach who like’s to play the tough guy, and have his guy’s play with an edge but no consequences for off field issue’s. the lions will never win a superbowl with schfincter boy running the team. all that talent going to waste.

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