When the Detroit Lions think about how to tackle the 2022 NFL draft, the concept of a trade back likely makes plenty of sense for the team, especially given the fact that the team has a vast amount of future needs.
Naturally, a good way to check off those needs is to have as many cracks at picks as possible. If there was a way for Detroit to trade back, then, it would make sense for them to do so, especially if they could do it while still landing one of the top players on the draft board.
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Early in the mock circuit, that outcome hasn’t been one that has been shown a lot for the team, but it’s still something that Lions fans need to think about as it relates to how to improve their whole team quickly. A new NFL.com mock draft from Lance Zierlein shows a look at what an ideal trade could look like for the team.
Zierlein has the Lions moving back to the sixth spot via trade with Carolina and still managing to land Michigan standout pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson. Zierlein writes that Hutchinson “is well-liked around the league, but maybe not loved. He lacks explosive get-off and has below-average length, which may push him down a little bit.”
After that, Zierlein has the Lions sticking with the 32nd pick and landing Jameson Williams, a wideout from Alabama. Zierlein admits he may not assist the Lions a lot in 2022 as he goes through injury recovery, but concedes for Detroit, “the long-term potential for the explosive deep-ball threat is what matters most.”
All-told, this is a good haul in a trade back scenario for the Lions, and something the team should remember. If there’s a deal to be made this year, it needs to look something like this in terms of return and players.
Lions Recently Instructed to Trade Top Pick as Bold Move
In an Insider post at ESPN, Football Outsiders put together a list of the boldest moves every team can make this offseason, and when it came to the Lions, a big trade was the big idea. As explained in the piece, the site believes the Lions need to be deciding to trade the second-overall pick and find a way to add even more selections in the 2022 NFL draft.
As was said, “Detroit is so far away from being a complete team that it would be better off acquiring as many dart throws as possible to fill out the roster with young talent.” For that reason, they believe the Lions should be dealing the second-overall pick for some sort of major haul. The reason? The Lions don’t exactly have a lot of talented players across the roster now.
Specifically, the piece says that even if the Lions cannot get a major haul for their pick, they should still look to dump it and try to add more to the pick stable, even if it means trading it for “cheap,” also known as only one first-round pick or a pair of second-round picks.
What Detroit elects to do will remain to be seen, but the notion remains out there that the team needs to think about making a deal with their top draft selection.
Hutchinson & Williams’ Stats & Highlights
For the Lions to land each of these players, it would have to be considered a pretty significant win. The team needs to find a way to get playmakers at every level, and each of these players plus extra picks would help provide that quickly.
This year, Hutchinson put together a stellar regular season with 14 sacks, 58 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. He looked like one of the best defenders in college football throughout the second half of the season and was a problem for whatever teams have lined up against him thus far:
In terms of Williams, there is no doubting the wideout’s talent when completely healthy. Whether he is healed from the ACL injury or not is the biggest question. Production-wise, the Lions could do a lot worse than Williams, who managed to put up a solid 1,838 yards and 18 career touchdowns between two career stops with Ohio State and Alabama. This past season, Williams showed signs of being a dynamo while playing for the Crimson Tide with big plays all over the field:
If the Lions could land both of these players as well as another middle round draft pick, this trade would have to be considered a big win and perhaps arguably the best outcome for the team overall if a deal is made.