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2007 NFL Draft Scenario #3: Trading Down with Atlanta

Pride of Detroit looks at the Detroit Lions' many options when it comes to making a pick or trading down in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

We've heard the rumors more than enough times already, but when draft day arrives, will the Lions trade out of the #2 spot?  I sure hope so.  To be even more specific, I hope it's with Atlanta.

My dream draft day scenario for the Lions is to make a deal with Atlanta.  The deal would work out perfectly for Detroit as the Falcons have plenty of ammunition to use to trade up.  In the first round, Detroit would move down to #8 and Atlanta would move up to #2.  The Lions then would be in perfect position to draft middle linebacker Patrick Willis.  Willis has blazing quick speed for a MLB and fills a big defensive need that the Lions currently have at that position.

The biggest part of a potential deal with Atlanta is everything else the Falcons could use to move up to #2.  After dealing Matt Schaub to Houston, Atlanta picked up the Texans' second round pick, which gave Atlanta two total.  In theory, Atlanta would probably have to hand over both of them to Detroit and even then something else to make the trade good enough for Millen to accept it.  I would imagine an extra fourth round pick could be apart of the deal to go to the Lions as well.  

I bet many of you are thinking that Atlanta wouldn't give up that much for just one player.  Well, if what SI.com writer Don Banks says is true, then think again.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank has pretty much ordered Atlanta general manager Rich McKay to do everything he can to put the team into position to land Johnson at No. 2.

Blank wants Johnson for a couple of reasons. First, Johnson played at Georgia Tech and would help sell tickets to disillusioned Falcons fans who have endured two non-playoff seasons after Atlanta went to the NFC title game in 2004. Second, the Falcons still have their long-standing need of a reliable big-play receiver for quarterback Michael Vick to play pitch and catch with.

With seven picks in the first four rounds (including two second-rounders and three in the fourth), Atlanta definitely has the ammo to make the deal with Detroit. The Falcons could send the Lions their picks at 8, 39 and 44 for the No. 2 spot, and still have a third-rounder and three fourth-rounders to fill other needs.


Shedding some light on the rumors that Atlanta and Detroit are discussing a trade, PFT weighs in on the situation.
A source with knowledge of the situation tells us that the Lions and Falcons currently are discussing the possibility of a trade that would give Atlanta the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, and that would move Detroit down to No. 8.

If a deal gets done, however, be prepared for the Lions to get a better package than the trade chart would suggest.  Given reports that Falcons owner Arthur Blank has ordered G.M. Rich McKay to "git 'r done", and in light of quarterback Mike Vick's currently unfolding legal entanglement, the Falcons are desperate (we believe) to get a player who has the appeal of Mike Vick, without the warts (or other bodily defects).  

The Lions can name their price on this one, and they'd be wise to aim high.

It definitely appears that there are serious discussions ready to get started. I imagine we'll hear something more in the next 24 hours regarding this possible deal, so stay tuned.

As for my reasoning behind why this deal would be so great, I'll elaborate. The Lions could take care of their need at MLB in the first round by drafting Patrick Willis at the #8 spot. Then, with three second round picks, the Lions could accomplish a lot in that round. You know those needs at DE, CB, OL, and QB? Well, you could easily knock three of them off that list in the second round, and do it by selecting great players as well.

Look for things to hopefully develop with Atlanta in the next day or so. Keep it here for updates.