Lions’ NFC North Foe Considers Trading #1 Pick in NFL Draft
Sources indicate that the Chicago Bears are “leaning toward” trading the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft. The Bears own the top pick in a year when up to a dozen teams are looking to switch quarterbacks. This decision could have a significant impact on the Detroit Lions’ draft strategy, as they currently have the sixth pick overall.
Effect on the Detroit Lions’ strategy
If the Bears trade the first pick, this could lead to more quarterback-seeking teams attempting to trade up, increasing the chances of Jalen Carter, Will Anderson or Bryce Young falling to the Lions at 6. If not, it means there may be more suitors for the Lions to trade back out of the 6th spot and accumulate draft picks.
It appears that Brad Holmes, the Lions’ general manager, will be attacking the defensive side of the ball and improving the team through the draft. After free agency, we will have a better understanding of what direction they will take in the draft.
Trading the first pick
Since the AFL/NFL merger in 1967, the first pick has been traded 12 times before the start of the draft. The last time this happened was in 2016, when the Los Angeles Rams moved from No. 15 to No. 1 to select quarterback Jared Goff. It is only the second time in the past 22 years that the first pick changed hands before the draft.
Chicago Bears strategy
Bears GM Ryan Poles is committed to quarterback Justin Fields, whom the team drafted No. 11 overall in 2021. Poles has stated that he would have to be “blown away” to draft a quarterback prospect in April. Alabama’s Bryce Young is expected to be the first quarterback taken. Poles wants to upgrade the Bears’ roster and believes he has the flexibility to do so by turning the first pick into multiple players or being selective with certain people.
Quarterback-needy teams that fail to land veterans in free agency, such as Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, and potentially Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson, may be closely watching the first pick to trade up.
The Bears considering trading the first pick could have a significant impact on the Lions’ draft strategy. It remains to be seen whether the Bears will trade the pick or keep it. If they do trade it, this could lead to a domino effect in the draft. The Lions, however, will likely continue their focus on improving their defense with their draft picks.
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