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NFL Draft 2011: Draft Week Has Arrived

This offseason for the NFL has been one of the strangest that I can remember. Due to the NFL lockout, there has been no free agency and no trades, causing player movement to come to a standstill. There is still some hope that this conflict will be resolved during the summer so free agency can actually happen at some point, but the 2011 NFL Draft is set to take place this week. This means that, barring a miracle that ends the lockout, free agency will not happen until after the NFL Draft, likely changing the strategy of how teams approach the event this week.

Regardless of what happens with the CBA and the lockout, football fans finally have an event to get amped up about. This offseason has sort of dragged on without there being much news not related to the lockout/CBA. On Thursday, fans can finally put that type of stuff on the back burner and focus squarely on the NFL Draft. The first round is set to take place on Thursday at 8 p.m. (ET) in New York City. Rounds two and three will take place on Friday beginning at 6 p.m. (ET). Finally, the NFL Draft will conclude on Saturday with the final four rounds. Coverage for day three will begin at noon.

The Detroit Lions will pick 13th overall in the first round barring a trade. Martin Mayhew has been known to move around with deals, so one on Thursday can't be written off. In the other rounds, the Lions have five picks -- one in every round except the sixth. I would also expect there to be quite a bit of movement in the later rounds, especially since Detroit has only six picks this year. My prediction is for them to do some maneuvering to acquire more picks, as there is a lot of talent in the 2011 NFL Draft.

SB Nation will get you ready for the 2011 NFL Draft in the days leading up to it with NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL Draft schedule and more. SB Nation will also have full coverage during the event at its NFL Draft hub and NFL Draft blog, Mocking The Draft. For more on the Detroit Lions, make sure to check out Pride Of Detroit and SB Nation Detroit's NFL Draft StoryStream.