Trading down in the NFL Draft. It's something that, in every draft cycle, gets written about in regards to every team. At some point, you are required to consider the possibility of the team you are writing about trading down. However, in recent years, after the new CBA, trading down has become easier. So, what about the Lions and the possibility of them trading down?
Obviously, I'd be glad to see it happen. The Lions are currently at the 10 spot. However, their major needs are cornerback and wide receiver. Taking a wide receiver that high isn't usually something I agree with. A lot of folks have Mike Evans plugged into that spot for Detroit. I'm not too into that. It'd be alright, I guess. Justin Gilbert, the cornerback, I'd be happier with. The thing is, the Lions need depth at wide receiver and in the secondary. So, if they could trade down, and maybe pick up an extra second-round pick, that'd be pretty top notch.
Wide receiver is deep, because there are so many of them every year and college becomes more and more pass happy. Finding receivers in the later rounds is common. This is a solid year for cornerbacks as well. Trading down in the first round, getting a cornerback like Darqueze Dennard or a wide receiver like Marqise Lee in the first round, and then taking a couple of guys in the second round, would be ideal. If they trade down late into the first round, they could perhaps pick up another selection even, and still get a burner like Brandin Cooks or a slot cornerback like Jason Verrett.
That's not what is the most pertinent, however. What matters most is how plausible this is. Can the Lions trade down. For that to happen, they need to find a trade partner, and for that to happen they need a team who wants to get up ahead of the teams drafting after Detroit. Those teams? The Tennessee Titans and the New York Giants.
Now, at this point, no quarterback worth drafting is going to be around. That's the prime position somebody would trade up for. Maybe somebody would trade up to take Evans here, but would they worry about getting ahead of the Titans? I'm not so sure. There are teams that need receivers, but they also probably realize they can sit where they are and get Lee or Cooks or Ordell Beckham Jr. So that's not likely.
Both the Titans and Giants could draft C.J. Mosley, the linebacker from Alabama. He's the clear top inside linebacker. The only problem is, would somebody trade up to take an inside linebacker? Maybe, but it isn't a terribly important position. Todd McShay's latest mock draft has the Ravens taking Mosley at 17? But would they bother trading up? That'd be a nice match for the Lions. At 17, Dennard or Lee would be a real possibility.
Detroit's best chance, however, is finding somebody who wants to get an offensive tackle. Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews will likely be gone. Then, there's Michigan's Taylor Lewan. He's the last of the top three offensive tackles. That's a position people trade up for. A lot of people want tackles. It is a commodity. The Lions could capitalize on that.
For example, the Cardinals, who don't have a lot of needs, really could use a tackle. They pick 20th. Lewan won't be there. Zach Martin might not even be there. Might they trade up? The Giants definitely need a tackle. The only problem is that the Titans may not necessarily be in the market. Would a team just try and make a trade with them instead? Then, the Lions' best hope would be that the Titans just aren't interested in trading. Then, Detroit becomes a team's best chance.
Perhaps the Lions will stay put and take Evans or Gilbert. A trade, though, definitely seems possible, and would help them accrue some depth. Cheap depth too. The kind a team with salary cap issues need.