The very start of the 2014 NFL Draft seemed to be setting up quite nicely for a potential trade involving the Detroit Lions. Both Sammy Watkins and Khalil Mack were there at the fourth overall pick, and the Cleveland Browns made it known that they wanted to move down.
Amazingly, it seemed like all of the trade rumors we heard this offseason about the Lions moving up might actually come true. Then the Buffalo Bills jumped from No. 9 to No. 4 and quickly put that idea to rest. The Bills drafted Watkins, and the Oakland Raiders stayed put at five and took Mack. The Lions, meanwhile, ultimately stayed at No. 10 and drafted tight end Eric Ebron.
After taking Ebron, Lions general manager Martin Mayhew admitted that the team gave some thought to trading up and trading down. There just weren't any worthwhile deals out there, though. Via the Lions:
"When you say that, we certainly talked about moving up with other teams. We talked about moving back with other teams. We didn’t find a deal that made sense for us going either direction, so we stayed there at 10. We did have conversations about moving up, and we didn’t."
Early Friday morning, Ian Rapoport reported that a Lions trade very well could have happened if Watkins had made it to the fifth overall pick. If Mack went off the board at No. 4, for example, it seems the Lions felt like Oakland would be willing to move down for a reasonable price, allowing Detroit to then get Watkins. The Bills threw a wrench in this plan by offering up a 2015 first-rounder and a 2015 fourth-rounder to move up five spots for Watkins.
The dream of Watkins joining the Lions was quite appealing, but at the cost of a future first-round pick? Not so much. That would have been a classic case of overpaying, so I'm fine with the Lions passing on a potential trade like that.
As for potentially moving down, it's unclear what kind of discussions the Lions had, but they clearly liked Ebron a lot. They weren't desperate to move down by any means, and that's why they opted to simply stay put and take Ebron.