5 players the Detroit Lions could trade during draft season

During or right after the 2024 NFL Draft, here are five players the Detroit Lions could trade.
3 of 3

2. PK Michael Badgley

For the second straight offseason, after being re-signed, Badgley is ripe to be replaced as the Lions' kicker. Holmes promised the addition of competition, and ideally said competition is a step above someone out of the XFL (John Parker Romo) and a kicker they already had (Riley Patterson) like last year. Patterson beat Badgley out last preseason, then Badgley came back on the practice squad and eventually took over the kicking job during last season.

The Lions are among the teams who have shown interest in early season UFL star Jake Bates, who's kicking for the Michigan Panthers and should get a shot somewhere in the NFL (multiple tryouts?). The list of options with NFL experience is not long now, barring any upcoming cuts.

The Lions feel certain to add a rookie kicker, either via a late-round draft pick or an undrafted free agent signing. That would put Badgley on real notice, and open the door to losing his job-for good this time.

There are usually more teams looking for an experienced, reliable kicker than there are available options who fit the bill. Badgley is at least that (experienced, reliable), so maybe there's a team out there who would part with a conditional late-round pick to bring him in if the Lions add his replacement.

1. LB Malcolm Rodriguez

Rodriguez looked like a sixth-round steal in the 2022 draft, and as a rookie he proved it (87 tackles, eight tackles for loss over 16 games-15 starts). He earned a top-50 overall grade (62.8) among linebackers from Pro Football Focus (minimum 263 snaps), with top-41 grades as a run defender (66.4) and a tackler (65.0).

When the Lions took Jack Campbell in the first round of the 2023 draft, Rodriguez was easy to tab as one of the biggest post-draft losers on the existing roster. That came to fruition as expected.

Rodriguez played in all 17 games last season, starting three (one at fullback), playing 120 defensive snaps, 20 offensive snaps (with one reception) and 307 special teams snaps. With the step forward Derrick Barnes took last season, "Rodrigo" needs an injury to one of the Lions' top three linebackers to see the field for any notable defensive snaps. He'd certainly be more than the No. 4 linebacker, a core special teamer and an occasional fullback on a lot of other teams.

If Holmes looks to make a deal that involves a player during the draft, Rodriguez stands out as the one who would most likely be on the move right now. He's got the potential to be a starting off-ball linebacker for years in the NFL, he just needs the opportunity. That opportunity has already faded away in Detroit, and for at least 2024 there's not a real path to that changing.


Next. 6 cornerbacks Detroit Lions could target on Day 2 of 2024 NFL Draft. 6 cornerbacks Detroit Lions could target on Day 2 of 2024 NFL Draft. dark