The Lions went on the clock in the 2007 SB Nation Mock Draft yesterday and it left me to explore many options. The two main roads I could go down were picking a player at #2 or trading down. Trading down was the best of the two options as it brings more possibilities, which is why I ended up doing that, but I'll get to that in a bit.
At the #2 pick I had it narrowed down to two players. One was wide receiver Calvin Johnson and the other was offensive lineman Joe Thomas. Johnson is probably the most talented player in the entire draft, but he just does not fit Detroit's current situation. Adding Johnson would be great, but the Lions already have a player of that caliber in Roy Williams. Adding another would actually complicate things just as much as it would help them.
The second choice if I opted to draft a player is the one that has been mentioned most in the majority of mock drafts. Obviously I'm talking about Wisconsin offensive lineman Joe Thomas. Thomas impressed everyone at the combine and really showed that he would be a great choice. However, taking an offensive lineman at the #2 position is just too high for me. Thomas probably is going to be a solid player, but with the #2 pick I didn't feel right drafting him.
With all of that being said, I ended up trading down with Tampa Bay to move out of the #2 spot like I originally had hoped. I sent the #2 pick of the first round to Buc 'Em in return for the #4 pick of the first round and #32 pick of the second round. Before you go and say that this was an unfair deal, let me explain the reasoning behind this trade.
Although the deal heavily favors Tampa Bay on paper or in relation to the draft chart, in reality this makes much more sense for Detroit. By trading down to #4 it opens up more possibilities as far as who the Lions will draft. Rather than being stuck to pick either Calvin Johnson, who doesn't at all fill a need, or Joe Thomas, who is only an offensive lineman, I can now explore more possibilities. On top of all that, if this were really the draft, I now don't have to pay #2 money to a player that I really didn't feel comfortable taking in that position.
By moving down to #4, I have put the Lions in position to still draft a great player, pay less money salary-wise, have the option of choosing from a bigger variety of players, and I get another pick in the second round. Also, that extra second-rounder could be used to orchestrate another trade if that was my desire.
Leave all the criticisms you want as that's one of the luxuries of this blog for you guys out there, but when it came down to it, this was the most logical decision. Drafting another WR this high in the draft would further add to the Lions' fascination of that position. At the same time, although C.J. is a great talent, he wouldn't fill any of the pressing needs that have to be addressed. Drafting Joe Thomas at #2 would've been the more likely option, but I didn't feel too happy about taking an offensive lineman at that spot. Plus, Detroit did add a few players in the offseason to the OL, which made it easier to trade down. Obviously, Thomas will still be considered, but don't be shocked if I go the route of a player like Gaines Adams or even Patrick Willis.
We'll just have to see what transpires, but until then, please do leave your responses to this deal in the comments section.