‘Efficient’ trade could help both Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins

“I am open for business.”

Those are words directly from the mouth of Detroit Lions general manager, Bob Quinn.

Quinn, of course, was referring to the 2019 NFL Draft and his willingness to trade back if the right offer is presented to him, but as we know, speculating about potential trades is always fun, but in the end, it takes two to tango.

According to Cynthia Frelund from, there is a potential trade scenario involving the Lions which makes sense for both teams.


The work below blends my draft-prospect and team-needs models to provide competitive analysis of each pick. This piece builds off how I approached my mock draft in that its goal is to optimize for wins this season. In areas where there is surplus value, a future draft pick is mentioned. The idea here is to pretend I am working for a team and tasked with analyzing what could happen at each pick using a lot of contextual data.

With all of that in mind, below you’ll find four potential efficient trades involving high-value selections. These deals would provide the most value for both teams. This means trades that net both teams a higher projected win total, while taking into account who other teams are likely to draft.

Should the Giants not go QB at No. 6, the Redskins trade up to No. 8

Washington Redskins receive:
— 2019 first-round pick (No. 8)
— 2019 fourth-round pick (No. 111)

Detroit Lions receive:
— 2019 first-round pick (No. 15)
— 2019 second-round pick (No. 46)

Why it works for the Redskins: If you take the time to add up Jimmy Johnson’s trade-value chart you’ll see that the Lions earn more equity than the Redskins by about 18 points. This reflects the “should” part of the statement above. This means that in order to get the second quarterback drafted on Day 1, the Redskins have to give up a little more in the trade. If Washington is targeting the quarterback position, this is likely the least it will have to pay to fill the position with anyone other than Kyler Murray (who is likely to go first overall). It’s likely that the Redskins have a number of paths mapped out for acquiring the QB they want, but this would be the trade where both teams benefit the most.

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Why it works for the Lions: The Lions would pick at Nos. 15, 43 and 46 in this scenario. My model forecasts that the blend of corners, pass rushers, tight ends and wide receivers available in these slots would address the Lions’ needs most fully. Since this trade is contingent on only one quarterback being selected, this likely means that the premium pass rushers are off the board, and thus Detroit would get more value with a top, scheme-fit corner (Greedy Williams?) in the first round. The Lions could then use their two second-round selections on a pass rusher and tight end/wide receiver. If tight end T.J. Hockenson is available at No. 15, Detroit could snag him and use their second-rounders on a corner and pass rusher.

Nation, is this a move you would like the Detroit Lions to make?

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