If the Lions have genuine interest in trading up for Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins, they’re doing a bad job of hiding it. If they’re not interested, they’ve put together a potent smokescreen.
Regardless, the chatter is growing that the Lions could make a move for a wideout who would instantly give Detroit arguably the top one-two-three punch at the position: Watkins, Calvin Johnson, and Golden Tate.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes that there’s a “growing sense” in league circles that the Lions are willing to make the move. But they may have to move all the way up to No. 2 to get Watkins, and unless they’d be equally happy to take defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, they’ll need to wait until the Rams are on the clock in order to avoid being leapfrogged for Watkins.
If Watkins goes No. 1, he’d be only the third wideout taken first overall since 1984, when the Pats took Irving Fryar. Twelve years later, the Jets selected Keyshawn Johnson with the first overall selection.
Calvin Johnson, in hindsight, should have been the No. 1 pick seven years ago. Detroit’s interest in Watkins, if real, suggests that the Lions see the day coming when Johnson’s cap number exceeds his lingering abilities. Until then, the Lions could have the best trio of wideouts the NFL since the days of Randy Moss, Cris Carter, and Jake Reed.