| Detroit Free Press
Lions make a huge statement, sending Stafford to Rams for Goff, picks
Dave Birkett, Shawn Windsor and Carlos Monarrez break down the Detroit Lions’ trade, sending Matthew Stafford to the Rams for Jared Goff and draft picks.
Dave Birkett, Shawn Windsor and Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press
In exchange for Stafford and taking on Jared Goff’s cumbersome contract, the Lions received a third-round pick in this year’s draft, No. 88 overall, and first-round choices in 2022-23.
If Stafford and the Rams have anywhere near the level of success they hope the next few seasons, both first-round picks will come in the latter part of the round. Still, they will put the Lions in a position of strength on draft day they have rarely been in, in recent years.
The Lions have not made two first-round choices in the same draft since 2010, when they traded up to take Jahvid Best at Pick No. 30 after opening the draft with Ndamukong Suh at No. 2.
They have not entered a draft with two No. 1s since 2009, when they took Stafford first overall and used the pick acquired from the Dallas Cowboys in the Roy Williams trade to take tight end Brandon Pettigrew at No. 20.
For this spring at least, the Lions remain light on draft capital.
They have the seventh pick of the first round, and still could consider a quarterback at that spot, and two other selections in the first 87 picks: No. 41 in Round 2 and No. 72 in Round 3.
The Miami Dolphins, by comparison, have two first-rounders and five of the first 82 selections.
The Lions are not in line to receive any compensatory draft picks for their free agent losses from 2020, and it is unclear how cognizant of compensatory picks new general manager Brad Holmes will be going forward.
The Rams, where Holmes spent his entire NFL career before coming to Detroit, have been a regular recipient of compensatory picks in recent seasons, letting high-priced free agents go and using the mid-round choices they received in return to help offset their lack of first-rounders (which they have not had since 2016).
This year, they are in line for third- and fourth-round compensatory selections for losing Dante Fowler and Cory Littleton in free agency, and will have a second extra third-round pick from the NFL’s new minority hiring rules (for the Lions’ hire of Holmes).
The Lions have two potential big-money free agents this offseason in Kenny Golladay and Romeo Okwara, and would like to keep both. Even if they don’t, they might not be in line for future compensatory picks because of their own free agent additions.
The Lions do not currently have a sixth- or seventh-round pick in this year’s draft — they traded their sixth-round pick to the Dallas Cowboys for Everson Griffen in October and their seventh-rounder to the Seattle Seahawks as part of the 2019 Quandre Diggs deal — but have a full complement picks in 2022 and beyond.
Here is a look at the Lions’ current collection of draft picks for this year’s draft:
First round: No. 7.
Second round: No. 41.
Third round: Nos. 72 and 88.
Fourth round : One choice, slot TBD once compensatory picks are awarded.
Fifth round: One choice, slot TBD once compensatory picks are awarded.
Sixth round: No choice.
Seventh round: No choice.
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