As the NFL Draft approaches, you can bet that trade rumors involving the Lions' #2 overall pick will be swirling at a rapid pace. That was the case yesterday as Pro Football Talk reported that serious talks were underway between Detroit and Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers want to move up to the #2 overall pick to ensure they will get Calvin Johnson. That is, if he isn't selected by the Raiders at #1. Either way, PFT said that a deal looked close to being completed, and later went on to say that the Lions want to get a deal done before the draft begins. Tampa Bay takes a risk of moving up even though it isn't 100% that Johnson will be there at #2. Maybe they have plans for drafting JaMarcus Russell as well.
Getting back to the trade rumors, the hot topic was that Tampa Bay and Detroit would swap picks and the Lions would receive defense end Simeon Rice as apart of the offer. As of right now, the deal doesn't appear imminent, but given we are over a week away from the actual draft, there's no need for either team to pull the trigger too quickly.
My thoughts on this rumored deal are mixed. Although Simeon Rice is a very good player, and especially probably would be with Rod Marinelli again, I wonder why no additional draft picks were mentioned. In the SB Nation Mock Draft, I traded down to #4 with Tampa Bay and received the final pick of the first round. Although it seemed unfair on paper, I moved out of the #2 spot, picked up an extra pick that will be very useful, and got a great player on top of that in Gaines Adams. If the real life rumors were true, Detroit could use Rice to fill the need at defensive end and in turn could go the route of Joe Thomas, which has seemed like the plan for the last few months anyways.
I guess if I were Matt Millen and had this trade offer presented to me, I'd ask for one of Tampa Bay's second round picks. It would be unlikely that the Buccaneers would give up their earlier pick in the second round since Rice is apart of the trade, but it never hurts to ask.
Stay tuned for all of the latest rumors as you can be sure that there will be a countless number of them. Already there are reports (also stemming from PFT) that the Cardinals, Redskins, and Falcons have interest in a trade. I'd scratch the Redskins off that list considering they have so few draft picks, especially in the rounds that Detroit would want. As for Arizona, they may want to move up to draft Joe Thomas, and Atlanta may be eyeing that possibility to get Calvin Johnson. If you ask me personally, I would like a trade with Atlanta to happen. You move down to the #8 spot, draft Patrick Willis, which fills the need at MLB. Via the trade, the Lions would probably pick up both of Atlanta's second-rounds, giving the Lions a total of three. Then Detroit could address the need at CB, DE, QB, or any other position as they would be in a great spot to do so.