Detroit Lions should ask for players in return for Darius Slay

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 12: Darius Slay #23 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a tackle against the Cleveland Browns during the first half at Ford Field on November 12, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 12: Darius Slay #23 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a tackle against the Cleveland Browns during the first half at Ford Field on November 12, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

If the Detroit Lions decide to move on from pro-bowl cornerback Darius Slay, they should ask for players instead of draft picks.

As reported by ESPN’s Jermey Fowler via Twitter earlier this month, the Detroit Lions could move on from cornerback Darius Slay if both sides cannot agree on a contract extension. If this scenario does play out and general manager Bob Quinn decides to trade him, Detroit shouldn’t ask for draft picks. They should be looking for players.

Instead of settling for a second round draft pick, the Lions could potentially flip Slay into a couple of solid players. With the number of needs their defense has, grabbing established players could help. Drafting younger guys who could take a bit longer to develop, wouldn’t help in the short-term.

The Los Angeles Rams have been rumored as the front runners to acquire Slay. Although there is a big problem for the Rams, they’ve already used a substantial amount of their draft capital to trade for cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Already light on draft capital, the Rams could be offering players for Slay. Detroit should consider depending on who they could get. Here’s a trade scenario that could benefit both sides.

The Lions would have to sacrifice a valued piece of their secondary and grab two younger players that fill needs. Edge defender Samson Ebukam and defensive tackle Greg Gaines are both under 24-years old.

Ebukam fits the mold of a Matt Patricia type linebacker. Big, tall, and durable. He stands at 6 feet 3 inches tall, 245 pounds, and has a similar build to JACK linebacker Devon Kennard. Ebukam, however, has been much more productive than Kennard.

Statistically, Ebukam totaled 48 tackles, four and a half sacks, and two forced fumbles. Kennard had ten more tackles, two and a half more sacks, with one less forced fumble. Although Kennard’s numbers are better statistically, he plays 81 percent of the Lions defensive snaps. Ebukam only played 50 percent of the Rams snaps due to a loaded front-seven.

The production overall favors Ebukam. He’s also four years younger than Kennard, which leaves a lot more room to develop. Coming to Detroit allows an opportunity to become a full time starter.

Defensive tackle Greg Gaines is a run defense specialist. Who wouldn’t be a replacement to Damon Harrison in the short term, but could develop into a stud defensive lineman later. Pro Football Focus gave him a 74.4 overall grade this season.

Gaines is only 23-years old and has plenty of room to grow. He’s shown promise as a gap stuffer, but only in a small sample size. He needs work on becoming a better pass rusher, but at 6-foot-1, 313 pounds, it’s not something that will come easy.

Grabbing two players that have already played in NFL uniforms could be a smarter investment over an unknown second round pick. Detroit could benefit from adding these two players and potentially replacing Slay with Ohio State cornerback Jeffery Okudah in the upcoming draft.

The Rams already have two established defensive lineman in Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers. They are retaining EDGE rusher Clay Matthews and defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day. All while potentially bringing back defensive end Dante Fowler keeps their defensive line intact.

They can afford to lose two younger players in their front-seven, especially if it means grabbing a player of Slay’s caliber. It leaves the Rams with a defensive line that is still all around solid and a secondary that would be elite.

Pairing Slay with All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey gives the Rams defense the ability to shut down both sides of the field. Slot corner Troy Hill is also an impressive player himself. That’s three amazing corners in one secondary.

Rams also have a young-stud safety in Taylor Rapp. These four together would no doubt become the best secondary in football. If the Rams can force teams to beat them by throwing the ball, they will find a lot of success next season.

All of this could be too enticing for the Rams to pass up and provides them a defensive that can support quarterback Jared Goff. Something that should be a priority for the Rams this offseason.

Next. Five Lions players who might be finished in Detroit. dark

What do you think? Is this trade scenario plausible? What is Darius Slay’s trade value? Make sure to tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.