Let me preface this by saying that I understand the difficulty of moving the No. 1 overall pick in the draft these days. I do believe that the money involved alone is almost worth getting rid of the pick. There is one sure thing with the draft, and that is that there are no sure things in the draft.
Ten Reasons the Lions Should Trade the No. 1 Pick
10. See picture above. (He was more highly regarded than Mark Sanchez or Matt Stafford.)
9. The salary cap hit alone.
8. You already invested significant money in two tackles. Jeff Backus and Gosder Cherilus.
7. Your primary need is defense.
6. You can use the money you save to lure one or two proven players to your team.
5. You have a Rookie GM making the call, better safe than sorry.
4. Draft Positioning. The players you need fall in different areas of the draft than your picks.
3. The Fans. In Detroit, it's a lose-lose situation. You pick Andre Smith and the fans are mad, you pick Matt Stafford and the fans are mad. Maybe this doesn't matter to the Lions organization but we are the ones buying tickets. (Well not me recently!)
2. Extra Picks. You need as much young talent as you can find.
1. Failure. The Lions have been set back so far by poor drafting. Loss of Salary Cap and lack of talent have crippled this organization.
What the Lions Should Do
1. Trade the pick. Kansas City, San Francisco, Minnesota, St. Louis, and possibly the Jets will be looking for a Quarterback in the draft. Even more teams are looking for franchise Left Tackle. Philadelphia has both Tackles up for Free Agency and both men are in their thirties.
Let's say that Kansas City is interested. They want Stafford to be their Franchise Quarterback. Swap first round picks and take a two from them. It's a cheap price by draft day standards but holds immense value for you. Your new draft board goes like this.
3. Aaron Curry MLB This could be Rey Maualuga as well but A. Curry is the top linebacker prospect.
20. Duke Robinson OG Your still injecting youth into your front line and helping your run game immensely. Also this will tell you if Backus is worth keeping or not.
33. Clint Sintim SLB A great strong side prospect, he's big, fast, and is a good blitzer. With A. Curry and E. Sims you now have a very good linebacking core.
35. Alphonso Smith CB A quality corner prospect to upgrade your secondary.
65. Alex Boone LT An underrated Tackle prospect for added youth and depth along the front line.
82. Terrrance Taylor DT Another underrated run plugger. Taylor is extremely strong for his size and can transition to Nose Tackle if you go to a 3-4.
129. Kevin Ellison SS Part of a dominant USC defense and is overshadowed because of it. He has good size and shows good potential to be a consistent player.
161. Tyrell Sutton RB Injuries and lack of need for Running Backs allow you to get a quality back here. This is a value pick.
180. Chase Holbrook QB Your looking for a diamond in the rough at this point. There is little to lose on these last two picks so you take a prospect with the physical tools and hope they can be developed.
193. Cornelius Ingram TE Injuries never allowed him to develop. Could be a good special teams contributor and possibly develop into a pass catching Tight End.
There is one important note. Thanks to the trade of the No. 1 pick and the release of many of the players on your roster due a roster bonus, you now have the money to sign a few free agents.
1. Terrell Suggs. The pass rusher and run stopper you need on the end of your line.
2. Owen Daniels. A quality Tight End that will greatly benefit your Quarterback of the future.
3. J.P. Losman A veteran Quarterback for added depth.
4. Keep Leigh Bodden, Dan Orlovsky, and Shaun McDonald around for another year.
I believe that the Lions would be respectable with this line up and next year can look for a franchise Quarterback and more young talent next year in the draft. With the right coaches to develop the talent they could be in the playoffs in 2010. It's the NFL and turnarounds can happen quick.