Being Sunday, it's my day to eat Hungry Howie's and mull over the last week or so worth of information that has been disseminated around the league and within the organization. The recent moves by our front office has left me with the following impressions:
The Lions will do absolutely everything in their power to trade down in the first round. If I had to choose a scenario (Suh, Berry, McCoy, trade, etc) I would definitely put the most likely one as trade down. We've positioned ourselves to really gain by doing so; getting Corey Williams and Chester Pitts' upcoming visit signal that the Lions are bolstering the lines to facilitate a trade. I feel that we may even take a sub par trade in lieu of drafting at #2.
Money-wise, if we were to pick up Pitts, our offensive line and defensive lines' salaries are going to definitely be on the high end of the league. Pitts being picked up will consummate what Schwartz has said about Backus, and solidify our starters on the o-line for 2010 (Backus, Pitts, Raiola, Petertears, Cherilus). They won't take Okung.
I personally see the Corey Williams trade as a huge deal, at least draft-wise. Mayhew and Schwartz picked up a possible heavy hitter to compliment SLH, and with KVB on the end, it will free up our DT's (in some fashion or another). We actually have pretty solid depth at DE now, with Hunter (who I think could start), McBride, and Bryant, so I think that adding a massive salary onto them that's tied to some (albeit only slightly) questionable knees is definitely going to play into the equation. Add to the fact that if Suh falls to us, there are more than a few teams who would likely trade up to get him, knowing that Tampa would shit themselves if he fell to them.
So I think the FO should and does understand we are in a WIN/WIN. Either Suh or Bradford are going to fall to us. Almost any team in the NFL could use either one of those guys, and we need more than Suh to start winning. I would gladly take two first rounders, or even a trade down and several picks this year over Suh, and I really honestly think that Mayhew is thinking the same thing. He's proven himself as a shrewd negotiator thus far, and I believe he'll continue to push the envelope in compensation.
So the question remains... who DO we pick? Well obviously that all depends on where we trade down to, but (unfortunately to me) I don't think we're going to see either of the big two picks everyone wants to see here come to Detroit. There are several solid safeties (say that five times fast) in this draft, but the BPA policy is still intact, and if we trade with Seattle or something, maybe we get Berry if he falls to us, but I'm not sure at all.
So I'll ask the Pride: assume we trade down. Who do we trade with and who do we take? I'm tired of Suh v. Berry, and as I said, I really am seeing both as less and less of a possibility. Let's imagine a world where, like with pick #20 in 2009, we get a player no one saw coming... My pick:
STL trades for Jason Campbell, QB (WAS)
1 STL selects Ndamukong Suh, DT (NEB)
DET trades pick #2 to SEA for picks #6 and #14, plus a swap of 2nd round picks (#34 and #40)
2 SEA selects Sam Bradford, QB (OK)
3 TB selects Gerald McCoy, DT (OK St.)
4 WAS selects Jimmy Clausen, QB (ND)
5 KC selects Russell Okung, OT (OK St.)
6 DET selects Eric Berry, S (TEN)
14 DET selects CJ Spiller, RB (Clemson)
40 DET selects Devin McCourty, CB (Rutgers) or John Jerry, G (Ole Miss)