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NFL mock draft trade: How the Lions can help the Seahawks protect Russell Wilson

Seattle needs to bolster its offensive line for their franchise quarterback and Detroit could be the match if they’re interested in moving back.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, I’ve become the poster boy for “that guy” during the offseason. “That guy” being the person who loves to talk about moving back in the draft and acquiring assets and living on the hopes and dreams of teams overvaluing prospects to the point where teams will pay handsomely in draft capital for said prospect.

I’ve come to terms with it, and I’m wholeheartedly embracing it. Will I be crushed if the Lions take a player at No. 21? So long as it isn’t David Njoku, I’ll have no problem with Bob Quinn. Conversely, would I love for Quinn to channel the inner-Joe Dumars that lies dormant within all of us? Absolutely.

An inspiration to not only Kevin Gates, but multitaskers everywhere.

The Lions invested heavily in re-tooling their offensive line through free agency, adding Rick Wagner and T.J. Lang to improve on the talent who filled those positions in 2016—Riley Reiff and Larry Warford respectively. Rebuilding the right side of their offensive line was definitely a worthwhile venture to take during free agency because when it comes to offensive line prospects in this year’s draft, the talent pool is shallow, and particularly so at tackle—a position left void by the aforementioned departure of Reiff.

So when Detroit made that choice to spend for Wagner and Lang, the opportunity cost became the defense. It’s no secret Detroit’s best defense in 2016 was their offense, but the cause for concern is that not much has be done to improve the defense in preparation for 2017. Quinn has made marginal improvements to the defense by securing rotational depth like Cornelius Washington and Akeem Spence, but the team would greatly benefit by adding a more dynamic closed-end opposite of Ezekiel Ansah and a true pass-rushing three-tech next to A’Shawn Robinson. D.J. Hayden is a chance to catch lightning in a bottle and Paul Worrilow will play special teams and serve as serviceable depth apparently compete for some actual playing time:

In short, Detroit needs help on defense and a lot of it. It’s simple enough to think Quinn can just draft eight defensive players and that would solve all the Lions problems, but Detroit didn’t escape free agency without places to still upgrade on offense. With the NFL Draft one of the last viable stops along the Road to WrestleMania way to add that help before the start of the 2017 season, the Lions are in luck; according to Mike Mayock, this draft class is “easily the best defensive draft class in 10 years.”

“Great, here comes the part where the Lions solve their problems by trading down”
— probably you.

Look, when you point one finger at me, three more point back at you. Instead, over the next few days, let’s examine some of the teams that could be interested in moving up and what Detroit could gain in return.

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks need to protect Russell Wilson on the football field because they sure as hell can’t protect him from the internet:

Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh @future

A post shared by Antwan Del Taco (@valley_boy24) on

Seattle’s offensive line was an unmitigated disaster last season as Wilson led the league in yards lost to sacks (293) and even though they were 99 percent closer to upgrading it during free agency, you always have to account for that one percent.

Germain Ifedi, Seattle’s first-round pick in 2016, hasn’t made the best first impression, and even after adding Luke Joeckel—the former No. 2 overall pick in 2013—in free agency, well, that isn’t exactly inspiring a ton of confidence either. The team’s serious interest in T.J. Lang during free agency definitely spells out a need to upgrade, and not only at guard, but either tackle positions as well: none of Seattle’s offensive tackles received a Pro Football Focus grade higher than 38.

Mock trade

  • Seattle trades No. 26, No. 102 and No. 210
  • Detroit trades No. 21

Hooray for compensatory picks now being trade-eligible! Detroit slides back five spots, adds an extra pick on Day 2 and creates the opportunity to be flexible later in the draft. For Seattle, the Seahawks leap the Dolphins, Giants and Texans, all teams that are certainly in the market to upgrade along the offensive line. Denver is another team that will likely have an eye on going with an offensive lineman, but the price to move up from 26 to 18 might be too costly for Seattle, so a deal between the Lions and Seahawks could very well materialize after the Broncos pick is in at No. 20.

Fanspeak simulation

Fanspeak

After making the deal, Seattle ended up selecting Ryan Ramczyk, an offensive tackle from Wisconsin at 21. Cornerbacks like Marlon Humphrey and Gareon Conley were there at 26, as well as defensive ends Derek Barnett and Takkarist McKinley, but the need at linebacker was too great. With Reuben Foster, Haason Reddick and Zach Cunningham long gone—No. 7 to San Diego, No. 9 to Cincinnati and No. 17 to Washington respectively—Jarrad Davis was the best linebacker available.

In round two, Derek Rivers fell to Detroit after a string of cornerbacks came off the board. Other players available included: Montravius Adams, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Fabian Moreau, Justin Evans and Evan Engram.

The third round was the toughest of all. With another selection just 17 picks away, two players were being seriously considered at 85: CB Ahkello Witherspoon and TE Adam Shaheen. Shaheen ended up being taken two picks earlier than the additional draft pick acquired in the mock trade.

Overall, a lot of the Lions needs heading into the draft were met with quality players, and some that could be immediate contributors. Those of you who are ready for the Lions to add a running back earlier than round three, shame on you.

Bold prediction

Seattle is closer to contending than not, and that’s a unique place for a team to be in the NFL. Last year, the Vikings found themselves in a precarious situation without starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Instead of standing pat and hoping Shaun Hill could get the job done, the Vikings went out and traded their 2017 first-round draft pick and a conditional draft pick in 2018 for Sam Bradford. The window for a Super Bowl doesn’t remained propped open for long, and with the way the Vikings felt about their defense, last year was the time to make a move.

If Detroit isn’t the team they make a trade with, I still think Seattle makes a deal with another team because improving their protection on offense is—and should be—their number one priority. Not many other teams in the league are as structurally sound as the Seahawks, but they need their offensive line to take a huge step forward before they can make another deep run in the playoffs. Seattle won’t have to pay as steep a price as Minnesota paid for Bradford, but moving up to grab Garrett Boles from Utah or Ryan Ramczyk from Wisconsin could be the move that keeps Wilson upright and brings them closer to another Super Bowl.