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Detroit Lions draft rumor: Detroit eyeing trade down with Falcons?

Draft rumors are untrustworthy, but this one makes some sense.

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Detroit Lions Introduce Matt Patricia Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

NFL Draft rumors this time of year are about as trustworthy as Matt Millen in a war room. So, be sure to keep that in mind when moving forward with this story. In fact, the purpose of this post is not to give the rumor some credence but to simply explore the possibility that is being presented here.

Disclaimer aside, let’s talk about what Dave-Te’ Thomas of Scouting Services Inc. had to say about the Detroit Lions and draft season. On the Scout’s Honor podcast, Thomas speculated that the Lions are potentially working on a trade down scenario with their eighth overall pick.

“The Detroit Lions love T.J. Hockenson. They really would like to take him as their starting tight end, but at number eight, they think that they could move down a few slots and still find him there and if not, possibly his teammate Noah Fant,” Thomas said.

Everyone loves the idea of trading down. But in order to actually pull it off, you need to find a willing partner. Enter the Atlanta Falcons and their 14th overall pick.

Atlanta recently used the franchise tag on defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, but the sides remain far apart in negotiations for a long-term deal. Last year, the Falcons ranked 30th in run defense DVOA and gave up the third-highest yards per carry (4.9). According to Thomas, beefing up that defensive line to help stop the run is of the highest priority for the Falcons.

Which brings us to Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, a player the Falcons reportedly covet in this year’s draft class. Thomas believes Atlanta likes Oliver enough to potentially move up for him to secure their defensive tackle of the future.

So what would it be the return for the Lions if they dropped six spots to 14? Depending on which value chart you use, it’s some worth somewhere around a late second-round pick. Thomas predicts a little bit less.

“It’s probably going to cost you your number 14, it’s probably going to cost you a third rounder and a Day 3 pick in order to do that.”

Of course, a trade like this is contingent on both players in question being there when the Lions are on the clock. No trade like this will happen before draft day, because there is no guarantee that Oliver and Hockenson will both be available when the Lions are on the clock.

But it does present a pretty logical scenario in which Detroit would be happy to move down and acquire some extra draft capital from a team that reportedly loves a prospect that may require a trade up to acquire.

Will it actually happen? We can only wait.


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