The case against the Detroit Lions trading up to take Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins in first round
- The Lions already have a premier wide receiver in Calvin Johnson and signed free agent Golden Tate, the leading receiver for the Super Bowl champion Seahawks, as a free agent. I see tight end Eric Ebron from North Carolina, who has a very similar skill-set as 49ers' tight end Vernon Davis, as being as special at his position as Watkins is at WR. More than another wide receiver, the Lions need a TE who can split the seam deep. Ebron can do that, and runs exceptionally well after the catch, although there is a possibility he won't be there (Buffalo reportedly is considering him seriously at No.9 overall).
- This is an exceptionally deep draft at wide receiver, perhaps the deepest ever for the position. The Lions should be able to draft a receiver in the second or third that would have gone in the first round most years.
.- The Lions need to improve defensively first and foremost, especially in the backfield. Because of the depth at receiver and the relative lack of it in the secondary positions, the pickings will be a lot slimmer after the first couple rounds of this draft.
- Because the Lions are heavily-invested in the salary cap with three players (Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh), it didn't allowed them to augment their depth as much as needed during free agency. It would be taking away from their depth even more if they had one less early-round draft choice if they moved up to select Watkins.
My column on why I see the Red Wings capable of making a deep Stanley Cup run: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20140412/epat-caputo-writes-on-why-detroit-red-wings-could-make-deep-run-in-stanley-cup-playoffs
My column. Brad Ausmus has been anything but the next Jim Leyland so far: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20140413/brad-ausmus-anything-but-the-next-jim-leyland-for-detroit-tigers-so-far-pat-caputo-writes