Day Two of Ash Thompson’s Draftmas 2019 begins a discussion of trade rumors
The weather changes
Our work done for months destroyed
A stunning seed sown
Today we will start looking at trade scenarios. Every day until the draft we are going to go over two of them based on a player being available that has been linked to teams that have reportedly explored options to move up. Today, We will look at the teams that may want to move up to take Ed Oliver. I’ll be using Rich Hill’s updated version of the draft chart to estimate values
The Atlanta Falcons
First up are the Atlanta Falcons. This is the oldest rumor of the 2019 draft process. The Atlanta defense is built to take advantage of having a player like Ed Oliver in it, unlike the Lions defense which fits Oliver about as well as a pair of extra small Lulu Lemon yoga pants. He could probably get them on, they’re very stretchy. It’s just not the best idea for him. It’s definitely not the future the pants had in mind for themselves. The pants would be set back significantly. Taking Ed Oliver at 8 is akin to buying him a $206 Stiletto 15 oz Ti-Bone Milled Face Hammer so he can hang some pictures on the wall. Yeah, it is going to work for that, but so would the HDX 16 oz hammer that costs $7. The Falcons, on the other hand, are doing some structural framing. They need the extra shock absorption and the superior constr… O.K. You get the idea.
The Falcons need a spectacular gap shooting three-technique defensive tackle. The Lions play a two-gap based defensive scheme. They could find something for him to do, but it is not going to be anything he is good at on a regular basis. That would be a terrible pick unless Matt Patricia is looking to start a framing business. As a result, the Lions could net pick 79 in addition to pick 14 as a return. Another advantage of moving out of the top ten, particularly if the Lions are looking outside the premier value positions for their pick, is that the fifth-year option price drops significantly outside the top ten.
The Buffalo Bills
A factor that makes the Falcons deal more likely than it otherwise might be, is that the next most likely team to move up for Oliver sit at pick nine, one pick behind the Lions. The Buffalo Bills are rumored to be very interested in obtaining Oliver’s services. Given my belief about Oliver’s value to the Lions, the opportunity cost of moving back one spot is nothing, The Lions could land a late-round pick. That would let them move up in one of the middle rounds to get a player they actually want.
That is, of course, unless the Falcons are also calling. The value of the Bills fourth-round pick at 147 is about right to make this move. The Bills have four picks in the fourth and fifth round combined. If faced with missing out on Oliver the Bills might pony up a pick as high as 112. Alternatively, the Falcons might be leveraged into giving up their second-round pick rather than their third-rounder. a competition for the spot is definitely in the Lions favor.
That tiered Big Board
The first tier on the big board was basically the prospects that teams are insane to pass on, whether they need someone at the position or not. The only two players like that in this draft are Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa. Bosa has an injury history and his role is deeper in this draft for the Lions needs. Williams would tear the NFL apart beside Damon Harrison, and he has spectacular tape in a two-gap defense. Within this tier, I rank Williams slightly ahead of Bosa.
The second tier of prospects is a group of players that would make two spots on the Lions defense better with one pick. Bob Quinn made a significant number of moves during the free agent period to drastically reduce the number of positions at which this is possible. The Lions’ linebacker corp is not capable of playing an actual 4-3 front with seven legitimate starters. The team only has two off the ball linebackers that belong on the field: Christian Jones and Jarrad Davis.
Michigan’s Devin Bush and LSU standout Devin White would push Jones to the SLB role that fits his athletic profile better. This would give the Lions a much more athletic nickel package than they have right now by improving the Will linebacker role from day one. This keeps Devon Kennard, who is not an off-ball linebacker ideally off the field. It keeps Steve Longa, who should be playing special teams and not much else, off the field when. This is only applicable when the Lions deploy a base 4-3 defense, however, and that is not incredibly often.
What if it is not Jonah Williams?
There is only one center who could push Graham Glasgow to the right guard spot. Garrett Bradbury is not only a day one starter, but he is a potential Pro Bowler from the moment he joins a team. It may be a generous assessment to say that the Lions would move their veteran center for Bradbury. They would see a performance improvement across the line if they did. In all three cases, if you disagree with my assessment that they would move a veteran, these players fall at worst into tier three. Those are the immediate starters that I will be going over tomorrow.