Lions Looked to Move up in NFL Draft for Elite Target: Report

Ja'Marr Chase

Getty Ja'Marr Chase in a photoshoot while at LSU.

The Detroit Lions have seen themselves as subjects of plenty of trade rumors this week, mostly involving trades back from their spot.

Intriguingly, the Lions are reportedly having some talks about trying to move in the other direction. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano in an insider piece, the Lions tried to deal with the Atlanta Falcons in order to nab the fourth-overall selection with their eyes on LSU wideout Ja’Marr Chase.

The price, however, was too high for such a move at this point in time, which could be indicative of the fact that the Falcons could have a player or two they like at the same spot.

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Here’s what they wrote:

“There was chatter early in the week that the Lions tried to trade up to No. 4 to get Chase, but the Falcons’ asking price was too high.”

Whether this is true, a smokescreen for another move or something else, it’s clear why the Lions could want Chase. ESPN’s Todd McShay reported earlier this week that the lions had Chase and Kyle Pitts ranked high on their board as pass catchers. The Cincinnati Bengals as well as the Miami Dolphins could like Chase as well, so jumping those teams would have to happen for the Lions to have a shot at landing Chase.

Obviously, things can change in the hours before the draft, so stay tuned. Rumors hold, however, that the Lions could be open to moving in both directions.

Examining Some Ideal Lions’ 2021 Draft Trades

The Lions should be able to find a good trade back if they want one in the NFL Draft, especially if there is a quarterback on the board. Multiple teams in the teens could decide to come up for either Justin Fields, Trey Lance or Mac Jones depending on who is available that fits their needs. Obviously, the ideal trade for the Lions would be to add a first-round pick in 2022 if possible to go with some middle-round picks either this season or next season as well.

This is the first news that has been leaked about the Lions moving up, but it’s clear the team could feel as if Chase is worth it. The Lions might have to cough up significant assets this year and in 2022 in order to facilitate such a move. A three-spot jump would almost certainly mean a second-round pick and potentially one of the team’s two firsts next year, which would fit with the narrative that the offer was too rich for Detroit’s blood.

If the Lions could find a way up without trading one of their first-round selections from the Los Angeles Rams, it could be worth it in the end. Otherwise, the team might be content to nab either Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith.

Chase’s Stats and Highlights

While Chase didn’t play this past season on the field, he has been no less successful statistically through the years playing with LSU. In just a pair of seasons played in the SEC with the Tigers, Chase put up a solid 2,093 yards and 23 touchdowns. He flashed his big-play potential with Joe Burrow before he departed for the NFL, and is a potentially elite talent getting ready to make his transition to the next level.

Chase has size and speed and many consider him to be one of the best wideouts set to make the transition to the league this coming season. After a solid pro day, he’s probably going to be a top selection, which could force a team like Detroit who likes him to move upward.

READ NEXT: Lions Reportedly Talking Trade With Interesting AFC Team

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