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It took just over two years, but the Lions have finally gotten their full return from the Matthew Stafford trade. 

The Stafford deal sent shockwaves through the NFL when it went down back on Jan. 31, 2021. In the deal, the Lions sent Stafford to the Rams in exchange for Jared Goff and three draft picks. The three picks acquired by the Lions were a 2021 third-round pick, a 2022 first-round pick and a 2023 first-round pick. 

Here's how the Lions ended up using each of those picks: 

  • The third-round pick in 2021 was used on Ifeatu Melifonwu, who has mostly been a disappointment during his two seasons with the team. Not only has he already changed positions -- from corner to safety -- but he's only played in 17 games total over the past two seasons. He's also missed 17 games due to injury.
  • The first-round pick in 2022 actually ended up being two picks. After the Rams won the Super Bowl in 2021, that left the Lions with the 32nd overall pick in 2022. However, Detroit made a trade with the Vikings and that ended up giving the Lions the 12th overall pick and the 46th overall pick. The 12th pick was used on Jameson Williams, who was a risky pick and that's mainly because he tore his ACL during his final college season. Due to his injury, Williams didn't make his debut until Week 13 last season. After finishing with just one catch in 2022, things went from bad to worse this offseason when he was suspended six games for gambling
  • As for the 46th overall pick, the Lions selected Josh Pascal, who played in 10 games in 2022 as a rookie. 
  • Like 2022, the first-round pick in 2023 ended up being multiple picks. The Lions got the sixth overall pick from the Rams and they proceeded to trade that to Arizona for the 12th overall pick, the 34th overall pick and the 168th overall pick in this year's draft. 
  • With the 12th overall pick, the Lions shocked a lot of people around the NFL when they decided to draft Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs. With the 34th overall pick, the Lions nabbed Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta. 
  • At that point, they needed to use the 168th overall pick to finalize the Stafford trade, but they ended up trading that pick away in another deal with the Cardinals that gave the Lions the 96th overall pick (Detroit also sent two other picks -- 122nd overall and 138th overall -- to facilitate the trade). With the 96th pick, the Lions selected Western Kentucky defensive end Brodric Martin, and that Ladies and Gentlemen, put that final bow on the Stafford trade. 

If you're scoring at home, here's what the final deal looks like: 

  • Rams get: Matthew Stafford. 
  • Lions get: Jared Goff, Ifeatu Melifonwu, Jameson Williams, Josh Paschal, Jahmyr Gibbs, Sam LaPorta and Brodric Martin.

The Rams have already won a Super Bowl with Stafford, so it feels like they've won the trade and the only way that's going to change is if this new Lions' nucleus can somehow help Detroit get to the big game for the first time in franchise history.