2014 NFL mock draft: The path to Sammy Watkins

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

A look at how Sammy Watkins could fall to the Detroit Lions in the 2014 NFL Draft.

It's no secret that the Detroit Lions need help at wide receiver, and there's a good chance that they could end up using the 10th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft to fill their need at that position. Right now, with the draft still months away, it looks like Clemson's Sammy Watkins, Texas A&M's Mike Evans and USC's Marqise Lee could all be in the mix for the Lions' first-round pick.

Let's focus on Watkins for right now. Many believe that Watkins will be the first wide receiver off the board, especially after he recorded 16 catches for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Orange Bowl against Ohio State. In this scenario, it would be problematic for the Lions if just one of the nine teams in front of them opted to go with a wide receiver in the first round. Unless Watkins falls to No. 10, the Lions would have to consider trading up to have a shot at the Clemson wideout.

But what if a wide receiver isn't taken in the first nine picks? That's actually how things played out in Chris Burke's latest 2014 NFL mock draft. He has Watkins falling to the Lions at No. 10 thanks a combination of picks that is as follows:

1. Quarterback
2. Defensive end
3. Quarterback
4. Quarterback
5. Offensive tackle
6. Outside linebacker
7. Outside linebacker
8. Quarterback
9. Tight end

Regardless of what you think about Matthew Stafford, the Lions aren't going to draft a quarterback in the first round, and they don't have a need at offensive tackle, either. Outside linebacker could be an option for the Lions, and they might need help at tight end if Brandon Pettigrew isn't re-signed. But wide receiver is the biggest need among those positions, and that top nine would be perfect for the Lions.

Even if by draft time in May it turns out that Watkins isn't the top wideout on the board, a scenario that would give the Lions their choice of him, Evans and Lee would be exceptional. In a situation like that, the Lions could take the top wide receiver or even give some thought to trading down and still landing one of the top wideouts. Yes please.

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