There hasn't been much discussion about taking an OL this draft, as we're set at the position in the immediate term, but I found this quote on a good article over at DLD:
Two different sources have told me that Mayhew views three players in this draft as "elite" talents. They are Jadeveon Clowney, Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson.
Notice I did not include Sammy Watkins in that grouping. Does that mean Mayhew and the Lions aren’t interested in Watkins? No, but it means he’s atop the next tier, and that is probably not worthy of moving up into the top 4.
Sources have advised me, and I strongly believe it as well, that Mayhew absolutely will not part with the 45th pick, not without getting another second in return.
Take, of course, any anonymous source during the weeks before the draft with a grain of salt. But, there is, I think, still a chance that Jake Matthews goes as the first tackle, if the team taking him wants a safer, more experienced player with a higher floor. A more pro-ready left tackle out of the gate. So, suppose Robinson falls to 4 or 5 (possibly 6?).
Imagine this happens: the clock is ticking, and all of a sudden the Lions logo appears. Trade up! Watkins? Mack? Evans?
With the ...th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select...Greg Robinson, Offensive Tackle, Auburn
BPAhew strikes again!
So after recovering from the initial shock, maybe the trade up was something like:
10 + 76 + 111 + our 2015 1st
4/5/6 + their 2015 2nd
We get to keep our valuable # 45, as well as both of our compensatories. Going down from a 1st to a 2nd next year doesn't hurt as much as giving up a pick outright. If the coaches think we can win now, then that 1st shouldn't be a high 1st anyway ("shouldn't", I know). And if we're trading with Oakland or Cleveland, it'll probably be a high 2nd we're getting back.
Of course the cost to move up could be totally different depending how things shake out.
Here's why a move up for a beast like Greg Robinson makes sense for the Lions:
- First of all, there's no clear-cut best option at 10, as has been well documented by those of us hoping for a trade up for one of the elite talents, most popularly Watkins (or Mack or Clowney).
- If teams are going to play two deep deep safeties for fear of Megatron, an OL with monsters like Robinson and Warford (and the others are no slouch) would really bully 7-man fronts.
- Both Raiola and Sims are in the last year of their contract. It might be better to replace one of them now with a long-term upgrade and replace the other in 2015, rather than have two new starters on the OL going into that season. Corey Hilliard is also a UFA in 2015. The more OL experience we have left when the veterans leave, the better, and that means adding talent before there's a hole.
- We could save some salary space by cutting Sims now. Not a lot, but every bit helps.
- We could, maybe, gain a 5th-7th for Sims in a trade. A decent OG with a year left on his contract offers more immediate value than a late-round rookie with nothing but potential, for a guard-needy team in the late rounds.
- You can never have too many good linemen. Waddle looks good, but he's only started 8 games, battling for the starting spot at one point and suffering a minor injury at another. I like him as the starter and the needle seems to be pointing up, but there's no guarantee, and his UDFA contract certainly doesn't demand that he's a starter at RT if somebody better comes onto the roster. Reiff looks good too, good but not elite. And he can play any of the other guard or tackle positions proficiently if we acquire a left tackle who is even better at that position (whether now or in the future, if Robinson starts out at guard). In short: For a talent like Robinson, there will be a position where he can make an impact and an upgrade.
- Most importantly of all, Robinson is a BEAST. Players get frustrated having to face him all game because all he does is push them backwards. A bulldozer is not as sexy as a flamethrower or a [insert metaphor for fast wide receiver], but late in games and late in the season, having a big guy who can beat up opponents' big guys could be the difference-maker over the long haul.
What do you think?