While drafting Chase Young would be a no-brainer choice for the Detroit Lions, trading down with quarterback-needy teams would also be beneficial.
In my previous article, I wrote about how trading down from the third overall selection in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft isn’t the right move for the Detroit Lions. In turn, I felt like it would only be fair to also write about how trading down could be the right move.
Without a doubt, Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young should be Detroit’s top priority going into the draft. But there’s a strong possibility that Young could end up going second overall to the Washington Redskins, one spot before the Lions. If that’s the case, what should Motown do?
I believe Detroit’s top prospects going into the draft are the aforementioned Young, followed closely by cornerback Jeffrey Okudah and safety/linebacker hybrid Isaiah Simmons. Out of these three talented defenders, Young is the only one I would make a strong case for taking at No. 3.
As much as I like Okudah and Simmons, I just feel like both should be available later in the first round. Even if it’s simply trading down two spots with the Miami Dolphins who own the fifth overall selection and clearly need a quarterback.
Drafting a defensive back in the first round is already a gamble. But taking one in the top three? I know that Simmons is a versatile defender. But for the sake of this argument, I’m going to clump him in the defensive back category.
Simmons moves and plays more like a safety, and I think he’d probably play that role in Detroit. And considering how atrocious the Lions’ defense was last year, I believe there are positions other than DB that should be valued with the third overall pick.
Another reason why trading down could be the right move is the potential of maximizing draft picks. The Dolphins have been rumored to be interested in Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for quite some time. If that’s true, Miami has acquired the picks to move up to draft Tua.
The Dolphins own three first-round selections and two-second rounders. If Lions general manager Bob Quinn plays his cards rights, he could very well land a legendary draft haul while only having to drop two spots.
Expediting a potential trade with Miami could be other quarterback-needy teams like the Los Angeles Chargers and the Carolina Panthers looking to make their own moves for Tagovailoa. In the end, the Dolphins might be willing to do just about anything to make sure they get their guy.
If you’re the Lions, you’d really be killing two birds with one stone with that kind of trade. You’re drafting the guy you want, whether it’s Okudah or Simmons, while also adding more high-quality draft ammunition. Those extra picks mean a better chance for Quinn and company to land themselves impact players who could help to quickly right the ship in the Motor City.
All in all, if Chase Young is somehow sitting there at No. 3, you take him. No questions asked. Young’s the best prospect in the entire draft. If he isn’t available, Motown should try to trade down. There’s really no bad option here for the Detroit Lions.