- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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We had our first Detroit Lions chat Tuesday and there were a ton of questions we couldn’t get to, and so many questions about the draft, that I decided to pick out a few more to answer them this morning.
Here are those questions and those answers. We’ll be chatting most Tuesdays at noon, at least through the start of the season.
Bob (Detroit): Hi Michael. If the Lions are so high on Evans why not trade up to seven or eight? Seems like they could pull that off with #10 and their 4th rounder.
It is certainly a possibility that would happen, although my guess is a third-round pick would end up being involved here instead of a fourth-rounder. Detroit can make this move if it chooses to but as I’ve mentioned many times before in this space -- and experienced during our live mock draft -- finding a trading partner can sometimes be a difficult task.
If Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Minnesota or Buffalo are not willing to trade with the Lions, the Lions won’t be able to move up in that scenario to draft Evans. That’s the biggest key here for the Lions, finding someone who will trade with them, not the willingness to make a deal on Detroit’s part.
Scott (Detroit): If Nick Fairley was offered up in a draft day trade, what do you think the max value is? A second-round pick?
This is an interesting question. In our mock draft Tuesday, I offered up Fairley in trades to move up both in the top of the first round and then again to try to move back into the first round from the second round. There weren’t really any takers then, and while I believe Fairley has trade value, there are concerns. These are the same worries Detroit has, mostly about his motivation and work ethic. Detroit chose to decline his fifth-year option, so that could also hurt Fairley’s trade value because unless a team knows it can sign him to a long-term deal, bringing him in could be a one-year rental. In the NFL, that is not an attractive thing to trade for in the draft.
Justin (KY): If the Jags, Rams or Browns gave the Lions their first round pick and a second or third for Stafford, should the Lions do that and draft (Johnny) Manziel?
No. Just ... no.
Stephen (Kalamazoo): It seems like every year there is a player who everyone can’t believe is still available on day two, or round two before the day split...Any guesses on who it could be in this draft?
I really like this question and other than about 10 guys this season, it could be almost anyone. I know he’s been predicted to be falling, but it would not shock me if Teddy Bridgewater was still available Friday evening when the second round begins. Otherwise, in this draft, not much would stun me unless a player like Darqueze Dennard or Anthony Barr or Odell Beckham Jr. fell all the way down. But I don’t see that happening -- at least not to the level of the second round.
The good thing for a lot of teams is there is enough depth in this draft that there could be first-round quality players available throughout the second and third rounds as well this season.
Dave (WI): With all the OL needy teams behind us, there has to be someone looking to come up, right? Also possible with Titans, Giants, Rams having potential QB needs someone might want to move up. Barr, Donald, Ha Ha? I think a move down is probable.
Depending how the draft ends up unfolding, there are likely scenarios where Detroit would want to trade down and definitely the potential for the Lions to do so. This year, though, there is also a good chance the Lions investigate moving up for Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Khalil Mack or even Jadeveon Clowney.
The issue, as mentioned earlier, is needing a partner to trade. Giving up picks in this draft is going to be tougher to do because of the overall depth of said draft. However, if a player like Taylor Lewan is available at No. 10, the Lions should try to use that to encourage someone to move up and trade with them to draft him. If Aaron Donald is there at No. 10, the Lions should select him.
Steve (Phoenix): Is the second round too high for (Weston) Richburg or (Marcus) Martin? I know the Lions are looking for a center to groom to replace (Dominic) Raiola.
Probably not, but the Lions should be searching for a starter with their second-round pick Friday evening. If Richburg, Martin or Russell Bodine from North Carolina are there in the third round, that’s when I’d personally consider them more heavily. But the Lions need to still find starters and strong depth in this draft. Yes, finding Raiola’s eventual replacement is part of this draft strategy after the team lost out on Phil Costa in free agency, but the second round might be too much in this draft where the Lions are looking to win now and immediate starters being available.
Ben (Charlotte): ESPN mocks from Kiper and McShay have projected Odell Beckham Jr. to the Lions recently, does that surprise you? I don’t think Lions writers have mentioned him a ton.
I’ve seen that and Beckham is an extremely good talent. The Lions have bigger needs with quality players available at those positions, so I think that is part of it. Also, drafting a 5-foot-11 receiver at No. 10 is a tough thing for Detroit to really do, especially when the defense has such glaring needs. That said, depending how the board falls, Beckham is definitely a possibility, but not a probability.