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2023 NFL Draft rumor: Detroit Lions have already made calls to trade down from 18

According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the Detroit Lions have already made calls to potentially trade down from Pick 18 in the 2023 NFL DRaft.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Last week, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes noted that they were in a position to do just about anything they wanted in the 2023 NFL Draft.

“I would say yes because I do feel like we’re in a position where we can really do anything we want,” Holmes said. “I just don’t feel like we’re pressed. And when I say that, I’m not saying we have a perfect roster. Nothing like that. Actually, I’m in the mindset of—look, if you think you’re set and you think you’re done and you can go anywhere—I mean if you take your foot off the gas, you can have problems lurking down the road. So, we’re just being thorough. We’ll be prepared. But I do like the fact that we can pretty much go any direction we want, and we can feel pretty good about it.”

You can read that quote and interpret it in several different ways, but on the surface, it sure sounds like Holmes is very much considering moving up and down this draft. And the latest draft rumor—via Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated—seems to follow along with that.

“I’ve heard the Lions have already made calls on trading down from No. 18,” Breer wrote on Monday.

The fact that Holmes is already on the phone should surprise no one. As the Lions general manager explained last year after the team traded up 20 spots for Jameson Williams, these conversations begin well before draft night.

“It actually started before tonight,” Holmes said of the Williams trade. “Again, you never know if a trade can be pulled off or not because when you’re trying to find a trade partner. There’s often contention about, ‘We’re seeing if this guy (is available),’ especially if you’re trading up higher.”

In other words, it’s smart to have potential deals in place before draft night. That way, if the board eventually falls a particular way, you can spend your time on the clock tweaking the deal, rather than frantically calling anyone who will listen about a potential trade.

The more interesting point here is the Lions seeking a trade down from 18. That suggests the Lions think there could be a pretty significant drop-off in talent around that spot, and are more interested in adding draft capital either for either this year or next. The Lions already have nine picks in this year’s draft—including five in the first three rounds—so it would make sense if Detroit is considering adding more picks for future classes.

But, as always, this is draft week and rumors are just that. You may remember that last year, the buzz was all about how enamored the Lions were with Kayvon Thibodeaux before they ended up taking Aidan Hutchinson over him. So take everything you hear—including from us—with a grain of salt.

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