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Lions having virtual visits with top quarterback prospects

Ahmed Fareed joins Mike Tirico to discuss the Lions' pick at No. 3 in the NFL draft and explains what the implications will be from who they select.

The Lions shut down talk early this offseason that they were considering trading Matthew Stafford. But that doesn’t mean they’re not considering a quarterback with the third overall pick in the draft.

Detroit has had virtual visits with top quarterback prospects and seems to have interest in Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon’s Justin Herbert, according to NFL Network.

It’s possible that the Lions hope to follow the same path that the Chiefs followed when they drafted Patrick Mahomes: Alex Smith was playing well for Kansas City, but they thought Mahomes had the potential to be better, so they drafted Mahomes, gave Smith one more year as the starter while Mahomes learned from the sideline, and then made Mahomes the successor to Smith. Just as the Chiefs traded Smith after Mahomes’ rookie year, the Lions could draft a quarterback next week and trade Stafford a year from now.

Of course, it’s also possible that the Lions are showing interest in quarterbacks because they’re trying to drive up interest from teams looking to trade up. If there’s a team that wants Tagovailoa or Herbert and is considering trading up, the Lions want that team to think that Detroit’s pick is the one they need to acquire.

It appears clear that LSU quarterback Joe Burrow will go to Cincinnati with the first overall pick. After that, it’s anyone’s guess where the top quarterbacks will fall. But the third overall pick is a good guess for where the second quarterback might be drafted.