Everybody assumes the Detroit Lions would move up in the draft only for Sammy Watkins. However, could they have a bigger fish in mind?
Jadeveon Clowney has to intrigue Martin Mayhew
With a roster pretty much nearing the best it can be for a Super Bowl run, Detroit knows they might be one move away from getting over the hump. When news first hit that the team had at least some interest in moving up in the draft if the right player was available, it was only logical that Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins was the target. Putting him alongside Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate could create the most dynamic and explosive passing offensive in pro football and finally unlock the full potential of quarterback Matthew Stafford. However, that dynamic shifted drastically when the team hosted Jadeveon Clowny for a workout. Anybody with common sense knows that Clowney is too talented to make it out of the top five on draft day. So why would the Lions even bother putting him through a workout since they don’t select until #10? Conservatives would say it’s simple research to get a better idea of what Clowney looks like in case they have to play him later on. Others will say it’s wishful thinking on the impossibly slim chance Clowney slips down the board. However, conspiracy theorists would immediately hint it’s a sign the Lions may have plans on moving up, but not for Watkins as first thought. It could mean Clowney is the target.
Suh would have great value for Jeff Fisher and Gus Bradley
So why would Jadeveon Clowney be a target? After all GM Martin Mayhew did select Ezekiel Ansah at defensive end last year. With lingering worries at safety and corner, it might be hard to envision him going end again. That is unless the situation has changed. Biggest of course is the coaching staff with a new head man in town in Jim Caldwell. Unlike his predecessor Jim Schwartz, he might have differing opinions on the current situation regarding defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Despite his obvious skill and production, the young man has provided just as many headaches for his own team as he has for opponents. The same can be said for his fellow tackle Nick Fairley. The Lions might have it in their heads that they could be rid of not only Suh’s temperament problems but also his hefty contract in a draft-day trade. By using him as bait coupled with an extra high pick they could then move up to get Clowney, whom they’d pair with Ansah and then only have to deal with Fairley in the middle.
It’s not a crazy thought. The St. Louis Rams are well documented as having interest in moving down. Their head coach Jeff Fisher loves dominant defensive tackles and is no stranger to loose cannons at the position. Albert Haynesworth is a shining example. The problem is St. Louis, who holds #2 pick doesn’t have the cap space at present to handle the Suh contract. On the other hand the Jacksonville Jaguars, who sit at #3, do. Their head coach Gus Bradley could solidify his defensive makeover with Suh in his front. Moving down to #10 likely also wouldn’t hurt their chances of landing a quarterback.
Naturally this is all predicated on the fact whether Clowney is available at either spot. If he is, then the idea of the Detroit Lions dealing Ndamukong Suh in a package gets a little less crazy.