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Detroit Lions: Why They Are The Pivot Point Of The 2020 NFL Draft

DETROIT, MI – With the 2020 Virtual NFL Draft less than two weeks away, the first two spots are a proverbial lock with the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins widely projected to select former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and Ohio State DE Chase Young, with the third pick in the draft, what will the Detroit Lions do?

Thanks to a 3-12-1 record, and second-year head coach Matt Patricia on the hot seat to turn things around in the Motor City, the Lions are in a position to pick up an impact player who can come in and make a difference. There are also some theoretical scenarios that may come into play, as the Lions are getting old at key positions such as QB—as Matthew Stafford is 32, at wideout as Marvin Jones is 30 and Danny Amendola is 34, the trades of DB’s Darius Slay, Quandre Diggs and losses in free agency such as OL Graham Glasgow, it may be prudent for Detroit to trade out and acquire more draft capital.

With teams anxious to move into the top three to take potential franchise signal-callers such as Justin Hebert, Tua Tagovailoa or even Jordan Love, Detroit is in the enviable position of dictating how the draft could unravel.

What could Detroit do?

They have all the leverage in naming their price in the form of picks and compensation. If they are interested in grabbing a QB for themselves and decide to ship Stafford out to say—New England for a future first and a second—the Lions would be able to grab some young players who can help further build Patricia’s style of team.

If Detroit does take a QB, Herbert makes the most sense because of his 6’6 build and arm strength, in addition to playing out west in bad weather, it wouldn’t be an issue in being under center in Chicago or Green Bay. While as tempting as the prospect of selecting Tagovailoa third overall is tempting, many NFL execs are beginning to question his long-term health and Tua could very well drop in the first round. But there is one team that would be willing to pay the Lions ransom asking price and trade up for the right to select the former Crimson Tide star quarterback.

The question is who?

If the Lions do get an offer from a team, they really have to ask themselves if former Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah worth the third overall pick? Is he better than Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons? If the Lions stay put at No.3, then based on their needs on defense, Simmons makes more sense than Okudah at three.

In the NFL, the premium positions that need to be addressed in a draft are:

  • Quarterback: (Herbert and Tagovailoa would be available)
  • Left tackle: (Tristan Wirfs, Jedrick Wills Jr. would be available, but a reach at no.3)
  • Pass rusher: (Simmons would be the best player available at No.3)
  • Defensive back (Okudah would also be available at no.3, but is a CB really worth the third overall pick?)

Depending on one’s own point of view, the top for areas are interchangeable and debatable, however depending on which team comes calling and makes Detroit an offer they can’t refuse, then the draft will move forward as many have already projected.

But if things go sideways between now and the draft, then everything is up for grabs and all roads of the draft go thru the team from the Motor City.

Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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