Detroit Lions trade rumors: A team honing in on Julian Okwara?

As speculation has surfaced, one particular team may be honing in on a deal with the Lions for Julian Okwara.
Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Not one but two Lions' beat writers have suggested it in 53-man roster projections after the first and second preseason games, in what feels like informed speculation if nothing else. But in response to a tweet from Ari Meirov of The 33rd Team about trades possibly coming as roster cutdown day nears, NFL writer Cam Marino dropped a nugget.

How credible Marino's sources are can be debated, but it's just another sign that Julian Okwara could be moved between now and the start of the season. Two Lions' beat writers, a national writer....something may be happening. The Giants are one team who could be looking for edge rusher depth.

Okwara has been on the Lions' roster bubble all offseason. A three-sack performance in the preseason opener, against the Giants no less, had him trending in a positive direction after Dan Campbell had called him out for a lack of consistency. Then, he delivered a dud in the second preseason game against the Jaguars. He did not register a stat beyond a single quarterback hit, and Pro Football Focus gave him the second-worst grade among Lions' defensive players in the game.

Detroit Lions rumors: Julian Okwara on the trade block?

The Lions have a deep group of edge rushers. So much so that Okwara would have a tough time cracking the roster if he had performed well in both preseason games. The preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers stands to be important for him, if he's still a Lion of course.

Entering his fourth NFL season, Okwara is still somewhat a great unknown full of unrealized potential. He has flashed at times (five sacks in 2021), but injuries have limited him to 29 games over the last three seasons.

4 Detroit Lions who could be traded between now and Week 1. dark. Next. 4 Detroit Lions who could be traded between now and Week 1

The Lions won't get more than a Day 3 draft pick for Okwara, unless the Giants (or someone else) is willing to overpay a bit in "we can unlock him" mode. But it's certainly trending toward the younger Okwara being in another uniform soon.