The Detroit Lions have the draft capital to move up in the 2023 NFL Draft, but it won’t come cheap.
Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes’ first major transaction was trading Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams and, courtesy of a 2022 Rams season gone completely sideways, the Lions now own the No. 6 overall pick. in 2023. NFL draft.
Owning a top-10 pick can be a luxury, but with the organization’s development arrow pointing up (they’re the current favorites to win their division), the Lions don’t anticipate finding themselves in this spot again any time soon.
While the Lions are trending in the right direction, they have an obvious question that needs answering: Is current starting quarterback Jared Goff the guy they can commit to long-term?
If the answer to that question is no, then Detroit needs to explore quarterback options in this draft class, including how much it would cost to move up to get the franchise’s future quarterback.
After trading to the top of this year’s draft, the carolina panthers they will surely take a quarterback at No. 1, and behind them at the No. 2 pick, the houston texans they are also prepared to take your next call sign. Detroit’s chance to move up is more than likely with the team’s third draft, the arizona cardinalswho recently gave Kyler Murray a contract extension and appears to be ready for the quarterback position.
The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner and Colton Pouncy recently proposed moving the Lions’ portion of the No. 6 and No. 48 picks to No. 3 in their latest mock draft, calling the move a “small overpayment” considering that there could be a bidding war between others. teams also looking for a quarterback. Also, earlier this week, Pro Football Focus’s Brad Spielberger also floated the idea of Detroit going up to three in their latest mock draft, but the cost was high. a lot Different: Detroit would send the 6th, 48th and 81st picks in this draft, as well as a future first and fourth pick in 2024.
if you are going to pass Rich Hill Trade Value Chart, so Baumgardner and Pouncy are correct that picks 6 and 48 would be a slightly overpay: Detroit would send 567 points in draft pick value for the third overall pick, worth 514 points. However, recent history has shown us that moving into the top three can be much more expensive.
The 2018 NFL Draft gave us an exact blueprint for what the parameters of this hypothetical move to Detroit might look like, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.
That season, the new york jets traded up to No. 3 with the Indianapolis Colts to select quarterback Sam Darnold, the second off-the-board quarterback after Baker Mayfield was first overall, already costing the Jets picks 6, 37 and 49 in 2018, and a second-round pick in 2019 to get their quarterback, much more in line with Spielberger’s projection.
Spielberger has a trade value chart he developed together with Over the Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald.but even by their numbers, the Jets overpaid trade list projections to move up in 2018. The Jets shipped 4,290 draft pick capital points in 2018 alone, not even factoring in the second-round pick in 2019, in exchange for the third overall pick, valued at just 2,443 points.
So how do you square that circle?
Sure, you always hear that you have to pay a premium to get that far up the board, but the Jets clearly overpaid in a way that doesn’t align with any trade value chart. And to further underscore an already perplexing move, they made this trade more than a month before the 2018 NFL Draft began, not knowing who would come off the board before pick three. If you remember from that offseason, the Jets were very interested in then-free agent Kirk Cousins, offering him a fully guaranteed three-year, $90 million contract. Cousins accepted a lesser offer to stay in Minnesota, and two days later, the Jets pulled the trigger on the deal to move up to No. 3 in the draft. It’s hard to characterize that move as anything more than desperate and a blatant disregard for the first lesson you learn when playing the game: never chase your losses.
As far as we know, Holmes has considered moving up in the draft on a few occasions, but he only did so last year when he moved up 20 spots in the first round to select Jameson Williams. Detroit is far from dire straits, and given the restraint Holmes has already shown in passing up other promotion opportunities, as he did when he targeted Ja’Marr Chase and later in that same draft for Levi Onwuzurike—it feels safe to assume Detroit wouldn’t give up that kind of capital to move up to the third overall pick.
For Detroit to move to the third overall pick, it would probably cost more in the middle between the two mock trades mentioned above. Detroit is likely to send Nos. 6, 48 and 81 in 2023, and a 2024 second- or third-round pick to Arizona for No. 3 in what appears to be a fair deal for both parties.
With the resources available right now, and not a lot of immediate needs to fill with rookies in 2023, it’s a deal Detroit can afford to make without compromising its goal of challenging for a division title this season. It could also give them a key team building piece in this NFL era: a quarterback on a rookie contract.
Alternatively, they could move up for Alabama defenseman Will Anderson, a player worthy of being the No. 1 overall pick were it not for the quarterback-needy teams at the top of the draft.
Regardless of which player they have chosen, an aggressive promotion shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been paying attention. Holmes has built up valuable draft capital by trading Stafford and TJ Hockenson at last season’s trade deadline. So it might be time for Holmes to collect the rewards of his labor for a player he considers worthwhile. Or if the value isn’t there, he can always back out of the deal, as he’s previously shown he’s willing to do.