Remember the infamous Detroit Lions from a decade ago? They were a laughingstock for a lot of reasons, but few will forget the fact that Matt Millen-led squad of shame actually selected a wide receiver in the first round of three consecutive drafts.
Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams are all out of football now, and Millen is in broadcasting. The Lions have won at least six games in three of the last four years, recovering from a nine-year stretch in which they won just 33 total games (or less than four games per season).
They also eventually hit on a first-round receiver with Calvin Johnson, who is now the most dominant offensive player in the game and well on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
But considering that they’ve got Johnson, they signed Golden Tate in free agency and they spent second-round picks on receivers Titus Young in 2011 and Ryan Broyles in 2012, we think the Lions would risk falling back into old habits by rolling the dice on another stud first-round receiver in 2014.
That’s a possibility, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, who reports straight from Sammy Watkins’ mouth that the Lions want to trade up in order to draft the Clemson stud.
From talking with Sammy Watkins today: The #Lions have made it clear to him they are very serious about potentially trading up for him.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 6, 2014
The Lions, who currently hold the No. 10 pick, would need a lot of ammunition to move up five or more spots in order to grab a luxury player like Watkins. They have three fourth-round picks, but two are compensatory selections that aren’t tradeable, and they lack a fifth-round pick. That means they’d basically be mortgaging their entire draft in order to get Watkins.
Is that smart for a team that has a mediocre defense and an offensive line that could use work? Sure, receiver is an area that could use improvement, but who’s your right tackle? Who’s the heir apparent at center, since Dominic Raiola is, like, 57 years old? The secondary and linebacking corps are still sub-par, as is the team as a whole based on what went down in 2013.
Some advice for the Lions: Keep your damn draft picks and continue to build smartly. That whole “all your eggs in one basket” thing has rarely worked for you.