Martin Mayhew on Ihedigbo, Gurley, Draft

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew has the very difficult task of keeping the team in the playoffs despite losing their stud defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley this offseason.

Here are a few topics Mayhew weighs in on as he tries to keep the team competitive with the Packers in the NFC North, and among the top teams in the conference. :

On safety James Ihedigbo skipping spring workouts (via Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press):

These workouts are voluntary. As we talked last year, there was a guy (Suh) who missed last year, and you guys were irate. And I told you then it was voluntary. It’s voluntary now. I look forward to talking with James. I understand what he’s going through. I’ve been through that myself as a player, when I felt like, at a time in my career, that I was underpaid and I had to deal with that. So I have empathy for him and I understand what he’s going through. I look forward to sitting down and talking with him. I have great respect for him as a player, as a man. I’ve got to know him a little bit away from football, and I understand how he feels and I look forward to sitting down and talking with him, at some point.

On Georgia running back Todd Gurley (via Kyle Meinke of

I will sort of equate it to the character situation. Every individual player should be evaluated on his own merits. I wouldn’t just say this guy had an Achilles tear, so he’s off our board. You know, where is he in that process? How long ago was that? How did he perform last year? Who was his surgeon who did his surgery? How is he in the rehab process? Where is he right now? Every single guy is evaluated on his own merits and what his situation is specifically.

On trade activity during the NFL Draft (via Justin Rogers of

I made the point at the league meeting that we’ve never started a draft and finished a draft with the same picks, so I think we’ll have a different number of picks at the end of this draft. Frequently, we’ll be very comfortable that there are going to be a number of players where we are on the board and we’ll stay put, or if we feel like our guys are going ahead of us then we’ll move up. If we feel like there are a number of guys that are behind us that we’d like to have or guys within our range — if we have 10 players and we can go back eight spots and get one of those guys. So, it really varies depending on what’s going on with that particular draft.

On trading picks for veterans in the later rounds of the draft:

I think early on that was something a lot of times that we did because of the difficulty of signing those guys as free agents. I think we’re in a place now where we have a pretty solid core of quality players and we really want to add some youth to that group. I think the draft is the best way to do that.

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