It’s every fan’s dream: seeing their team trade down in the first round to get a comparable player to the one the team would have taken in their original spot and add an extra pick or two in the process. It is certainly a scenario that usually gets talked up as the preferred scenario for Detroit Lions fans year after year. Of course, trading down is hard to predict as it takes a partner willing to move up. In a draft like this year, that is even harder to see playing out.
But there was a chance, at least enough of one for me to write about it last month. The crux of my argument in favor of the possibility was dependent on how the quarterback situation played out at the top of the draft. A refresher in case you missed my original post:
The Lions are followed in the first round by the Browns, Cardinals and Bills – three teams who could use a quarterback of the future (and present). Perhaps there is a team out there that has their eye on someone like Geno Smith and know they can’t risk waiting to see if he is around when they are on the clock. With three teams sitting behind the Lions that could use a quarterback, trading up withe Lions allows a team to snag their guy before the Browns, Cardinals and Bills get a chance.
Of course, even the threat of a team trading up to get ahead of those three teams could benefit the Lions. If Geno Smith, or another quarterback, becomes the apple of either of those teams’ eye, they could make a preemptive move to trade up to the Lions spot to avoid a scenario where another team has the chance to make such a move.
It sounded good at the time and the theory holds. The only problem is that the scenario with the Cardinals and Bills has changed in the meantime. The Bills have added Kevin Kolb while the Cardinals have added Carson Palmer. It would be foolish for either team to think they no longer need to find their franchise quarterback after adding those two, but it is likely they will be much cooler to the idea of doing so in the top ten and even less keen on making a play to move up ahead of the Browns to do so. That’s bad news for any Lions fans clinging to the dream that the Lions could move out of the number five overall pick.