ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions have had a clear strategy throughout the offseason and training camp: Acquire draft picks. Lots and lots of draft picks.
The team grabbed another selection for a future NFL draft Tuesday by trading offensive tackle Michael Williams for a future seventh-round selection according to ESPN Insider Field Yates. Williams, of course, was a seventh round pick himself as a tight end in the 2013 draft.
This just continues a busy few months of trading for general manager Martin Mayhew, all netting some sort of draft compensation.
Earlier this month, Detroit traded cornerback Mohammed Seisay to Seattle for a sixth round pick. The Lions also finagled a fifth round pick out of Tampa Bay when George Johnson signed there as a restricted free agent.
Then there are the compensatory picks that will be announced after the season. Detroit could be in line for two or three comp picks for Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and potentially one other player depending how things shake out there. The Suh pick is likely a third round selection.
Most of these moves have been shrewd for the Lions. Seisay was not a lock to make Detroit’s roster. Initially, the team was going to receive no compensation for Johnson signing with Tampa, but found language in the contract to turn it into a trade for a pick.
The trade of Williams is a little more interesting considering the team spent the past season-plus working to turn him into an offensive tackle and he seemed destined to be Detroit’s No. 4 offensive tackle this season.
Now, this opens up a potential roster spot for 2015 seventh round pick Corey Robinson unless the team tries to bring in a veteran tackle for that slot.
But Tuesday’s trade of Williams shows the Lions are intent on stockpiling picks for future drafts as a way to build their team and their depth for the future.