After 11 years with Matthew Stafford as the franchise quarterback, the Detroit Lions decided they’d do right by their longtime signal-caller and trade him to a contender. On January 30th the Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams agreed to swap quarterbacks. The Lions shipped out Stafford and in return received Jared Goff, two future first round picks, and a future third rounder as well.
Trading away a franchise quarterback typically means the franchise is rebuilding and a rebuild typically comes around a young rookie quarterback. Jared Goff and his contract make the quarterback situation a little sticky in Detroit. Goff is owed well over $50 million in the next two seasons before Detroit can move on from his contract which has the potential to run through 2024. Even with the sizable contract of Goff and him being an above-average starter the Lions are still in the market for a quarterback this upcoming draft.
The Lions still in QB race?
Detroit’s new General Manager Brad Holmes was recently on the Huddle and Flow podcast and talked openly about how the Lions are approaching the quarterback position this upcoming draft and season. This shouldn’t come as a surprise necessarily to Lions fans and the rest of the NFL world. The Lions have new faces in almost every major position within the organization and it just makes sense that they’d want to handpick a quarterback of their own to plant their flag on so to speak. It’s not that Jared Goff is a bad quarterback, but it doesn’t seem as though the Lions view him as a long-term answer for their franchise.
As you can see in the linked clip of general manager Brad Holmes above on the podcast, when asked about if the Lions are “out of the draft quarterback market” Holmes quickly responds with a “No! No…absolutely not”. Holmes continues on explaining how every team should evaluate the quarterback position each draft regardless of their current situation. We all know that’s just proper general manager speak to save face with Goff as much as he could at that point but make no mistake about it, the Lions are interested in acquiring a rookie quarterback if they can.
How will Lions attack the 2021 NFL Draft?
Look ahead to the 2021 NFL Draft that is quickly approaching, the class is loaded with quarterback talent and Holmes and the Lions brass are well aware of that. We can assume Trevor Lawrence won’t be there because the Jacksonville Jaguars are taking him with the first overall pick. The Jets at the two spot are a toss-up if they stick with Sam Darnold or draft a quarterback. If the Jets stick with Darnold look for them to trade down and that could be where Detroit makes a move.
Detroit has the draft capital after the Rams trade to make a move up and take a quarterback if they so choose. Whether that trade-up is for pick two, three, or four there is a number of realistic spots that make sense for the Lions to move up. If the new front office decides they want to stay right where they are they’re in good shape with the seventh overall pick.
This class is loaded with guys like Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, Mac Jones and many more who could go on to be NFL starters. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw one of these names in a Detroit uniform come the 2021 NFL season.