The Detroit Lions have been linked to Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins quite a bit over the last month or so. First, there was a report about how the Lions were "showing a ton of interest" in Watkins. Then, Watkins talked about what it would be like to play in the Lions offense, and he later dined with general manager Martin Mayhew and head coach Jim Caldwell before Clemson's pro day. Following this, Mayhew and Caldwell talked quite openly about how impressive Watkins is as a football player.
The Lions continued to show interest in Watkins on Tuesday by hosting him for a pre-draft visit, according to Dave Birkett. Birkett reports that Watkins got to meet both Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate during his visit, giving the Lions a chance to once again dream about the possibility of those three players lining up on the field together.
So, why exactly are the Lions showing so much interest in a player who probably won't even be available for them unless they trade up? Well, as suggested by Birkett, the Lions are likely trying to find out if trading up for Watkins would truly be worth it.
The #Lions have put a lot of time into Watkins as everyone knows this spring. Trying to figure if it's right for them to move up and get him— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) April 8, 2014
Last week, the Lions hosted Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant for a pre-draft visit. He could be an option on the second day of the draft, but if the Lions want Watkins, they will likely have to jump up into the top five. It obviously remains to be seen if a trade offer will even come along or if they will actually make a move up for Watkins, but it's clear at this point that they are definitely considering that possibility.
UPDATE: This is pretty interesting:
One other note on the Sammy Watkins visit: Bill Ford Jr. was at the #Lions practice facility today.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) April 8, 2014
I don't know if Ford met Watkins, but wouldn't put it past him considering the active, behind the scenes role he's taken.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) April 8, 2014