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Thread: Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins

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    Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins

    Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins
    By Bryan Fischer
    College Football 24/7 writer
    Published: March 26, 2014 at 12:13 p.m.
    Updated: March 26, 2014 at 12:35 p.m.

    It appears that the Lions have a bit of a man crush on Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins, and they're doing nothing to hide that fact.

    It was not a surprise to see most of the key Detroit decision makers attend Clemson's pro day to get a better look at the top receiver in the 2014 NFL Draft. It wasn't all that startling to see the team meet with Watkins and his family for dinner as part of the pre-draft process, either.

    But it is a little different to see a team gush so openly about a player that would appear to fit in their future plans.

    "He's an outstanding player," general manager Martin Mayhew told MLive.com. "Obviously, he's got the speed, he's got the quickness, he's got the playmaking ability. Another guy you can just get the ball in his hands and he can make something happen.

    "And the big games that he played, he had some of his best performances. He's a clutch guy, he's a clutch performer."

    Watkins turned in a superb final season for Clemson and has pretty solidly established himself atop Mike Mayock's positional rankings at wide receiver. Even he has entertained the thought of landing in Detroit by posting a photo on Instagram saying he could be the perfect complement to Calvin Johnson, complete with a nickname to match.

    Detroit made a splash in free agency by signing the sure-handed Golden Tate from the Seahawks to add to an already dangerous offense. While he represents a solid option for the team across from Johnson, the addition of the 6-foot-1, 211-pound Watkins would cause even more angst for defensive coordinators around the league.

    The Lions hold the No. 10 overall pick in the draft, but it seems likely that Watkins will be off the board at that point based on recent NFL.com mock drafts. From the sound of Mayhew's comments, however, it appears the team is definitly entertaining the possibility of trading up to give quarterback Matthew Stafford another weapon.

    "I think the depth of the draft is obviously a factor, in terms of you start thinking about trading up, what are you missing out on?" Mayhew said. "But sometimes the guys are elite players who are difference-makers.

    "If you're picking 10, and there's five elite players, and you can get one of those guys (in the top five), we think there's value in (doing that)."

    The Rams at No. 2 overall and the Raiders at No. 5 could be prime candidates to trade picks with if Mayhew is indeed interested in going up to get a player like Watkins. With needs at cornerback, safety and tackle, however, all the recent talk about Watkins might just be for nothing come May.


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    Re: Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins

    Good article, thanks for posting Nick. I am one of the Ram fans who really want SW for our team. He's not just elite but he will be an impact player for us. I understand all those who want an OT like Robinson or Matthews, but we probably can land Lewan at #13. Suddenly the thought of trading for more picks isn't quite so urgent when you can land a real game-changer and Watkins can be that. I'm all for protecting Sam, but we need to score more points and the group of WR's we have is good, but we need to get better. Imagine if DJax lands in our division with SF or Seattle. At #2 there are few prospects in this draft worthy of that pick other than the OT's.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins

    Quote Originally Posted by mde8352gorams View Post
    I understand all those who want an OT like Robinson or Matthews, but we probably can land Lewan at #13.
    Maybe, maybe not. As of yesterday, 10 of the 11 most updated mocks on ESPN, CBS Sports, and NFL.com all had Lewan off the board by pick #13. I wouldn't count on him being there, personally.
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    Re: Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins

    Three positions always go faster than they're expected, quarterbacks, pass rushers, and offensive tackles. I fully expect to see the top 12 consist of all three quarterbacks, top pass rushers and tackles. The other three spots are probably Gilbert, Watkins and Evans. The question is, would the Lions be satisfied with Evans, and are they making their intent for him by drooling over Watkins?
    I believe!

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    Re: Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Maybe, maybe not. As of yesterday, 10 of the 11 most updated mocks on ESPN, CBS Sports, and NFL.com all had Lewan off the board by pick #13. I wouldn't count on him being there, personally.
    Frankly that's OK. I don't see us drafting an OT early unless absolutely necessary, such as Jake Long's rehab not going as well as hoped. I also think many people are willing to discard Joe Barksdale on the right side in favor of an LT in-waiting. This seems like a waste of a high draft pick to me. We need to draft an elite prospect with impact and game changing abilities. I hate to say this, but we're the 4th best team in our division and it's not going to change unless we make some bold moves. Keeping Sam protected is fine, but beyond that we need offense too.

    Go Rams!

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    I still prefer Mike Evans over Watkins for the simple fact that we are missing the "big" target receiver. I think with Bailey and givens still maturing at least one of them can be that dependable #2 on our team. I think TA still can be a great weapon for us and let's face it people would be ranting and raving ovee Austin if some of his td returns were not called back. He has what 3 tds called back? Pettis is Pettis, he's not going to wow you but hea dependable ala Jason Avant and Ricky Proehl. The wild card is still Brian Quick. I think more and more people are losing faith on this guy when he has shown flashed of his talent. At the very least, the rams have talented options to chose from unlike previous years.
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    Re: Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins

    Quote Originally Posted by mde8352gorams View Post
    Frankly that's OK. I don't see us drafting an OT early unless absolutely necessary, such as Jake Long's rehab not going as well as hoped. I also think many people are willing to discard Joe Barksdale on the right side in favor of an LT in-waiting. This seems like a waste of a high draft pick to me. We need to draft an elite prospect with impact and game changing abilities. I hate to say this, but we're the 4th best team in our division and it's not going to change unless we make some bold moves. Keeping Sam protected is fine, but beyond that we need offense too.

    Go Rams!
    I'll go a step further and say the Rams will not and should not, draft Jake Mathews or Greg Robinson unless they don't expect Jake Long back some time in the first half of the season.

    Until we get such word as Jake being out longer than expected, it is the interior of the Oline we should be most concerned about. And I can almost guarantee, we won't draft an OG in the 1st round unless he can also play OT (Zach Martin).
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    Re: Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Maybe, maybe not. As of yesterday, 10 of the 11 most updated mocks on ESPN, CBS Sports, and NFL.com all had Lewan off the board by pick #13. I wouldn't count on him being there, personally.
    Not only that, but it seems like the two top WRs will be gone by #13. I'd think that the Rams need either to trade up or down with that pick to get best value-to-need fit. Unless you really think Gilbert and the safeties are worth a #13.

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    Re: Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    I'll go a step further and say the Rams will not and should not, draft Jake Mathews or Greg Robinson unless they don't expect Jake Long back some time in the first half of the season.

    Until we get such word as Jake being out longer than expected, it is the interior of the Oline we should be most concerned about. And I can almost guarantee, we won't draft an OG in the 1st round unless he can also play OT (Zach Martin).
    I know you and I are not going to agree on this, but I find this logic very short-sighted. If Long is healthy early in the year, Robinson/Matthews could step in immediately at guard, which you consider the biggest concern on the OL. It's the way the Ravens got Jonathan Ogden on the field and acclimated to the NFL game. Then, when the season is over, the Rams can evaluate if it's time to move on from Jake and move Robinson/Matthews outside to tackle, ensuring high quality protection for Bradford's blind side for years to come.


    Quote Originally Posted by chiguy View Post
    Not only that, but it seems like the two top WRs will be gone by #13. I'd think that the Rams need either to trade up or down with that pick to get best value-to-need fit. Unless you really think Gilbert and the safeties are worth a #13.
    The Rams will definitely have to trade up to land either Watkins or Evans IMO. A lot is going to depend on where Watkins ends up going. I could see scenarios where Oakland, Tampa Bay, Buffalo, and Detroit go with Evans if Watkins is off the board. Tennessee would certainly consider him as well. The comments Fisher and Snead have made about being confident in the existing group of receivers will likely be put to the test very early on the draft's first night.

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    Re: Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I know you and I are not going to agree on this, but I find this logic very short-sighted. If Long is healthy early in the year, Robinson/Matthews could step in immediately at guard, which you consider the biggest concern on the OL. It's the way the Ravens got Jonathan Ogden on the field and acclimated to the NFL game. Then, when the season is over, the Rams can evaluate if it's time to move on from Jake and move Robinson/Matthews outside to tackle, ensuring high quality protection for Bradford's blind side for years to come.
    If I remember correctly, the way Jake Longs contract is set up with guarantees and such, it is very unlikely he is on the roster in 2015. That's why I think taking a LT is the ideal scenario. Plug them in at guard while they get their feet wet, then move them to LT in 2015 when we cut ties with Long.

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    Re: Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins

    Quote Originally Posted by GolfnRAMFAN View Post
    If I remember correctly, the way Jake Longs contract is set up with guarantees and such, it is very unlikely he is on the roster in 2015. That's why I think taking a LT is the ideal scenario. Plug them in at guard while they get their feet wet, then move them to LT in 2015 when we cut ties with Long.
    You got it. $8 million cap savings by cutting him after 2014. If Jake Long were a consistent 16-game starter year in and year out, I'd be much more willing to consider keeping him as a more long-term solution. But finishing the last three seasons on IR makes it hard to count on him.

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    Re: Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins

    Also for the will not should not draft Matthews and Robinson crowd. Why take a guard in the 2nd over those two? Either will step in day one and be a better guard than anybody else in the draft. And you have the luxury of your next LT gaining a valuable year of starting and getting coached up by Boudreau. I'm confused on this logic is the OLine the only spot that we shouldn't spend high draft capital on? It seems people are willing to justify spending the #2 pick on area's we already have a lot of high draft picks on but an area that is vital to a teams success doesn't seem to be worth it. Not sure if people realize that our OLine is not in a good spot right now. Either Barrett Jones or Brandon Washington are slated to start at LG. Or we'll maybe address it with a later round pick. It seems protecting Sam and opening holes for Zac will be done by rolling the dice not doing it in style.

    Watkins is not worth the #2 pick but I hope Detroit trades up for him because dropping down to 10 is about the only way we would get a 1st rounder next year. Otherwise we'll only get a 2nd this year and a 2nd next year. If we drop to #10 we likely miss out on Matthews and Robinson. But we should be able to get Lewan. Lewan isn't really going to be able to play a guard spot but he'd be an upgrade over Barksdale at RT and we could shift Barksdale in to the guard spot. This would be a great financial move as well as next year Barksdale is a FA and as we've discussed many times around here this off season Guards get paid less than Tackles. If they want to resign him that would help bring the cost down.

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    Re: Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins

    Guys don't be sad or surprised if we trade back on both these 1st round picks...
    The way this group has run the draft the last couple seasons that is a very real scenario for sure to me.
    Who our Brain-Trust is targeting in this draft is mystifying to me, as they have me completely baffled! I had a much better idea what they were thinking in previous 2 drafts, was not sure how they would unfold but I guessed at who they liked and coveted. Really happy with their choices too, we all have faves in this years first round as projected by the pundits but I think they are just guessing what our guys will do as well. Just some random thoughts guys...

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    Re: Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins

    Quote Originally Posted by Randart View Post
    Guys don't be sad or surprised if we trade back on both these 1st round picks...
    The way this group has run the draft the last couple seasons that is a very real scenario for sure to me.
    Who our Brain-Trust is targeting in this draft is mystifying to me, as they have me completely baffled! I had a much better idea what they were thinking in previous 2 drafts, was not sure how they would unfold but I guessed at who they liked and coveted. Really happy with their choices too, we all have faves in this years first round as projected by the pundits but I think they are just guessing what our guys will do as well. Just some random thoughts guys...
    Agreed, though I've been thinking it's much more likely we trade back at 13 than 2. I see a team like Dallas wanting to secure a DLine upgrade like Donald dying to trade up. Maybe even for Ealy.

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    Re: Detroit Lions ramp up talk about Sammy Watkins

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    Also for the will not should not draft Matthews and Robinson crowd. Why take a guard in the 2nd over those two? Either will step in day one and be a better guard than anybody else in the draft. And you have the luxury of your next LT gaining a valuable year of starting and getting coached up by Boudreau. I'm confused on this logic is the OLine the only spot that we shouldn't spend high draft capital on? It seems people are willing to justify spending the #2 pick on area's we already have a lot of high draft picks on but an area that is vital to a teams success doesn't seem to be worth it. Not sure if people realize that our OLine is not in a good spot right now. Either Barrett Jones or Brandon Washington are slated to start at LG. Or we'll maybe address it with a later round pick. It seems protecting Sam and opening holes for Zac will be done by rolling the dice not doing it in style.
    Just because a player may be more talented doesn't mean he fits the scheme of every team in the league. So who's to say that either Mathews or Robinson would be a better fit at OG than anybody else?

    There's absolutely no way for any of us to know that, at this point.

    What I do know is, I'd much rather have the best player in the draft (by most accounts), plus a versatile and cheaper player like Zach Martin, than Robinson or Mathews and the second best DE in the draft (whoever that might be).

    And before you go on this tangent about us already being solid at DE, Jeff Fisher has said, and it is widely accepted around the league, that you can never have too many good pass rushers. Especially one that, coming out of college, has been touted as on par with some of the best to ever play the game.

    Beyond that, I don't know any sensible and honest person who knows football and who does not have an agenda, who would rather have Chris Long at his salary over Jadaveon Clowney and what his will be.

    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
    Last edited by Fortuninerhater; -03-30-2014 at 02:49 PM.
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