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Notes: PFF offers what a trade down from 32 might look like for Lions

Using trades from past NFL drafts, PFF’s Brad Spielberger offers an intriguing option for the Lions at 32

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NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

While much of the media spends their days leading up to the NFL draft debating on trades within the top-five picks, those transactions aren’t all that common. That’s not to say one definitively won’t happen this year. You never know who might fall in love with a quarterback prospect, or one of the coveted offensive tackles in this year’s class. It could happen. But statistically speaking, it isn’t likely, especially in a year devoid of elite quarterback talent, or a nearly flawless EDGE player.

For general manager Brad Holmes and the Detroit Lions, the trade speculation won’t stop with their number two overall selection. Because of their trade that sent former franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams, the Lions own the 32nd overall pick, to go along with number two and pick 34. This gives Holmes and the front office plenty of options on how they want to approach year two of the rebuild.

In a mock draft on PFF, salary cap analyst Brad Spielberger has the Atlanta Falcons trading picks 43, 114, and 190 to the Lions for pick number 32.

“The bottom of the first round is a popular trade spot because of teams looking to secure the fifth-year option on a prospect, particularly a quarterback”, said Spielberger when explaining the logic behind the proposed trade. “Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is heading into his fifth-year option season after the team traded up to No. 32 overall with the Eagles in 2018, so here, we have the Falcons following the same idea.”

That fifth-year team option means a lot for franchises looking to select a quarterback in the draft. It gives them an additional year of the quarterback on his rookie deal, or in other scenarios, it can give the respective front office another year to evaluate whether or not they want to give a second contract to the player.

To me, this is a sound team-building strategy. If a general manager is going to roll the proverbial dice and take a quarterback, he might as well make the selection within the first 32 picks, allowing for that extra year to act as a buffer of sorts, if necessary. And while the Falcons still had to part with some draft capital to get back to pick 32, it’s still much less than the required capital it would take to get to the second overall pick.

And now, onto the rest of today’s notes:

  • Dan Campbell turned 46 today, and in preparation for Hard Knocks this summer, the Lions set us up with a throwback video of the Lions’ coach mic’d up last training camp.

  • Mel Kiper ruffled some feathers with his latest mock draft. Erik Schlitt has more on the surprise pick.

  • MLive’s Kyle Meinke shares his thoughts on the Lions potentially selecting another cornerback with a top-five pick.

  • The Lions hosted free agent safety DeShon Elliot for a visit. Jeremy Reisman has more on the potential fit for the former Baltimore Raven.

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