Detroit Lions should trade up, but not for Sammy Watkins


Oct 19, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Bulls linebacker Khalil Mack (46) on the sideline during the first half against the Massachusetts Minutemen at University of Buffalo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

It’s well known how the Detroit Lions and Sammy Watkins from Clemson have a budding “bromance” by all the quotes about how much they respect each other. I’m not opposed at all to the Lions trading up to get a special talent; I just think they’re targeting the wrong guy. Trading up to take another weapon on offense seems to me to be a waste of the Lions best resource, draft picks. On the other hand, if they traded up for a weapon on defense – where they have so few of them – well then, that’s another story.

Anybody who has read my columns before knows that I’ve been driving the “Draft Khalil Mack” bandwagon all over town, with sirens blaring. To move up and snag Mack, the Lions will probably have to give up their second round pick, and maybe have to throw in a fourth rounder to seal the deal depending on how far up they have to go. That’s a mighty steep price to pay, but not something that would be a huge setback for the Lions. They have basically squandered their second-round picks (too many to mention here) since Martin Mayhew started calling the shots. The jury is still out on Darius Slay, but it looks like he may break Mayhew’s streak of bad second picks. The point is that the Lions are used to getting very little out of their second-round pick, so why not trade it away to get that difference maker?

I think one of the ways Stafford is babied is by having to spend so much money on surrounding him with the best talent available. By doing that, the Lions don’t seem to give the defense it’s fair share of attention. Great quarterbacks don’t have to have an all-star cast around them. Look at Tom Brady or Peyton Manning-they’re constantly making no-name receivers look like Pro Bowlers. Stafford has enough help after the team signed Golden Tate. The Lions can wait until the third round to get another receiver in this very deep draft.

One of the things that I’m really looking forward to in this new edition of the Detroit Lions, is what Teryl Austin’s blitzing defense will look like. It will be nice to see a defense attack the offense, instead of what we’ve seen around here lately: a defense that waits and reacts to the offense. Some of you might be thinking that the Lions should sit tight at the ten spot and take Anthony Barr of UCLA; no can do. He’s only been playing the position for two years, a converted running back, and it will take him a couple of years to reach his potential. We already spent last years number one pick on a guy like that: Ziggy Ansah. The Lions want to win now.

Mack needs a little polish in his coverage skills, but his pass rushing skills are off the charts. He’s a relentless machine, chasing down ball carriers and plays with a bit of an attitude. The Lions desperately need someone on their defense who can roam around causing havoc for the offense, someone who would be the heart and soul of that defense. Someone like Khalil Mack.