The Detroit Lions hold all the cards at No. 3 in the 2020 NFL Draft. If they were to move off the pick, here are the five teams who could get them to do it.
The 2020 NFL Draft will be one week from today. Though it will be done virtually, there is reason to get excited about it if you’re a fan of any of the league’s 32 franchises. Teams like the Cincinnati Bengals will get their franchise savior at quarterback, while teams like the Washington Redskins will look to get a future All-Pro on its defense. But what about teams like the Detroit Lions?
The Lions hold the lynchpin for how this entire draft will shake out. Cincinnati is expected to take LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow No. 1 overall, while Washington is expected to draft Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Chase Young at No. 2. These former college teammates make up half of the Heisman Trophy finalists from a year ago. What the Lions do at No. 3 changes everything.
Should Detroit hold steady, the Lions too will take presumably another former Buckeye in Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah. He’d be a great addition to their team, but the Lions need more than a Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback to save head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn’s jobs beyond 2020. What if they entertained trading back to get more assets for No. 3?
If the Lions do move back next Thursday, here are the five teams who could get them to do it.
Why would a team like the Arizona Cardinals want to move up from No. 8 to No. 3 anyway? It’s not like they need another first-round quarterback, though it’s kind of been their thing in the last two drafts. But what going up to No. 3 could indicate is Arizona being all-in on landing the best offensive tackle prospect this draft can offer. Four will go in the top-10 and they’d get the best.
Arizona would give the Lions the No. 8 overall pick, plus a few other picks, including next year’s No. 1. Though the Cardinals could push for the NFC playoffs next fall if the offense is as good as we think it can be, odds are Arizona will be on the outside looking in, likely to pick in the top half of the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Detroit could so use two top-16 picks next year anyway.
At No. 8, the Lions would still be able to get an elite defensive prospect. Someone like Auburn’s Derrick Brown, Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons or South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw would be there for them at the tail-end of the top 10. By letting the Cardinals trade up to No. 3, it would set a run on left tackles, causing teams like the New York Giants and the Cleveland Browns to panic.
In years past, a left tackle was as sure of a prospect as any in football, but in recent years, it has not been the case. The four offensive tackle prospects projected to go in the top 10 could all be franchise cornerstones. What is the price the Cardinals are willing to pay to protect Kyler Murray‘s blindside? Well, it’d have to be No. 8 in 2020 and 2021’s first-round pick if you’re the Lions.