Lions Notes: Wright, Mayhew, Swanson

As this weekend’s draft dust continues to settle, let’s take a look at a few draft-related notes out of Detroit:

  • The Lions ultimately drafted DT Gabe Wright in yesterday’s fourth round after trading a 2016 third-round pick to the Eagles to move up to the 113th-overall selection. As Tim Twentyman of tweets, one of the reasons they were comfortable in doing that was because they knew that they would likely be getting a fairly high compensatory selection in 2016’s draft as a result of losing Ndamukong Suh in free agency.
  • Last season’s injuries played a major role in the Lions’ draft strategy this year, writes Carlos Monarrez of The Detroit Free Press. The team went through four right tackles and lost their top two nickel corners after Week 2, so GM Martin Mayhew drafted durable offensive linemen Laken Tomlinson and Corey Robinson. Detroit also added Stanford corner Alex Carter in the third round and Texas nickel corner Quandre Diggs in the sixth.
  • Michael Rothstein of points out that, for the first time in his seven-draft tenure as Lions GM, Mayhew did not select a wide receiver. “There were a couple of times during the draft when a receiver’s name was up there,” Mayhew said. “But there was somebody else who was more of a reason to go in a different direction.”
  • After hinting for the past few months that they wanted to shift to a more run-oriented offense, Kyle Meinke of says the Lions took a definitive step in that direction this weekend by drafting a mauling guard (Tomlinson), a tailback (Ameer Abdullah), and even a fullback (Michael Burton).
  • The Lions drafted Travis Swanson in the third round last year with intentions of having him take over for Dominic Raiola at center this season. But as Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press writes, Detroit, which has spent four high-round draft picks on offensive linemen in the last three years, is not willing to commit to Swanson as its starting center just yet. He was penciled into the starting lineup until Thursday night, when the Lions acquired veteran interior blocker Manny Ramirez in a trade with Denver.
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