Odds Lions Trade Up to No. 4 Overall

Read more on the odds of the Detroit Lions trading up to the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft
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As Day 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft readily approaches (April 29), speculation continues to run rampant about what many of the NFL's 32 franchises will do. 

This includes conjecture regarding what teams will decide to trade down and which ones will decide to trade up. 

The latest buzz involves the Atlanta Falcons, which hold the No. 4 overall pick. 

According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, the Falcons are actively taking calls from multiple teams for their first-round selection, and “are open to moving” out of the spot. 

The interested teams have not been disclosed. So, there's no guarantee that the Detroit Lions, which own the No. 7 overall selection, are one of the franchises that has made a call. 

However, there's at least a possibility that Detroit is one of the suitors. 

Here's why: New Atlanta general manager Terry Fontenot previously spent his entire NFL front-office career with the New Orleans Saints, where freshly-minted Lions head man Dan Campbell and first-year defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn also hail from. 

Fontenot joined the Saints in 2003 as a scout, and rose all the way up to the team's assistant general manager and vice president of pro personnel, before being hired by the Falcons. 

The biggest domino effect of the Lions trading up for the pick is that they'd be in even better position to pick their quarterback of the future, if they were to go in that route with their first-round selection. 

Depending on what the San Francisco 49ers do at No. 3 overall, Ohio State's Justin Fields and North Dakota State's Trey Lance could both be on the board once the No. 4 pick rolls around. 

If such occurred, Detroit would have the opportunity to pick a signal-caller in either Fields or Lance that, according to many draft pundits, can one day be a franchise passer. 

So, first-year Lions general manager Brad Holmes could do little-to-no wrong with taking either QB at that spot. 

Holmes could also move up to take Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell at No. 4, and immediately insert him into the starting lineup at right tackle.


Sewell finished his sophomore campaign in 2019 as the top-graded offensive lineman in the nation and in Pro Football Focus history, with an overall mark of 95.5. 

And if Holmes doesn't trade up to get him, the Cincinnati Bengals could very well grab him with the following pick (No. 5 overall).  

On the flip side, though, by trading up to the No. 4 selection, the Lions would likely be giving up multiple 2021 draft assets, and the organization, remember, only has six total picks to work with at this present juncture. 

So, every pick that Holmes & Co. hold in this year's draft should be that much more valuable to them. 

And, with a rebuilding franchise, moving up a few spots in the order and subsequently losing out on some highly useful draft capital is not in the best interest of the team. 

Instead, the Detroit front-office brass should be looking to acquire as many picks as possible for this year and the future, which I believe is the aim of Holmes going into his inaugural draft as an NFL GM. 

As a result, I view the possibility of a trade with the Falcons to be rather unlikely. 

I put the odds at 20 percent.

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