Due to the unpredictable nature of the NFL draft, most fans and analysts believe investing down to get more picks is usually good business. Give yourself more opportunities to hit a player and you will increase your chances of finding someone. For a rebuild team like the Detroit Lions, more work resources certainly make sense.
However, we must at least investigate the possibility of replacing the Detroit Lions. CEO Brad Holmes switched once last year, advancing up the round to take Derrick Barnes in fourth. He reportedly also tried to trade in to get a wide audience Ja’Marr Chase, and told reporters he was thinking about replacing with Levi Onwuzurike before he finally fell down to them.
So, even if an upside trade would certainly be deemed risky and cost valuable Detroit capital, it remains an option in next week’s draft. But what would it look like?
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell looked at three different potential first-round changes for Lions as part of his All-Trades Mock Draft. Let’s break them
Lions move 2 to 1
Lions get: The first overall choice
Jaguars get: Second overall pick, Pick 34, fourth round pick 2023
This is the script “Lions love Aidan Hutchinson so much they can’t stand without him.” This is an expensive move as Detroit is relinquishing another potential starter with its pick in the second round … plus they are forgoing potential ammunition next year if they try to raise capital for a potential 2023 quarterback. Barnwell admits that, according to several trading charts, this deal favors Jaguars somewhat.
“It doesn’t seem like much to go down one place, but it’s a win on both the Johnson and Stuart charts for the Jaguars,” said Barnwell.
From the point of view of Lviv, it is difficult to accept it. You lose trade analytics, give up your best draft choice, and put all your eggs in Hutchinson’s basket when there are other profitable edge options that will be available at 2.
Lions move from 32 to 14
Lions get: Pick 14, Pick 141 (fourth round)
Ravens get: Dial 32, select 34
The Lions jump 18 places but lose in the second round. However, they get a fourth-round choice in return, which is nice as Detroit currently doesn’t have a fourth-round choice. This will help them gain talent across the huge gap between the second-third-round pick (97) and the fifth-round pick (177).
But why would the Lions make this trade? Who would they target? Barnwell suggests that at 32, they could grab one of the best wide-range receivers.
“Their future quarterback is probably not in their roster, but having Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift, TJ Hockenson, and a shooter like Chris Olave would give Jared Goff many options in Detroit, ”wrote Barnwell. .
Olave is one of the options. Other audiences who could theoretically be there include USC’s Drake London, Alabama’s Jameson Williams, and Arkansas’s Treylon Burks.
With this choice, Lions can also get a higher-level defender. If they fail to get the upper hand on their first pick, it could be a range that Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson or Purdue’s George Karlaftis could fall into. The Lions may also secure the best defender in this year’s class, depending on their preference between Devin Lloyd from Utah and Nakobe Dean from Georgia, the latter of whom had a visit prior to the Lions project.
Another option for the 14th is quarterback, but let’s keep this discussion for a third Barnwell exchange option.
Lions move from 32 to 17
Lions get: Pick 17, Pick 79 (Round 3)
Chargers Get: Dial 32, select 34
Again, Lions are not a net loss and in this case they are adding what would be a third choice in the third round. Barnwell says this swap would allow the Lions to jump over a few teams in need of quarterback such as the Saints (19) and Steelers (20) or teams in need of a broad audience such as the Eagles (18) and the Saints.
The question is, which quarterback will be available? It seems unlikely that Liberty’s Malik Willis will fall that far, but if he does, it will be a resourceful trade that will allow the Lions to get a potential franchise-changing playmaker without losing too much of their draft capital. More likely targets would be Desmond Ridder of Cincinnati or potentially Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh. Lions visited Pickett this week, so they should be comfortable no matter how they rate him.
Which of these mock draft transactions are you intriguing?
Which trial transaction do you like best?
Trade 2 + 34 + 2023 4.for 1
Exchange 32 + 34 for 14 +141
Convert 32 +34 to 17 +79
NOT. TRADE. UP.
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