Early this offseason, the Detroit Lions seem to realize they badly need a secondary threat to place with Calvin Johnson. One of the fans' favorite early targets in that respect has been Sammy Watkins.
Right now, it appears as if Detroit is matching their early interest. Thursday, the Lions visited Clemson's pro day, and were reportedly well represented, with general manager Martin Mayhew, coach Jim Caldwell and scout Dave Sears all on hand to watch Watkins perform.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirmed Detroit's interest in Watkins further, saying on Twitter Thursday afternoon that he didn't know if the Lions could pull it off, but they have a "ton" of interest in the Clemson's dynamic wide receiver, and pairing him with Johnson could be "scary."
Of course considering Watkins' talent, where the Lions pick in the first round this May and the demand he'll likely fetch, barring a miracle, the only way Detroit might get their hands on him is a move to trade up. In a deeper draft, will it be worth sacrificing multiple picks for a shot at one player?
Many maintain the drop off from Watkins to the second best receiver in the draft (likely Mike Evans) is steep, while others aren't so sure. From now until May, Mayhew and company will have to weigh the risks and benefits of trading up. Recently, the Lions were reportedly enamored with Patrick Peterson and nearly traded up, but weren't able to make a move to get the cornerback. The rest, as they say, is history. Peterson has become one of the best in the business, while the Lions are still searching for their own top-flight corner.
Perhaps Mayhew will be motivated by that past failure to pull the trigger this time around on a big time running mate for Johnson. With free agency beginning next week and several attractive wide receivers on the market, the answer to the question of how much the Lions value Watkins could be answered soon.
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