The National Football League is kicking off its annual draft of college talent
And the Detroit Lions, with the 20th pick in the first round and already set at quarterback, are looking past the marquee college passers dominating the pre-draft discussion.
About a half-dozen quarterbacks have a real chance to go in the first round, including Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Wyoming’s Josh Allen.
All are potential superstars with flaws that still worry teams betting the future of their franchises on making the right choice.
The Cleveland Browns have the first overall choice and are expected to take a quarterback.
By this point the likely first pick is an open secret, but Cleveland is keeping a tight lid on which field general they like.
That could be a boon for teams choosing later in the draft, like the Detroit Lions.
General Manager Bob Quinn says he could possibly trade up if there’s a player he wants who might be gone by the time the Lions choose.
But Quinn says the biggest guessing game, and possible payoff, often comes from analyzing and unearthing players after Round One.
“Who has he visited with, what teams are interested in him? Okay, they already picked this round, they don’t have a pick next round. t’s an inexact science,” Quinn says.
One sure winner is the Dallas region. It hosts the draft this year, which has become a marquee event.
Dallas officials predict the three-day draft will draw hundreds of thousands of fans.