The Detroit Lions are considered one of the teams most likely to trade down in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. With just six total picks in the first year of a new regime, they've reportedly been fielding plenty of calls about their No. 7 overall selection. According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, however, the Lions aren't just considering a move down. In a Wednesday notebook with Dan Graziano, Fowler indicates that Detroit actually explored a trade up early this week, with hopes of landing consensus top wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase at the No. 4 spot.
"There was chatter," Fowler writes, "that the Lions tried to trade up to No. 4 to get Chase, but the Falcons' asking price was too high."
Atlanta, of course, currently holds the No. 4 selection. And while the Falcons have reportedly also explored a move back, they could just as easily be holding out for a major haul, or sit tight and use the pick. Atlanta will have access to at least two of this year's five projected first-round quarterbacks -- likely Justin Fields, Trey Lance or Mac Jones -- as well as elite prospects like tight end Kyle Pitts and offensive lineman Penei Sewell.
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The Lions, on the other hand, have a clear need at receiver, where Chase is the widespread favorite to go first. But they figure to have at least one of the other consensus top-15 wideouts -- like Alabama's Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith -- available to them at No. 7, not to mention after a potential slight trade down.
"Detroit could go any number of ways," Fowler reports. "The Lions have a depleted roster and need everything. We've been told not to rule them completely out of the quarterback mix at No. 7, depending on how things shake out with the 49ers, but QB is not their primary focus."
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