The Giants aren’t the only ones who can potentially cash in on Tua-mania.
After quelling rumors that the team had been looking to deal franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford, Lions general manager Bob Quinn says he is “open to any trades,” presumably with teams in need of a quarterback.
The Lions currently own the No. 3 overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, which is one spot ahead of the Giants, after finishing with a 3-12-1 record in 2019. Amid positive recovery reports on Alabama Crimson Tide’s Tua Tagovailoa, that pick may carry even more value, especially if NFL teams are pleased with the 21-year-old’s injury update and interview sessions at the NFL Combine this week.
“Those are conversations that generally the higher you are in the draft, the sooner the conversations begin,” Quinn told the Lions website. “I have not had any trade conversations with anybody, as of yet. Those usually tend to start in the combine, in the hallway we kinda roll through. We’ll see how that goes.”
With promising young quarterback Daniel Jones drafted last year, the Giants could potentially capitalize on the quarterback draft frenzy and still nab a player like Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons with a later pick. General manager Dave Gettleman has not traded down once in seven drafts (five with the Panthers), but he might reconsider since the Giants have more leverage this year. He might also be swayed by influence from new head coach Joe Judge, who hails from a Patriots system notorious for aggressively trading down in drafts.
Assuming LSU’s Joe Burrow does not “pull an Eli Manning” on the Bengals, the top picks are mostly set. Washington’s logical choice will be Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young at No. 2. Then there are a number of teams whose quarterback situations remain murky and could be interested in a trade with the Lions at No. 3 or the Giants at No. 4, including the Dolphins (No. 5), Chargers (No. 6), Panthers (No. 7), Jaguars (No. 9), Raiders (No. 12) and Colts (No. 13).
Quarterback workouts will take place Thursday, and Tagovailoa is limited in what he could participate in after suffering a dislocated hip on Nov. 16 against Mississippi State. He and Oregon’s Justin Herbert are the next quarterbacks expected to come off the board behind Burrow.
Tagovailoa maintains that his main goal at the combine is “to win [his] medical” in hopes to dispel health concerns.