Lions may love Sammy Watkins enough to trade up for him


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.

114 responses to “Lions may love Sammy Watkins enough to trade up for him

  1. This makes sense considering it’s the Lions. When the WR group is deep you don’t trade up. Keep your picks and build quality depth. That’s what the lions need to do. But in a deep draft it’s not going to take a ‘lot of ammunition’ to move up, that’s incorrect.

  2. While Johnson, Tate, and Watkins could certainly compete with Denver for the deadliest WR corps in the league, they have bigger issues than WR at this point.

  3. Sure Lions, draft ANOTHER receiver in the first round. That ol tried an true formula of decent offense, no defense, no playoffs. Oh Detroit..

  4. He won’t make it past 4. Browns would take him over any QB in this draft. So would StL.

  5. Can you imagine him and Megatron on same team??? To bad their playoff run a couple years back will still be the only one. #foreverbottomofthenfcnorth

  6. Their D isn’t too shabby either. Worth doing – Calvin can’t keep doing it all himself.

  7. no way lions trade up for Watkins, that is beyond dumb. This is a smokescreen, more likely they want a team ahead of them to draft WR to increase the chance of a top cornerback dropping to them.

  8. You make ESPN highlights using top contracts and draft choices on WRs. You win championships building your D and offensive line.

  9. I’m not a lions fan but they need to draft defense, fact. Oh and why do they always draft receivers and overrated D tackles. Jus sayin.

  10. How many of you actually watched all the games last season…

    Our defense is average to maybe above average at times but its definitely not as bad as ppl make it out to be. Our run defense is great and that matters considering we face, AP, Lacy and Forte consistently. Our pass defense ehhh. Not one person in the draft, DE or CB or LB will make our pass defense a top ten defense. Sorry wont happen but maybe one WR who can be added to a top 5 offense already can help our offense be even more lethal. Soooooo…. with that said why not shoot for the best receiver in the draft?????

    Who is gonna cover CJ, Tate, Watkins, Bush and either Fauria, a healthy Broyles, or Bell. Mismatch every time. We might have more shoot outs for games but i’ll take my chances with that offense on the field.

    We have a bunch of CBs taken recently who unfortunately were put in system they never really worked in during college yrs. Get a system that fits and they will be more then adequate.

    Say what you want, they will barring any real injuries, compete for the division this year.

  11. As long as it’s not the Falcons that draft him, I don’t care where he goes. D is for Defense Mr. Dimitroff….

  12. “They’re doing a great job with the program with all the coaches.”

    They just replaced the coaches.

  13. Detroit would have to give up a lot. Watkins has the all the talent in the world & could go as high as two to the Rams & won’t fall out of the top five

    Shame on Goodell & the owners pushing the draft back to the beginning of May. I can’t imagine a coach, a scout, a GM, a draft prospect, or a fan liking this idea. Another head scratcher like the games in England & the new Pro-Bowl format.

  14. I don’t care if the Lions also sign Jerry Rice and Randy Moss in their prime. Having all those weapons do you no good when your QB has no time to throw.

  15. The Lions’ front office has carefully crafted a plan to build a championship caliber team based on the premise that unparalleled success will be achieved by surrounding Matthew Stafford with a vast array of newly minted wide receivers and other skilled offensive weapons, assuming that any defensive deficits will be overwhelmed by such an impressive arsenal. Their plan does not appear to be working.

  16. Lions are absolutely insane if they target another WR with a high pick. Haven’t they learned from the past?

  17. Detroit had one of the best run defenses in the league last year. These “all offense/no defense” comments show how little you all pay attention to football.

  18. get watkins this year, go all defense in 2015 in free agency and the draft…O line is solid, rb is solid, let suh and fairley go, thats 27 mill free right their, plus other players gone,,could be talking 50 mil free in free agency..Defensive player spendathon.

  19. Don’t believe the hype… we aren’t trading up for anyone. Smoke-screen, classic Mayhew.

  20. Just need your QB to make less mistakes. I think , Caldwell will help with the mistakes. Could be a good year for Lions

  21. the last thing I want is to stay at 10, either trade up for Watkins or Mack or Clowney, or trade back and get some picks and look at Cooks around 18-20

  22. This is not the year to move up for a WR. There are too many good ones. Detroit needs to develop someone at the position rather than look for plug and play personnel.

  23. .

    When’s the last time anyone said, ” the Lions have a really solid offensive line?”


  24. If they did pull this off, get ready for the “Calvin Johnson is secretly a scumbag” stories to leak out over the next two years in order to grease his way out of town so they don’t have to pay the rest of the contract that they willingly gave him a couple of years ago. It’s the NFL way under this new CBA.

  25. What is up with Detroit anyway? On paper, they are a super bowl contender, but they cannot put it all together on the field. I think Stafford is over-rated for starters. And Suh is a major distraction.

  26. They’d be better off trading up for Bortles. Stafford is a stat machine loser. Heck, Shaun Hill used to put up the same numbers in that offense. It reminds me of Daunte Culpepper throwing to Moss. He looked great until he didn’t have Moss anymore. I’d love to see how good that offense would be with a great qb.

  27. The Lions drafting Watkins buzz is the crappiest smokescreen ever. Matt Millen no longer makes decisions in Detroit.

  28. Its not so much using your first rounder on him its more the picks you have to give up to move up to gethim. Lions have too any holes to trade a second and next years first and maybe more to move up from ten to two. Its just not logical.

  29. The Lions have drafted more CBs in the last 3 years than WRs so investing another pick on a CB would start to make Mayhew look like Millen in consistently drafting the same position year in and year out.

    Watkins is seen as the top WR in the draft and an instant playmaker. Trading up would require either a 2nd or a 3rd rounder thrown in. If they deem the value of Watkins as that much more than player X in round 2 or 3 then it’s a good move.

  30. The Lion’s issue it NOT offense. I think they’re set at WR right now. Their problem is they took their foot off the gas last season when the had a lead. Keep it on the gas, and then you don’t worry so much about trying to defend up to the last second of the game.

  31. I hope this is a smoke screen; they’d be better off drafting a defensive stud and going receiver later in the draft. Not worth what it would cost just to get one guy. Build the defense!

  32. Watkins is the best WR prospect of the last 5 years. Calvin Johnson-Larry Fitzgerald type of upside.

    If there’s a WR you trade up for, it’s Sammy Watkins. As for the trade up, it’s not the high cost of trading up for an elite player that kills a team (ie, Darrelle Revis), its the high cost of mediocrity (ie Dion Jordan, Mark Sanchez).

  33. Under new cba if you get a difference maker you have him cheap for 5 years, regardless of where he was drafted. See guys like jj watt and cam newton. So if you feel strongly enough that he is a difference maker in the nfl you can pull the trigger without fear of the contract, instead knowing you will have a good player at a reasonable price.

  34. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if somebody trades up for him. If you saw him play at all in college, you know he’s the real deal. Receivers like him don’t come around every year.

  35. First, everyone talking about the deep WR corp—well that doesn’t mean deep AND elite. Second, considering the horrible drafting the Lions have made with their second pick over the past decade, it would make sense to trade a #1 and a #2 for Watkins.

    All that said, this is just blowing smoke up the proverbial rear-ends of the other 31 teams.

  36. everyone says this years draft is really deep and there will be people available in the later rounds who might have gone in the first round in past years. So that should create a lot of movement and trading of spots. There is also a crowd at the top so you don’t really know who is going 1-5. It should be fun to watch this year.

  37. I don’t think it’s feasible for the Lions to trade up to #2. At the very least, they would have to give up the #10 pick, their second rounder, and their 2015 first rounder. the caveat to that is perhaps the trade chart gets distorted by this years supposedly deep draft. Teams looking to move up might be able to do so for a little less this year. That being said, I could see the Lions moving up to maybe #5 if Watkins is still available. Otherwise the cost is too steep for a team with as many needs as Detroit.

  38. The thing you guys don’t realize is that The Lions already have an elite run defense, and a young and improving secondary. Plus they have an elite young offensive line, 3 good running backs, and their franchise QB, they have nothing to spend 8 draft picks on, some wouldn’t make the roster, trading up only makes sense, especially when Xander’s brings in the greatest crops of UDFA’s ever seen.

  39. That would be a nasty set of receivers I know that…. pretty potent offense with a QB that passes so frequently…. and you have Reggie Bush…shew. Not a Lions fan by any means but adding this guy would almost be unfair haha. Aside from the Vikings that division is going to be heavily competitive this year. Lots of big F/A moves.

  40. I could see the Lions trading Fairley and a mid round pick to move up. Fairly is good and it only takes one team to think that he can be elite.

  41. I doubt it’s a smoke screen. Bill Jr. is getting involved in the process and from all indications he’s getting involved more so then ever before. To those saying the defense is terrible you seem to forget that Detroit had one of the best run defenses last season to go along with a very young secondary. Secondaries typically take 2-3 years to develop. Whether they actually pull it off is another story but Mayhew has never done this much to create a smoke screen. There is legitimate interest here, it will all come down to what kind of bidding war the Rams start for the #2 pick.

  42. The curse of being the best at your position. You get stuck to teams like the Lions.

  43. “They’re doing a great job with the program with all the coaches.”

    They just replaced the coaches.


    Did you ever think he might be referring to the new coaches i.e. the one’s he’s visited with?

  44. The first 5 picks will be…

    DE (Clowney), LB/DE (Mack), 2 QB’s, and an OT in no particular order. (Possibly 2 OT’s instead of 2 QB’s.)

    Falcons should trade down for the right price.

  45. I don’t think it’s feasible for the Lions to trade up to #2. At the very least, they would have to give up the #10 pick, their second rounder, and their 2015 first rounder. the caveat to that is perhaps the trade chart gets distorted by this years supposedly deep draft. Teams looking to move up might be able to do so for a little less this year. That being said, I could see the Lions moving up to maybe #5 if Watkins is still available. Otherwise the cost is too steep for a team with as many needs as Detroit.


    Trades bounties like that happen for franchise QB prospects. Moving up like that will not be nearly that expensive in this draft.

  46. Well, as a Vikings fan, I hope Detroit does trade up and get Watkins. He’ll not make a difference in the Lions passing game- which already generates a ton of yards- but will cost them in draft picks and the opportunity to improve the rest of their team.

  47. OT Lewan Taylor Michigan should be there when they pick at #10. Makes more sense to protect Stafford than give him another wr while he is running for his life!!

  48. Theres been talk? Its not even linked to anyone within the team or the NFL. The talk could have came from a kid on the street. What sense would a move like this make?

  49. When Kris Durham is a starting WR on your roster, you can feel free to trade up and draft whichever WR you want! Did you guys see what the WRs looked like without Megatron last year? Tate can’t do it alone.

  50. Stafford very overrated. Runs up the stats and beats the bums but absolutely folds against every good team he plays. look it up

  51. people are saying it would be stupid for the Vikings to not draft for defense and select Sammy Watkins if he’s there at #8, and they don’t have calvin johnson on their team. Sammy & Cordarrelle would be scary but we need defense, so does detroit

  52. The Lions have a run game, Bush/Bell were the first tandem in history to both have 500+ yards rushing and receiving….

    I’d love to have the kid, and considering at #10 there isn’t a shutdown corner, elite edge rusher from the 4-3 DE slot or franchise LT, I’d love to get an impact player…

  53. I hope the Lolion give up the house to the rams for #2 pick . can you imagine what the rams might do with all of Detroit’s and Washington’s draft picks that would be one happy GM

  54. The only thing that’s more funny than the headline is idiotic Lions fans actually defending the idea.

    If you’re a Lions fan and you really think bringing in another high profile WR is really going to help your team do anything more than be 3rd in the division. Well then quite frankly… deserve to be a Lions fan.

  55. OT Lewan Taylor Michigan should be there when they pick at #10. Makes more sense to protect Stafford than give him another wr while he is running for his life!!

    Yeah because the 8th best offensive line in the NFL is such a bad thing. Not to mention they accomplished this with a 2nd year LT(Reiff), an undrafted rookie RT(Waddle) and a rookie guard(Warford). Oh gee, they were sooo bad. SMH

  56. I love my Lions but no do not trade up for him! If he falls to you take him but do not trade picks and future assets for another WR! This draft is loaded with them grab one later we need CBs a LB and some O line depth first

  57. A team will have to trade up in the top three to get SW but why, when there is a plethora of good wide receivers in the draft.

  58. Bring him on, if we are gonna lose anyways at least it will be more exciting, I give up on Lions logic so I just go with what they do. They haven’t done any better at drafting DB’s so give me offense instead of another failed db pick. Nothing we say is gonna change what they do so if its watching a db get beat , or watching a 45 yrd td pass to our wr, I take the wr side

  59. I doubt the legitimacy of this, but if its true, Matt Stafford is my fantasy QB

  60. Is Matt Millen Back ?!!? Lord…how man WR’s do you need…must be a slow news cycle. The guy should be a beast but you trade away picks to get him when you have other needs is just dumb….

  61. For people who say the Lions have other needs, no they don’t. Every starting position is filled, so they are basically just drafting whoever they like.

  62. If he’s there at 10, jump on him, but I’m sure even the most staunch Lions fans know they are not one piece away and can’t afford to give up valuable picks/assets to get him. Too many needs.

  63. Bush/Bell…if you really have 2 then you don’t even have one.

  64. as a Vikings fan, i’m actually in favor of this. Watkins is great, but if Detroit spends that much to go get a WR, their defense will be god awful.

    so go ahead… grab Watkins! i’d be more afraid with them staying put at #10 and drafting Mike Evans.

    THAT would worry me.

  65. I don’t believe this story. While it would be great to have Watkins on the same field as Megatron, it just seems like the price would be too high.

    There are a number of very good wide receivers in this draft besides Watkins. Having a combination of one of those receivers PLUS whatever they could get with their other picks would have to add more to their team than just Sammy alone.

    It’s kind of like back in 1998 when the Vikings had Carter and Moss. That offense was the best ever up to that point, but they still didn’t win a Super Bowl. The same thing happened with the ’07 Patriots and the ’13 Broncos.

    If it were me, I’d stick with Megatron, Reggie, and maybe get another WR later in the draft. Then use the #10 pick on an elite cornerback. Just my opinion. Who knows if I’m right or not. One thing IS for sure: the combination of Calvin and Sammy would be a lot of fun to watch!

  66. “Then use the #10 pick on an elite cornerback.”

    The problem is, there are no elite CB’s in this draft. If a potential Deion Sanders or Rod Woodson were in this draft class, I’d be all for them using a #10 on him. But there just isn’t.

  67. Lots of people who don’t seem to know anything about the Lions commented here.

    The Lions have a need at WR, even with Calvin and Tate. That doesn’t mean they will move up to get Watkins, but it does mean that they will draft a WR this year.

    If the Lions think Watkins is a difference-maker, they will try to trade up and get him. Wouldn’t you want your team to do the same?

    The Lions have a solid, but not spectacular defense. The one place where they DON’T need a top pick is at CB. They’ve invested a lot in young corners, and they’re counting on those players to start paying off this year.

    The Lions also have needs at TE, DE, FS and could use another body at DT and a K. They could even go OLB is they want a pass-rusher (Mack, Barr, etc).

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