American Football

Open thread: Should the Lions trade up or down from 29th overall?

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2023 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3
Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Would you prefer the Lions to trade up or down from 29th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft?

Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes has not shied away from trading up or down in the NFL Draft. Will he do the same with the 29th overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft?

Holmes has made multiple trades throughout his draft career. In 2021, he traded up for linebacker Derrick Barnes in the fourth round. Holmes made waves in 2022 when he traded up to 12th overall for receiver Jameson Williams. He coupled that with a minor round six trade down that netted them linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez. 2023 was when the floodgates opened, as Holmes pulled off a whopping five trades in the first two days of the draft: a trade down from six to 12 that yielded running back Jahmyr Gibbs and four moves that eventually turned into defensive back Brian Branch and defensive tackle Brodric Martin.

Given that the Lions are holding one of the final picks in the first round, moving out of that spot is more than feasible. If the Lions were to make a trade with the 29th pick, would you want them to trade up or down?

Today’s Question of the Day is:

Would you rather that the Lions trade up or down from 29th overall?

My answer: Trade down.

Typically, the discussion of trading up or trading down in the draft is a question of quality versus quantity. Do you want to sacrifice future assets in order to get your desired prospect? Do you trade down and acquire more tickets in the lottery that is the draft? In my mind, the Lions are in a position where they need elite talent more than multiple starters. Holmes has built the roster to a point where they have few glaring weaknesses, meaning they can use the draft to add top-tier talent.

In a normal year, that would mean trading up to get that elite prospect would be the best course of action. However, this is not a normal year. The Lions’ likely early-round targets include wide receiver, offensive line, cornerback, and defensive end. These happen to be positions with excellent depth in the upcoming draft, meaning the Lions won’t have to trade up to get a starting-caliber player. Two of the weaker positions in the draft, running back and linebacker, were addressed in last year’s draft.

For example, if the Lions were to trade down with the Arizona Cardinals or Washington Commanders and secure picks in the 30s and 60s, I think that would be better value than sticking at 29 or trading up—the Lions could easily turn those into two future starters. A cornerback to rep behind Carlton Davis and Amik Robertson would make plenty of sense, as would an offensive lineman as insurance for Taylor Decker or Kevin Zeitler. One of these positions could be addressed by a trade up, but a trade down opens up the possibility of addressing both.

The downside of trading out of the first round would be the lack of selections on the first day of a draft hosted in Detroit, an event many fans are excited for. However, Holmes will not be pressured to make a Thursday night pick in front of the hometown fans, and nor should he be. Plus, look on the bright side: it could mean more picks to be announced!

Holmes is known for wheeling and dealing in the NFL Draft, will he do the same this year? And if he does, should he be eyeing a trade up or trade down? Let us know in the poll and comments below.

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