The Lions Tried to Trade Up With the Bengals to Take Penei Sewell in the 2021 NFL Draft

Both Cincinnati and Detroit ended up getting the player they wanted
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CINCINNATI — The Bengals had their hearts set on LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase and ultimately took him with the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

Before they picked the 21-year-old, they received a call from the Lions about potentially trading the No. 5 selection in exchange for the No. 7 pick according to Dave Birkett from the Detroit Free Press.

“When (Kyle) Pitts came off the board at No. 4, (Brad) Holmes called the Cincinnati Bengals—who possessed the No. 5 pick—and had ‘dialogue’ about moving up,” Birkett wrote. “Though pre-draft reports pegged the Lions as targeting (Ja’Marr) Chase, the talented receiver out of LSU, Holmes indicated his call Thursday night was about Sewell.”

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If the report is accurate and there's no reason to think it isn't—the Bengals were likely unwilling to trade down because if the Lions moved up for Sewell, the Dolphins would've taken Chase at No. 6 and Cincinnati would've missed out on their "big three."

The Bengals had Chase at the top of their draft board, followed by Sewell and Florida tight end Kyle Pitts. 

Pitts went off the board at No. 4, which meant moving back to No. 7 would've cost the Bengals any chance of getting Chase or Sewell.

Ultimately, the Bengals took Chase and the Lions stayed put and got their guy.

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