The Detroit Lions are truly an interesting team. While there wasn’t much success on the field, fans fell in love with Dan Campbell and the way he runs his team. He took risks, made games competitive, and gave fans as much excitement as possible; he showed that good days are coming sooner rather than later in Detroit.
The Lions are missing a defensive cornerstone on their team. They’ve got young pieces in the Okwara brothers and Charles Harris but are missing a true superstar to jumpstart their rebuild. Jessie Bates is a player they could build around for many years to come.
As far as a trade for Bates, Detroit doesn’t need to give up either of their first-round picks as long as they throw in a player who can contribute in Cincinnati. Jeff Okudah fits that mold.
Okudah, a former No. 3 overall selection, has had a tough start to his career in Detroit. After a subpar rookie season, Okudah followed that up by tearing his Achilles in the first week of his second season. Considering his situation so far with the team, on top of the fact that he was not drafted while Dan Campbell was head coach, it might be best for the two parties to go their separate ways.
While it’d be hard to see Bates go, adding Okudah and a Day 2 draft pick would give the Bengals tools to work with. Behind Kyle Hamilton, no safety in this draft class has a consistent first-round projection; not that these players aren’t good enough to be selected in the first, safety isn’t as big of a need for the teams drafting in the back end of the first round.
If the Bengals were to make this deal, look for prospects such as Lewis Cine, Jaquan Brisker, and Daxton Hill to be in play at pick 31.