With the NFL draft rapidly approaching, the Detroit Lions are no longer sitting back and sifting through offers for the team's No. 2 overall pick.
Instead, they've become the aggressor.
According to a Denver Post report, the Lions approached the Denver Broncos in the past month, dangling the No. 2 in attempt to move down. Detroit asked for a package of selections, including the No. 21 pick, but were ultimately denied and negotiations have since grown stale. It has been largely assumed that the Lions will ultimately deal the pick in attempt to furnish the roster with more selections, preferring to add a wealth of youthful talent that can be developed over time.
The Lions and Broncos already exchanged players in a trade just prior to free-agency, and the most recent discussions were likely a continuation of talks.
To satisfy the value of the No. 2 overall pick, the Lions likely asked for Denver's first two picks, including the 56th overall, in addition to a handful of mid-round choices. The Broncos wouldn't mind pairing a player like Georgia Tech receiver Calvin Johnson with starting quarterback and last year's first-round investment Jay Cutler.
But while the Broncos continue to ponder the deal, the Lions have already found another potential trade partner in Cleveland.
The Browns, according to a FOX Sports radio 'rumor', have offered to swap their No. 3 pick with Detroit in addition to the team's second-round choice (No. 35 overall) and seventh-round pick to move up one slot. Cleveland, said the report, is anxious to grab Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn but also wouldn't mind LSU's Jamarcus Russell in the event he's available.
Because of Detroit's rumored interest in Quinn (they attended his Pro Day workout at the school and have met with him twice), the Browns would rather secure their "quarterback of the future" rather than risk settling for anyone else. There is a steep drop off in talent at the quarterback position in the draft after Russell (a near-consensus Raider pick) and Quinn.
However, the OBR told RoarReport.com late Friday that Browns sources slapped the report as "ridiculous," saying essentially that it was too early for a deal to be on the table. The team source did lament, however, that its interest in the quarterback position is genuine.
As Lions president Matt Millen weighs his options, Detroit continues to do its due diligence with scouting. The Lions were instrumental in Calvin Johnson's Pro Day in Atlanta during the week, sending a fleet of team scouts to orchestrate most of the receiving phenom's workout.
The thought of selecting Johnson has been both criticized and supported; the team's rather inept history of drafting receivers early in the past few years has left both the organization and fans weary of another potential bust.
Another interesting trade rumor that could spark Detroit's decision to draft Johnson, or at least consider more WR help in the draft, is Tennessee's purported trade interest in former No. 10 overall pick Mike Williams. The Tennessean said on its web site on Thursday that the team would consider trading for Williams, which seems even more plausible after the Titans failed to land free-agent Kevin Curtis (Eagles).
The Titans offensive coordinator is Norm Chow, who worked with Williams during his tenure as USC's offensive coordinator.