The Lions our notorious for moving up in the draft under current general manager Martin Mayew, making moves to select two running backs and a fourth round linebacker. With two of their top needs addressed through free agency, many in Detroit’s fanbase are screaming for him to move down atop the draft, if a suitor presents itself of course.
Early in March, we suggested a possible trade scenario with the Cleveland Browns potentially moving up to take quarterback Geno Smith, among other teams. I cited the last three trades in the top-10 of the NFL draft where for skilled position players, with cornerback Morris Claiborne, wide receiver Julio Jones, and quarterback Robert Griffin III.
But in this depleted draft — featuring no superior talent in those positional pools, including the rookie cap set in place by the new CBA that aids draft day trades — it could be a very different story. As ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay notes, “This (draft) is a mess” at the top of the board.
In McShay’s previous mock draft, he left Geno Smith entirely out of the first round on a talent based evaluation. But as we all know, quarterbacks get drafted out of place, frequently (see Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker). In his latest mock draft, he moved Smith back into the first round, placing him at 6th overall. He also noted that the Browns 6th pick could be a hot spot for a potential trade.
In this scenario, though, he believe’s there will be movement to get one of the three “elite” tackles at the top of the class. Analyst vary on which tackle will go No. 1 overall, between Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher and Texas A&M’s Luke Joekel.
As the Jets and Buccaneers draw closer to a deal for Darrelle Revis, which would likely give the Jets two first round picks, it would allow them to pursue protection for quarterback Mark Sanchez.
“Does Mark Sanchez look like the guy? No, he hasn’t the last couple of years.” Todd McShay explained on ESPN First Take this morning. “But if you go back and really look at it, when did things start falling apart for Mark Sanchez? When they took away his offensive line.
“It started to decline with Damien Woody and Alan Faneca. He needs to be protected and he needs to have the guys around him. He’s not Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, who can come in and do it on his own. But they haven’t given him the proper people around him.”
His assumption has the Jets potentially trading up to the Browns at No. 6, but if Joekel or Fisher fall to the Lions at No. 5 — barring they view pressing needs at defensive end and cornerback to overrule the need for a tackle — this could potentially be a very viable option for the Jets to overhaul their entire offensive line.
The Jets could also look to move up and secure two other needs via the draft. If Revis is traded, like most predict he will, it would create an opportunity to move up and select Dee Milliner if head coach Rex Ryan falls in love with him. Jets beat writer for the New York Daily News, Manish Mehta, says the team plans on trading its star corner.
Jets plan on trading Revis. They can frame this situation by claiming it’s “voluntary” workouts, but they’re being small in this situation
— Manish Mehta(@MMehtaNYDN) April 8, 2013
There are other possibilities that the team could consider moving up for, include defensive ends Dion Jordan or Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah.
However, the question remains for Lion fans. If either Luke Joekel or Eric Fisher sit at the teams first pick come April 25th, do you pass and create an opportunity to stockpile picks in a draft loaded with mid-round talent or seize the opportunity to protect Matthew Stafford’s blindside?
The balls in your court on this one, Detroit.
Make sure to check back with Detroit Jock City April 25th, as Bradley La Brie and Tony Fischer live blog the 2013 NFL Draft.