Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC North [Print without images]

Saturday, April 25, 2009
Pettigrew was the Lions' top available player

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Brandon Pettigrew is my Knowshon Moreno.

Huh?

Let me explain. During our ESPN.com blogger mock draft this week, I gave Detroit running back Knowshon Moreno with the No. 20 overall pick. In doing so, I cited a quote from Lions coach Jim Schwartz, who said the team would not allow "need to trump talent" in this draft. In other words, the talent-poor Lions weren't in position to focus on a particular position at any point in this weekend's draft.

A few of you, uh, disagreed with that thinking and pointed out the needs of the Lions' horrendous defense. But given the choice between Pettigrew -- a tight end from Oklahoma State -- and USC linebacker Rey Maualuga, the Lions jumped on Pettigrew. (They also passed on Mississippi offensive tackle Michael Oher.)

The Lions probably have more of a need at tight end than at running back. But you can't make an argument they need more help at tight end than at linebacker. But I'm telling you, this is the way Detroit is going to conduct itself this weekend and moving forward. They're going to take the top player on their board, regardless of position, at every spot in the draft.

How you evaluate Pettigrew is an entirely separate issue. Is he as good as the Lions think he is? We'll know soon enough. But the point is that Detroit ranked him highly on its board, and the presence of a potential starting middle linebacker and a new left tackle wasn't enough to deviate from that approach.