Trade With Panthers Could Be Win-Win Draft For Lions

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By 97.1 The Ticket

As the Lions approach the draft with the third overall pick, a trade down seems likely. Most of the speculation has centered on the Dolphins. 

Here's another QB-needy team to watch: the Panthers. 

Carolina looks ready to move on from Cam Newton, and it may well have the assets to move up for Tua Tagovailoa. In the latest mock by The Draft Network's Brett Solak, the Panthers swap positions with the Lions by sending Detroit picks No. 7 and No. 38, plus their first- and fourth-round picks in 2021 and their second-round pick in 2022. 

Quite the haul for the the Lions -- who also get a player they've been eyeing at No. 7 in Ohio State CB Jeffrey Okudah. (Solak has four QB's going in the top six, allowing Okudah to fall.) This would be the ultimate win-win for Detroit. 

Per Solak:

"This is the reality that simply must be eating away at GM Bob Quinn’s brain as the top 10 continues to crystallize: “What if I can trade back from No. 3 to 7, grabbing two No. 2s and a No. 1 in the process … and still get my guy?” That’s free money, and free money feels great folks.

"Don’t get it twisted: Jeffrey Okudah is the Lions’ guy, as we currently understand the class and the team. They know they need to address the outside cornerback position opposite Darius Slay at the very least; and given some of the contract rumblings on Slay during last season, they may need to replace him outright. Matt Patricia needs to play man coverage — nobody does that better than Okudah."

In the second round of Solak's mock, the Lions take LSU O-lineman Lloyd Cushenberry III with their own pick (No. 35), then Alabama safety Xavier McKinney with Carolina's pick. Both players could conceivably step in right away. Cushenberry, in particular, could wind up replacing guard Graham Glasgow, who seems destined to leave in free agency. 

Detroit would reap the rewards of the trade again a year later, with an extra first-rounder and extra fourth-rounder. Not to mention an extra second-rounder the year after that. 

This is all to say, probably not going to happen.

Carolina would be forfeiting two firsts, two seconds and a fourth to move up four spots for a QB with injury concerns. Maybe the Lions could sweeten the deal by throwing in an additional pick or two, and maybe a bidding war with the Dolphins and/or Chargers will force Carolina's hand, but even then the Panthers would have to be starry-eyed about Tua to pull the trigger.