ALLEN PARK -- If you are a Detroit Lions fans who does not agree with general manager Martin Mayhew's NFL Draft philosophy, now would be a good time to put down your hot coffee, stop operating heavy machinery, or remember your New Year's resolution about using bad language.
You have been warned.
Mayhew typically likes to draft the best player available instead of addressing needs. He has followed that strategy ever since he became general manager late in 2008.
Last season, Detroit's biggest needs were in the secondary and at running back. Mayhew chose to select the best player available instead, and as a result, no member of Mayhew's 2012 draft class had an instant impact. Offensive lineman Riley Reiff saw some playing time, but mostly in set packages.
Detroit has several needs this offseason, and this might be Mayhew's final year as general manager if the team does not make the playoffs.
"Our philosophy will be the same. We'll look for the best player available. We won't change our beliefs about that." - Martin Mayhew
However, that sense of urgency will not alter Mayhew's draft strategy at all.
"All the guys that we draft we expect to play," Mayhew said. "We don't draft guys with the thought that they're not going to play. I don't see it (salary cap limitations) having a dramatic impact on our draft. Our philosophy will be the same. We'll look for the best player available. We won't change our beliefs about that."
That also means the majority of Detroit's fan base will not change their view of Mayhew if he continues to add luxury picks instead of players who can immediately start and play.
Mayhew said he ultimately makes the final decision on which players Detroit drafts, but still believes in his strategy.
"I think you got to have some things that you believe in," Mayhew said. "Our drafts is what allowed us to go from two wins to six wins to 10 wins. That's the reality of it. I believe in the way that we're doing it. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a bunch of teams saying we draft for need. To find a bunch of G.M.'s that say that's what I do; I just go out and take whatever I need. We're trying to find good players for the long haul.
"It's not just about getting ready for the first game of the season, and I think that's short-sighted when you start saying we don't have any 'whatever' position, and I got to draft one of those in the first round because we don't have one. Your draft is supposed to build your team for the future, in my opinion, when you're getting your team ready for every season to come, so I think you got to take the best players you can find."