Detroit Lions may not be afforded the opportunity to trade out of No. 5

Posted Feb 26, 2013

With the even-spread talent pool in this year's NFL Draft, teams at the top may not have the opportunity to trade down and acquire additional picks

INDIANAPOLIS – A week's worth of poking, prodding, measuring and analyzing has nearly come at an end at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The big picture of April's NFL Draft landscape starts to come into better focus after the league's premiere scouting event.

There's still plenty more to analyze over the next two months, and players will have another opportunity to impress scouts, coaches and general managers, at their respective pro days, but the Combine affords us an initial look at the class. A first impression, if you will.

So what did we learn?

It might not be as easy for the Lions to move back from the No. 5 pick and secure an additional pick or two – if that's what they are hoping will happen.

This year's class is extremely deep with talent. There are very good players who'll be starters in the second- and even third-round, but there isn't the 'wow factor' at the top.

It's that wow factor that makes teams give up a portion of their draft for one player.

Last year, the Washington Redskins gave up three first-round draft picks and a second-round pick to move up from No. 6 to No. 2, so they could draft quarterback Robert Griffin III.

In 2011, the Falcons gave up five picks (including two first-round picks) to move up from No. 27 to No. 6 to snag receiver Julio Jones.

It's highly unlikely we see anything like that this year. This draft simply doesn't look like it has Andrew Luck-, RG3- or Julio Jones-type talent.

While quarterback Geno Smith and receiver Cordarrelle Patterson are very good prospects in 2013, there just isn't the same kind of buzz surrounding them.

In fact, there doesn't seem to be a lot of buzz surrounding any of the "top tier" talent.

• There's isn't that "can't miss" edge rusher that Von Miller was in the 2011 draft.

• An elite cornerback prospect like Patrick Peterson, whom the Lions reportedly tried to move up to get in 2011, has yet to emerge, though the cornerbacks do take the field at the Combine for workouts today.

• There isn't a running back prospect like Trent Richardson, who was coming out of Alabama last year.

Those are the players that prompt movement within the top of the draft.

Mike MayockMany analysts think the offensive and defensive linemen will make up a vast majority of this year's first-round picks, but there's no clear No. 1 and a lot of depth in each of those groups.

For the Detroit Lions to move back from No. 5, a team behind them has to fall in love with a player enough to make the move.

Is that player in this draft?

"I've said several times, if you're a playoff team this year, you're laughing because there is so much depth to this (draft) that if you're drafting 20-30, it's not a whole lot different than the fifth or sixth pick," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said Sunday at the Combine.

"If you're a top-10 team, look at the difference. It's just so stark, the difference between Ryan Grigson and (the Indianapolis Colts) a year ago as a first-time GM with a head coach, and he has Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck to choose from.

"Now, in Kansas City Andy Reid and John Dorsey – new coach, new GM – there is not a quarterback in sight, probably, at that point. So it's a whole different level at the top end and the bottom end this year."

With so many needs and such a deep draft, the Lions could potentially benefit from moving back, snagging an extra pick, and potentially another young starter.

But in order for that to become a reality, the right pieces need to fall in place. The board looks a little short of those pieces at this point in the process.