Seemingly taking advantage of the Arizona Cardinals’ desperation, the Detroit Lions traded out of the top-10 overall.
Once Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspon was gone with the fifth overall pick to the Seattle Seahawks, it was possible the Detroit Lions were open for business at No. 6. And indeed they were, moving down to No. 12 overall in a deal with the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals moved down from No. 3 in an earlier deal with the Houston Texans, and they confirmed prior rumors by taking Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson at No. 6.
The Lions gave up the 81st overall pick in the trade, while acquiring the 34th overall pick and pick No. 168 overall in the fifth round.
The Detroit Lions found a way to bolster their position in the 2023 NFL Draft
The Lions entered the draft proceedings in a great position, with four of the first 55 picks and five in the top-81. They now have five of the first 55 overall picks, barring any further deals.
According to the DraftTek draft value chart, the Lions received picks worth 1,783 points from Arizona, while they traded away picks valued at 1,785 points. So it’s fair to say it was a fair trade.
It’s considered a deep draft, and deep at several positions, with only 15 players apparentlhy receiving first-round grades–as much as that matters. The Lions were set to add multiple immediate or future difference makers anyway. Now they still have two picks in the top-20 overall, and with five picks in a 40-something pick span from 12-55 they are lined up to add a handful of notable players across the board of their roster in short order on Day 2.
The Cardinals appeared desperate to get Paris Johnson, and they were not willing to risk not being able to get him at 12th overall. The Lions took advantage of a new general manager in Arizona to bolster their draft pick capital, when it didn’t seem too possible they could.