The Lions have already invested a fortune in wide receiver Calvin Johnson, and given No. 2 receiver Golden Tate a significant contract as well. But they’re not necessarily done expending resources at the receiver position.
Sammy Watkins, widely regarded as the best receiver in this year’s draft class, has visited Detroit, and there’s talk that the Lions are interested in trading up in the draft to acquire him. Watkins has heard that talk and likes the sound of it.
“It’d be definitely a blessing playing with Megatron and Golden Tate, having Reggie Bush and Matthew Stafford,” Watkins told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “They’re doing a great job with the program with all the coaches. If I ever go there, sky’s the limit. . . . You don’t know what team’s jumping up for the first pick, anybody can be jumping up, so who knows? You never know.”
The Lions might have to move all the way up to a trade with the Rams at No. 2 if they want to pick Watkins, and that would require a lot of ammunition. And the Lions have already devoted a lot of resources to receivers — not just in the contracts for Johnson and Tate but in their fifth-round pick in this year’s draft, which they shipped to Jacksonville for receiver Mike Thomas. Throw in a second-round pick in 2011 for receiver Titus Young, a second-round pick in 2012 for receiver Ryan Broyles and a sixth-round pick in 2013 for receiver Corey Fuller, and there’s probably no team in the NFL that has spent more on receivers, when considering both draft picks and cap space, than the Lions.
So if the Lions are going to trade up for Watkins, they must think he’s the eventual replacement for Megatron.