- Bengals - Joe Burrow QB LSU
- Redskins - Chase Young, DE, OSU
- Lions - Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Matthew Stafford traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their 1st Round pick, 14th overall, and their 2021 2nd Round pick.
- Lions (from Bucs) - Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
Regarding the Tua pick, Marino says this:
Shocked? Let’s talk about it.
I could’ve had the Lions snatch up Jeffrey Okudah, Isaiah Simmons or Derrick Brown with this pick or the Dolphins, Chargers or Panthers trade up to No. 3. But if the third-overall selection is in such demand for a team to trade up for a quarterback, the team pegged to the spot should probably examine its own quarterback situation before passing on the chance to draft a player other teams so desperately want.
After Matthew Stafford played through a broken back in 2018, he missed the last half of the 2019 season due to non-displaced fractures in his upper thoracic spine. Before missing that time, Stafford was on a run of 136 consecutive regular-season starts but these recent back-to-back injuries are alarming. Stafford is 32 years old and has made $211 million playing football. Another injury could spoil his appetite to continue playing.
The dead cap implications for Detroit if it was to move on from Stafford are concerning, but the Lions have a favorable “out” of Stafford’s deal after the 2020 season.
Drafting Tagovailoa at third overall is a clear message that he is the future of the franchise, making it complicated to have both he and Stafford on the roster simultaneously. Acquiring at least a first-round pick from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers surely helps ease the sting of $32 million in dead cap space. Additionally, you never know when you will be picking this high again and have the opportunity to select a gifted passer like Tagovailoa.
The other layer that complicates this idea is that 2020 is a make-or-break season for general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia who has combined for a 9-22-1 record and consecutive last-place finishes in the NFC North in their two seasons together. Prior to the Patricia era, Jim Caldwell was fired after winning seasons in three of four years as the head coach, including two playoff appearances. What Quinn and Patricia must do is inspire the belief that the Lions are on the right trajectory, one that includes deep postseason runs. Securing an elite quarterback talent like Tagovailoa and revealing his promise on the field might be the best way for them to convince ownership the team is on the right track.
For the Kinlaw pick, Marino says:
Matt Patricia came to Detroit in large because he’s perceived as a defensive mastermind. After spending the offseason leading into 2019 securing the players he needed to fully deploy his scheme, Detroit finished 31st in total defense. Entering this offseason, Damon Harrison has been released while Mike Daniels and A’Shawn Robinson are free agents. The Lions need answers on the defensive line and Javon Kinlaw can provide them. Kinlaw is a rarity with long arms and a chiseled frame. He is explosive, powerful and capable of wrecking the line of scrimmage.
The Lions are consistently bad, boring and stale. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Quinn and Patricia one moment make it sound like they believe in the team’s core, and only want to augment it. The next minute, they look like they’re gutting the team and tearing it down.
Tua (insert the vital “if healthy”) and Kinlaw seem like the start of a new foundation to me. The only regret would be you’re leaving the Two New England Bozos Who’ve Demonstrably Failed as the architects.