Lions’ Rumored Draft Pick Trade Package for Deebo Samuel Surfaces

Deebo Samuel

Getty Deebo Samuel runs with the ball during a January 2022 game in Los Angeles.

The Detroit Lions were serious about adding a top-flight wide receiver leading into the NFL draft, and while many might have been skeptical about their interest in Deebo Samuel, the team did have interest in the player and an offer on the table.

Samuel didn’t end up getting traded during the draft as many figured he would, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying to pry him away by teams. The Lions were one such team looking to pry Samuel from San Francisco, and even had a decent offer on the table to do so.

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According to NFL Network analyst Ian Rapoport, the Lions offered a pair of draft picks for Samuel. Joining the Rich Eisen Show after the draft, Rapoport revealed that the Lions had offered a first-round pick and a third-round pick for Samuel. Likely, the Lions offered pick 32 and 66 or 97 for the wideout in connecting some of the obvious dots.

“The Lions offer was I think a one and a three. The 49ers didn’t view that as a good enough offer. They wanted to keep the player anyway, so they just didn’t trade him,” Rapoport told Eisen on the show.

When San Francisco didn’t blink, it became clear that the Lions would have to go in another direction and they quickly pivoted to finding their guy in the draft in the form of Jameson Williams. That trade allowed the Lions to get better value on their end and also capture an explosive talent.

What this shows is the Lions were serious about Samuel and did try to the bitter end to facilitate a move.

Lions Went With Jameson Williams Instead of Samuel Trade

Instead of making the trade for Samuel, the Lions decided to bet big on the 2022 NFL draft and Williams from the Alabama Crimson Tide. Detroit ended up dealing pick 32, 34 and 66 to Minnesota for pick 12 and 46. It may have cost the Lions an extra selection to make this move rather than the rumored price for the Samuel package, but in the end, it could be worth it. Williams offers the Lions the same kind of explosive ceiling and will cost less for a handful of years on a rookie contract. Samuel is going to want to get paid fast, and would have cost the Lions against the salary cap dearly in the short and long term.

To this end, the Lions made the right choice to go with Williams and gamble on his potential instead. Analysts have proclaimed him one of the top wideouts in the draft if not the top wideout, so in time, he could become a younger, cheaper version of Samuel. Detroit called San Francisco’s bluff and they didn’t blink. As a result, they ended up with another electric young wideout from the SEC in Williams.

Samuel’s Career Stats & Highlights

There’s no doubting what Samuel brings from a talent perspective on the field, and little question he would have been worth such a haul to the Lions. Since coming into the NFL in 2019 as a second-round pick out of South Carolina, Samuel has been changing minds on how the wideout position is played given his ability to be a versatile weapon. Samuel was a first-team All-Pro in 2021 as well as a Pro Bowler. Statistically, he is a force, with 2,598 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns to go with 550 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns.

Here’s a glimpse at some of Samuel’s big-play ability:

It’s safe to say that adding Samuel to the mix would have been a game-changing move for a Lions team that needed a dramatic shakeup at wideout. The trade didn’t pan out, but the Lions ended up with another top option in Williams, who could trend toward being another big-time NFL player.

What this offer shows is the Lions were serious about wideout. They ended up getting their man eventually, and it wasn’t for a lack of trying on Samuel.

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