There are a lot of unrealistic things talked about in the football world. I am sure
you are all aware of the legend of the mock draft. Like the mock draft, there is
always discussion surrounding the concept of another team giving up a slew of draft
picks in a trade-up. We talk about it every year, and it would be glorious if it ever
happens.

We saw a lot of activity last year before the draft via a few trades involving the
San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and the Miami Dolphins. This year, a few
wild trades have made the almost impossible seem inevitable during the free
agency period.

3 Draft Trades for The Lions

Can the Lions trade the second overall pick? Yes, but don’t bet on it. Again, there
is always a bit of fantasy involved, but lets’ dream for a little bit, shall we?
These scenarios all involve another team needing a quarterback trading up to No.
2 overall with the Lions. That means teams must view a quarterback in the 2022
class as worthy of making that kind of jump. Whether that is the case is another
story, but I can confidently say the quarterback here is Liberty’s Malik Willis.
The draft value chart we will be referring to is here, and the Lions pick at two is
worth 2600 points. It gets complicated when accounting for future picks, so we
will be referring to the two moves the Dolphins made last year to move up in
Round 1 as a reference to how much value is applied to future picks.

An NFL personnel guy I worked for taught us that a future first-round pick is worth
a top-10 second-round selection. A future first-round pick is worth around 500
points, and that seems to hold up when looking at the two trades from last year.
Interestingly, a first-round choice two years out is discounted to around 400
points.

Last year, the San Francisco 49ers traded up to three overall and gave up pick 12,
a compensatory third in 2022, a first in 2022, and another in 2023. Pick three is
worth 2200 points. Pick 12 is worth 1200 points, and the compensatory pick was
worth around 100 points. That leaves the 2022 pick worth 500 points and the
2023 pick worth 400.

NFL Teams with QB Needs

There are three teams in the top-10 that need a quarterback. They are the
Carolina Panthers (6 overall), Atlanta Falcons (8 overall), and the Seattle Seahawks
(9 overall).

These teams would be making a small jump, but the price would still be hefty. It is
tough to see Carolina involved because they lack picks this year. After they pick
sixth, they do not make another pick in the 2022 draft until pick No. 137 in Round
4. Carolina does not have the capital to make this kind of move.

Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons can make this move, so let’s look at what they would have to
surrender to get to the second pick. The Falcons would offer pick No. 8 overall,
which is worth 1400 points. They would also add their third-round selection in
2022 (74 overall), and that pick is worth 220 points.

The Falcons would need to add first-round picks in 2023 and 2024, and we are
assuming those picks are worth 900 points. That gets the value they are trading
from 2520 points. That is not enough, and the Lions should ask for their second-
round pick instead, with the Lions throwing a later choice back to Atlanta.
It would look like this; the Falcons would give up pick 43 in Round 2 (470 points)
with the Lions throwing back pick No. 97 (112 points). In this scenario, the Falcons
picks are worth 2770 points, and the Lions would be throwing back 2712 points.
Teams making the jump seem to overpay just a touch, so I’d think the latter deal
is more likely the deal that would get made. It is easy to see how this would make
sense for the Lions unless they were completely sold on Willis’ ability to get to his
ceiling as a player, and if that’s the case, they are not trading the pick.

Seattle Seahawks Draft

Moving on to Seattle, their offer would look completely different than what
Atlanta would be offering. Seattle’s offer would be comprised of mostly picks in
this draft class. How do the Lions view this class? Do they want those valuable
picks now, or are they willing to push into the future?

Seattle could make the following offer. They would throw pick No. 9 overall,
which is worth 1350 points. Also, they have back-to-back picks in Round 2 in 2022.
Picks 40 and 41 are worth 500 and 490 points. The Lions ask for picks No. 40 and
No. 72 in Round 3, worth 230 points. The value is now at 2080 points.

The Lions ask for a 2023 first-round pick instead of the other second-round pick,
and that may help Seattle as it allows them to make a pick in Round 2 and add a
player. That is a total value of 2580 points, and you could argue that the
Seahawks need to add another draft choice to help out from a value standpoint.
A future second-round pick is worth around 210 points, so let’s throw that one in
to get the deal done. The Seahawks are now giving up a total of 2790 points, and
maybe the Lions have to throw pick No. 97 back here to make Seattle feel like
they are getting a little more out of the deal. Maybe.

But, for our purposes, it is enough to get a feel for the price. We see another case
where it is straightforward to see how this trade helps Detroit now and in the
future.

New Orleans Saints Draft

Now to a team making a big jump from the middle of the first round to the top.
Last week, the New Orleans Saints made a curious trade to acquire another first-
round pick in 2022. This feels like the first part of a two-part move to move up in
the draft to get to a quarterback.

The Saints give the Lions picks 16 and 19 in Round 1 and select No. 49 in
Round 2. Pick 16 is worth 1000 points, and pick 19 is worth 875 points. Pick 49 is
worth 410 points. The Saints also add a 2024 first-round pick (400 points) to the
mix. That is a total of 2685 points, right in the wheelhouse of what I think a trade
would look like, meaning the team jumping up the board overpays by around 100
points.

Detroit Lions Trade Options

We have laid out the particulars for three big trades the Lions might be able to
pull off, and here they are. Which would you prefer?
Trade 1)

Detroit trades pick No. 2 overall to Atlanta for pick No. 8, Atlanta’s second-round
pick (43), and Atlanta’s first-round selections in 2023 and 2024.
Trade 2)

Detroit trades pick No. 2 overall to Seattle for pick No. 9 overall, Seattle’s second-
round pick (No. 40), Seattle’s third-round pick (No. 72), a 2023 first-round
selection, and a 2023 second-round selection.
Trade 3)

Detroit trades pick No. 2 overall to New Orleans for pick No. 16 and pick No. 19 in
Round 1, New Orleans’ second-round pick (No. 49), and New Orleans’ 2024 first-
round selection.

Whatever trade you like, consider that the capital you are getting in return is
getting added to what the Lions already have. Pick 32, 34, 66, 97, and more in
2022, and (2) first-round picks and their second-round pick in 2023, likely a top 45
selection.

You can add these picks up on your own, but this would be a serious
accumulation of high-end draft capital which would help the Lions hasten their
rebuild.

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