The Lions currently have two first-round picks this year, but considering how many teams are in need of a quarterback, they may decide to trade down; or trade up? Last year, the Lions exchanged the 32rd, 34th, and 66th pick for the 12th and 46th pick. Many people believed the Lions had moved up to get Malik Willis, their new franchise quarterback. Instead, they chose Alabama WR Jameson Williams. Could Brad Holmes make a move up this year? These are the three deals that the Lions could make this year on draft day.
The Panthers would be the first team the Lions could trade with. The Lions may trade the 6th pick for the 9th and the 39th pick. Sam Darnold is the quarterback for the Panthers right now, but Frank Reich, who is in his first season as their head coach, has the option of making a deal to get his man. A quarterback would also need to drop to the 6th pick, although I’m not sure how the Lions would feel about moving back if Jalen Carter or Will Anderson also fell. The Lions need help on defense and if someone with the talent of Anderson or Carter was available, I think Brad Holmes might be hesitant to trade back.
The Patriots would be the next team the Lions may trade with. In exchange for the 14th Pick, the Lions might deal the 18th and a 2024 fourth-round selection. If Brad Holmes’s guy is available at 14 and he doesn’t think he can get him at 18, like we saw last year with Jameson Williams, we could see him make a move. Since Bill Belichick frequently trades down, as we saw him do last year, it’s possible that this could happen if a guy like Devon Witherspoon or Bryan Bresee is still available at 14. Similar to the Panthers deal, the Patriots still need to get Mac Jones a number 1 and if a wide receiver they like is available at pick 14, they could decide to remain there because the Packers also need to select a wide receiver and have the pick right after them.
The Titans would be the final team the Lions might trade with. In exchange for the 11th pick and a first-round pick in 2024, the Lions would give up the sixth pick. The Titans are one of several teams in need of a quarterback going into the draft, and with Ryan Tannehill becoming a free agent and Malik Willis not showing much promise this season, they could consider selecting their quarterback this year. The Titans don’t have much offensively outside of Derrick Henry, so they may believe that a franchise quarterback would provide them the boost they need to return to the playoffs. With the 11th pick, the Lions could select a cornerback like Devon Witherspoon or Christian Gonzalez, and with the 18th pick, they could select a linebacker like Trenton Simpson, a guard like O’Cyrus Torrence, a running back like Bijan Robinson, or perhaps something else.
It should be a highly interesting and entertaining draft night. No matter what round of the draft it is, Brad Holmes has proven to us in the last two years that he can identify talent. Ultimately, I have no doubt that he will choose what is best for the Lions and that he will be able to choose a star regardless of where he makes his selection.