If things go according to plan for Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew, the team will have signed all of its coaching staff to extensions, work out a new deal with pending free agent Cliff Avril, re-sign superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson and, apparently, stick to the same drafting formula of selecting the best player overall on the draft board. According to mlive.com, the Lions will stick with the "best player available" (BPA) strategy come draft time.
Most wondered if the Lions would continue to do that, now that the team is in the playoffs with fewer needs than in previous years. Having made the playoffs for the first time since 1999, the Lions had players step up at multiple positions on both sides of the ball. They've got strong linebackers, defensive linemen, receivers and a quarterback, among other things.
In 2011, the team drafted Nick Fairley with their first-round pick, despite already having what appeared to be a, for lack of a better term, monster defensive line. They then drafted Titus Young very high despite having Calvin Johnson. This followed the BPA strategy, and it's essentially worked out well for the Lions. But again, now their needs aren't as broad, so is it really smart to take the BPA strategy?
Sure, of course it is - because the strategy itself isn't so simple. There's always some deviation, to an extent. For instance, the Lions aren't going to draft a quarterback no matter who is available, but said QB might be the best player available at the time. The draft board ranks all players, sure, but before the fact, plenty of players at plenty of positions will be ruled out. In other words, it's probably good news that the Lions are sticking to their strategy after finally making it back to the playoffs.