The Los Angeles Rams proved that there is more than one way to build a championship team. The Rams opted to put together as ‘super-team’ by forfeiting essentially all of their draft capital over the next few seasons; it worked.
Although it’s not exactly the most traditional way to build a championship team, it worked, and that is all that matters. It doesn’t matter how many first-round draft picks they’ve traded or how they expect to keep the band together due to salary cap restrictions, they won a Super Bowl, and again, that’s all that matters.
The Detroit Lions are nowhere close to being in the same position as the Rams, plus general manager Brad Holmes is already in the midst of gutting the roster and pouring a new foundation. Detroit is rebuilding in a more traditional fashion and should continue to eye as much draft capital as possible.
On offense, Holmes will continue to build around Penei Sewell, Taylor Decker, Frank Ragnow, T.J. Hockenson, and Amon-Ra St. Brown. Still, he needs to find a couple of equally sturdy pieces to build around on the defensive side of the football.
Romeo Okwara and Charles Harris (if re-signed) appear to provide the Detroit Lions with a nice starting point, but other than that, the organization only has a handful of nice pieces such as Tracy Walker (pending UFA), Amani Oruwariye, and an emerging Jerry Jacobs on the defensive side of things. Of course, there are veteran contributors like Michael Brockers, along with Trey Flowers, who is a candidate to be released this Winter, and potential difference makers in Alim McNeill, Jeff Okudah, and Derrick Barnes, but we’ve yet to know if they will be pieces or cornerstones.
The Detroit Lions need to continue stockpiling draft capital ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft.
I wouldn’t balk at the idea of the Detroit Lions drafting Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson or Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux with the no. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Here’s my concern; although I believe both will be solid professional pass-rushers, I don’t think either has the makings of being the next Nick Bosa or Chase Young.
That being said, I would love to see Holmes at least entertain the idea of trading down in the first round but remaining in the top ten where he’d be able to secure a difference-maker on the defensive side of the football, plus add some more much-needed draft capital.
There are two teams that currently sit with two top ten picks in the NFL Draft. The New York Giants are slated to pick fifth and seventh, plus the Jets are scheduled to pick fourth and tenth.
Both New York organizations may simply select two players where they are scheduled, but if either has their eye on someone, in particular, the Detroit Lions will be open for business. Jets head coach Robert Saleh recently expressed his desire to secure a pass-rusher to build his defense around and could be interested in one of the top two I previously mentioned. The Jets could stand pat and hope someone like Thibodeaux falls to them at no. 5 or come up and make sure they secure the player they prefer at no. 2.
It would be very beneficial if the Lions could add a second-round pick and maybe a future mid-round selection to move back three spots.
That may not seem like enough draft capital to some, but you’ve got to realize the multiple first-round picks often received to move up into the top three usually is to choose a quarterback. The Lions will be hard-pressed to find that return this season due to the lack of high-end quarterback talent available.
If the Detroit Lions were to trade back and pick someone like Kyle Hamilton, Devin Lloyd, Nakobe Dean, or maybe even Kayvon Thibodeaux, who appears to be falling to about no. 5 on many mock draft boards, including Todd McShay’s latest. Adding additional draft capital and still securing a difference-maker seems like a win-win situation to me.