Bold draft trade for the Detroit Lions might be just crazy enough to happen

Lions general manager Brad Holmes is not afraid to trade up in the first round of the draft, a particularly bold trade proposal might be crazy enough to work.
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The Detroit Lions have become one of the best offenses in the NFL, raising offensive coordinator Ben Johnson's profile as a head coaching candidate in kind. There is room for improvement in some areas (the dreaded third quarter swoon was a consistent thing last season), and looking at the roster right now there is room to add a weapon, possibly with an early pick in the draft.

General manager Brad Holmes made a big trade up in the first round of the 2022 NFL, going from No. 32 to No. 12 to get wide receiver Jameson Williams. Last year, he moved down from No. 6 overall and got running back Jahmyr Gibbs. Sitting at No. 29 overall this year, it feels unlikely Holmes will just stand pat there. There should be opportunities to move up. Failing that, another team may want to get into the late first-round and the Lions would then trade out of Day 1 completely.

On the idea of trading up, perhaps significantly again, Christian Booher of recently offered a trade proposal that would make the Lions' offense "unstoppable" with another high-end weapon that fits the profile of a big-bodied receiver they're lacking.

"That solution is tight end Brock Bowers, who offers a do-it-all skill set. The Lions currently hold the 29th pick, and the chances of Bowers being available at that choice are quite slim."

Indeed it's incredibly unlikely Bowers will be available at pick 29. Most mock drafts have him going in no lower the top-15, with the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 18 a fairly popular landing spot too. So if the Lions want to move up for him, they'll have to move up at least into the top-20, and probably top-15. And that's if he falls far enough to make the move possible. A move to get him in the top-10 feels unlikely.

2024 NFL Draft: Would Brock Bowers even make sense for the Lions?

Any rebuttal to "the Lions don't need Bowers, they have Sam LaPorta", has to mention what Bowers brings to the table. He lined all over the field in college at Georgia, playing over half of his career snaps in the slot with a sprinkling of snaps out wide.

The Lions, according to Sumer Sports, used "12" personnel (two tight ends) at a rate (21.4 percent) slightly above league average last season (19.2 percent). They may lose No. 2 tight end Brock Wright, who signed a notable offer sheet with the San Francisco 49ers. Wright has played more than 1,000 offensive snaps over the last two seasons. If he's gone, there will be a void to fill.

As Booher noted, Brockers is a capable blocker too (62.4 run blocking grade and a 71.4 pass blocking grade last season). That would theoretically open up LaPorta to do more in the passing game, which would be a scary thought for opposing defenses.

The possibility of the Lions making a trade up for Bowers is entirely rooted in him falling out of the top-10 (at least). But if he does tumble a bit, to the No. 12-16 range, would Holmes try to make the move up to get him? Getting ahead of Cincinnati at No. 18 would be a prerequisite.

There's seemingly a very small percentage chance the Lions would trade up significantly in the first round for Bowers. But nothing along that line should be totally ruled out right now, and it might be crazy enough to happen.


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