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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.

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34 Responses to “Lions 2011 draft class hasn’t lived up to expectations”
  1. thejrod2006 says: May 19, 2013 1:40 PM

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

  2. tommywod1 says: May 19, 2013 2:04 PM

    I believe this is what the city of Detroit refers to as… Lions Luck

  3. packfntk says: May 19, 2013 2:12 PM

    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?)

  4. johnelwayishorsefaced says: May 19, 2013 2:14 PM

    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.

  5. tokyosandblaster says: May 19, 2013 2:19 PM

    Actually, this is just about how I thought it would go.

  6. thestrategyexpert says: May 19, 2013 2:20 PM

    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.

  7. citynative says: May 19, 2013 2:30 PM

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

  8. dino2997 says: May 19, 2013 2:32 PM

    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.

  9. takingbacksundays5 says: May 19, 2013 2:33 PM

    I think you could alter the headline to read “Lions XXXX draft class hasn’t lived up to expectations” and no one would think anything of it.

  10. theecowardlylion says: May 19, 2013 2:40 PM

    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.

  11. thesportgenius says: May 19, 2013 2:43 PM

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

  12. craigjosh says: May 19, 2013 3:03 PM

    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”.

  13. luckyd8402 says: May 19, 2013 3:12 PM

    The Detroit Lions have not lived up to expectations.

  14. yohochecko says: May 19, 2013 3:15 PM

    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.

  15. pathsovglory says: May 19, 2013 3:17 PM

    Every member except one of the Lions 2011 draft class has been arrested?


  16. thefiesty1 says: May 19, 2013 3:20 PM

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

  17. preseasonchampions says: May 19, 2013 3:20 PM

    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.

  18. garyhd01 says: May 19, 2013 3:22 PM

    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

  19. titusyoungslegalcounsel says: May 19, 2013 3:26 PM

    Can we just put the Lions, Seahawks and Jets all in their own embarrassing division?

  20. redfield11 says: May 19, 2013 3:34 PM

    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.

  21. thewarrenmoon says: May 19, 2013 3:52 PM

    Ever been to Detroit? It is a cesspool. And I am a African American saying that.

  22. classactcalvin81 says: May 19, 2013 4:00 PM

    I’m sure they r the only ones who only have 2 good players left from that class but on here it’s the HEADLINER!! Go Figure Lol.. Lion Haters!

  23. classactcalvin81 says: May 19, 2013 4:04 PM

    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.

  24. rmc1995 says: May 19, 2013 4:05 PM

    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.

  25. jimmysee says: May 19, 2013 4:23 PM

    This story is definitely in the dog bites man category. Why is it even news!?

  26. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: May 19, 2013 4:44 PM

    I think if you were to look into it, you may find the Lions have more arrest and off field issues in the last couple years than any other team in the NFL. Yes maybe even more than Dallas.

  27. Patriot42 says: May 19, 2013 5:48 PM

    Who in their right mind would want to play in Detroit? This city is the sewer of cities.

  28. jiggy3198 says: May 19, 2013 7:30 PM

    Joe Flacco has a Super Bowl ring

  29. nflpoker says: May 19, 2013 7:48 PM

    Lions may be the kings of the jungle, but not the NFL.

  30. sgtdiver says: May 19, 2013 9:00 PM

    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.

  31. jimmylions says: May 19, 2013 9:03 PM

    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.

  32. garrison1981 says: May 20, 2013 12:36 AM

    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

  33. howiehandles says: May 20, 2013 7:59 AM

    “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?

  34. vikescry1 says: May 20, 2013 8:47 AM

    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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