Close only counts in horseshoes and nuclear war.
Fresh off of the John Thornton close-but-not-quite debacle, and in the same offseason where the Lions very nearly signed OG Darnell Dockett, and almost pulled off a trade for QB Jay Cutler, the franchise again fell just shy of acquiring a player who could make an impact.
Thanks to getting suspended for the season due to testing positive for a banned substance, Kentucky DE Jeremy Jarmon was available in today’s supplemental draft.
The Lions’ 0-16 record in 2008 made their supplemental draft picks very powerful. The Lions could bid a pick to acquire a player, and because of their status, it would trump any other team -- unless, of course, that other team bids a higher round selection.
Since bidding a given pick in the supplemental draft means you lose that pick in the next scheduled draft, that was a huge advantage for the Lions over all the other competition.
Rumor prior to today's draft was that Jarmon could be had for a fourth-rounder, and the Lions would need only to bid their fourth.
With a large question lingering across the entire defensive line, Jarmon's presence was enticing.
Surprisingly, however, the Washington Redskins shocked everyone after choosing to bid their third-round pick, thus acquiring the rights to Jarmon.
John Niyo of the Detroit News then reported via Twitter that Lions' GM Martin Mayhew text messaged Redskins' VP Vinny Cerrato that he did, indeed, bid the Lions’ fourth-rounder for Jarmon -- and was surprised (and, naturally, disappointed) not to get him.
Should Mayhew have bid a third-rounder, thus practically guaranteeing Jarmon’s acquisition?
Assuming that Detroit's third-round pick in 2010 will hold significant value, and could become a potential starter at any position (or trade ammo), spending it now on a player with character issues wouldn’t maximize that pick's value.
While it’s certainly disappointing to lose out (again) on a potential impact rookie at a position of need, the Lions made the right move.