The hot Lions-related topics in Indianapolis seem to revolve around what plans the team has for the second overall pick of the draft. Both Jim Schwartz and Martin Mayhew have openly discussed if the Lions would be willing to trade down from the No. 2 overall pick, confirming previous reports that the team is "open" to the idea. At the same time, both Schwartz and Mayhew have talked about some personnel-related topics involving free agents, though neither has said anything too specific since they obviously want to play their cards close to the vest.
Let's first talk about the second overall pick. Based on multiple previous reports, we already knew that the Lions were open to trading down. That's not surprising at all considering any team in the Lions' shoes would be willing to think about offers to trade down, but what Schwartz and Mayhew had to say about the topic was somewhat interesting.
"We’re open to just about everything," Schwartz said. "I think that whether you keep the second pick or you trade down, it doesn’t change what you have to do, and that’s make good decisions in the draft."
"There are blue-chip players available at a lot of different spots in the draft," Schwartz said. "… Whether you trade down and get more picks, or whether you move up, it’s more about identifying the players, and getting the players to fit what you do."
"More picks aren’t useful if you don’t use them wisely."
Schwartz pretty much summed up my thoughts on the idea of trading down. If the right deal comes along that will give you extra picks that are extremely valuable, then a trade will be tough to turn down. However, any trade, no matter how great, is pretty much irrelevant if the extra picks aren't put to good use. Based on last year I would trust the Lions to put extra picks to good use, so it really comes down to if the right deal is offered.
"I think somebody would really have to have a desire to have a specific player to come up into the top five," said Mayhew. "(It's) just not a place where a lot of teams want to be. The Jets came up last year to get (Mark) Sanchez, but it’s very rare that that happens."
"You’re going to get a quality player, but you’re going to pay a premium price for that player," said Mayhew. "So the opportunity to move back is very attractive to us, but we’re also in a good situation because there will be a top player. There will be a guy we really like who has the chance to be very successful in this league.
"We’re comfortable staying there and drafting (and) we’re comfortable moving back."
Regardless of what St. Louis does, if the Lions opt to stay put and not make a trade, chances are Detroit will select either Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy depending on which one or if both are available. The obvious wild card for the draft is the possibility of a trade, and really I see that coming down to whether or not a quarterback's stock rises big time from now until April. Then again, already Adam Schefter has said that the Rams will draft Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, who definitely seems to have a positive buzz right now. John Clayton agrees based on a variety of factors, including money and recent draft history.
If Bradford ends up being the top pick, the Lions will suddenly have quite a few options with the No. 2 selection, including making a splash with a trade. As has already been established, it would have to be the right deal, but with a quarterback already off the board, who knows if a team will want to make sure they don't miss out on someone like Jimmy Clausen. It's also possible that a team could jump at the chance to draft Suh and make the Lions an offer they can't refuse. I still think it's a bit too early to start speculating beyond a certain point (especially since the Rams have unsurprisingly shot down Schefter's report on Bradford), but one thing is for sure: the Lions will have plenty of options with the second overall pick regardless of what the Rams decide to do.
Although the talk down in Indy is obviously focused on the draft, Jim Schwartz did answer some free agency-related questions earlier this week, including one about LaDainian Tomlinson. Like his answer about how the Lions are "open to just about everything" involving the second overall pick, it seems the team's attitude for free agency is similar.
"We'll look at every way we can to improve the team," Schwartz said. "I don't think we make any decisions and just blanket say, 'No, we're not interested.' Every player has something they can bring and if they can help us win, we'll look at just about everything. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him."
Some have naturally tried to spin Schwartz's answer into the idea that the Lions are going to take a look at Tomlinson, but that is a huge stretch. Schwartz's answer was really a non-answer and nothing more than coach speak. If I suddenly decide that I want to play for the Lions next season, technically Schwartz hasn't said no to the idea of signing me. I doubt the Lions have said no to the idea of signing Tomlinson either, but that doesn't mean they have a ton of interest in doing so. As has been discussed by many on here already, Tomlinson is on the down swing of his career, and what's more, his top goal is to win a championship. The Lions aren't exactly on the doorstep of a Super Bowl, so even if Schwartz and company desperately wanted to sign LT, it would probably take an awful lot of money to make that happen.