Photograph: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Actual 3rd round pick – The Lions didn’t use their 2nd round pick on a center (like Richburg), but they did use their 3rd round pick on one. Detroit selected center Travis Swanson with the 67th overall pick of the 2014 draft. They were hoping they could groom him to become the eventual replacement for Dominica Raiola.
Technically, Swanson has executed the Lions plans for him – he has replaced Raiola as the starting center (Raiola’s play declined at the end of last season, and Swanson took over starting five games at center). This year he has been the starting center in every game.
However, the quality of Swanson’s play has left plenty to be desired. Excluding the revolving door situation at right tackle, the center position has been one of the weakest links along the offensive line. It has been suggested Swanson is struggling to keep a hold on the starting job.
Re-draft 3rd round pick – You know who isn’t struggling to keep his job? Wide receiver John Brown of the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona selected late in the third round (91st), adding him to an already talented group of receivers that includes Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.
Brown had to prove he was NFL worthy, coming from a small school (Pittsburg State) and being undersized (5’11”, 179 lbs.). He has done just that, and more. Brown has quickly turned into the big-play threat the Cardinals were looking for. This season alone, he has 58 receptions for 933 yards, and 6 touchdowns.
The Lions still lack depth (and someone besides Calvin Johnson who can consistently stretch the field) at the receiver position, and John Brown could have been that player for them. I have to think the Lions brass would prefer Brown as their third receiver, instead of Lance Moore or Corey Fuller.
Next: Round 4