Detroit Lions trade up to No. 12 in NFL draft to get Alabama WR Jameson Williams

LAS VEGAS — The Detroit Lions are delaying their return on the Matthew Stafford trade for at least another day.

The Lions traded the No. 32 overall pick, acquired in last year’s trade of Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams, to the Minnesota Vikings along with Nos. 34 and 66 for the No. 12 pick Thursday and the No. 46 in Friday’s second round of the 2022 NFL draft.

The Lions then took Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams at No. 12.

The Lions acquired first-round picks this year and next from the Rams, and a third-round choice last year, for Stafford. They used last year’s third-round pick on cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu.

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Alabama’s Jameson Williams celebrates a first down against Georgia in the national championship game Jan. 10, 2022 in Indianapolis.

Lions general manager Brad Holmes said last week he was open to trading up or down from pick No. 32, and that he was interested in acquiring extra picks in next year’s draft in any move he made.

Late first-round picks have historically been enticing to teams because of their added contractual value. Drafted players sign slotted four-year contracts as part of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, but teams get a fifth-year option on first-round choices.

In the 2018-21 drafts, five trades were made involving picks 30-32 at the end of Round 1.

Alabama receiver Jameson Williams on the red carpet at the Fountains of Bellagio before the first round of the 2022 NFL draft, April 28, 2022.

Alabama receiver Jameson Williams on the red carpet at the Fountains of Bellagio before the first round of the 2022 NFL draft, April 28, 2022.

The Lions entered Thursday with eight picks in this year’s draft and nine in 2023, including the Rams’ first-round selection and an extra sixth-round pick from the Denver Broncos acquired in last year’s Trinity Benson trade.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions trade up, get Alabama WR Jameson Williams

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