Detroit Lions Shouldn't Mortgage Their Future On Elite WR Sammy Watkins

By Rick Stavig

Sammy Watkins Detroit Lions

Sammy Watkins should not be the primary draft day target for the Detroit Lions.  Well, at least not if they have to move high up in the draft to select him (which they will).

Yet still we hear rumors of the Lions planning on doing whatever it takes to select the talented wide receiver from Clemson.  I ask why?

And don’t respond with telling me how good he is.  I know how good he is.  I’ve broken down his film.  He’s a freak, I’m not blind to that.  I also know what his draft value is, and he should easily be a top-five guy in the first round.  With the Lions picking at no. 10, in a normal year to move up to the 5th pick (let’s just say), they’d have to give up their first rounder and at least an additional second-rounder, or two third-rounders.  That’s a steep price, but this isn’t a normal year.

Considering how good this draft class is, and considering the amount of potential trades with the teams picking in the top-five, the prices are up from a normal year.  This years draft is twice as talented as last years, and the value for the top couple of picks has gone up. Realistically, there’s about seven to eight guys in this years draft that would’ve gone number one overall last year, and that will be reflected in what teams looking to trade down will ask for in return.

So considering how good this draft is and the increased value of the top couple of picks, the Lions would probably have to give up a first, two second-rounders and maybe two fourths.  Who knows at this point what exactly the new value chart will look like since there hasn’t been a trade yet to set the market.  But you can bank on it being high, especially if the Lions are going to have to move up to number two overall with the St. Louis Rams, which might be where they need to take Watkins.

The Lions shouldn’t mortgage that many draft picks on one player who isn’t a major, major need.  Is it tantalizing to think of the outside speed of Watkins, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate paired with the monstrous right arm of QB Matt Stafford? Of course it is. But just having an explosive passing attack doesn’t equate to postseason success. Look at the most recent Super Bowl as the primary example.

There’s too many other needs for the Lions to justify giving that much in return for another wide receiver. If they just stay put at 10, there’s a host of other guys they could take that would still help the team win immediately and also not hamstring the teams ability to continue adding depth.

Taylor Lewan (OT, Michigan) should still be available, and would be a huge upgrade at LT.  Plus, then Riley Reiff could move inside to his more natural LG position.  Eric Ebron (TE, UNC) would give Stafford another electrifying playmaking option, and would present an outrageous two tight end set with Brandon PettigrewJustin Gilbert (CB, Oklahoma State) or Darqueze Dennard (CB, Michigan State) would infuse some young talent and length to a still-patchwork secondary, and would pair nicely opposite Darius Slay.  Heck, even Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix (S, Alabama) or Aaron Donald (DT, Pitt) would be good picks as well.

Hey, if Watkins falls to 10, take him.  Heck if he falls to 8 or 9, I can see moving up to take him.  But giving up a boatload of picks to move up to the first couple of picks for a luxury (non need) selection like this wouldn’t be a good move.  Not with the Lions bountiful other needs, and not when this draft is as stocked from top to bottom as it is.

Rick Stavig is an NFL Draft Columnist for Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on Google+.


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