The Detroit Lions secured a top 10 draft selection with their miserable finish last season, and now that they are preparing for the offseason, thoughts turn to what the team will need to do in order to improve in a big way next season.
Already, there figures to be some huge changes on the horizon for the Lions, and the biggest might be on the offensive side of the ball. A new quarterback will come to the team in Jared Goff, and some new weapons could be on tap for Goff to throw to when he gets to the Motor City.
Detroit’s been figured to potentially be interested in selecting a wideout, but what if they traded up for arguably the best one in the 2021 NFL Draft? That’s just what an analyst wants to see the team do in order to kick-start potentially one of the next great offenses in the league.
Recently, Bleacher Report and writer Maurice Moton put together a piece which detailed some of the moves that should be made to create the next great offenses in the league. For the Lions, the move was simple. Trade up from pick seven to pick five in the draft in order to grab Ja’Marr Chase for the offense.
“In order to compete with the Packers’ top-scoring offense, the Lions will need more firepower. They could move up to acquire one of the top two wide receivers in the draft class.
While the move seems bold, Detroit could pair LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase with Kenny Golladay, who’s prepared to accept the franchise tag, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
“Being honest, I’d rather get a deal done,” Golladay said. “But if the franchise tag would come, I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. So yeah, for sure I want to get a long-term deal done.”
The Lions should target the No. 5 spot because the Cincinnati Bengals could consider Chase even though wide receiver isn’t one of their top needs. ESPN’s Ben Baby discussed the possibility of an LSU reunion between quarterback Joe Burrow and Chase if the front office addresses the offensive line in free agency.
Nonetheless, Cincinnati may take a cost-effective approach with a depressed salary cap. Secondly, Trent Williams is arguably the best impending free-agent tackle, and the San Francisco 49ers could re-sign him.
In this trade scenario, the Bengals could slide down two slots and still potentially land Oregon’s Penei Sewell if they don’t address the position during free agency. Picking at No. 6, the Philadelphia Eagles already have their starting tackles in Andre Dillard and Lane Johnson.
With Golladay possibly having to prove he’s worth a long-term deal on the franchise tag, he and Chase could wreak havoc on pass defenses across the league. The latter opted out of the 2020 campaign, but he had a spectacular 2019 season, hauling in 84 passes for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Toss in Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson and dual-threat running back D’Andre Swift, who will line up in the slot, and you have an explosive young offense primed to score a lot of points.”
Within the deal, Moton has the Lions dealing the seventh pick as well as a third-round draft selection to facilitate the move. That’s not a high cost given Detroit just added another third-round selection in the trade for Goff, but given Detroit wants to grab assets, it would be interesting to see how much they value a high pick such as this.
The Lions could have the makings of an elite offense if they were to add Chase or even another wide receiver high in the draft this year. Making a trade for one via a draft move would certainly be interesting.
Ja’Marr Chase Stats
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. That’s the reason someone like Detroit could have to trade up to secure him if they decide he is the best player in the class at the position.
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Likelihood of Lions Draft Day Trade Strong
The Lions feel likely to move around on draft day. This offseason, the team has said they wish to build through the NFL Draft, and doing that will likely take an array of picks. The Lions don’t have many, so trading back for a team desperately hunting a quarterback could actually be the better option for the team rather than trading up, but this would be a modest move for the Lions to make if they decided to roll the dice and do it.
Wideout figures to be one of the deepest spots in he draft this year, but a talent like Chase doesn’t come along often. Would Detroit make this move? There’s a few more months to go for the team to ponder it.
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