Should Detroit Lions trade for NFL cornerback Jalen Ramsey

This offseason, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes will be tasked with upgrading the team’s league-worst defense.

As part of the improvements he’s expected to make, Holmes is likely to add reinforcements to Detroit’s below-average secondary.

Specifically, after an uneven season from No. 1 cornerback Jeff Okudah and a complete and utter drop-off from fellow CB Amani Oruwariye, the Lions should make it a top priority to acquire a top-flight cover corner.

If Holmes & Co. go the trade route and were looking to make a big splash to upgrade the position, they could target LA Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Ramsey is one of the league’s few true shutdown corners.

Since entering the NFL as a first-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016, he’s accumulated 19 interceptions, and has been a first-team All-Pro selection three times.

Additionally, Ramsey has impressively racked up four interceptions in each of the last two seasons. Meanwhile, Okudah has compiled just two total interceptions in three NFL seasons.

Ramsey is also a gifted run defender. He finished this past season as the NFL’s best run stopper, per Pro Football Focus. The Florida State product also finished the 2022 campaign as PFF’s third-highest-graded cornerback (86.4 overall mark).

Ramsey would be Detroit’s first bonafide playmaker in the secondary since the days of Darius Slay. And, it’s a well-known fact that Ramsey is even an upgrade over “Big Play Slay.”

The downside to trading for Ramsey, in my opinion, would be having to take on his hefty contract and the likely significant draft capital that would have to be dealt to acquire him.

According to Spotrac, the five-time Pro Bowler is set to make $17 million in 2023, with an astronomical cap hit of $25.2M. And, the 28-year-old isn’t set to become an unrestricted free agent until after the 2025 season.

I believe it’s certainly feasible that Holmes will make a significant upgrade to the Lions’ secondary — and specifically, the team’s cornerbacks room — this offseason.

However, I don’t envision Detroit’s front office giving up multiple draft picks and mortgaging the future in order to do so. Instead, I see the team opting to add to its cornerbacks group via the NFL Draft and free agency.

Furthermore, I believe Holmes & Co. will pass on the opportunity to trade for Ramsey.

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