The Detroit Lions have been floundering much of the last few months of the 2020 season which means most folks have already cast their eyes toward the 2021 NFL Draft.
While there’s still a long way to go before the draft happens and Detroit’s position is hardly set in stone, an early look at the draft has begun thanks to a pair of old sages. Recently, ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay made some picks in an ESPN Insider piece. When it came to Detroit, McShay had BYU quarterback Zach Wilson as the selection for the team.
Here’s McShay’s explanation from the piece on the pick:
“Zach Wilson makes a lot of sense. He’s the most underrated quarterback in the entire class, and I think he will continue to rise as we get closer to April. Stafford has been playing well, but he turns 33 in the offseason, and this is an opportunity for the Lions to get their next QB.”
The Lions still have Matthew Stafford on the roster and are slated to next season. Things could change on that front in the offseason with a new front office, and there’s been plenty of calls for the Lions to rebuild and make moving on from Stafford a major part of that discussion.
Detroit is currently selecting a bit too far down on the list (12) to have a shot at one of the top two quarterbacks at this point, but Wilson could be a high rising first rounder as well and would be a nice consolation prize if Detroit does decide to make a change at the position.
Zach Wilson Stats and Highlights
Playing with BYU, Wilson has been one of the most intriguing talents to play college football this season. In the last three seasons with the Cougars, Wilson has put up 6,924 yards, 50 touchdowns and just 15 interceptions. He’s got a strong arm and the ability to drop the deep ball in the hands of his wideouts.
Wilson is a junior, so it’s possible he still comes back to school and there hasn’t been a final decision made on that front at this point in time. Still, he has the talent to be one of the top five quarterbacks in this draft class. While he might not come with the hype of a Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields or Trey Lance, it’s clear Wilson is talented himself and his star will only grow brighter in the future.
If he transitions into the league, Wilson will be looking to follow in the footsteps of other successful BYU quarterbacks like Ty Detmer, Steve Young, Jim McMahon and Taysom Hill.
Lions 2021 Draft Needs
Regardless of where the team picks, the Lions should be wide open when it comes to the 2021 draft thanks to the fact that they’ve addressed a ton of spots on both offense and defense recently within their selections. One of the most obvious spots of need would be the defensive line given Detroit’s constant lack of a consistent pass rush to help their defense. The team could also use more young depth at the cornerback spot given the struggles there in relation to depth. On offense, the Lions could use another young wideout and more depth there, and while they might seem set at quarterback, there could always be a significant change to that depending on who takes over in the front office.
Detroit will have plenty of big draft decisions to make in the coming months, and depending on who takes over, the team could have an entirely different approach by the time they kick things off next season on the field making such projections a crapshoot at this point in time.
Still, it’s safe to say fans should start reading up on Wilson and other quarterbacks just in case the Lions elect to go this way in the coming months.