Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Allen Park We addressed a chunk of your questions in Part 1, but there are always leftover queries when we write a Detroit Lions mailbag. Here's another batch of answers to get you through another day. 

► Q: If you were the GM, assuming the Dolphins and the Chargers both badly want to trade for the third pick, what trade from each would be enough for you? — @lotzaluc

► A: If both teams are desperate, I'm playing them against each other, trying to get as much as possible. That starts with each team's first- and second-round choices this year, or in Miami's case, two of their three first-rounders. With the Chargers, I'd also push for a future asset, another second- or third-rounder, to complete the package. 

That's the best-case scenario. 

More: Niyo: Tone deaf or tonic? NFL won’t let coronavirus silence its spring

If those two franchises aren't competing, I'd do the best I could to bluff, while preparing to concede even if I don't get an ideal return, it still might be worth it to drop down the board a couple spots if I'm confident I can get one of my top targets. 

For example, if the best return I have on the table while on the clock is Miami offering a third and a fourth to move up the two spots to No. 3, I'm probably taking it. Of course I want more, but there's a really good chance cornerback Jeff Okudah is still there at five given the New York Giants, picking at No. 4, signed James Bradberry to a sizable contract as a free agent this offsesaon and drafted DeAndre Baker in the first round last year. 

► Q: Chances the Lions get Chase Young? There are a lot of rumors going on with quarterback rankings, trade backs, etc. Plus, Trent Williams wants out of Washington. With all the chaos, does Chase fall to Lions? — @tentimestenn

► A: I hit on this a little bit in the mailbag yesterday. It's probably a stretch to call it a good chance Young is there at three, but you can see the realistic possibilities of Washington drafting a quarterback or trading out of that spot for another team to snag Tua Tagovailoa. 

There's recent precedent for a team abandoning a first-round quarterback after one year to draft an upgrade. The Arizona Cardinals did it last year, taking Kyler Murray No. 1 overall and dealing away Josh Rosen. Reports suggest Washington owner Dan Snyder doesn't want to go that route with Dwayne Haskins, but after hiring Ron Rivera, you need to put that decision in the veteran coach's hands. 

As for Williams, Washington is clearly going to need an offensive tackle, but you would be hard-pressed to find many NFL decision-makers who have a higher grade on one of the tackle prospects compared to Young.

Bad franchises repeatedly make bad decisions. That's what makes them bad franchises. But it's inconceivable Washington chases a need over talent when picking this high, especially with a roster so far away from competitiveness. 

► Q: The most glaring problem on our defense last season was lack of any pass rush. Opposing quarterbacks had all day in the pocket. Why have the Lions made no moves to address that? — @JWhiteGoLions

► A: Well, we can't really say that. The addition of Jamie Collins should improve the pass rush. Devon Kennard had 43 pressures last year, according to Pro Football Focus, on 436 rushes. Collins had 33 pressures on 193 snaps.

That's a pressure every 5.9 rushes for Collins, compared to one every 10.1 snaps for Kennard. But that's not enough. You know it, I know it and you'd hope the Lions know it. But what we also know is talented pass rushers don't come cheap.

Robert Quinn, who will turn 30 before he plays a down for the Bears, got a five-year, $70 million contract with $30 million guaranteed after his first double-digit sack campaign in six seasons.  Dante Fowler, a personal favorite of the edge defenders who actually made it to the market, netted $16 million per season after his first double-digit sack season of his career. And Jadeveon Clowney is hunting for $20 million per season despite continued durability issues and 3.0 sacks in 2019. 

So the Lions are going to have to turn to the draft to fill the need. That's certainly the more cost-efficient way to handle it. There's the aforementioned possibility Chase Young is there at No. 3. If not, on Day 2 you're looking at a number of possible options, from Iowa's A.J. Epenesa to Boise State's Curtis Weaver to Notre Dame's Julian Okwara to Michigan's Josh Uche, among others. 

There are a lot of different style rushers who figure to be available, so let's hold off on evaluating the entirety of the offseason until we see how the team addresses the issue later this month. 

► Q: Why is the Kenny Golladay contract taking so long? — @DirtyJerzFinest

► A: Because it's not pressing. He's under contract for 2020 and the Lions are still navigating through free agency and the draft. When those things are done, the team can reassess its roster and cap situations and come to the table with Golladay's representatives. 

The Lions have signed multiple extensions with their top players in August and September, including Matthew Stafford and Darius Slay. Who knows how the COVID-19 pandemic alters some of the traditional timetables, but if an extension gets done, it will likely be in the month before the regular season starts. 

► Q: Without offseason workouts and possible reductions in training camp days, do you foresee a noticeable dip in quality football? — @spartanswill86

► A: Yeah, that seems likely. Players are going to have less time to get in football shape and the new collective bargaining agreement also reduced the number of padded practices. 

Depth is going to be important, because snap counts are going to need to be managed and we will likely see an increase in soft muscle injuries from the condensed preparation time. 

► Q: Would the Lions consider long-term replacements at wide receiver by looking at a player like Brandon Aiyuk or Laviska Shenault in the second and a guy like Van Jefferson in the fourth? Fills big future need and allows them a year to develop. — @NightMoves212

► A: Let's refresh ourselves on the current receiver depth chart. The starters are the same as last year, with Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola. The team also returns some of its depth from a season ago, with Marvin Hall, Chris Lacy and Travis Fulgham. And to the corps, they've added former Packer Geronimo Allison and special teams standout Geremy Davis. 

Of that group, zero are under contract after this season. Of course, we are working under the assumption something gets done with Golladay before he can hit the market in 2021.

So could the Lions draft two receivers with their nine picks? I mean, yeah, that's completely realistic. Grabbing one in the first four rounds should be a lock. The team needs to take advantage of this deep and talented group, securing a long-term pairing with Golladay.

As for taking a second, it would come down to value when on the clock. We can safety assume the Lions will carry five receivers into the season, so adding a second rookie to the mix could push Hall and Allison to the chopping block.

More: If Lions go for Jeff Okudah, here are 10 second-round options that make sense

► Q: With linebacker and wide receiver currently heavy on the roster (with lots of special teams types), is this in anticipation of the expanded game day and practice squad rosters for this season? — @zoboa

► A: Probably to a small degree, but this is just what the roster tends to look like during the offseason, when a team can employ up to 90 players. By the start of training camp, it's not unusual for a team to be have a dozen receivers and 15 defensive backs. From there, competition should allow the cream to rise to the top when the team needs to whittle the roster down. 

When it comes to expanded game-day rosters, which are growing from 46 to 48 under the new CBA, it will definitely give teams an opportunity to activate another special teamer. Another area that should benefit from roster expansion is offensive line, where teams have had to navigate through some difficult situations when in-game injuries hit. 

► Q: If the season isn't played, would it be top-10 Lions season since '57? — @squashems

► A: Mean question. That said, if you don't play, you can't finish under .500.

The Lions have qualified for the playoffs 12 times since last winning a championship in 1957, so no, we can't argue it's a top-10 season. 

► Q: What is the best draft/remaining FA/season scenario that has the Lions winning the division? — @pierce_bw

► A: The Lions trade pick No. 3 to Miami for picks No. 5 and No. 26. At five, the Lions draft Jeff Okudah and at No. 26 the team grabs the best edge rusher available, such as Yetur Gross-Matos or A.J. Epenesa. 

Detroit then ships pick No. 35 to the Kansas City Chiefs for defensive tackle Chris Jones, signing the dominant interior lineman to a five-year, $90 million deal in the process. 

In rounds 3-7, the Lions grab a starting caliber guard, a long-term receiving option to partner with Golladay and an upgrade at running back. Maybe not this specific combination, but something like Chase Claypool, Jonah Jackson and Zack Moss. 

Those additions would solidify the defense with star-caliber talent at two spots, while providing badly needed depth to the pass rush. On offense, the gains would be smaller, but still notable in clear areas of weakness. 

On top of all that, the Lions would need a season's worth of good health, particularly at the quarterback spot, if they are going to make a run at a worst-to-first transformation. 

And everyone lived happily ever after. 

Q: Do you think the Lions trade for or trade away any players leading up to or during the draft? — @PALionBlood

A: There's no way to answer this with any certainty. Given the team's salary cap, they are certainly in position to absorb a contract if a player who fills a need hits the block. 

As for Detroit's tradeable assets, no one really sticks out when going through the roster. The team has already squashed rumors about Matthew Stafford and linebacker Jarrad Davis.

The one move that could make financial sense would be Marvin Jones, since it would clear $6.5 million from the books, but with such a stacked group of rookie receivers, I'm not sure a team is rushing to take on that salary in 2020, even though it's a very reasonable figure. 

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE