Historically, pick 5 has outperformed picks 10 and 45 together, so let's trade up for Watkins

I am all for the idea of bundling our first and second to move up for Sammy Watkins, and I'd like to offer a justification as to why.

First off, why pick # 5, not # 3 or # 7?

Four reasons:

First, I know there are some mocks putting Sammy Watkins at # 2, but I really think there are four players who are extremely likely to be picked ahead of Watkins:

- One elite all-decade pass-rushing talent (Clowney).

- Two blue chip offensive tackles (Matthews & Robinson). Blindside protectors are obviously highly coveted in this league.

- One quarterback. I don't know which one, but it's the most valuable position in the game. It's hard not to see at least one going ahead of Watkins, if not two or three.

There could be three more players plausibly picked ahead of Watkins (Mack, two more QB's), but I think pick 5 is a good over/under, at this point, for where we'd have to trade up to to get Watkins. Like any draft prediction, this could be wrong.

Second, Watkins is not quite on the level of the last wideout to earn the 2nd selection, our own Megatron. I'd put him somewhere between A J Green and Julio Jones talent-wise, but that's just, like, my opinion, man.

Third, Oakland is the team holding the # 5 pick. And they just traded down for a 1st + 2nd last year, so they're a team that seems willing to deal for more picks on draft day.

Fourth, based on the traditional trade value chart, it would cost about our 1st + 2nd to move up to # 5. Yeah, I'd love to offer our 1st + 4th, but I'm trying to keep this realistic. And if Cleveland at # 4 would take our 1st & 2nd, even better.

Before looking at history, I'd like to address this point:

"But it's a really deep draft".

I agree with this, to some extent. The top of this draft is probably better than 2013. I believe Matthews and Robinson would both go ahead of Fisher and Joeckel, Clowney would go ahead of Ansah, Watkins would go ahead of Tavon Austin, and Mack would go ahead of Jordan and Mingo.

You could probably argue that most of the first round of this year is overall stronger than last year's too, but that's not going to matter much if the first-round talent is all gone by # 45.

Even if the top 30-40 prospects in 2014 average out a little higher than the best 30-40 in 2013, that doesn't mean the next 40 prospects do as well.

In other words, Marqise Lee and Odell Beckam Jr being better than DeAndre Hopins and Justin Hunter doesn't really help us if Lee and Beckam aren't worth # 10 and won't be there at # 45.

If we're looking at a big drop in the top 5-7 picks, and the next tier of prospects are likely gone by # 45, then it is possible, maybe even likely, that even in a "deep" draft, the # 5 overall pick is still worth more than the # 10 pick and # 45 pick put together.

In fact, with the invaluable benefit of hindsight, pick # 5 has been more valuable than picks # 10 and # 45 combined, at least so far this millennium.

For this experiment, I looked at the players who were drafted # 5 overall, compared to the # 10 and # 45 picks that same year for every draft since 2000.

Slightly more often than not, it looks like a team would be better off with the guy who went at 5 than the two guys picked at 10 and 45. Here's my list, and I know there will be some disagreement...

(warning to those with post-Millen stress disorder: references to Jordon Dizon and Mike Williams lie ahead...)


Ziggy Ansah VS Chance Warmack + Kevin Minter

Ziggy led all rookies in sacks. We got Warford in the third round which makes Warmack at # 10 even less of a value in hindsight, and Kevin Minter started zero games in 2013, recording 4 tackles total in the games he played.

Verdict: pick 5


Justin Blackmon VS Stephon Gilmore + Alshon Jeffery

Jeffery (113-1788-10) has outperformed Blackmon (93-1280-6) so far through two seasons. Throw in Gilmore too who has 25 starts in 2 years, and the two picks, # 10 & # 45, are clearly better than one at # 5.

Verdict: picks 10 + 45


Patrick Peterson VS Blaine Gabbert + Rahim Moore

easy call.

Verdict: pick 5


Eric Berry VS Tyson Alualu + Zane Beadles

Berry is one of the best safeties in the league while Beadles is okay and Alualu never lived up to his top-10 status.

Verdict: pick 5


Mark Sanchez VS Michael Crabtree + Clint Sintim

Crabtree is pretty good, which is more than you can say of either of the other two.

Verdict: picks 10 + 45


Glenn Dorsey VS Jerod Mayo + Jordon Dizon

Mayo certainly gets the nod over Dorsey, Dizon being completely a non-factor in the equation. Fortunately our current GM is so much better with 2nd-round picks (how do you do the sarcasm font again?).

Verdict: picks 10 + 45


Levi Brown VS Amobe Okoye + Dwayne Jarrett

None of these three really were outstanding in their short careers. I suppose I'd take Brown over Okoye, but if you throw in Jarrett for depth, I dunno. Take your pick.

Verdict: tie


AJ Hawk VS Matt Leinart + LenDale White

Hawk's been a decent linebacker for eight seasons and counting. Leinart was a bust, and White has only one 1000+ yd season in his 4 years in the league.

Verdict: pick 5


Cadillac Williams VS Mike Williams (WR) + Lofa Tatupu

Once again, the Millen pick gets bailed out because the other guy was pretty good. Tatupu over Williams, no question.

Verdict: picks 10 + 45


Sean Taylor VS Dunta Robinson + Jake Grove

I honestly can't make a call here. With Taylor's tragic death, there's no knowing how good his whole career would have fared compared against Robinson's solid 10-year+ career, although the early returns were promising.

verdict: tie


Terence Newman VS Terrell Suggs + Bethel Johnson

Newman's a good player, but Suggs has been better. Johnson had a few decent years as a return specialist

verdict: picks 10 + 45


Quentin Jammer VS Levi Jones + Tank Williams

Jammer has just a few more career games played and started than the other two combined and has been a decent CB.

verdict: pick 5


LaDanian Tomlinson VS Jamal Reynolds + Fred Smoot


verdict: pick 5


Jamal Lewis VS Travis Taylor + Kenoy Kennedy

Definitely Lewis, with his very productive 10-year career

verdict: pick 5


5 overall was better: 7 times

10 + 45 were better: 5 times

ties / too close to call: 2

So, on draft day, if Oakland is on the clock, and all of a sudden the Lions' logo appears, I'll be excited about it.

Now, if St. Louis at # 2 wants our 1st + 2nd + 3rd, I think that's too much.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.

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