Will Detroit Trade Up In NFL Draft? Lions Host Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins
By Ashley Dunkak
ALLEN PARK (CBS DETROIT) – The Detroit Lions already had the NFL’s best wide receiver, Calvin Johnson, and they already added the leading receiver of Super Bowl-winning Seattle, Golden Tate. Now it appears the Lions are seriously interested in the possibility of stockpiling even more offensive firepower for quarterback Matthew Stafford.
According to the Detroit Free Press, coveted wide receiver Sammy Watkins visited Detroit’s team headquarters Tuesday and met with Johnson and Tate. Since Watkins is considered unlikely to fall to No. 10 in the NFL Draft in May, the Lions would need to trade up to get him. The team appears to be investigating the possibility, as the Free Press reports that in addition to hosting Watkins on Tuesday, general manager Martin Mayhew and head coach Jim Caldwell also had dinner with Watkins the night before his pro day.
Lions vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. also spent time at the facility Tuesday, waving to reporters as he drove away from the gated players’ parking lot that afternoon. While there was no word on whether Ford met with Watkins, it would not be a surprising development given Ford met with Tate on Tate’s visit, a courtesy that Tate said impressed him considerably.
Watkins caught 101 passes for 1,464 yards at Clemson as a junior in 2013. ESPN’s Mel Kiper predicts Watkins will be taken with the seventh pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. ESPN’s draft evaluation of Watkins is largely positive, rating his big play ability as “exceptional,” the highest possible ranking, and describing him as “above average” in separation skills, ball skills and competitiveness.
The wide receiver has playfully teased NFL fans by tweeting photos of himself in various NFL jerseys, posting statuses invoking names of multiple NFL towns and retweeting fans supporting his possible arrival in those places.
On March 31, Watkins tweeted short references to nine teams, Detroit among them.
For what it is worth, out of all the teams Watkins tweeted about, he only included the smiley face with the heart eyes in his post about Detroit.