The Detroit Lions made a lot of bold moves this offseason, but the one spot where they didn’t elect to make such a move was at quarterback.
Status quo was the mantra around Detroit for 2022 at the position, and in a way, an analyst sees that as a critical mistake for the team and perhaps the biggest error the Lions have made this offseason.
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Bleacher Report and writer Kristopher Knox took a closer look at breaking down every team’s biggest regret from the offseason. As Knox wrote, he believes the Lions are going to come to regret the move not to add some sort of young quarterback competition to the mix. As Knox wrote, he thinks this will prove to be a mistake for the team.
“Jared Goff likely isn’t the long-term answer in Detroit, and there’s no guarantee that the Lions will get a crack at one of the top signal-callers in the 2023 draft. If they do improve substantially this season, prospects like C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young will be off the board by the time they’re on the clock,” he said.
As a result, Knox believes the Lions should have taken a harder look at one of the trio of quarterbacks that was a middle-round option in order to provide some competition at the spot for the present and future.
“Adding a player like Willis, Ridder or Matt Corral would have given Detroit a solid Plan B under center. The Lions aren’t in position to win a championship now, but the roster could be talented enough by the time Goff’s contract expires after the 2024 season,” Knox wrote.
For the Lions, the status quo is good enough right now for the team. That doesn’t mean some outsiders don’t consider the move a mistake when all is said and done, though. Only time will tell which side could be right in the end.
Lions Remain All-in With Last Year’s Quarterback Room
It hasn’t been just the players or assistants who have praised Goff, but the head coach Dan Campbell as well. This offseason, the Lions have gone all-in on Goff, and it’s been part of a calculated campaign. It started with Brad Holmes backing Goff before and then after the draft. Additionally, the Lions acquired Goff multiple weapons in free agency and the draft with the additions of DJ Chark, Jameson Williams, Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond at wide receiver. Detroit also didn’t add a quarterback from the outside and elected to bring back Tim Boyle and David Blough, showing Goff that he was the guy. This campaign seems to have inspired Goff in a big way. He’s looking tough and motivated for 2022 and has impressed thus far on the field. With better health, more depth at key spots and a team that believes in him, the sky could be the limit for Goff and the Lions in 2022, especially after the quarterback’s elite finish to last season.
To that end, it makes sense the team stayed with Goff, even if it might not make sense why they stuck with some of the other players in the mix.
2023 Quarterback Class Looks Very Loaded
A big reason the Lions are sticking with the players they have? As weak as the 2022 quarterback class seems on the outset, the 2023 class could prove to be just the polar opposite. From the aforementioned Bryce Young to Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, there will be no shortage of elite players that could choose to come out, which means the Lions could have a better shot at finding their quarterback of the future next year rather than this season. The Lions also have ammunition to move around and make trades, so they might not have to worry about where Young or Stroud fall if they like them.
Young claimed the Heisman Trophy for his work in the 2021-22 season, and only figures to improve as a passer and a player next year. Already, there’s a notion that he could be good enough to be a shoo-in for the top overall pick in 2023. Here’s a look at how the debate has already centered on his candidacy for the top selection in 2023 on ESPN:
Whether or not the Lions will be bad enough in 2022 to land the top pick and have the first shot at a quarterback remains to be seen. The team showed signs of late promise amid a losing year in 2021, and with more improvements, could win a few more games next season. For this reason, some see it as a mistake that the Lions elected not to add someone younger at quarterback.