We know the Lions have been looking to trade back from the No. 3 overall pick. Could Detroit hold firm and end up taking a quarterback?
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Monday on NFL NOW that the Lions have recently had multiple teleconferences with quarterbacks ahead of next week’s draft, including Tua Tagovailoa and, most recently, Justin Herbert.
The Lions’ virtual meeting with Herbert continues the trend of teams picking early in the first round sniffing around the Oregon product. With Detroit’s coaching staff working the Senior Bowl, they already got an up-close look at Herbert this offseason.
The drumbeat for Herbert going in the top 5 gets louder as we streak towards the 2020 NFL Draft, which kicks off April 23.
Garafolo admitted that the Lions looking at Herbert could be an effort to create an impetus for teams selecting later in the draft to trade up for the rookie quarterback.
At the very least, the Lions are doing their due diligence on quarterbacks, so they will know what type of player they’d be passing on if they go another direction at No. 3.
The Lions aren’t moving on from Matthew Stafford this season, especially given how good he looked before a back injury wiped out the second half of his season.
With Detroit owner Martha Firestone Ford giving coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn a mandate to win now, it would be an interesting move for the Lions to select a quarterback at No. 3 who would likely sit at least a year behind Stafford.
The Lions have been projected to take a defensive player early in the draft — namely Ohio State corner Jeffrey Okudah. Enticing a team to trade to the No. 3 spot while earning extra picks and still adding a defensive player a few slots later is the most beneficial move for Detroit at this stage.
It’s not unusual for teams drafting early in the first round to do due diligence on every conceivable player who might be available in that position. With the Lions picking so high, that means knowing the quarterbacks. If they surprised and actually pulled the trigger on selecting one, it would cause a cascading effect through the rest of the draft.
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