A perfect time to bluff.
Bob Quinn needs to put on his poker face in the days leading up to the draft. The Detroit Lions need to plant people all over the country with megaphones describing how excited the organization is to have a chance to draft quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
The Detroit Lions need to make sure all of the other NFL organizations know that they may sincerely have an interest in drafting Tua, therefor building as much draft capital as possible. If the Miami Dolphins who pick fifth or the Chargers who pick sixth buy into the hype Detroit is serious about drafting Tua, they may make the Lions an offer they can’t refuse to trade back.
Although Washington is content taking Chase Young second, don’t rule out the Skins potentially accepting a blockbuster offer from either Miami or the Chargers. That would allow Young to land in Detroit.
If that doesn’t happen, the Lions have plenty of options.
It’s a year Detroit is expected to compete for the NFC North division, a playoff appearance, or a change will be anticipated from ownership in regards to a new general manager and head coach.
While Tua is exceptionally talented, he comes with plenty of injury risk. Will he be the same player he once was after suffering a severe hip dislocation?
Although current quarterback Matthew Stafford has his own injury concerns, he’s indeed a franchise quarterback that excelled last season with Darrell Bevell as his play-caller. If the Lions decided to move on from Stafford and turn the keys over to Tua, the offense would take an immediate step backward with a rookie quarterback before they were able to move forward. Not ideal for a group of employees trying to impress the team owner.
That shouldn’t deter the Lions from bluffing. Bob Quinn needs to put on the sunglasses at the poker table. If Detroit were able to convince either the Chargers or Dolphins they are serious about picking Tua, they should receive a boatload of draft capital to move down to either five or six.
There is a realistic chance the Lions would receive an additional second and third-round pick to move back a couple of spots. Take the Dolphins, who have three first-round picks in this draft, for example. Perhaps the Lions could end up with two first-round picks and maybe an additional third-round choice to move from three to five. If the Lions moved to five, they’d still be able to draft corner Jeff Okudah.
It’s a move that does come with risk. If you are thinking the New York Giants may select Okudah, that’s a real possibility, but New York desperately needs a left tackle to protect their young quarterback Daniel Jones. I expect they will look at taking either Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Willis, or Tristan Wirfs. After trading away Odell Beckham, New York may opt to draft receiver Jerry Jeudy to be Jones’ top target.
This would be the perfect scenario for Matt Patricia. Ohio State’s corner Jeff Okudah is surely Detroit’s second choice in the draft behind Chase Young. Landing him plus all the draft capital would be a great haul, but do we have faith that Bob Quinn can pull this off?