We can forget about the Lions picking Tua Tagovailoa in the 2020 NFL Draft, apparently

first_imgSome think the Lions might consider drafting Tagovailoa as Stafford’s near-future successor, and even more feel they are positioned to trade back. Should they keep this pick and go non-QB, Patricia and Quinn, with a win-now ultimatum, need to consider the best defensive player available to deliver the most immediate impact. Detroit also can consider cornerback and defensive line here, but it did have atrocious linebacker play last season. Simmons was all over the field at all times in college with great speed and range at 6-3, 238 pounds, and he also can get to the quarterback. He posted 104 tackles, 7 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss and 3 interceptions in 15 games last season.NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD:Ranking the top 100 players in 2020 classOf course, the nature of reports from the Combine is such that they can’t be accepted as fact. Keep in mind the Ravens didn’t even interview Lamar Jackson at the 2018 NFL Combine because, as Baltimore GM Eric DeCosta later explained, they “didn’t want to be associated with him … didn’t want rumors to start.” Such strategic public deception is commonplace at this point in the NFL calendar.The Ravens, though, were in a much different place with Joe Flacco at that point than the Lions are with Stafford now. And DeCosta and coach John Harbaugh certainly were not approaching the draft with their jobs on the line. A “highly trusted” source told ESPN’s Matthew Berry there is “no chance the Lions take Tua Tagovailoa in the draft.” To hammer the point home, Berry repeated himself: “No chance.”NFL MOCK DRAFT 2020:Lions go with the best defender availableBerry did not offer an explanation as to why Detroit’s plan is so clearly pointed away from the passer who is recovering from the nasty hip injury that cut short his final season with the Crimson Tide. Yet the conviction in the report is notable.The underlying current with everything the Lions do during the draft and throughout the offseason is team ownership’s expectation that Detroit will be a “playoff contender” in 2020. That means general manager Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia are under unique pressure to field a team built to win in the short term.In other words, they can’t be worried about how a potential pass on Tagovailoa in the draft will be viewed, say, three years from now. It’s an odd position for a GM who otherwise might prioritize the franchise’s future. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/f5/ce/matt-patricia-091118-getty-ftr_vqva7q7gir1i14qiwnxoey55t.jpg?t=-889043315&w=500&quality=80 Detroit has Matthew Stafford, 32, under contract for three more seasons. There’s no reason to believe the longtime Lions QB can’t lead the charge Quinn and Patricia apparently need. Couple that with the fact that Detroit fielded the NFL’s seventh-worst scoring defense last season, and the handful of impact defenders available in the draft become increasingly attractive.Sure enough, Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer has the Lions selecting Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons in his latest mock draft: We understand why the Lions might be tempted to draft Tua ​Tagovailoa with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. If the Alabama quarterback lives up to his generational potential in the league, and if Detroit passes on him, the franchise will never hear the end of it: I can’t believe the Lions let that guy drop.We also understand why the Lions might feel obligated to go elsewhere with their first draft pick. And based on one report from last week’s Combine, that’s exactly what Detroit will do.last_img