The Lions are actively shopping the second overall pick in April’s draft, according to a league source, and would be very comfortable trading down, looking to stockpile three or four assets.
The Lions already have been in discussions with other teams about the prospect, according to the source, and have ample time to make such a move before the draft begins April 22.
Given the uncertain labor and economic climate in the NFL, finding a trading partner might not be easy. However, the possibility remains that a team might want to move into the top two to ensure it lands one of two dominant defensive tackles — Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy — who many experts rate as by far the best prospects.
The Lions are trying to rebuild a long-suffering defense in particular, after sinking considerable high picks and resources into offensive skill players in recent years. They aren’t averse to taking the top player on their board, according to the source, but will seek to explore all options for a trade.
The Rams, who hold the No. 1 overall pick, have denied a report that they were in discussions with the Buccaneers to deal that selection, but there will be lots of jockeying and machinations taking place between now and late April.
Some teams have interest in Lions LB Ernie Sims as well, according to league sources, but the prospect of him being included in any deal along with the second overall pick seems bleak now because Detroit values him as a building block on defense. Sims, the ninth overall pick in 2006, has two years remaining on his rookie contract.