Everyone loves the idea of trading down and getting more draft capital. Move down a few places, get another early pick or two, then move on to the Hall of Famers Draft. Simple isn’t it?
In practice, down trading can be a complicated affair. As the Detroit Lions found out in 2020, a downward trade can only occur if there is sufficient interest. Despite many demands that the Lions lose their third place overall, the Lions missed defender Jeff Okudah. As Detroit looks down the barrels of another NFL draft, the same question arises: should they trade down?
Detroit currently has a second choice in the NFL 2022 draft, and with it, many options. Among the hottest names coming into the draft are Aidan Hutchinson, Kyle Hamilton, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and Malik Willis. Depending on the decision made by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the beginning, the Lions will have a chance to come up with one of these names.
However, not only Lions are interested. The pursuit of a quarterback star never ends and Willis is a hot commodity in this year’s draft. With this kind of attention, a second overall pick can attract the attention of teams that are in dire need of a playmaker. There was a quarterback carousel in the NFL where people like Matt Ryan, Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, and Russell Wilson found new homes. For the team that lost the lottery, the project may provide respite.
Coupled with the need for throwing passes or offensive equipment, Lions can have multiple suitors. The New York Jets have the fourth and tenth overall type and should be in the market to gain an advantage or a defense. The New York Giants are choosing fifth and seventh place, and an offensive attack should be their main target. The Carolina Panthers have a sixth pick, but they may have to move up to get the playmaker they want. The Atlanta Falcons (eighth) and the Seattle Seahawks (ninth) need a quarterback after they sell their longtime starters, and they’ll want to jump over Carolina. Pittsburgh Steelers are 20th overall but their apparent love for Willis may prompt a serious commercial offer. Coupled with a handful of wild cards such as Washington Commanders (11th) and New Orleans Saints (18th), bidding for the latter overall pick can be fierce.
However, downward trading comes at a cost. While Lions would be compensated with additional choices, a move from second place overall could mean the loss of top-level talent. The prospects for the half-first are nothing to laugh at, but for a team that is truly devoid of superstars, can the Lions afford to play with less prospects? How far should they go?
Today’s question of the day is:
What is the farthest exchange of Lviv?
My answer: I think the turnover to eleventh – that belongs to Washington – is the farthest I would be willing to fall. Most likely it will, it’s early enough to still have elite talents on the board, and it’s far enough away to get a decent return.
It’s hard to say what the market would be like, but perhaps we can speculate from history. When the Los Angeles Rams took first place in Jared Goff’s 2016 draft, it turned into 15th overall pick, two types from the 2016 second round, one from the third round 2016, and the first and third from 2017. in return, they received the first overall selection, as well as the fourth and sixth 2016.
Another selection was also sold for a fair return. As part of their move for Carson Wentz, the Philadelphia Eagles won a second overall and a conditional fourth in return for an eighth overall, third, fourth, and their 2017 first and second selections.
Can a quarterbacking team offer something similar? In particular, an exchange with Wentz may be a template for a potential exchange with the Falcons. I would have hoped for more, but I think it would be a decent starting point. I would extend a similar opinion to trade with Washington.
I think trading with Pittsburgh is too far. Jeremy Reisman suggested, perhaps jokingly that Pittsburgh should trade its entire 2022 draft class and its 2023 first and second round picks for a second pick from Detroit. However, this may still not be enough. The drop from 2 to 20 is significant, and I’m not sure Pittsburgh has the capital to make this move worth it. Would you accept the first three – 2022, 2023 and 2024 – as your second choice? Such trading is hard to imagine, but it may be what is required. Pittsburgh may love Willis, but do they love him? that badly?
I think Washington’s eleventh choice is a good stopping point. The Lions will hopefully get a handful of Day 1 and Day 2 picks from this move, but it will still give them an opportunity to choose the best perspective. While the latter may generally be too rich for a wide receiver, an eleventh overall may be the perfect spot for one. If the Lions are to continue falling, they will need serious compensation.
What do you think? How far are you willing to fall in the NFL 2022 draft?