Report: Lions’ interest in top NFL Draft QB not a smokescreen

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Matt Patricia and the Detroit Lions sure the heck hope that they are not picking in the top five of the NFL Draft moving forward. That would likely cost Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn their jobs.

Selecting No. 3 overall in next week’s draft, Detroit has been linked to trade-down scenarios. More recently, there’s been rumblings that it could look to add a franchise quarterback to eventually replace Matthew Stafford.

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions’ interest in quarterback Justin Herbert at three is not a smokescreen.

Detroit was reportedly in on Daniel Jones in the top 10 of last year’s draft before the New York Giants selected the Duke product with the sixth pick. It’s rather obvious that the Lions’ brass is looking beyond the Stafford era in planning for the 2020 NFL Draft.

Then again, this could be nothing more than Detroit attempting to up the value it receives in a trade down from three. Herbert has recently overtaken Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa as the second-best quarterback in the class in the eyes of multiple teams.

For his part, the 32-year-old Stafford is coming off an injury-plagued 2019 campaign that saw him miss eight games. Durability could be seen as an issue moving forward.