As the debate rages on for who the Detroit Lions should select with the second-overall pick, there is always a conversation to be had about trading out of the team’s top spot in the draft, especially as the Lions are still in their rebuilding nascency. The desire to accumulate more draft capital is tempting, and it would make a lot of sense for Detroit, who has made clear through their free agency moves that they intend to build long-term through the draft.
In a small media session down at the owners meeting, Lions general manager Brad Holmes admitted he’s had a few preliminary conversations about moving down from that second-overall pick.
“Yeah we’ve had dialogue with a couple of teams,” Holmes said on Tuesday. “I wouldn’t say it’s been a lot, but it has been a couple teams we’ve had some dialogue with.”
One potential issue for the Lions is there does not appear to be a consensus can’t-miss pick at the top of the draft. NFL Draft analysts are having a hard time determining the top player at most specific positions, let alone at the top of the draft.
Perhaps more importantly, this draft class doesn’t appear to have a clear-cut franchise quarterback waiting in the wings for several quarterback-hungry teams behind the Lions in the draft order. However, Holmes said that perception may not be a reality for every team in the NFL.
“There’s 32 different draft boards,” Holmes said. “We have our value of guys, including the quarterback position, but that doesn’t mean the other 31 teams have the same exact value. It just depends on how they value those quarterbacks in this year’s class.”
Earlier this offseason during Senior Bowl week, Holmes said the Lions were “open for business” when it comes to potentially moving out of the No. 2 spot. On Tuesday, Holmes went a step further, saying that if the right deal comes along, he’d be more than happy to trade of out the second-overall pick before the draft—without knowing for certain what the Jacksonville Jaguars would do with the first pick.
“I think definitely we could pull that trade off, if the other team is willing, before the draft,” Holmes said.
Though talks have been relatively slow thus far for Detroit, Holmes expects that to heat up as we inch closer to the NFL Draft, which begins on Thursday, April 28. Last year, the Lions got some interest, but with the increased value of their pick this draft—from seven last year to two this year—Holmes believes his phone will be active over the next four weeks.
“It’s still relatively early for those discussions, but I would expect for it to heat up, especially with the pick that we have this year,” Holmes said. “Because it definitely heated up, even with us at seven last year. So I expect to have more dialogue.”