If the Detroit Lions want to make sure they get Aidan Hutchinson, what would it take to trade up to No. 1 overall?
With momentum seemingly building that Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson will go No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars, it’s easy to wonder what the Detroit Lions will do at No. 2 if Hutchinson is gone. Taking someone else is obvious, but there may be a chance to trade back a bit in the top-10 too.
Last week on The Athletic Football Show, draft analyst Dane Brugler presented another scenario.
"There’s even chatter … about the Lions looking at what it would cost to move up to No. 1 and get Hutchinson. But I also think Travon Walker should be in that conversation at No. 2. …"
The Lions could look to move up one spot, and guarantee they get Hutchinson. At the NFL league meetings Monday morning, via Kyle Meinke of MLive, Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson attempted to dismiss the idea they are a lock to take Hutchinson after bolstering the offensive line in free agency.
"We’re not done (on the line), obviously,” Pederson said. “The draft is coming up. I’m sure we’re going to add some more depth at that position. You can never have enough offensive linemen in the NFL.”"
What would it take for the Lions to trade up to No. 1 and get Aidan Hutchinson?
So what would it take for the Lions to trade up to No. 1 and guarantee they can draft Hutchinson?
Looking at the classic draft pick value trade chart created by Jimmy Johnson, the No. 1 pick is worth 3,000 points and the No. 2 pick is worth 2,600. Looking down the board for the Lions, No. 32 and No. 34 are both worth 590 points, and pick No. 66 is worth 260 points.
A similar chart from Drafttek has the No. 1 pick worth 1,000 points, and No. 2 worth 717 points. Going further with the comparison to the classic chart, No. 32 is worth 184 points, No. 34 is worth 175 points and No. 66 is worth 76 points.
The No. 2 pick and either No. 32 or No. 34 looks to be the base cost for the Lions to move up to No. 1, and for whatever it’s worth the Jaguars also have the first pick of the second round (No. 33). Drafttek’s value chart suggests Detroit would have to add the No. 66 pick in April’s draft to one of those picks in the 30’s to get closer to matching the value of the No. 1 pick. Johnson’s classic chart suggests the No. 66 pick, early in the third round, might be enough to bridge the gap between No. 1 and No. 2.
The Lions can use all the draft capital they can get, so giving up one or two of their other top-75 picks this year to move up one spot would be an aggressive move. And if they want him, Hutchinson might be there at No. 2 anyway. But they’d be trading “might be there” for “we are guaranteed to get him if we want him” by moving up that one spot. Is locking in that certainty worth the cost?
The instant reaction here is no, it’s not worth the cost for the Lions when there’s a chance Hutchinson is there at No. 2 without having to give up picks. But the ineptitude of Jaguars GM Trent Baalke might reduce the cost to move up, and maybe even move part of it out of this year’s draft. The Lions could make the move to guarantee they get a talented local product who fits a need.