Report: Lions Pursued Trade with Falcons to Draft Ja'Marr Chase with No. 4 Pick

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2021

LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) reacts after a 34-yard touchdown catch during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
Thomas Graning/Associated Press

The Detroit Lions looked into a trade with the Atlanta Falcons for the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano

LSU star Ja'Marr Chase was the player Detroit would've reportedly targeted, but Atlanta was demanding a price too steep for the Lions' taste.

Two of Detroit's top two receivers (Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola) are gone, as is 2019 Pro Bowler Kenny Golladay.

To say the Lions haven't adequately addressed their departures would be a bit of an understatement. Ourlads currently lists Breshad Perriman, Tyrell Williams and Kalif Raymond as the three starting wideouts heading into the 2021 season.

While T.J. Hockenson is coming off his first Pro Bowl nod, the situation isn't ideal for Jared Goff in his first year with the team.

Chase is an obvious solution, but he may not be on the board when the Lions are on the clock with the seventh overall pick. The 6'0" pass-catcher is off the board to the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 5 in the B/R NFL Scouting Department's Mock Draft 1.0. Alabama's Jaylen Waddle went to Detroit instead.

Waddle, fellow Crimson Tide star DeVonta Smith or Minnesota's Rashod Bateman wouldn't be bad alternatives, and they likely wouldn't require the Lions to give up any draft capital. In the event Chase isn't available, waiting until the second round wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, either. In B/R's final big board, eight receivers are among the top 40 overall players.

The Pittsburgh Steelers appear to have wound up with solid value in 2020 second-round pick Chase Claypool, and the 2019 draft included three second-rounders (A.J. Brown, Mecole Hardman and DK Metcalf) who have become Pro Bowlers, though Hardman was recognized as a return specialist.

In general, Detroit shouldn't go into panic mode if Chase isn't there.