When it comes to the 2022 NFL draft, the Detroit Lions have been seen as a team that could be open for business in plenty of ways. That might include a potential trade for the second-overall selection.
Typically, general managers don’t like to show their hand as it relates to draft planning. The Lions, though, have always seemed like they could trade down in this draft, and it’s looking possible that plan could be firmly on the table for this year if the team manages to find the right deal.
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Speaking during the annual owners meetings on Tuesday, March 29, general manager Brad Holmes was asked about where the team stands in the pre-draft process. As he admitted, he is taking a closer look at perhaps finding a trade for Detroit’s first-round pick if the right one comes along. MLive.com’s Kyle Meinke tweeted about Holmes’ thoughts after listening to him speak, and it’s clear the boss is potentially looking for a deal.
“The Lions have fielded calls from a couple teams about trading out of the No. 2 pick. Nothing serious yet per Brad Holmes, but talks are under way. Holmes says the Lions are willing to trade the No. 2 pick before the start of the draft. Detroit doesn’t need to see who goes No. 1 before making the decision to pull the trigger — for the right price, obviously,”Meinke tweeted after listening to Holmes speak.
News of this idea will please some, but be likely to dismay others. Plenty of folks want to see the Lions nab Michigan pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson. Dealing back would easily take Detroit out of play for that scenario, but could also add others into the mix such as selecting a defensive back, a solid wide receiver, one of Georgia’s elite defensive lineman or even a quarterback.
No matter what happens, a trade revolving around the second-overall pick is something that has to be watched and considered as a legitimate possibility now.
Why Trading Back Could Make Sense for Lions
The Lions have to find a way to patch multiple holes on their roster, given the team has needs on defense and offense. Finding a trade for the second-overall pick could allow the Lions to add to their draft pick stable. Detroit already has nine selections for this year after adding three more compensatory picks to the mix a few weeks ago. While nine picks is a good start, it might not be anywhere near enough for a needy team like the Lions. Detroit needs to find a way to get more players in order to keep their rebuild off the ground, and dealing back could allow the Lions to pick up at least a few more selections while not sacrificing much in terms of distance near the top of the draft board.
Detroit has plenty of needs and a pair of first-round picks already. If the Lions could move back and pick up an extra third-round pick or fourth-round pick, it would represent fantastic business for the team in terms of getting enough cracks at finding difference makers for the near future and rebuilding the roster.
Positions Lions Must Upgrade During 2022 NFL Draft
In terms of what spots the Lions might look to fix first, there seems to be no shortage of options or ideas for the team at this point. It’s fair to expect the Lions will look to boost up the team’s defense, even if they go in a different direction early on and don’t select a defensive lineman. The safety or cornerback spot could be upgraded, and the team needs to find some good depth at linebacker as well. On the offensive side of the ball, the Lions clearly need another wideout to add to a rising group, and quarterback could be in play for the team as well given the dynamic at that position with Jared Goff looking like a placeholder in Detroit. The Lions have nine draft picks with which to work, so there will be more players added to the mix to help serve as fixes for a needy roster.
After a modest free agency period, the Lions could be expected to use the draft as their main avenue for improvement in 2022. The Lions struggled with players filling roles in 2021, so the more players they have to fill out their depth for next season the better off they will be when the draft comes around.
For that reason, finding a way to work a deal might represent the best possible option for the Lions this April, or even before.