NFL Draft 2020: 3 Detroit Lions trade scenarios

DETROIT – Four teams are left with a shot at winning the Super Bowl -- and for the other 28 teams in the NFL, the Draft is all that matters.

Last week, we broke down 3 potential picks the Lions could make at No. 3. This week, let’s look at three potential trades Detroit could make on draft night.

A few things before we dive into the trades. Trading down is fun. Every year, just about every fan wants their team to trade down and pick up extra picks, but the problem is -- it’s not that easy. For it to work, it needs to have the right combination of want and need:

  1. There has to be a player worth trading up for.
  2. There has to be a market for that player, at least 2 teams have to have need, and an ability to trade up.
  3. There has to be a good player waiting for you when you trade back.

If those three requirements are not met, a draft day trade will never happen. Here are three instances where a trade at least seems somewhat plausible for both teams involved.

Trade 1: Detroit and Carolina

  • Detroit gives up 2020 1st Round pick (No. 3)
  • Carolina gives up 2020 1st Round pick (No. 7)
    • 2020 2nd Round pick (No. 38)
    • 2021 3rd Round pick

Carolina drafts: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama OR Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Lions draft: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn OR Isaiah Simmons, S/LB, Clemson

This is a pretty straight forward deal. The Panthers are in the last year of Cam Newton’s contract, and he missed most of this season with an injury -- and throw in the fact that they have a new head coach. All signs that point to Newton not being a part of the Panthers future.

If they fall in love with either Tagovailoa or Herbert, Carolina would have to move up to get them due to the Miami Dolphins sitting at No. 5, and also in need of a quarterback.

From the Lions point of view, after Chase Young, there are a handful of defensive options that would help out immediately, so falling back a few spots doesn’t really hurt them. Derrick Brown fills arguably the biggest need on defense -- the interior pass rush. And Isaiah Simmons is the exact type of athlete the NFL craves right now; long, lean, and super athletic. Simmons would step in to cover tight ends in the passing game, and would help seal the edge in the run game.

Picking up a second round pick and a future third round pick, along with still being able to draft an impact player defensively makes this the best case scenario for a Lions trade.

Trade 2: Detroit and Vegas

  • Detroit gives up 2020 1st Round pick (No. 3)
    • 2020 3rd Round pick (No. 67)
  • Las Vegas Raiders give up 2020 1st Round pick (No. 12)
    • 2020 1st Round pick (No. 19)
    • 2020 3rd Round pick (No. 80)
    • 2020 3rd Round pick (No. 81)
    • 2021 5th Round pick

Raiders draft: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama OR Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Lions draft (No. 12): Yetur Gross-Matos, DE Penn St. OR Grant Delpit, S, LSU

Lions draft (No. 19): Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina OR Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

This is an interesting deal that only happens if the Raiders and Jon Gruden are ready to move on from current QB Derek Carr.

For the purposes of this article, let’s assume they are. This trade would give the Lions FIVE picks in the top 81, which I’m sure Bob Quinn would love. There is still a lot of value for Detroit in the middle of the first round, especially when it comes to defensive players. They could easily walk away with a starter on the defensive line and in the secondary, two huge areas of need. The two third round picks could be used to maneuver some more in the later rounds.

Trade 3: Detroit and Miami

  • Detroit gives up 2020 1st Round pick (No. 3)
    • 2020 3rd Round pick (No. 67)
  • Miami gives up 2020 1st Round pick (No. 5)
    • 2020 1st Round pick (No. 26)

Dolphins draft: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama OR Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Lions draft (No. 5): Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio St. OR Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

Lions draft (No. 26): C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida OR Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama

I know most Lions fan want to see the Dolphins other pick in the 1st Round (No. 18) involved in this trade, but even getting the 26th pick might be a stretch.

Earlier, I mentioned that three things need to happen for a trade to come together, and one of those things is that there needs to be a market for a player. If the Dolphins fall for both Tagovailoa and Herbert -- any other QB for that matter -- they wouldn’t really need to make a trade.

The Lions are not going to draft a QB, and neither are the Giants. So this then becomes a Chicago Bears, Mitch Trubisky scenario where the Bears moved up even though they probably didn’t need to. (History is not in the Bears’ favor on this one either, as Trubisky turned into a bust, while Patrick Mahomes and Deshawn Watson, both of whom were drafted after Trubisky, have turned into two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL).

Once again, for Detroit, this would be a no-brainer. You still get one of your guys in the top five, and you have the ability to draft another impact player late in the first round.