The Detroit Lions finished with a winning record in the 2022 season but have massive questions on defense. They should trade down in the 2023 NFL Draft. I think the Lions are a perfect candidate to trade down.
Their defense was just about the worst in the NFL in 2022, while their offense was among the best in the league. Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson will return to Detroit after being sought after for a few head coaching vacancies.
The Lions are in a winnable NFC North division that saw a surprise Minnesota Vikings team put a stranglehold on the title, all while having a negative point differential. With the uncertainty surrounding Aaron Rodgers the the Chicago Bears simply not there yet, the Lions have an opening.
This coming offseason for the Detroit Lions should be all about defense. Fielding one of the worst defenses in the league but hardly having any questions on offense should make GM Brad Holmes’ life much easier.
He can focus most of the resources on the defensive side of the ball, and even if the unit ends up being just average in 2022, the Lions are likely a division champion.
Right now, the team has eight picks in the NFL Draft, with half of them coming in the first and second rounds. They have two first and two second round picks. One of their first round picks, the 6th overall selection, comes from the Los Angeles Rams.
Their 59th overall second round pick comes from the Minnesota Vikings. Having eight picks is a solid amount, but to me, why not continue to stretch out the extreme value that they have? Instead of two first round picks, why not try to get three?
Trading down from the sixth overall pick could be a great idea if there is a high quality quarterback prospect that a team picking below the Lions might want.
Let’s just say that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are picking 19th overall in the first round, want to jump up to the Lions’ spot at 6th overall to take a quarterback.
Well, the Lions would obviously get the 19th overall pick in exchange for number six, but Tampa would then have to add a good bit more into that deal if they wanted to jump 13 selections.
If the Detroit Lions played their cards right, could they still pick twice in the first round in 2023 and set themselves up to potentially have two more first round picks in 2024?
Or, if first rounders are not part of the deal, could the team then stack up on second and third round picks? I think this is a viable avenue for a team that needs serious help at all three levels of their defense.