Detroit Lions: Martin Mayhew’s Quotes Following Selection of Laken Tomlinson


Feb 18, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew speaks during a press conference during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

General manager Martin Mayhew met with the media last night following the Detroit Lions‘ draft day trade with the Denver Broncos and subsequent selection of guard Laken Tomlinson with the 28th overall pick. Here’s what he had to say, as provided by the Detroit Lions.

Opening statement: “Very excited to have Laken Tomlinson and Manny Ramirez joining us. The trade with Manny is contingent on a physical and he should be arriving tomorrow to take that physical. But both of those guys will be contributors for us I believe and really help our offensive line.”

On Tomlinson saying he models his game after Lions G Larry Warford: “Well, they’re both really good and both really big. That would be the similarity between the two of them. They’re both outstanding football players. It’s great when you have a guy like Larry that college players are looking up to, so I think that will be a good relationship.”

On how Tomlinson fits into the offense: “I think that’s all to be determined at some point. Obviously, I think he’ll be playing guard. Manny plays guard and center, so both those guys can come in and help our offense in some way. I think our coaching staff will pretty much determine how that goes.”

On what he has learned about Tomlinson as a person throughout this process: “Just an outstanding young man. I mean, just phenomenal the things he’s been able to do. You know, when you hear his story about the school that he went to in Chicago and how far away that was and how he had to make that trek every single day, but he did that. Then he was attracted to Duke because of the academic reputation and the programs there at Duke and he went there for that purpose. Just a very, very sharp guy who has accomplished a lot already on and off the field. We’re excited about having him join our organization.”

On if a player such as Tomlinson allows for other playmakers to make plays: “Yeah, sure. I mean, it all starts with the lines. You know, offensive line, defensive line, it all starts up front. We talked about that a little bit last week. We want to be strong on both sides of the ball up front and this is a move in that direction.”

On what went into the decision to trade back to the 28th spot: “Like I said to you guys before, we look at our board, we see the players that we have available. We have guys that we like that are available, how many spots can we go back? The opportunity to get Manny was pretty important for us. We had a couple different – We actually had three opportunities to move back. That was the one that we chose, but I think Manny was a pretty key part of that.”

On if any of the other trade options involved trading out of the first round: “No.”

On if he knew Tomlinson was the pick after trading for Ramirez: “I think when we traded we had a number of guys that we liked and we felt like one of those guys was going to be our pick.”

On why he wanted to bring Ramirez back: “Well, his versatility is the reason why we brought him back. Quite frankly, I don’t know why we ever let him go. I mean, great guy. Great in the locker room, great leader, very physical player. He’s got experience at guard and center, so we’ve got versatility. He’s a quality football player. He’s going to help our football team.”

On if durability is an important quality when drafting offensive linemen: “Absolutely. The experience, the different looks those guys have seen, the ability to stay healthy, the durability. Somebody told me a while back, the most important ability is availability, you know? Those guys that can start 50 games, I mean, that’s pretty impressive.”

On how early he identified Tomlinson as a first-round grade: “The very start of the process. I mean, the college grades we had on him were outstanding. Our college director Scotty (McEwen) saw him. Chad Henry, that’s one of Chad’s schools. I did a lot of work on him. Jeremiah Washburn did as well. So he’s a phenomenal talent.”

On how much thought he gave to moving up in the draft: “We didn’t give much thought about moving up.”

On if the draft board came off the way he thought it would: “It did. It came off the way we had talked about. We were getting a little concerned early because all the guys that we had ranked high were coming off one after another, so we were getting concerned about what was going to be available. But then we had some other guys get taken and that gave us the ability to move back a few spots.”

On if he expects C Travis Swanson to be available as the starting center this season: “He’s going to be fine. I don’t have any expectation either way. It’s up to him what Travis does.”

On if he expects Ramirez to compete for the center position: “I don’t have any expectations either way. Everybody competes for every job. It’s a meritocracy, so everybody comes in and competes. We’ll see what happens.”

On if the plan to trade back was always geared toward the offensive line: “No, there were a number of guys that we liked at that spot.”

On becoming a run-focused team with the addition of Tomlinson: “Yeah, well, he’s a good run blocker. He’s 6-3, 320. He’s a big, physical guy. He’s a good pass protection guy too, but he can definitely help in the run game and I think Manny has some power too. He’s the same type of player.”

Next: Lions Select G Laken Tomlinson 28th Overall

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