ESPN's Todd McShay doesn't see Lions having trade market at No. 2: 'It sucks for Detroit this year'
Allen Park — Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes said this week he's already had some early dialogue with teams regarding the No. 2 pick and only expects interest to increase as the draft approaches.
While that may be true, ESPN analyst Todd McShay doesn't see the Lions getting a viable offer to justify dealing the selection.
"I'd be surprised if Detroit got a legitimate, respectable offer to move out of that No. 2 spot," McShay said during a Thursday conference call. "If they did, I would jump at it because the same player you're going to get at three, four or five is what you're going to wind up taking at No. 2 anyway, especially without that big need at offense tackle."
McShay said the value of the No. 2 pick is decreased this year for two reasons. First, there's a lack of an elite quarterback in this class. Of course, if there was a prospect fitting that description, the Lions could easily be content to stand pat and take that player.
Secondly, beyond the quarterbacks, the two positions that typically generate trade conversations at the top of the draft are offensive tackles and edge rushers. There are multiple options at each spot that will likely result in teams further down the draft board sitting tight and letting one fall to them, instead of paying extra draft resources to move up.
"It sucks for Detroit this year because there's no elite quarterback where they can solve that problem moving forward," McShay said. "And knowing the quarterback situation, the next two best players on a lot of teams boards (after Aidan Hutchinson) are the offensive tackles and they're in really good shape there moving forward. I just think it's tough how it plays out."
But it isn't a total loss for the Lions. McShay is still confident the team will get a very good player at No. 2, whether that's Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton, Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux or Georgia's Travon Walker, who has seen his draft stock sharply climb after a dominant showing at the combine in early March.
The obvious concern with Walker is his limited pass-rush production during his time at Georgia, but McShay felt that was more a byproduct of his role in the Bulldogs' scheme.
"Yeah, he's not your classical bend-the-edge, torso-flexibility guy," McShay said. "He's more straight-line power. But there's a lot of guys in the league, probably more so than the finesse, flexibility, speed guys off the edge that are double-digit sack players in the league.
"He was playing in a system where everything was about do your job, gap discipline, let the linebackers go make the plays, clog everything up front. He wasn't asked to that (get after the QB) a lot. And he was dropping in coverage, at times. They were reducing him inside as a defensive tackle on some passing downs. I think when you line him up as a pure edge and let him get after the quarterback, his production numbers are going to be a lot better in the NFL than they were in the college."
As for quarterback Malik Willis, who continues to be rumored in the mix at No. 2, McShay downplayed the possibility.
A pre-draft celebration
The Detroit Sports Commission will put on a free, community event at Campus Martius Park on April 14 to celebrate the city being selected to host the 2024 NFL Draft.
The event, which will begin at 4:30 p.m., will include live music, food trucks and family-friendly activates, including autograph and photo opportunities with former Lions players, team cheerleaders and mascot Roary. NFL Network and CBS Sports analyst Charles Davis will serve as master of ceremonies.
Lions quarterback Jared Goff held a throwing session in California this week with a handful of the team's receivers, including Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds and newcomer DJ Chark.
"New beginnings with gang," Chark posted on Instagram, along with several photos from the meetup.
Goff held similar sessions with teammates last offseason after being acquired via a trade with the Los Angeles Rams.