Proposed Blockbuster Trade Ships Detroit Lions ‘Playmaking’ CB

For the first time in years, the Detroit Lions will enter the 2024 season as true Super Bowl contenders. With that in mind, Pro Football Focus argued the Lions should execute a draft plan accordingly to land Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell.

The Lions, losers no more, are the NFC North favorite. Can they top the Vikings, Packers and Bears? - The San Diego Union-Tribune

In a seven-round PFF mock draft on April 22, the Lions traded up from late in the first round to No. 15 to choose Mitchell.

“The Lions are clearly in ‘win now’ mode and make a move here by trading up for PFF’s 10th-ranked player in the draft class,” wrote PFF’s Josh Liskiewitz. “Over the past two seasons, Mitchell surrendered just 56 receptions on 140 targets into his coverage with eight interceptions and 36 forced incompletions.”

In the trade proposal, the Lions sent their second-round pick and a 2025 third-rounder to the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts received Detroit’s No. 29 overall selection as well. In return, the Lions also received the No. 117 overall selection during the fourth round.

In Mitchell, the Lions would be drafting one of the top cornerback prospects in the 2024 draft class.

“The majority of Mitchell’s appeal as a prospect comes from his physical profile and playmaking ability,” wrote Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings. “At 6’0″, 195 pounds, Mitchell has good play strength and proportional length — traits that are amplified by his elite explosiveness, closing speed, and twitch.”

Last season, Mitchell posted 18 pass defenses with 1 interception. He also had 19 pass defenses and 5 interceptions during the 2022 season.

The ESPN and Bleacher Report consensus big boards have Mitchell ranked as the top cornerback of the 2024 draft class.

How Quinyon Mitchell Could Fit With the Detroit Lions

Former Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell makes another statement at NFL combine | The Blade

The Lions have already traded for a cornerback this offseason in Carlton Davis. They also signed free agent Amik Robertson and re-signed Khalil Dorsey, Kindle Vildor and Emmanuel Moseley.

But the Lions weren’t expecting to lose Cameron Sutton, who the team released on March 21 after he became the subject of a police search.

So, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Lions were aggressive in acquiring a top cornerback prospect to replace Sutton. Detroit struggled in pass defense throughout last season despite advancing to the NFC championship game.

In 2023, the Lions were 27th in passing yards allowed. They were also ranked 29th in net yards yielded per pass attempt.

Mitchell could bring potential long-term stability to Detroit’s secondary as well. All the cornerbacks the Lions added this offseason are not signed to deals longer than two years.

Quinyon Mitchell Ranked as Top 10 Prospect in 2024 Draft Class

Quinyon Mitchell - Football - University of Toledo Athletics

Trading up 14 spots will be costly for the Lions. But if there’s a time for general manager Brad Holmes to be aggressive, it would be now with the team appearing on the verge of a championship.

Other than perhaps cornerback, the Lions don’t have a lot of other major needs to address in the 2024 draft. That justifies a move up the board for a top defensive back.

The Lions could keep their draft capital to add depth in key areas and simply target a cornerback at No. 29. But Mitchell, along with potentially the other top 5 cornerback prospects, will not still be on the board.

Not only does ESPN and Bleacher Report consider Mitchell the top cornerback in the draft, both consensus big boards have him ranked at No. 10 overall.

PFF has Mitchell placed second among cornerbacks in the upcoming draft class. But PFF has the Toledo cornerback rated No. 9 overall.

If the Lions see Mitchell in a similar light, and he’s still on the board at No. 15, a trade up for Detroit to secure him would make a lot of sense.

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