The Detroit Lions might not be in a good position to draft Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, that doesn't mean the club isn't interested in pairing the dynamic pass catcher with the best receiver in the game, Calvin Johnson.
NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday via Twitter that the Lions are "showing a TON of interest" in Watkins. This comes on the very day Watkins performed position drills for NFL coaches and scouts at Clemson's pro day.
The Lions hold the No. 10 overall pick in the draft, and analysts expect Watkins (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) to be gone by that point, which would require a trade-up for Detroit to give quarterback Matthew Stafford a potential dream pair of Johnson and Watkins. NFL Media's Bucky Brooks and Charles Davis both have projected Watkins as a top-five pick in their most recent mock drafts. With three quarterbacks (Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater) and three offensive tackles (Jake Matthews, Greg Robinson, Taylor Lewan) commanding much of the pre-draft buzz about potential top-10 picks, the Lions' best opportunity for a trading partner could come from a team that misses out on its top target at one of those two positions.
Watkins' quickness and open-field skills would represent a nice style complement to the bigger Johnson (6-5, 236). A veteran coach on hand for the pro day event, though not necessarily one with the Lions, told Rapoport that Watkins impressed with his acceleration on deep balls.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.