Lions Draft Trade Predicament Getting Complicated, NFL Analyst Says

Matt Patricia

Getty Matt Patricia with Lions coaches during a game in Green Bay.

It’s been casually assumed in recent days that the Detroit Lions are all but a lock to trade back in the 2020 NFL Draft, but it’s more than possible there could be a hangup in the plan.

When the draft comes, will the Lions even find a willing partner to move backward as they desire? That might not be the case as things are coming down to the final week before the selection meeting takes place. As analyst Lance Zierlein wrote, the team might be facing a challenge in trading back. The reason? Teams might not be sensing the need to panic and make a move upward this year.

Naturally, teams have to be convinced there is a need to move up, and with Detroit, it is looking obvious the team probably won’t select Tua Tagovailoa. From there, a team will have to want to leap frog another, either for Tagovailoa or another quarterback or prospect. Will that happen? More than a few teams ahead of the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers don’t look like threats to select quarterbacks. Outside of that, anything could theoretically happen.

Possibly, the Chargers or another team would have to want to leap the Dolphins in order to get Tagovailoa or Herbert. Without that desire, the Lions could end up stuck in the scenario Zierlein outlines.

Anything can happen, of course, but this only helps to illustrate the fact that the Lions might not be a lock to simply be able to trade the pick and end up with a haul as many have assumed or desired.

Lions Potential Draft Trade Partner Revealed

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport suggested the Miami Dolphins could be the most obvious team to watch as it relates to an eventual deal with the team.

“If you want to look for a potential partner for a trade, the team to watch here would be the Miami Dolphins,” Rapoport said. “I think it’s pretty obvious where the Dolphins have looked in the draft. They’ve looked at quarterback, they’ve also looked at offensive tackle. Maybe that’s the place where the Dolphins jump up a little bit, take maybe their quarterback of the future of their player to replace Laremy Tunsil at No. 3, get over the Giants, allow the Lions a chance to slide back and maybe take the top defensive player on their board.”

As for what player the Lions might target after a trade down, that’s currently the source of much debate. Rapoport seems to think the Lions would obviously be interested in Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah.

“They’ve been linked to Jeffrey Okudah, the cover corner who is also a great tackler forever,” he said.”We’ll see if that’s the pick they make, but it is pretty clear Detroit is open to sliding back.”

If the Lions slide back, it could make the most sense to do so with the Dolphins. The team has a stockpile of 2020 draft picks, and Detroit’s goal is to improve their fortunes right now. Miami boasts the 18th pick and 26th pick in the first round in addition to the No. 5 selection. They also have a pair of second round selections and a third round pick at their disposal.

Obviously, if the Lions would be able to score another first round pick in this trade, it would be a major win. Would the Dolphins be willing to go there, however? It remains to be seen, even as the team could represent the most logical trade partner for Detroit, if there is a move that could be made.

Former General Manager Sets Lions Trade Price

Will the Lions shoot for the stars in terms of trying to land a king’s ransom for the pick? That’s exactly what a Hall of Famer thinks they should be shooting for. Gil Brandt of was asked on Twitter what his asking price would be for teams to come up to the No. 3 pick in the draft. As he said, it should be more than a bit expensive for a team like the Miami Dolphins.

Brandt thinks the Lions should ask for the No. 5 pick, the No 18 pick and the No. 26 pick from the Dolphins as a price for moving up. That deal, he thinks, represents a fair value.

Safe to say if the Lions managed that, it would be a score. Even if Detroit managed to pry loose a pair of first round picks from Miami it would be a huge win. Would teams bite on that? It would be a huge cost to pay to move up for Tua Tagovailoa or another such player.

It might be a stretch to see anyone paying that type of cost at this point in the minds of some.

READ NEXT: Lions Reportedly Talking Trade For No. 3 Pick

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