The Lions denied shopping Matthew Stafford earlier this offseason and have said they are happy with their quarterback situation. They are either doing due diligence on this draft’s top non-Joe Burrow passers or attempting to entice a team to trade up.
Considering the Lions have discussed trading down from No. 3, this could well be an effort to help accelerate that process and convince teams to up their offers. The Lions have been connected to Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah with that pick and, should the Redskins surprise and trade out of No. 2, will be expected to draft Chase Young third overall. Okudah is believed to be the Lions’ preference of the non-Young contingent expected to be available at 3.
The Dolphins and Chargers have been the teams most closely connected to Tagovailoa and Herbert, and considering they respectively hold the Nos. 5 and 6 picks, the Lions should not expect a monster trade proposal. However, some teams have extracted value in making short trips down in the top five recently. The Vikings were able to pry fourth-, fifth- and seventh-round picks from the Browns in 2012 — when Cleveland moved up from No. 4 to No. 3 for Trent Richardson. The 49ers did even better five years later, landing two thirds and a fourth from the Bears when they climbed from No. 3 to No. 2 for Mitchell Trubisky.
Stafford, 32, is on the Lions’ payroll at $21.3MM this season; his cap number jumps to $33MM in 2021. Although he has dealt with back injuries over the past two seasons, he ended his shortened 2019 campaign sixth in QBR. Lions owner Martha Ford gave win-now mandates to GM Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia, further pointing to the Lions drafting a player who can best help them win in 2020.
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