5 wide receivers Detroit Lions could trade for rather than draft one highly

The Detroit Lions could add a wide receiver in the upcoming draft, but how about a trade for a veteran instead?
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2. Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos

As with Slayton, and again for what it's worth, Sutton did not show up to the start of Broncos' offseason work because of his contract. With two years left on his deal, but no guarantees left in 2025, Sutton would be more than a one-year rental but it's also not a firm two-year commitment. So trade rumors that have lingered around Sutton for a while are back.

Also for whatever it's worth, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported the Broncos have received multiple trade inquiries about Sutton but have "no plans" to trade him. According to Mike Klis of 9News in Denver, Sutton had ankle surgery this offseason but is working out in Florida.

Last season, Sutton's 10 touchdowns obscured a mediocre-looking 59 catches for 772 yards over 16 games. But he would be the prototypical "X" receiver that seems to be missing from the Lions' offense (6-foot-4, 216 pounds).

Mike Payton of AtoZ Sports, albeit while not endorsing the idea, had the following trade proposal for the Lions to get Sutton.

Lions get: Courtland Sutton
Broncos get: Pick No. 164 (2024) and 2025 fourth-round pick from the Eagles in the D'Andre Swift trade

That low hypothetical cost takes into account Sutton's age (29 in October), his largely mediocre production over the last few seasons and what he costs ($13 million base salary this year).

If Sutton can be had for two Day 3 draft picks, and it's a big 'if' rooted in if the Broncos will actually consider trading him or not, several teams should be interested. At minimum, the Lions should have been among the teams who made a call about him after he didn't show up to the start of offseason work.

1. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

After previous reports he asked for a trade, Higgins recently said he plans to be playing for the Bengals in 2024. A subsequent report said the team has "no plans" to trade him. But there doesn't seem to be any traction on a multi-year deal to keep the franchise-tagged receiver in Cincinnati, and the door officially closes on that for 2024 in mid-July because he was franchise tagged.

There are plenty of times we've seen reports or direct comments from a general manager saying there are no "plans" or there is "no intent" to trade someone. Then, said player was gone. The door will not be shut on Higgins being dealt until the draft is over, and even at that point it may not be completely shut.

In a mock draft earlier this month, Nick Wright of FOX Sports proposed the Lions trading the No. 29 overall pick straight up for Higgins. The Bengals would be in line to get a third-round pick if Higgins left in free agency next March, so that would be a likely baseline in a trade return.

It's unlikely, as all these trades naturally are. But swapping pick No. 29 for a 25-year old proven commodity at wide receiver, who will be motivated to have a big season before hitting the open market, feels like a potential big win for the Lions.

Next. 5 players the Detroit Lions could trade during draft season. 5 players the Detroit Lions could trade during draft season. dark