The NFL offseason is completely off the rails. The quarterback carousel has been something we may have never seen before, with the likes of Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Deshaun Watson, and Carson Wentz being moved in a matter of a month. That doesn’t even include the drama of Aaron Rodgers threatening to leave and Tom Brady’s short-lived retirement.
But the wide receivers have gotten into the mix two. Davante Adams was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders last week, and Tyreek Hill was traded to the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday. That’s two top-five receivers on the move, with both of them still in the prime of their careers.
On the surface, this doesn’t impact the Lions all that much. It’s nice to get Adams out of the division—and the conference, for that matter—but Detroit is not directly related to the trades in any other way.
But indirectly, this could actually have a huge impact on the Lions, specifically as it pertains to the 2022 NFL Draft.
In sending away Adams, the Packers acquired the Raiders’ 22nd overall pick (and others) to go with their 28th pick. The Chiefs received Pick 29 (and others) to go along with their 30th overall pick by trading away Hill. Of course, both teams now have glaring needs at wide receiver after sending away their best.
The Lions also have a pretty big long-term need for receiver, and many have mocked a pass catcher to Detroit with their 32nd or 34th overall pick in the draft. Now, there’s a pretty good chance the Lions may not have one of the top talents at receiver fall to them, with the Packers holding picks 22 and 28, and the Chiefs with back-to-back picks at 29 and 30.
That being said, this doesn’t necessarily put the Lions in a bad spot. Detroit added DJ Chark in free agency and re-signed Josh Reynolds. The trio of Chark, Reynolds, and Amon-Ra St. Brown is good enough to roll with in 2022, if necessary.
And the Lions have plenty of other needs—specifically on the defensive side of the ball—so, if there is a run on wide receivers in the 20s and 30s, then there’s a good chance a solid defensive prospect falls to them at the bottom of the first round and top of the second.
So while these trades may have cost Detroit a chance at adding yet another weapon to Jared Goff’s arsenal, the Lions could suddenly have a defensive player fall into their lap that wasn’t expected to be there.