Lions make draft's most mind-boggling trade and reach for Giovanni Manu

Uh... what just happened?
Detroit Lions, NFL Draft
Detroit Lions, NFL Draft / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

After a phenomenal start to the 2024 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions reverted a bit on Day 3.

First, let's look back and give them props where they're most deserved. The Lions wound up with Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold at pick no. 24 overall in the first round, and many experts out there had Arnold ranked as the draft's top cornerback.

Then, in Round 2, Detroit was able to get another top-rated cornerback in Missouri's Ennis Rakestraw Jr. at pick no. 61 overall. Again, Rakestraw was also ranked much, much higher by many experts, with some having mocked him in the first round.

With a couple of fantastic selections to start, the Lions entered Day 3 riding momentum. But, it came to a halt when Detroit made a trade up into the fourth round to select British Columbia offensive tackle Giovanni Manu. The Lions gave up a 2025 third-round pick to the New York Jets in order to do so.

The Lions went backwards after starting the 2024 NFL Draft with such momentum

Why exactly what it such a reach? Try this on for size: Manu was the consensus 333rd overall prospect in this year's class. Looking at all of the major outlets' draft boards, Mock Draft Database compiled a consensus board, averaging them all out, and that's where Manu checked in -- 333rd overall.

For those counting at home, there are only 257 picks in the draft. And, the Lions traded up to get him at pick no. 126 -- over 200 spots higher than all experts had him ranked to begin with.

Talk about sticking to your gut, this was an all-timer by Brad Holmes.

Now, on the surface, there is a lot to like. Manu stands a towering 6-foot-8, 350 pounds. That's incredible size that screams 'starting NFL offensive tackle.' However, he's a raw prospect when it comes down to it.

There were those who loved the pick, including ESPN's Field Yates, who said "This is my guy, here ... He is intriguing ... He absolutely pulverizes people with his power. He has a basketball background ... "

Lions fans better hope Yates is right, because by most accounts, this move made little to zero sense.