Is Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa a legitimate option for the Detroit Lions in the 2020 NFL Draft?
We have ignored quarterback as a potential option for the Detroit Lions throughout the 2020 NFL Draft process. All along, an impact defender like Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown and Clemson defender Isaiah Simmons has always seemed to make the most sense for this team at the top of the draft.
With the Cincinnati Bengals all but guaranteed to take Joe Burrow with the first overall pick and Chase Young expected to go to the Washington Redskins with the next pick, the 2020 NFL Draft really starts with the Lions at No. 3.
If Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa continues to progress well through his hip injury, the Lions feel like a logical trade-down partner for a team looking to come up and secure their new franchise quarterback. However, we may be discounting them too early as a potential quarterback landing spot.
According to a report from local Detroit reporter Bernie Smilovitz, “Trade talks concerning quarterback Matthew Stafford have been underway for a couple of weeks.” If this is true, it seems likely that the Detroit Lions are considering taking one of the top-tier quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft, with Tua Tagovailoa being the most obvious target.
Stafford is probably the best quarterback in the history of the Detroit Lions and his $32 million cap hit would be a tough pill to swallow. That being said, he is a 32-year-old signal-caller who has never won a playoff game. I would not blame the Lions for wanting to move on from Stafford and capitalize on this opportunity to snag a young, talented quarterback to build their franchise around. Opportunites to land a guy like Tua do not come around often.
Stafford is an established and talented quarterback who is undoubtedly the safer option here. That being said, the Detroit Lions are not anywhere close to being Super Bowl competitors and there is nothing that they can do this offseason to put themselves on that level. Perhaps a fresh start is exactly what they need?
Any team that drafts Tua Tagovailoa is taking on a ton of risk, but he also has massive upside as a franchise quarterback at the next level. Tua is an incredibly gifted quarterback prospect who has a bright NFL future if he can just stay healthy.
Trading Stafford for some solid draft capital and taking Tua at No. 3 is undoubtedly risky. Stafford could go on to lead a Super Bowl contender and Tagoviloa could continue to struggle with injuries throughout his NFL career. That being said, the Detroit Lions are a team that could use a big shake-up like this and it is important to consider how this could drastically raise their ceiling down the line.
This may not be the most likely series of moves, but it is certainly an interesting scenario to consider.