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2018 NFL mock draft trades: Detroit Lions trade 1st-round pick for an EDGE

Could the Lions trade their first-round pick for a player and future pick?

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NFL: AFC Divisional-Houston Texans at New England Patriots Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

It was just a few weeks ago when ESPN’s Bill Barnwell proposed an interesting—yet impossible—draft day trade for the Lions. In a three-way trade, Detroit hypothetically sent Ezekiel Ansah, their first and third-round pick for the sixth overall pick and Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers. Unfortunately, the Rams already traded away the 23rd overall pick involved in this scenario, making this proposal—which earned a 59 percent approval rate from Lions fans—impossible.

But Barnwell is at it again this week, and he proposed yet another intriguing trade for the Lions. On Monday, Barnwell penned his “2018 All-Trade Mock Draft” in which every team trades their pick in the first round. Here’s is the proposed trade for the Lions.

Texans get: Lions’ 20th overall pick
Lions get: Defensive end Whitney Mercilus, Texans’ 2019 first-round pick

This would be an intriguing trade for a couple of reasons. Instead of taking a risk on a first-round rookie edge rusher (or whatever the Lions would take), Detroit gets a proven talent in Mercilus at a fair price. Mercilus has two more years on a four-year contract with base salaries of just $4.75 million and $5.75 million respectively.

Mercilus has been playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 system in Houston, and while he has undoubtedly benefited from a strong defensive line in front of him, he’s performed quite well. PFF ranked him in the top 15 at his position in back-to-back years in 2015 and 2016, culminating 12.0 and 7.5 sack seasons respectively.

Unfortunately, Mercilus’ 2017 season was cut short due to a torn pectoral muscle in early October. He doesn’t have a long injury history and he’s expected to be fully ready by training camp, so this doesn’t appear to be a long-term concern. Additionally, Mercilus is a year younger than Ezekiel Ansah, so he could provide a longer term option than Ansah, who is on a one-year franchise tag.

And on top of that, the Lions would get the Texans’ 2019 first-round draft pick, which could theoretically be even better than the 20th overall pick the Lions have this year. Though the Texans are in a pretty weak division and Deshaun Watson certainly gives them a chance to win a playoff spot, they are coming off a very disappointing 4-12 season.

Bob Quinn hasn’t been one for many draft day trades so far, but if some of their top options are gone by pick 20, this is certainly an out-of-the-box way to fill their needs for 2018 and beyond.


Would you make this trade?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    Yes, let’s do it!
    (1426 votes)
  • 37%
    Only if the board falls unfavorably
    (1185 votes)
  • 18%
    Heck no
    (585 votes)
3196 votes total Vote Now

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