One of the things I love about the NFL Draft is the constant posting of rumors to get everyone thinking. That has been going on for quite some time involving Detroit as they have openly been shopping the #2 pick, and that has led to everyone wondering what will happen with it. We'll soon find out since the draft is on Saturday, but you can bet that until then it'll be non-stop speculation.
The swirling of rumors regarding Detroit's #2 overall pick began yesterday with reports of the Denver Broncos having a great amount of interest in striking up a deal with the Lions.
The first time, the Broncos proposed adding middle linebacker Al Wilson and their No. 21 overall pick as an extension to finalize a deal that sent Tatum Bell and George Foster to the Lions in exchange for Dré Bly. The second time, the Broncos offered picks in the first, second and third rounds, plus their first-round pick in 2008, for the Lions' No. 2 selection, a trade contingent on the Oakland Raiders not taking Johnson with their No. 1 choice.
Pro Football Talk also discussed that same report yesterday.
If this offer is on the table, should the Lions pull the trigger? Initial instincts say to do it without a single doubt. The Lions would not only get an extra second and third round pick in this draft, but would get the Broncos' first-rounder in next year's draft. That is a great amount of value.
The other side of this leaves me thinking deeper into the situation. Obviously this is a great deal for the Lions as it gives Detroit so many extra picks, especially an additional one in the first round in 2008. However, one has to wonder who Detroit would draft with the #21 pick that would be given to them by Denver. This is just too far down in the first round to have the chance to draft one of the many targets, so something else may come in here. If this deal did in fact go through, then Detroit could trade up to say the #10 pick with Houston as an example. The Lions ideally would like to stay in the top 10 so the chance is there to draft Patrick Willis, and moving back up would accomplish that.
Some may say that Detroit should just try to move down with Atlanta in order to take Willis and receive extra picks. First of all, Atlanta has to be willing to give up both of their second-rounders, which is still not a given. Plus, we don't even know if their interest in moving up for Calvin Johnson is that high. Either way, a trade with Atlanta probably would give Detroit two extra second round picks. Comparing it to the Denver deal, which looks better? A deal with Atlanta would likely give you three total second round picks, and one with Denver would give you one for the time being. Trade that and something else away to move up to get Willis and some of those extra picks are lost. Don't forget though that the first-rounder for 2008 is still there. That is big when looking ahead.
All I can say is that nobody really knows what Detroit will do with the #2 pick. Heck, Detroit probably doesn't even know at this point. The Lions have to wait to make sure Oakland does in fact draft JaMarcus Russell, which has to happen for any of the above discussion to even become relevant. If the Raiders opt to go in the direction of Calvin Johnson, all of this becomes a moot point. Pretending that Russell does go to Oakland, Detroit has to hear all of the offers coming in and then make a decision on what best will help the team get better. I know we've all hated so many of Matt Millen's decisions in the past, and I probably will regret saying this, but Millen really would have to do something stupid to screw this thing up. There are so many different scenarios that help Detroit get better from a strategic standpoint that Millen really would have to be a fool to piss everyone off. Of course, Millen is just the man for the job of doing it, but hopefully he isn't a complete idiot this time around.