Broken Tackle's Blog
Bobby Petrino understands that his success in the NFL will determined by his ability to improve the play of Michael Vick. In order to do everything in their power to make Vick a player worthy of the highest salary in the league (which he's currently getting) they need to surround him with pass catchers who can get open, catch the ball consistently, and make plays downfield. They started off this offseason by bringing in a veteran receiver to show the young guys how to get it done in the NFL (and how to use inanimate objects in a touchdown celebration) by signing Joe Horn in free agency. Then the trade with the Texans moved them even closer to making my predicted draft day trade. By moving Matt Schaub to the Texans, the Falcons not only showed Vick that they have confidence in him and are going to stick with him through thick and thin, but they also received the draft picks they need to move up in the draft and really make a splash.

Calvin Johnson is arguably the best prospect in the entire draft. He's a definite top 5 pick and a guy that can impact a team's offense from the moment he gets in to town. Johnson is a 6'5", 139 lbs wide receiver who grew up in Georgia. He's a two time All-American who won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's best receiver this past year. In 38 games at GT, Johnson posted 2,927 yards and 28 TDs on 178 receptions. He did all this while catching passes from a quarterback who is a better runner than he is a passer (sound like Vick?). At the combine he ran the 40 in 4.35 seconds wearing someone else's shoes. Not only can he make plays in the passing game, but he's also a very good blocker in the run game considering his position. His former coaches have raved about his perfect off-field behavior and incredible work ethic. If there is such a thing as a can't miss prospect in the crap shoot that is the NFL draft, this guy is it.

In order for Atlanta to draft this home-grown talent, they're definitely going to have to move up. While there is a chance that Al Davis could make him the #1 overall selection, it looks like JaMarcus Russell is going to go at the top spot. Therefore, the Falcons can target the Lions for the #2 pick and ensure they get Johnson. The Lions have been a terrible team during Matt Millen's tenure. There's really no debating that. He needs to make a move in this draft in order to get more picks to upgrade the overall roster and not just one position. After getting Greg Foster and Tatum Bell from Denver for Dre Bly, it isn't necessary for them to take Joe Thomas or Adrian Peterson at the #2 spot. A quarterback would be a nice addition to the team, but Millen needs to win now, so if he picks for the future he probably won't be around to reap any of the rewards. Also, the Lions run Mike Martz's complicated offense which won't be easy for a rookie to pick up right away. Jon Kitna put up decent numbers last year and I think they'll stick it out with him in '07.

Here's what the Falcons need to give up in order to complete this trade:
Their 1st round pick, number 8 overall which they received from the Texans which is worth 1,400 points according to the Trade Value Chart.
Their 7th pick in the 2nd round, which is worth 510 points.
The 2008 2nd rounder which they received from the Texans (I'm guessing that Houston will get the 10th pick next year for sake of making this easier to explain) which equals 480 points.
This year's 11th pick in the 3rd round which equals 215 points.
The 12th pick in the 5th round which is 36 points.
This gives a total value of 2,641 points.

In return the Lions have to give up the following:
The #2 overall selection which equals 2,600 points.
Their 17th pick in the 5th round which equals 33.5 points.
This is a total of 2,633.5 points.

This should be a close enough value to make the trade work for both teams. Then the Falcons can make their pick of Calvin Johnson and the Lions will gain 3 extra first-day picks this year and one next year. Then they'll still be able to help out their team this year with the #8 pick by turning it into a player like LT Levi Brown, S Laron Landry, DE Jammal Anderson, CB Leon Hall (to replace Dre Bly), or WR Dwayne Jarrett (just because Jarrett plays WR and this is Matt Millen we're talking about).

Now that I spent all this time explaining why it will happen, let me now explain why it won't: It makes too much sense.

To see the Trade Value Chart I used, check out:


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