The Detroit Lions can go a few ways with the third overall pick in the draft, but here’s why they should take Tua Tagovailoa.
If there were no questions about his health, Tua Tagovailoa would probably be the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft. But Joe Burrow is the presumed pick for the Cincinnati Bengals, and the teams that may consider taking Tagovailoa (to whatever the level of likelihood) starts with the Washington Redskins at No. 2.
The Detroit Lions, coming off a 3-12-1 2019 campaign, hold the third overall pick in the draft. That gives them a great amount of leverage if they are willing to trade down, as teams may look to get ahead of the Miami Dolphins at No. 5 and get Tagovailoa. The New York Giants at No. 4 are not going to take a quarterback, as Daniel Jones enters his second season.
The Lions’ record last season is as bad as it is deceiving. Eight of their 12 losses were by one score, They played the second half of the season without quarterback Matthew Stafford (back), and running back Kerryon Johnson (knee) also missed eight games. In the games David Blough and Jeff Driskel started in place of Stafford, to the surprise of no one, the Lions went 0-8.
Improvement via free agency, with a dose of better health at key spots, puts the Lions in position to win a fair chunk more games this year. They can be calculated with their draft plan, with multiple options on the table.
Here are five reasons the Lions should draft Tagovailoa at No. 3 overall.
5. Legit Star Quarterbacks Are Rare
When looking back on the 2020 quarterback class in a few years, there will be hits and misses as there always is with the benefit of hindsight. If he could be fully vetted medically right now, Tagovailoa would be as close to can’t miss as anyone has been over the last few years.
The boom or bust factor is high with Tagovailoa, as a major hip injury like the one he suffered invites risk and the idea he’ll never quite be the same as he was. But assuming he’s available at No. 3, the Lions should not be afraid to take a big swing on a quarterback with immense upside.
Tagovailoa also has face of the franchise star potential, which would be as meaningful off the field as on for one of the NFL’s longest-running unsuccessful franchises.