Trade Back Or Move Up? 3 Potential Trades for Lions in NFL Draft


During day one of the 2022 NFL Draft, we saw plenty of significant trades occur. The Eagles made the move for wideout AJ Brown to help them on their Super Bowl run, Arizona traded a first-round pick for receiver Hollywood Brown, and the Saints traded three picks to move up to grab Ohio State’s Chris Olave.

Brad Holmes was not excluded from the Draft Day festivities, though, as he made a deal with his division rival, the Vikings, to move up to take Jameson Williams. The thought on everyone’s mind right now is, “what could Brad Holmes be cooking up for this year’s draft?”.

Here are three potential trades the Lions could make on Draft Day:

Detroit Moves Up To Pick #3 For Will Anderson Jr.

This feels odd to say, but the Lions really don’t have any glaring holes in their roster. However, a team can never have enough pass rush. Although the Lions could take the chance and stay at pick six for Texas Tech’s EDGE, Tyree Wilson, I believe Will Anderson Jr. is more of a “can’t miss” prospect. In 41 total games with Alabama, Anderson Jr. recorded 34.5 sacks with 58.5 TFL’s and 204 total tackles. He has the frame and athleticism to be an elite pass rusher in the NFL. Paired up with Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston, the Lions pass rush can be become very, very scary.

I don’t think Anderson Jr. will get passed Arizona at 3 or Seattle at 5. Heck, he might not even get passed Houston at 2nd overall, as they brought in 49ers’ Defensive Coordinator, DeMeco Ryans, as their new head coach. The Texans could be in a position to take best available, even though they have a need at quarterback. With that being said, if Anderson Jr. is still on the board at pick 3, I can see Holmes pulling the trigger to set himself up to select the pass rusher out of Alabama.

Potential Trade Details:

  • Arizona receives – #6, #81, #152, 2024 second-round pick
  • Detroit receives – #3, 2024 third-round pick

Detroit Trades Back To Pick #12 With Houston 

As I stated, Houston could be looking to go best available with their pick at 2. However, the quarterback position really needs to be addressed for the Texans. Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Will Levis and Anthony Richardson are all expected to go very early in the first-round, and there are a group of teams drafting in the 7 to 16 range that could be interested in trading up for a quarterback, but I think Houston is in the best position to do it. The Texans received a plethora of draft picks from Cleveland for Deshaun Watson and may be willing to send some of those picks to Detroit to select their franchise quarterback.

On The Rich Eisen Show, Coach Dan Campbell was asked if he has a “man-crush” on any of the prospects in this draft, like he did Aidan Hutchinson in last years’ draft. “Yes I do, and I’ve got more than one,” Campbell said. If Campbell feels like one of his “man-crushes” will be there at 12, I think Holmes should move back for picks. Now, moving up 6 spots in the NFL draft won’t be cheap (especially with top quarterbacks available), so I believe Brad Holmes can get a future first-round pick in this deal.

Potential Trade Details:

  • Houston receives – #6, #83 (From Denver)
  • Detroit receives – #12, #33, 2024 first-round pick (From Cleveland)

Detroit Moves On From Swift, Drafts Bijan Robinson

Heading into his fourth season, running back D’Andre Swift has been riddled with injuries to start his career. The Lions are in a position to win, and I’m not sure they can count on Swift to stay on the field. I will say this, when Swift is healthy, man is he good. However, Texas running back, Bijan Robinson, will most likely be there at 18 for the Lions in the NFL Draft.

Robinson is one of the best running back prospects the draft has seen in a couple years, but teams are hesitant to take running backs early in drafts now. Meaning, if this was five years ago, Robinson might’ve been regarded as a sure-fire top-5 pick. Swift is on the last year of his rookie-deal, and he may not be worth paying. So taking Bijan gives you a running back on a rookie contract, who just adds another element to this already explosive Lions offense. Goff, Jamo, Amon-Ra, Montgomery and Bijan doesn’t sound half-bad to me.

A team that could be in the market for a running back like Swift could be the Miami Dolphins. They just made the move for Jalen Ramsey, and it’s looking like they have their mind set on the Lombardi next year.

Potential Trade Details:

  • Miami receives – D’Andre Swift, 2024 fifth-round pick
  • Detroit receives – #84

Bottom Line: Trust In Brad Holmes

I have never been more confident in a Detroit GM prior to a draft than I am with Brad Holmes. Holmes and Coach Campbell came in with a plan, and it seems to be working. They might move up, trade back, or decide to move on from a player already on the roster. We just have to trust that they are making the right moves for the team and the organization. The excitement for the 2023 NFL Draft is growing every day.


Article written by Woodward Sports guest writer, Caleb Czarnik

Photo Credit: © Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

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