Wild Card Scenarios
If you’re doing the math, that leaves a three percent chance of something crazy happening that throws the radio shows and message boards into an absolute frenzy. One of those crazy happenings would trigger ecstasy for some and a lot of skepticism for others, while the final scenario could potentially cause Bob Quinn to get ran out of town.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama: With Tua’s injury history, he makes Kerryon Johnson look like Wolverine in terms of indestructibility at this point. With that said, other than the injury risk, scouts love everything about Tagovailoa, from his mechanics, arm strength, work ethic, leadership, winning pedigree, and on and on.
Tagovailoa’s considered the player most capable of single-handedly turning a franchise’s fortunes around if all goes well. Still, the Lions already have their best QB of the last 60 years, still with some prime years left if they can protect him. Out of the five players mentioned in this article, Tua would be the biggest shock if he became a Lion. Likelihood of this happening: 2 percent
Anybody else: The overwhelming consensus is that there are three or four guys with franchise-altering potential: Burrow, Young, Tagovailoa and maybe Simmons under perfect circumstances.
While defensive backs aren’t as valued in today’s NFL, Okudah is one of the highest-rated cornerback prospects of the last decade, with even a ‘bust scenario’ projection as a serviceable starter for years. Brown, while a bit of a dark horse, is a potential anchor in the middle that the defense could be structured around.
It’s very difficult to envision someone else being worth that high of a pick for the Lions right now. However, for a blockbuster trade-down scenario that nets another late first round pick and maybe even another fifth or sixth rounder, I might as well throw out a few more names.
Justin Herbert, though the first Detroit picked an Oregon Duck quarterback at 3rd overall, it didn’t go all that well. CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy, the top two receivers in the draft. Tristan Wirfs, Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Wills, and Mekhi Becton, all offensive tackles that could provide some Stafford insurance and are projecting early to mid-first round.
Anything can happen when the virtual NFL Draft goes live on Thursday night, but all signs for the Detroit Lions’ first pick point to Jeff Okudah.