Heading into the 2019 regular season, the hope was that the Detroit Lions would take a step forward and challenge for the NFC North crown.
Unfortunately, Matthew Stafford suffered a broken back and the Lions ended up with a 3-12-1 record, which was the third-worst record in the NFL. Even with Stafford around, the Lions defense was so bad that there is little chance that they would have had a realistic chance of making the playoffs.
The silver lining, if you want to call it that, is the Lions will have the No. 3 pick in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. The only question is, who will the Lions select if they keep the No. 3 pick?
Well, ESPN draft guru (I use that term loosely) Mel Kiper Jr. just released his most recent mock draft and he had the Lions selecting Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, but it comes with a caveat. That caveat is that the Lions will also keep Stafford around rather than trading him.
The Lions say they’re not shopping quarterback Matthew Stafford, but there is some buzz that they like Tagovailoa, who might not work out for teams before April’s draft because of his hip injury. Is that just a smoke screen? We’re still two months away from the draft, of course. Stafford’s contract is extremely tough to trade in 2020 — the team could have up to a $32 million dead-cap hit — but what if Detroit likes Tagovailoa so much that it keeps Stafford on the roster for another year? This pick also seems like the perfect spot for a team to trade up to get a quarterback, whether that’s Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or someone else. Could the Chargers or Raiders or Jaguars move up to jump the Dolphins at No. 5 and get their guy? Everything is in play here, and since I’m not going to project trades, I’ll stick with Tagovailoa at No. 3.
Nation, do you think it would be a good strategy for the Lions to select Tua at No. 3 and also keep Stafford around?