2. EDGE James Houston
Houston has been mentioned in trade rumors going back to late in the preseason. He's of course currently on IR after suffering a fractured ankle in Week 2, and he seems sure to be out a while longer (if not for the season, ultimately). He was technically eligible to come off IR after Week 6, and there are no indications that is happening anytime soon.
It's too early to pigeonhole Houston as a one-trick pony who can only rush the passer, and say that's all he'll ever be. But that is what he showed during his late-season run as a rookie last year, and it's all anyone has seen given his early-season injury to diminish his second season.
Looking to the future, Houston may find a better opportunity to play a lot on another team. Another team or two may see a young player with massive upside (as the Lions surely do), and want him as part of a deal for someone who can help the Lions more immediately this year.
It's probably no better than a coin-flip chance the Lions trade Houston. But the chance of it should not be ignored.
1. EDGE Julian Okwara
At some point in August, after he had a three-sack game in the preseason opener, felt like the chance for the Lions to sell-high on the younger Okwara. But then he suffered an arm injury in the preseason finale, and spent the first four weeks of the season on IR.
In two games thus far, Okwara has played just 18 defensive snaps along with 17 special teams snaps. Easing him into action to some degree makes sense, but cracking the Lions' defensive line/edge rusher rotation won't get any easier with Josh Paschal lined up to return to action against the Ravens in Week 7.
Michael Ginnitti of Spotrac offered up Okwara as a trade candidate this past week. He is in the last year of his contract, so it makes plenty of sense.
"The former 3rd rounder finds himself buried in the Lions depth chart right now as he returns from an early season knee injury. Now on an expiring rookie contract, look for Detroit to seek a late round draft pick in exchange for his friendly $712,475 deadline salary."
The Lions could get a late-round pick for Okwara and move on easily, as he simply seems to be at the end of his run in Detroit.