It has been quite some time since we’ve seen any analysts or reporters suggest that the Detroit Lions may take a quarterback with their third overall pick. Everyone seems to have backed off after general manager Bob Quinn insisted the team had no intentions of trading Matthew Stafford and threw his full support behind the Lions franchise quarterback.
But NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport started stirring the pot again this week. In a segment on the league’s network, both noted how the Lions were interviewing “multiple quarterback” prospects in preparation for the draft.
“Are they creating some smoke here to get teams to move up because they’d like to slide back, pick up some draft capital and then get a defensive player a couple of slots back after trading with, say, Miami or the Chargers? Very possibly,” Garafolo said. “But there’s also been that chatter that at some point they have to move on from Matthew Stafford. So could this be part of that process? I find it extremely intriguing, Ian, as we get close to the draft.”
And while that may drum up some excitement, I’m afraid I have to throw some cold water on this “news.” First, it would make very little sense for this to be a smokescreen to try and draw out a trade down. If the Dolphins or the Chargers believed the Lions were interested in a quarterback, why would they trade up with them? Why would the Lions eventually trade back? If the Lions were to actually convince one of these teams they had interest, they would expect Detroit to pick a quarterback, not trade back.
Secondly, teams in the top five do their research on everyone. They have to. And the Lions have often done their research on top quarterbacks for reasons that have nothing to do with intentions of drafting them. Take it from Lions head coach Matt Patricia, who talked about this exact scenario that played out last year with No. 1 pick Kyler Murray, with whom the Lions met.
“As a defensive coach and as a head coach, I watch all of those guys,” Patricia said prior to his game against the Cardinals, Murray’s eventual landing spot. “You do your due diligence on all of them knowing that if you have an opportunity to get a guy in the draft, you’re going to get one or also you’re probably going to play against them. You make sure you do that process and you understand that it’s going to help you in the end from that point.”
Additionally, the information you get from meeting with Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert, another name Garafolo and Rapoport links to Detroit, could give you a clearer picture on what the teams around Detroit in the draft may do with those players.
So while the Lions could potentially shock everyone and take a quarterback high in the draft, the much more likely conclusion is that they are doing the due diligence that they need to as a holder of a top-three pick in the draft.
- Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun, a popular pick for the Lions in Day 2 of the draft, tested positive for a diluted sample at the NFL Combine. But ESPN’s Adam Schefter explains why it may not affect his draft stock:
Here’s an interesting twist regarding Zach Baun testing positive for a diluted sample at combine: Under the NFL’s new CBA, it will not count as a strike against him whereas it would have under the NFL’s old CBA. Therefore, teams don’t believe it will impact his draft status much. https://t.co/Xw8Q7dTqqb— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 14, 2020
- Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press has an interesting profile on Texas A&M punter Braden Mann, a player the Lions could very well draft next week.
- Danny Amendola is keeping in catching shape with his personal Jugs machine:
- Add Lions linebacker Christian Jones to the list of local players helping out in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Jones and his fiance donated $15,000 total to three different initiatives: the Detroit Police Athletic League, the Pure Heart Foundation and the Lions’ “Inspire Change” initiative. MLive’s Kyle Meinke has the full story.
- Here is your weekly Marvin Jones Jr. TikTok update:
- NFL Insider Peter King seems very, very convinced that Washington will be picking Ohio State edge defender Chase Young with the second overall pick.
- BONUS NOTE BECAUSE I FORGOT! Holy crap, congratulations to our own Kent Lee Platte:
We're excited to add @MathBomb to the PFN family!— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) April 13, 2020
Coming soon - #RAS scores to the PFN Mock Draft Simulator, a team of RAS writers to help tell the story, and a podcast focused on RAS and #PFNOSM.
Stay tuned as we continue to build and grow the PFN analytics department!