As the NFL draft quickly approaches, the Detroit Lions have plenty of options sitting with the third overall pick. Considering all the possibilities, what will they do with the pick?
The Detroit Lions sit in a great spot come Thursday as the NFL draft gets underway. Sure, landing Ohio State’s Chase Young is the perfect prize. Not only is Young widely considered the top defensive player in the draft, but he’s also regarded as the player having the most overall talent in the 2020 draft.
So, if Young is considered as the top prospect, why won’t the Cincinnati Bengals select him with the first overall pick? The Bengals defense is atrocious, but when Andy Dalton is your starting quarterback, it’s time to search for a better option. Also, the quarterback position is a premium draft position. I’d consider both pass-rushers and left-tackles to both be top-tier draft positions as well. The only difference being, when a team needs a quarterback, it’s undeniably the most critical position/draft pick to make.
The Bengals are in a reasonably comfortable spot with LSU’s Joe Burrow being an Ohio native along with Tua Tagovailoa’s lengthy injury history. Tua’s devastating hip injury will remain a concern for the rest of his career. But don’t forget, Tua had dual ankle surgeries before the hip injury many doctors are have called a fluke injury.
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The Washington Redskins own the second overall pick, all signs point to Chase Young, but the Redskins are always a bit of a wildcard. What if Dan Snyder decides that Dwayne Haskins isn’t the answer moving forward, albeit, the organizations first-round pick of a year ago. Will they go all-in on Tua? We can’t rule out a team won’t trade up to the second-overall pick, making an offer the Redskins can’t refuse. It only takes one team to fall in love with Tagovailoa for the Detroit Lions to hit the jackpot by landing Young.
If Washington does end up with Young, the Detroit Lions sit with a plethora of options.
General Manager (GM) Bob Quinn will have the opportunity to trade back for what hopes to be a lucrative return. Detroit will be wise to continue adding draft capital, especially in the first three rounds of the draft. Detroit needs NFL starters, not depth players.
What if the Detroit Lions decide to select Tagovailoa with the third overall pick? Will Detroit riot? Will fans be able to see the big picture? Will people understand the succession plan Quinn is trying to put in place. Will the Matthew Stafford haters paise Quinn, also not understanding the pick would be not to replace the 32-year old Stafford immediately but cementing the team’s future at the position?
Perhaps the Stafford supporters will voice their displeasure calling the pick a wasted pick as the team still has a franchise quarterback in his prime. But what about three years from now, when Stafford is 35-years old? Remember that time the Green Bay Packers sat Aaron Rodgers for three years behind Brett Favre? If Tua’s the Lions pick, it will be the most controversial pick in the 2020 draft.
That being said, the Lions can simply make a selection with their third overall pick and it not being Tagovailoa, and not risking losing the top player on their board.
For the record, I expect Chase Young tops the Lions draft board, followed by Jeff Okudah, also of Ohio State. When a team trades back, you always risk losing your top target. Detroit may not want to risk losing Okudah even though cornerback isn’t considered a top-tier draft position. Okudah is an NFL top corner, and if drafted by Detroit will line up in the position vacated by Darius Slay.
Although many of us hope for more draft capital, don’t be shocked if Detroit selects Okudah or perhaps Isaiah Simmons, or Derrick Brown (whoever sits atop their draft board) without trading back. For the record, I expect Okudah to be the teams’ second choice behind only Young.