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Lions Excited About 4 To 7 Players In Draft

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head coach Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions watches from the sidelines during game against the Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

head coach Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions watches from the sidelines during game against the Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

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DETROIT (97.1 The Ticket) Detroit Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew revealed during a Thursday press conference about the upcoming NFL draft that there are “between four and seven guys” the team is eyeing for draft pick 23.

He said that number includes players “we’re very excited about having.”

Who exactly are those players? Keep guessing.

“The player who fits us the best, that’s the guy we’re looking to take,” Mayhew said, adding later that he wasn’t going to discuss specific players.

Mayhew discussed some of the issues the Lions have had with the last rookie class, with three players arrested for drug possession this off-season, including Johnny Culbreath, Mikel Leshoure and Nick Fairley.

“Disappointing, frustrating, we’ve had talks with our rookie class,” Mayhew said. “Jim has talked to them about what we expect, so it’s very frustrating. The league will handle it in terms of discipline for those guys.”

Mayhew also discussed how big a role drug test concerns play in their 2012 draft picks.

“The league has really changed over the years … a positive test was a BIG deal, it still is, but not at the level it was years ago,” Mayhew said. “There are certain things we want to hear from guys and certain things we don’t want to hear. We talked to players who had those concerns and evaluated those situations … We’ve reached varying level of comfort with various players.”

See the Detroit Lions 2012 schedule here.

A big year is expected for the team: For the first time since the 1998 season, Detroit will appear in five nationally televised games with four prime time appearances.

Since the launch of Monday Night Football in 1970, this marks just the fourth time (1990, 1994 and 1998) the Lions will play in five nationally televised games during a season. It is only the second time (1998) that Detroit will have four prime time games in a season.

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