5 players the Detroit Lions could trade up for in first round of 2024 NFL Draft

If the Detroit Lions want to trade up on Thursday night, who might be on their radar?
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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The first round of the 2024 draft feels like it has all kinds of options for the Detroit Lions. That includes a trade up, which has been advocated for in some mock drafts, with few holes to fill and the theoretical ability to target some very specific players.

Appearing on 97.1 The Ticket Wednesday, head coach Dan Campbell pointed to a drop-off after the top-15 players in this draft. Last week, general manager Brad Holmes suggested, obviously, that a player the Lions trade up for would have to check all of the right boxes.

However meaningful it will ultimately be, Albert Breer of SI.com has reported the Lions are among the teams looking to trade up in the first round. The last line of Breer's Lions' report is probably the most meaningful part of the trade-up conversation.

"The Lions are likely looking for an edge opposite Hutchinson, or perhaps another corner.”

The Lions could, or even should, be looking to add another cornerback or edge rusher to their mix. If there's someone they really like, Holmes suggested in his pre-draft press conference "we're just going to go and get them." The challenge to a trade to move up significantly is a real lack of draft capital compared to previous years, so it would probably require tapping into future draft capital to get it done.

If the buzz the Lions are looking to trade up has something to it, these five players look like prime targets.

5 players the Lions could trade up for in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft

5. Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

McKinstry may be someone who falls right into the Lions' lap at No. 29, as a Jones fracture that was discovered during medical checks at the NFL Combine may impact his draft stock. A lot of late mock drafts have that as the scenario, or at least have him available at pick 29.

We know how much Holmes likes Alabama players, and McKinstry feels like a very good fit. Depending on your source, Pro Football Focus or ESPN Analytics, he allowed either one or two touchdowns in his coverage over the last two seasons. Per PFF, he allowed a passer rating under 80.0 in all three of his college seasons. After he was targeted 80 times in 2022 and allowed a 57.9 passer rating (per PFF), he was targeted just 38 times last season.

Again, it's entirely possible McKinstry just falls all the way to the Lions at No. 29 overall. But he certainly seems like just the kind of "go and get them" guy Holmes talked about.