The buzz around the Detroit Lions with the seventh-overall pick continues to be around a potential trade down. On Monday, Albert Breer of MMQB called the Lions the “hungriest” team with a top-10 pick looking to move back. Furthermore, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network said the Lions and Carolina Panthers (with the eighth-overall pick) have been “fielding a lot of phone calls” a potential trade down.
Late last week, Lions general manager Brad Holmes addressed the option of trading down. He admitted that they have had phone conversations about trades, but would also be comfortable with a “cluster” of players if they stuck with the seventh-overall pick.
“At No. 7, we do have a cluster of players that we’re comfortable with picking. At the same time, we will be very prepared and also to move in either direction,” Holmes said last Friday.
Of course, in order to be able to move down, there has to be a team willing to give up valuable assets. Pelissero provided a little more clarity on who those teams may be.
“The Eagles have made a lot of phone calls, although that’s (Philadelphia general manager) Howie Roseman. He calls everybody every year about every pick just to see what it would take,” Pelissero said. “The Vikings have been active working the phones. That would probably be if one of those offensive tackles ends up sliding.
“This is an interesting one. The Patriots have been calling around in the top 10. And teams that have gotten those calls believe that their target would be Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.”
You can likely take the Vikings right off the Lions’ list of trade down candidates. Trading in the division is always a sketchy move, even if a small trade back to 14 may be ideal for Detroit. The Eagles at 12 make a tempting partner, as exemplified by Erik Schlitt’s mock draft in our Dueling Mock Drafts article from earlier on Monday. The Patriots would probably be the furthest back the Lions should be comfortable moving down, but it would also mean passing on Fields themselves, a move that could certainly come back to bite them.
Obviously, it’s a good sign that the Lions are fielding calls for the pick, simply because it means they could very well have options on draft day. The last thing a team in rebuild needs is a pigeon-holed approach, and while a strong pick at seven remains a good option, having the choice to move back and accumulate picks should be in high consideration as well.