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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4. Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

In his final mock of two mock drafts this year, NFL Network's Peter Schrager had the Lions making a small trade up to No. 21 and taking Verse.

"The Detroit crowd goes wild as the Lions get aggressive and give up a third-round pick (No. 73 overall) to move up eight spots for Verse, a physical presence on the edge who fits as a complement to Aidan Hutchinson."

Verse started his college career at Albany, switching from tight end to defensive end as a redshirt freshman. He used the pandemic to add 40 pounds of muscle in 2020, and after dominating the CAA in 2021 (9.5 sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss) the step up in competition was not too much for him.

Verse posted nine sacks in each of his two seasons at Florida State, with a total of 29.5 tackles for loss. He is a little lighter than might be considered ideal (254 pounds), but he lined up with his hand on the ground and as standup rusher for the Seminoles. His polished array of pass rush moves should allow for quick transition to the next level.

Verse is likely to be one of the first defenders off the board in this draft, and potentially the first edge rusher. Schrager's hypothetical trade up would make sense, but the Lions might have to go further if they want Verse.

3. Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

As good as his college teammate McKinstry is, Arnold might be a notch or two better. He posted the 13th-best overall Pro Football Focus grade among college cornerbacks last season (88.4), with an 84.9 coverage grade and a 90.6 run defense grade (third-best). He allowed a 50.7 passer rating in his coverage last year, according to PFF. He had 63 total tackles, five interceptions and 12 pass breakups last season.

Arnold might be the first cornerback drafted, and a worse-case scenario for him feels like it'lll be as the second or third cornerback taken. So if the Lions want him they will have to make a trade up, and perhaps a significant one.

On Wednesday, Arnold took part in a Play Football Clinic with Special Olympics Michigan athletes. Asked if the Lions have told him they're trading up to get him, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Arnold was coy.

"That's classified information", Arnold said.