With the NFL Draft approaching, the Detroit Lions are still looking to trade the first pick but aren’t finding any takers, and aren’t likely to. It’s not that they aren’t interested in Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford, it’s just that they would rather trade down and take him because quarterbacks are expensive enough, but when you take them number one overall they get really expensive.
Considering that the position is the hardest to predict success for in the NFL, it’s a lot of money to invest in a player that’s more likely to be a bust than a success. So what can they do? Do they just pass on Stafford and take a safer pick? They could, but that would be a bit of a cop out. No, if the Lions have balls they’ll just opt not to pick anybody.
If the Lions really want to draft Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford – and want to save some money, too – why not wait until the No. 3 pick to do it? After all, the St. Louis Rams (currently No. 2) and Kansas City Chiefs (No. 3) aren’t likely to take a quarterback. As it stands now, Baylor left tackle Jason Smith and Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry would probably be the first two players off the board.
And, if the Lions want to take it a step further, they can wait until the seventh overall pick to get a quarterback – USC’s Mark Sanchez. Detroit could snap him up right before the Jacksonville Jaguars pick at No. 8. Or the Lions could wait another pick or two and take Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji.
“If a club passes during the draft, it gives up its pick at that point and can re-enter at any point to make its selection,” said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.
We have seen this move before when the Minnesota Vikings had the seventh pick in the 2003 draft and wanted to trade down a few picks because they knew they could still get the man they wanted. No one wanted to trade with them though, so instead they let their turn pass and allowed two other teams to make their selections before finally drafting Kevin Williams.
Of course, just because you can do this doesn’t mean I’d recommend it to the Detroit Lions. If they want Stafford and decide to wait on him to draft him later, there’s nothing stopping another team further down the board from trading up and snatching Stafford right out of the Lions’ paws. In fact, considering the Lions inability to do anything right over the last decade, I’ve no doubt that’s exactly what would happen.