Former Lions GM Martin Mayhew regrets not drafting Aaron Donald with Detroit
Looking back at the 2014 NFL Draft, there are a few teams that would do things differently if given the opportunity and the Detroit Lions are one of them. The former general manager of the Lions, Martin Mayhew, regrets not drafting Aaron Donald when he was with Detroit.
“I wish I would have taken Aaron Donald,” he said. “That’s no knock on Ebron. I wish I would have taken him. It’s not a decision that’s made in a vacuum. We talked about a lot of different scenarios, different situations. Man, I wish I had taken him.”
Of course, the Lions chose to select Eric Ebron, the tight end out of North Carolina with the 10th overall pick. Just three picks later, Donald was taken by the St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams. It’s safe to say Detroit and Mayhew made a grave mistake.
Ebron would play his first four seasons with the Lions as he averaged 46 receptions, 517 yards, and two touchdowns per season. After his four seasons in Detroit, Ebron would sign with the Indianapolis Colts in free agency in 2018.
On the other hand, Donald has arguably been the best defensive player in the NFL for the past few seasons. Over the course of his six seasons, Donald has accumulated five All-Pro honors and is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Additionally, the Pittsburgh native has combined for 72 sacks, 117 tackles for loss, 173 quarterback hits, and 15 forced fumbles in his career. Before the 2019 season, Donald was named as the No. 1 player in the NFL by his peers.
Now, six years after making the mistake, Mayhew is a Senior Personnel Executive with the San Francisco 49ers. Nevertheless, Mayhew realizes may have gone differently with the Lions had he drafted Donald instead of Ebron in 2014.