A Calvin Johnson-type player isn't available in the 2012 crop of potential picks. A worthwhile consolation prize? Notre Dame's Michael Floyd.
If coveting thy neighbor's wide receiver is a sin, than kill me off in the Seven remake.
I want Calvin Johnson.
Who wouldn't? After he vaulted Matthew Stafford to 5,000-yard status? After he racked 213 yards, a record for a postseason debut, and two touchdowns against the Super Bowl champs once-removed?
Hell, Johnson had me at a 4.33 40-yard dash—the same clocked quicks as consensus speedsters DeSean Jackson and Mike Wallace, but with 6'5" on the tape and 240 lbs. on the scale.
He's the once-in-never-type player who transforms a franchise. If you can get that, you take it, like the Detroit Lions did in 2007.
If you can't, you draft Michael Floyd.
Are the players the same? In a booming compliment to Johnson—it's not a knock on Floyd—the answer is a definitive "no."
But he's got talent. Floyd, a graduating senior at Notre Dame, is Mel Kiper's 20th-best player available, No. 2 at his position to only the ever-touted Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State.
With the Philadelphia Eagles slated to draft at No. 15 (barring any of Andy Reid's draft-day shenanigans), that makes Floyd an attainable commodity without the all-too-costly price of too many draft picks.
There are scenarios that make Floyd make sense.
Would you take Michael Floyd at No. 15 overall?
Say the Eagles cozy up to another year of Michael Vick. Say the asking price for Robert Griffin III is too high. Say some spring surprise plucks Vontaze Burflict and Luke Kuechly (inside linebackers from Arizona State and Boston College) off the board. Say Andy Reid is content with the defense's progress, the line's sturdiness and is permissive of his own eternal stubbornness.
Scoop up Floyd.
We are talking the recipient of 100 passes from, of all senders, Tommy Rees, Dayne Crist and Andrew Hendrix in an up-and-down and undone 2011. A four-year starter who never posted a sub-700-yard season for the Irish.
The fourth-most scorer at his position since 2008 (37 receiving TDs), despite missing five games (collarbone) in 2009 and three more (knee) in 2008—injuries that haven't surfaced since (Floyd played in all ND games thru 2011).
Does he have otherworldly speed? A not-so-Tebow rep?
Yes and no. But the Eagles can still use him.
Floyd has the opportunity to fill a role no Eagle has since Harry Carmichael, a body, a force, a royal pain in a defense's Cover 2 soft spot. He can be the sum of a fistful of Eagle parts past, with the field-stretching ability of Jackson and physicality of Terrell Owens, with better hands than both.
Would Justin Blackmon be worth mortgaging a good portion of the Eagles' 2012 draft?
And the character concerns? Don't fret over his hiccups—Floyd has multiple DUI arrests on his record—any more than you did Vick's off-field vices. Be it deference to a winning culture, the fear of God or an empty bag of second chances, solid players with checkered pasts haven't posed problems for this Eagle hierarchy.
What's there to think Floyd will be the first?
Will he be Blackmon? (Who, for record stuck the third-most receiving TDs since 2008, despite debuting a year later than everyone in the top four.) No. But few are.
And while Blackmon will be appreciated by whatever fortunate lap he falls into, he wouldn't be by Eagle fans. Not at the price, given the 2011 precedent set by the long-lost Lehman brother, Falcons GM Thomas Dmitroff, who sent Cleveland a first-, a second- and a fourth-rounder in 2011 and a first and a fourth in 2012 to move up from No. 26 to No. 6 for Julio Jones.
It wouldn't be that steep. But with every team between the Nos. 2 and 13 slots—the Rams, Vikings, Browns, Buccaneers, Redskins, Jaguars, Panthers, Dolphins, Bills, Chiefs and Seahawks—in the market for a wideout, the Eagles would have to pony up for the former Cowboy, much more than they'd have to for Floyd.
For a win-now team looking to restock its cupboard—we are assuming the end of No. 10 here—Floyd could be too spicy to resist.
Matt Hammond is a producer for 97.3 ESPN Radio Atlantic City, and writes for 973ESPN.com. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattHammond973.