Allen Park – While some of us have been whispering about the NFL Draft since the Detroit Lions were officially eliminated from postseason contention, once the calendar flips to January, there’s no reason not to talk about the pinnacle event of the NFL offseason.
The Lions are scheduled to pick No. 8 this year, the highest the team has selected since taking defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh No. 2 overall in 2010. But where the Lions are slotted now doesn’t mean that’s where they’ll be choosing come April 25.
That’s a point Lions coach Matt Patricia made in an interview with the team’s web site this week, essentially letting everyone know the Lions’ first-round choice is for sale.
“Well, when we get into that process here, we’ll obviously understand the different talent level that’s out there,” Patricia said in the video posted Thursday. “I think when you have a top-10 draft power, from that standpoint, it also gives you a value of trade. I think there’s things in there that we can do where teams might at those particular spots. Or we might have a player that we like at those particular spots through the course of the draft. We’ll attack that when we get to it. Certainly we’re excited about trying to make our team better, whether it’s free agency or the draft.”
Trades in the top 10 have become commonplace. There has been at least one trade of a top-10 pick in eight of the past 10 years and multiple trades seven times during that stretch, including the past three drafts.
The No. 8 pick has been swapped five times the past decade, in 2013, 2014 and three times in 2016.
In 2013, the Bills sent the No. 8 pick and their third-round choice (71) to the Rams in exchange for picks 16, 46, 78 and 222. The following year, in a far less complicated swap, the Vikings moved down one spot, from eight to nine, picking up an extra fifth-rounder (No. 145) from the Browns in the process.
Finally, in 2016, the No. 8 pick changed hands multiple times. First, Miami sent the selection to Philadelphia in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso, cornerback Byron Maxwell and the Eagles’ No. 13 later in the first round.
Philadelphia then packaged the No. 8 with picks 77 and 100, plus a future first-rounder, to Cleveland to move up to No. 2 and take quarterback Carson Wentz.
The Browns then moved the No. 8 pick, shipping it with a sixth-round choice (176) to the Titans for a first (15) and third (76), plus a future second-rounder.