NFL.com recently posted an article that the Miami Dolphins are seriously interested in drafting an offensive tackle in the first round. With the Chiefs, Eagles and Lions looking like front runners for the top three offensive tackles in the draft, the Dolphins will likely need to jump ahead of the Lions or Eagles to ensure they can get either Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher or Lane Johnson.
Feb 1, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Christian Barrett poses in front of a mock NFL draft set during Play 60 Kids Day at the NFL Experience at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
This scenario only makes sense if both Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher are already off the board by the time that the Eagles pick fourth overall, which seems unlikely as the Chiefs are the only team drafting one through three that has a serious need at tackle. That leaves the Dolphins with two trade partners: the Eagles and Lions. Both teams aren’t necessarily set on who they want to draft so both would be intriguing trade partners. My guess is that if the Dolphins had a choice of who they’d rather trade with it’d be the Lions, because of Lane Johnson’s tremendous upside.
So the question is, is trading down still a viable option for the Lions with all the shuffling along the offensive line?
Left tackle Jeff Backus retired, the Lions lost right tackle Gosder Cherilus to free agency and guard Stephen Peterman was released. So to answer the question above, no, trading down would not be a viable option unless you think there’s a chance that offensive guard Chance Warmack is still around, who visited with the Lions on Monday. Would that be worth the risk for an extra second round pick?
The 2013 draft is filled with talent along the offensive and defensive line and the Lions could certainly use help both places. But when you have a chance to draft a player that’s as close to a can’t miss prospect as Eric Fisher then I don’t think you should trade it away.
One more trade partner the Lions could have is the New York Jets who currently have the ninth overall selection and may add the 13th pick from the Buccaneers in exchange for Darrelle Revis. Would the Lions be willing to trade back four spots and acquire an additional second round pick in exchange for missing a franchise left tackle in Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher? I’m not sure, but there is a ton of talent along both the offensive and defensive lines in the draft and if the Jets lose Revis they would likely want to replace him with someone as talented as Milliner. We also know that Rex Ryan’s defense is predicated on pressure and I the top two defensive ends in Dion Jordan and Ziggy Ansah may not be around if the Jets stay put, making the Jets one of the most likely teams to trade up.
Let’s see how things shake out on draft day.