Welcome to two days before the 2021 NFL Draft, a spot where you’re wondering if the Hellmouth will swallow your whole body and soul, or like Dante, you’ll escape the grasp of Mephistopheles himself and emerge to safety.
On Tuesday morning, Good Morning Football played around with the idea of the Detroit Lions putting their No. 7 pick up for sale in a segment they call, “Bro You’re On The Clock.” The panel proposed three different scenarios with three different teams looking to move up in the first round.
If you're the Lions, would you give up the #7 overall pick for one of these trades? pic.twitter.com/QWLvzY5Fz5— GMFB (@gmfb) April 27, 2021
Since they put this out into existence, and general manager Brad Holmes is “still open” to trading the team’s first pick, let’s examine and grade these three scenarios.
Detroit trades within the NFC North
Intradivision trading doesn’t happen all that often, especially in the case where there’s potentially a franchise quarterback on the board, but in this scenario, Detroit drops down from seven to 20 in the first round, adds a 2022 first-round pick, and defensive lineman Akiem Hicks from the Chicago Bears.
In terms of value, this stinks. Detroit takes themselves out of the running for a blue-chip player by moving from seven to 20. Hicks turns 32 this season, and while he’s been a productive player, the Lions already grabbed a veteran leader for the defensive line in Michael Brockers. For a team that doesn't plan on contending in 2021, I don’t see the value in adding Hicks to this roster, especially when he’s on the final year of his expensive contract ($10.4M salary for 2021). The 2022 first-round pick is probably the most valuable asset in the deal, especially if you view the Bears as a team on the decline.
Detroit goes to Washington
Again, what even is this? Detroit would send their seventh overall pick to Washington in exchange for No. 19 in the first round and their 2022 first-round pick. Let me get this straight: Detroit passes on a blue-chip player—whether it be a franchise tackle, quarterback, or wide receiver—in exchange for a dart to throw towards the end of the first round and... a pick next year? Maybe if there was some young talent included in this deal from Washington this would be more appealing, but this is just downright insulting.
The Patriot Way
So if there’s an even remotely attractive offer in this bunch, it’s the deal with the New England Patriots. New England’s pick at No. 15 takes Detroit slightly out of range for a blue-chip player, but at least they accumulate some extra picks both now—an extra second-round pick (46 overall) and a fourth-round pick (122 overall) this year—and later—a 2022 second-round pick.
If you head over to this NFL draft pick value chart developed by Rich Hill of Pats Pulpit, Detroit’s No. 7 pick is valued at 426 points. New England’s package of picks in return has a gross value of 467 points without counting the 2022 second-round pick, so they certainly pay a reasonable, yet requisite premium for moving up.
While I don’t love the idea of Detroit trading out of selecting a potential franchise quarterback, this trade strikes a good balance of overall value without moving too far down. It’s the most attractive of the bunch.