May 10, 2021

Lions Declined 'Solid' Trade-Down Offer to Draft Penei Sewell

The Lions' 2021 draft class could've looked a lot different. 

While on the clock with the No. 7 overall selection, Detroit was dealing with a deluge of daring draft-day deals but declined a "solid" trade-down offer to select Oregon's Penei Sewell, according to Sports Illustrated.

Lions General Manager Brad Holmes revealed that Detroit still believed they had a chance at Sewell even after a possible trade down, which can be viewed by some as a potential red flag for a team that should be looking to acquire as many assets as possible in a rebuild. 

“We could’ve made the move and possibly still been in position to land [Sewell],” Holmes said.

If the Lions believed they would still have a chance, that means they weren't planning on sliding down too far the draft board. While details of a potential offer are not currently available, it's reasonable to assume one of the Panthers, Broncos or Cowboys were on the other end of the line looking to secure one of the two elite cornerbacks: Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain II. 

However, Breer made it clear through his own reporting that if they ended up trading down, the Lions were unlikely to still have the option to draft Sewell.

“[Holmes] was right not to trade the pick, too, because moving down likely would’ve led to the Panthers’ taking Sewell, and the Lions’ losing him altogether," Breer wrote.

It looks like the Lions made the right call to stand pat and draft the top-rated offensive tackle available. Just look at the euphoria in their draft room after making the pick:

Sewell's addition fortifies an already stacked offensive line including Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson, Frank Ragnow and Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Now they just need to fix the rest of their roster. 

Photo: Getty Images