When the Lions traded back into the first round for Jahvid Best on Thursday, most of us were wondering why a move was necessary. After all, there were only four teams picking until the Lions were set to go back on the clock, and none of them had a need at running back. This led to the conclusion that there's always the possibility of another team trading up and stealing your pick, which probably was one of the biggest factors in this decision.
After hearing Jim Schwartz talk about Best, I think it's pretty obvious that the trade happened because the Lions had the former Cal running back rated so highly. Other factors undoubtedly played into the move, but my thinking is that the Lions decided that if Best was available at a certain point, they were going to trade up and not wait until Friday night to draft him. If you don't believe me, just look at this quote.
Best was the only other player in the draft Detroit’s brass regarded as an elite runner, and I knew Schwartz wanted him badly. In January, he’d confided to me that he coveted the dynamic breakaway threat to a degree that some might find unhealthy.
"Some people watch adult videos on their computer," Schwartz had told me. "I go to YouTube and watch Jahvid Best highlight clips. That’s what gets me aroused."
He was exaggerating for effect – I think.
Not there there's anything wrong with that...
Jokes aside, if you're still wondering about the trade and why it was necessary, sometimes teams just rate players highly enough that a trade like this happens to ensure they don't miss out on him. Sure, it's highly possible Best would have just fallen to the Lions at No. 34, but considering it sounds like Best was the best player available on Detroit's board that early on, I think they just didn't want to wait and take a chance. Besides, at the end of the day all the Lions lost to make sure they got Best were 28 spots in the fourth round and a seventh-round pick. Yes, you can find some great players in the seventh round and perhaps the Lions missed out on someone by moving down in the fourth, but I think if you ask Jim Schwartz, he will tell you it was worth it now that Best is on his team.