The Detroit Lions other 2023 first-round pick is getting better by the day

SideLion Report

As the Los Angeles Rams’ season goes off the rails, the Detroit Lions’ other 2023 first-round is getting better by the day.

When the Detroit Lions traded Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams and got two first-round picks in the deal, the assumption was both of those first-rounders (2022 and 2023) would be late on Day 1.

This year, after the Rams won the Super Bowl in February, that happened. General manager Brad Holmes of course traded up to No. 12 from No. 32 to take wide receiver Jameson Williams.

Entering Week 11 this season, the Rams and the Lions have matching 3-6 records. Anyone who saw that coming should have put a big chunk of money on it, if it was even possible. And as of right now, the 2023 first-round pick the Lions are getting from the Rams is better than their own.

The Rams pick going to Detroit sits at No. 8 overall right now, while the Lions’ own first-rounder has moved down to No. 11 off back-to-back wins.

Detroit Lions’ second 2023 first round pick getting better by the day

Stafford missed the Rams’ loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10 due to being in concussion protocol. It seems possible he’ll return in Week 11 against the New Orleans Saints, but it’s unclear.

Rams’ wide receiver Cooper Kupp suffered an ankle injury in that game against Arizona, and despite indications he avoided the worst-case he did suffer a dreaded high ankle sprain. Now he’s headed for surgery and will be put on IR.

Kupp will miss at least the next four games, against the Saints, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Seattle Seahawks and the Las Vegas Raiders. If the Rams don’t at least split those four, their playoff odds will be slim. Without the player who has accounted for 34 percent of their offense this season, to say nothing of Stafford’s status or a continually injury-decimated offensive line, winning any game isn’t a guarantee at this point. Yes, beating the Saints (3-7 right now) and the Raiders (2-7 right now) isn’t automatic for the Rams the way things are going.

Via Football Outsiders (and h/t to Pride of Detroit), the Rams’ pick currently has a 31.2 percent chance to be top-five overall while the Lions’ own pick sits at 16.1 percent to be top-five overall.

There’s obviously a long way to go in the season. But what once seemed sure to be a pick toward the bottom of the first round for the Lions again next April, via the Rams, now could very well be top-15, top-12, or dare it be said possibly top-10 when it’s all said and done.

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