Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia isn’t one to say much during press conference or any other interviews with the media. He’s a guy that likes to play things close to the vest, in an effort to keep things “inside the building” and in the name of holding a competitive advantage over his opponents.
But in his end-of-season interview with DetroitLions.com’s Tori Petry, he let loose an interesting tidbit when asked about the draft. Here’s the exchange between Petry and Patricia.
Petry: “You guys have the No. 8 pick, what advantage can a top-10 pick give you?”
Patricia: “When we get into that process, we’ll obviously understand the different talent level that’s out there, but I think when you have top-10 drafting power, it also gives you a value of trade. So I think there’s things in there that we can do, or teams might look for those particular spots, or we might have a player that we may like in those spots through the course of the draft.”
Now any talk about the draft this far away from draft day is premature and obviously all speculation, but I find it very interesting that Patricia immediately talked about the possibility of trading. Over the course of years, the Patriots have become known for their trade down strategies, and this could be something that Patricia also lives by. However, it’s worth noting that last year, the Lions traded up twice: once in the second round to grab Kerryon Johnson, and later, sending a 2019 third-round pick for a 2018 fourth-round pick—when they grabbed Da’Shawn Hand.
And just in case you were wondering what kind of value the Lions could have in a trade-down scenario*, Chris Burke of The Athletic came out with a timely article exploring that exact topic on Thursday. Here’s a look at some of the most recent trades involving the No. 8 pick, according to Burke:
- 2014: Minnesota traded Nos. 9 and 145 to Cleveland for No. 8.
- 2013: St. Louis traded Nos. 16, 46, 78 and 222 to Buffalo for Nos. 8 and 71.
- 2008: Jacksonville traded Nos. 26, 71, 89 and 125 to Baltimore for No. 8.
*Note: Patricia could also be hinting at a trade up, but that seems more unlikely based on how he worded it. However, Burke’s article explores that possibility, too.
Now, there are a lot of factors that will impact whether the Lions plan on moving out of their current position with the eighth overall pick. At this point, there’s hardly any agreement as to which players deserve to be atop each team’s big board, and how the picks fall on draft day will undoubtedly change each team’s strategy. But it appears moving from the No. 8 pick is fresh on Patricia’s mind, and that’s something to keep in mind when the day comes in late April.