The Detroit Lions hold the No. 3 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, the most pivotal pick within the top-10. While plenty of speculation has centered on the Lions potentially trading down with a team on draft day, the front office could have a different card up its sleeve.
While the Lions continue to shop the No. 3 pick to teams aiming to move up for a quarterback, the Lions are also doing their own extensive work on the top quarterbacks. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Lions held multiple teleconferences with the top quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Detroit recently held a video conference meeting with Tagovailoa. Once viewed as a potential candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick, the former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback saw his stock fall after suffering a dislocated hip.
Multiple NFL teams failed Tagovailoa medically and view him as too much of a risk to draft early. Even with more certainty that he is fully recovered from hip surgery, organizations have concerns about his long-term durability. He also has suffered a broken index finger, sprained right knee, a high ankle sprain on both sides during his collegiate career.
Oregon Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert could be another interesting fit for the Lions. Detroit’s coaching staff saw him up close at the Senior Bowl, when he won the MVP award after a strong showing.
The team’s interest in quarterbacks could be leaked to help convince other teams, such as the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers, to pay Detroit’s asking price for the No. 3 pick. However, there were rumors that Matthew Stafford could be shopped this offseason.
If the Lions interest in Herbert and Tagovailoa is genuine, they could stay at their current spot and grab the top one available. In that case, the rookie could then sit behind Stafford and step in if he suffers another injury or potentially take over in 2021.