The Detroit Lions will have two selections in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft (No. 2 overall and 32nd overall).
For general manager Brad Holmes, this is an opportunity to help the team improve leaps and bounds after a 3-13-1 campaign under first-year head coach Dan Campbell.
For his part, Holmes talked about the rebuilding process while he was attending the NFL spring meeting in Florida this week. The front office head indicated that he was open to moving down from the No. 2 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft in order to find more assets.
Detroit already boasts the Los Angeles Rams’ first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 stemming from the blockbuster Matthew Stafford trade last offseason that also netted the Lions quarterback Jared Goff.
As for the 2022 NFL Draft, there’s no obvious franchise quarterback on the horizon. Other positions have taken over as the most top-heavy in the annual event. For a Lions team that will likely look to add Goff’s heir-apparent here soon, this offers a real opportunity to trade down and acquire more draft assets. Below, we look at three ideal scenarios.
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Detroit Lions pull off blockbuster trade with Atlanta Falcons
- Detroit Lions get: 8th pick, 2nd-round pick, 2023 1st-round pick
- Atlanta Falcons get: 2nd pick
Detroit could still potentially move down from the second pick to later in the top-10 and add a quarterback of the future that the team values. Perhaps, Matt Corral or Kenny Pickett would be available. In this scenario, picking up additional draft capital would make the most sense. After all, the Lions are not anywhere near competing for a playoff spot.
From Atlanta’s perspective, the entire Deshaun Watson saga coupled with the team being forced to trade franchise quarterback Matt Ryan has not painted the organization in the best of lights. The Falcons are now stuck Marcus Mariota as their starter next season. Moving up to the second spot for former Liberty star Malik Willis would excite this fan base once again.
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Detroit Lions trade down for star player
- Detroit Lions get: DK Metcalf, 9th pick, multiple 2nd-round picks
- Seattle Seahawks get: 2nd pick
Acquiring Goff in the aforementioned blockbuster wth Los Angeles was a means to an end for Detroit. It enabled the team to pick up even more draft pick assets while taking on the quarterback’s bloated contract. Goff is not the future quarterback in Detroit after the 2022 season.
With that said, the team just didn’t give him enough weapons a season ago. When a rookie in Amon-Ra St. Brown is your best target, there’s some major issues here. Enter into the equation a star 24-year-old receiver in DK Metcalf that can act as this generation’s version of Calvin Johnson.
Metcalf would team up with St. Brown and the recently-signed DJ Chark to form a tremendous young wide receiver trio in Detroit. The Lions also nab two additional second-round picks by moving down just a handful of spots.
From Seattle’s perspective, the idea of being able to trade up for a potential franchise quarterback in Malik Willis to replace Russell Wilson might be too hard to pass up on. This still nets Seattle the Broncos first-round pick in 2023 from the Wilson trade.
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Detroit Lions trade down for even more assets
- Detroit Lions get: 15th pick, 16th pick, 19th pick
- Philadelphia Eagles get: Second pick
Detroit has won all of 11 games over the past three seasons. The team is not one player, no matter how dominant he might be, away from contending for a playoff spot. The decision to acquire extra picks in the Stafford trade last offseason added another layer to this.
Why not take it to the next level by picking up three more first-round picks in April’s NFL Draft? This would give Detroit either five of the first 34 picks or the flexibility to wheel and deal for even more assets down the road. In the process, it would be building a much deeper and talented young roster.
Now, why would the Eagles do this? Fresh off a playoff appearance, general manager Howie Roseman might end up going all in to find that elite talent at a position of need. Of course, we’re talking about either Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux. They can be franchise cornerstones, much like what we’ve seen with Nick Bosa and Chase Young in recent drafts. They also play a position of utmost need for Philadelphia. Make it happen, Howie!