Martin Mayhew’s pre draft press conference gave some hints as to how the Lions would draft. Well in the later rounds anyway.
Mayhew said they’ve spent more time this year looking at later round guys who can play special teams.
— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) May 5, 2014
The Lions had an up and down year in special teams in 2013. The Lions averaged 24 yards per kickoff return and 10.3 on punt returns which was good for 11th ans 13th respectively. But the mediocre numbers take a slide when it comes to kick coverage. The Lions allowed 26.4 yards to opponents kick returner, the worst mark in the lead.
So by reading between the lines one could assume that Mayhew and company would be focused on special teams tacklers, players who can wrap up a guy in the open field. A focus on could lead to a better turnover ratio.
The Lions were -12 in takeaway/giveaway ratio last season. Just 28th in the league. Contributing to that was a 23rd ranking (22) in takeaways. To put those numbers in perspective the defending champion Seattle Seahawks led the league in takeaway/giveaway (+20) and takeaways with 39.
Bottom line in the Lions need to create more turnovers if they are to have success next season. Getting some hard hitters on special teams could go along way to helping then accomplish that goal.