With the Detroit Lions releasing veteran wide receiver and local favorite Nate Burleson last week to clear up cap space, acquiring a player in this year’s NFL draft to line up across Calvin Johnson is essential for them to upgrade the position this offseason.
On FanSided.com, Erik Lambert’s latest mock draft has the Lions trading with the Atlanta Falcons in order to move up in the top 10. They currently hold the No. 10 pick and would move up to No. 6 to solidify their chances to draft Clemson’s Sammy Watkins.
“Nobody would expect the Detroit Lions to be so aggressive but the facts are clear. Their roster is ready for a Super Bowl run. All they need a couple missing pieces. Putting the dynamic Sammy Watkins across from Calvin Johnson would solve one of those problems.”
The team would have to pay a hefty price to Atlanta to receive the pick. According to Lambert, the Falcons would pick up the No. 10 pick, two second round picks in 2014, and one second round pick in 2015. It’s a huge risk for the Lions, considering how many holes they have to fill this year and next.
Mike Mayock of the NFL Network calls this year’s draft the best wide receiver draft he has ever seen. While focus on Watkins is high, there could be options for the Lions if they decide to trade down or wait until the second round to draft a wide receiver.
Besides Watkins, CBS Sports ranks six wide receivers that have the possibility to end up coming off the board in the first round. Mike Evans of Texas A&M and former Florida State Seminole Kelvin Benjamin have the size and body to match up with Johnson to add another talented piece to the Lions offense.
However, Watkins is the most talented wide receiver available in this year’s draft. It may be a risk that Detroit doesn’t want to take, but it will be hard for the Lions to draft the three time First-team All-American and 2014 at No. 10.