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Mayhew: Lions won't alter view on prospect drug use

Three of the five players selected by the Detroit Lions in last year's draft have been cited for marijuana possession this offseason. The front office has taken notice, but it won't alter the way the Lions view drug use with regard to this year's prospects.

"I think if you go back 10, 15 years ago and a guy had a positive test, that was a big deal. And that was something to be very concerned about. It still is, but not at the level it was years ago," Lions general manager Martin Mayhew told the Detroit Free Press on Thursday.

Three Lions rookies -- defensive tackle Nick Fairley, offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath and running back Mikel Leshoure -- have been cited for possession in recent months, but Mayhew doesn't see a trend.

"If you go back to our draft process last year, it wasn't much removed from our draft process in 2009 and 2010," Mayhew said. "And we didn't have those problems, in that area, in those draft classes. We're going to look at each individual situation, and we did a lot of homework on those guys last year. We're doing as much homework or more on guys this year. But I think every individual situation has to be evaluated that way."

The Lions have visited with two prospects -- Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams -- with marijuana-related red flags in their recent past. In addition, the Lions are said to be interested in North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins, a player with multiple arrests for pot possession. 

NFL Network's Mike Mayock said on a conference call with reporters Thursday: "I don't think one time with pot is a hot-button issue," noting that habitual use is a different story.

The Lions have the right to select who they choose. The less stringent view of pot use in recent years can be linked to previous red-light players entering the league, shedding the habit and moving on to successful careers. While another front-office might sharply avoid players with a drug history, the Lions have made it clear they remain confident in how they scout the future.

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