If I had to give an honest estimate, I would say that I have browsed at least 1,235,754 mock drafts in the past three months. That being said, of every mock I have looked at (until now), none have included the trade proposal that Bill Barnwell included in his lastest mock which was published on ESPN.com.
In his “2020 NFL Mock Draft with all trades,” Barwell has the Detroit Lions swapping tight ends and first-round picks with the Los Angeles Chargers as part of a deal that is interesting, to say the least.
Assuming the first two picks go as planned with Joe Burrow and Chase Youngcoming off the board, the Lions are in the catbird seat in this draft. The Giants haven’t traded down since 2006, so unless general manager Dave Gettleman gets hacked by his computer guys, any team that wants to get ahead of the Dolphins at No. 5 is going to talk to the Lions. With Detroit coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn likely all-in for their jobs in 2020, though, I wonder whether the Lions will place a premium on adding at least one veteran as opposed to amassing as many picks as possible.
Nominally, the Lions don’t need a tight end, given that they drafted T.J. Hockenson in the first round of last year’s draft and tight ends typically break out in Year 2. With Patricia and Quinn coming from New England, though, I’m quite confident they were drilled by Bill Belichick in how valuable one star tight end can be, let alone two. The Lions wanted to run the ball more under Darrell Bevell last season and would be adding a good blocker and a very good pass-catcher in Henry, who would be in line for an extension. They could still add cornerback Jeff Okudah, linebacker Isaiah Simmons or defensive tackle Derrick Brown at No. 6.
The Chargers would be acquiring James on a three-year, $14.6 million deal, but the real benefit would be moving up past the Dolphins to draft their choice of quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Jordan Love. Losing Henry would hurt their new quarterback, of course, but Henry’s injury issues suggest that they might be better off not signing the 25-year-old to a long-term extension.
Nation, this deal seems very unlikely but if it went down, would you be happy?