Detroit Lions 2010 Draft: The "Calm" before the Storm

Daniel MuthSenior Analyst IApril 22, 2010

DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 14:  A Detroit Lions fan during the Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions on September 14, 2008 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Domenic Centofanti/Getty Images)
Domenic Centofanti/Getty Images

OK, so I'm sitting here at work and I'm totally consumed by the Lions.

I'm trying to get things done but I'm jittery, likely as a result of the five cups of coffee that I just compulsively downed, but mainly because of tonight's NFL draft that will likely give us an idea about the direction the Detroit Lions will be headed in the coming season.

And more and more I'm convinced that we're going to see some fireworks in the first round.

A couple things make me think this:

1) The Rams haven't committed to Bradford, haven't talked to him, and haven't even attempted to sign him before the draft. If they were that sold on the kid they would have tipped their hand by now. Like the Lions did last year, it just makes sense to get your young QB on board if you've made the decision that this is the direction you need to go.

Thus the Rams are either still actively shopping the pick or are legitimately considering going in a different direction.

We have already heard rumbles of some potential trade-up deals with teams interested in acquiring Bradford (see Cleveland), and if that were to happen, this likely wouldn't change the fate of the Detroit Lions too much. Unless, of course, the Rams wanted to use their new-found leverage to move back up and make a run at Suh.

2) Suh has re-emerged as the preeminent player in this draft. The babbling of Todd McShay aside, there's really no football guy out there that disagrees with this assessment.

Teams are starting to get Suh fever (including many in the Detroit fanbase), and the Rams have been high on him from the get-go. Though they've let Marc Bulger go, and clearly need a quarterback, they must feel that they have other options later in the draft or through free agency, or they would have announced by now that Bradford is their guy.

If they pick Suh, suddenly the Lions are in control of a QB for whom teams have already expressed a desire to trade up. With Bradford on the board and Suh off it, the Lions really gain nothing by staying put at the two spot and they can deal from a number of angles.

They can feign interest in McCoy and give Tampa Bay a heart attack, possibly prompting a swap of the No. 2 and No. 3 picks and positioning themselves to be sitting at the No. 3 with Bradford still on the board and an extra pick in their pocket.

This would give them the opportunity to trade down again with a team interested in Bradford and could possibly land them another high round pick or coveted player. They could conceivably still land Eric Berry, Russell Okung, or even a Derrick Morgan.

Morgan would be an interesting pickup because they could then put Cliff Avril on the trading block for even more draft leverage, though they could also bide their time and wait until the early second round where a guy like Everson Griffin would be available.

Thus, with Suh off the board, there will automatically be more interest in both Bradford and McCoy, which could possibly benefit the Lions immensely.

As most would agree that the Lions need a DL, an OLB, a CB, and an RB (for starters), the Lions would do well to acquire as much top notch talent in the first couple rounds as possible, and if Suh isn't there why not explore the options?

3) If the Lions have decided to go in a different direction, it makes little sense to pick anyone else with the No. 2 pick. If the Lions have indeed determined that Suh is perhaps becoming over-hyped (which he has) and would rather pick LT or the draft's most "sure thing" in Berry, they should try their best to move down the board.

With Suh available at No. 2, there are teams that might trade up for him, and there have been rumors of a K.C. trade that would yield us Glenn Dorsey and the No. 5 pick for example. This might not be a bad deal from the Lions' perspective, as they could then fill two needs for the price of one.

What's better?  Just Suh, Just Okung, or Dorsey/Berry, Dorsey/Okung?

On a team like the Lions, it just may be the latter.

When it comes down to it, there may be absolutely nothing unusual about tonight's draft.

The Rams may just take Bradford and the Lions may just take Suh.

But don't tell my brain that.

It can't stop running all the possibilities, which is making this a rather unproductive day at work and the most nerve-wracking draft that I can remember in quite some time.

The "calm" before this storm may be more of a squall than the actual weather, or it may be just a precursor to tonight's wild ride.