As usual, questions are swirling about what the Detroit Lions will do in the coming months in the NFL Draft, and at this point, everybody has a take about what direction the team could be leaning in the weeks ahead.
One of the most-watched prognosticators this time of year is ESPN’s Mel Kiper. Whenever Kiper produces a mock draft, folks listen. Kiper also makes the media rounds ahead of the draft to give his take on how teams should approach the draft, and in this vein, he had a big proclamation about the Lions recently.
According to Kiper, the Lions shouldn’t be looking at a quarterback in the draft given they will have Jared Goff in the mix moving forward. Instead, he thinks the team should be looking to target a wide receiver to help give the offense some new weaponry for the future.
Kiper said he wouldn't be considering a QB in first round if he was the Lions GM.
— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) March 1, 2021
Detroit’s wideout group is looking more than a bit thin right now, but free agency could certainly change that. Even such, the team might be more motivated for an upgrade there or on defense, which figure to be a pair of problem spots for the 2021 season.
Hearing Kiper say the team should not be targeting a quarterback isn’t a surprise, but some folks may be frustrated by that given where they think the team should be prioritizing after the departure of Matthew Stafford from the roster.
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Mel Kiper’s Latest Mock Featured Lions Skipping QB
In his latest update, Mel Kiper of ESPN didn’t have the Lions making the seventh selection at all, but instead spinning it off to the San Fransisco 49ers, who come up to grab quarterback Trey Lance.
2. Falcons (via Jets): QB Zach Wilson
7. 49ers (via Lions): QB Justin Fields
9. Patriots (via Broncos): QB Trey Lance
11. Giants: WR Jaylen Waddle
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 25, 2021
Here’s where the prediction really gets juicy, though. After trading the seventh pick to the 49ers, the Lions select linebacker Micah Parsons with the 12th pick as well as collect a significant draft haul for doing so. The trade has them grabbing pick 12, a 2021 second-round pick and potentially even a 2022 first-round pick from San Francisco according to Kiper.
Kiper has the Lions trading down and adding Parsons at 12 🤔 pic.twitter.com/uESIzvQRbh
— Ben C (@TheExtraPointFF) February 25, 2021
In terms of fit, Parsons could be a good one for the Lions given the fact that he has some elite grading according to Pro Football Focus. The Lions might not want to select him with the seventh pick, but if they could trade back and gain some extra assets that would seemingly be a huge move for the team and their rebuild. It’s hard to say whether John Lynch would give up a first rounder for 2022 in such a deal, but quarterback desperation can make teams do funny things.
According to Kiper, the Lions should be one of the teams to benefit from that when all is said and done rather than make a move for a quarterback themselves.
Lions Chances of Drafting a Quarterback in 2021
The Lions will have Jared Goff set to come in the building, and he seems primed to be at least the short term solution for the team. Goff is still 26 and theoretically could still have his best days ahead of him considering the fact he is 6-5 as a starter in the playoffs, appeared in a Super Bowl and played late in the 2020-2021 season with a thumb injury. Knowing this, it’s a wiser bet the Lions would consider a wideout or a defensive player with their first selection this year. A quarterback to add to the mix could be prioritized later in the draft, however.’
As Kiper points out, the Lions shouldn’t feel pressure to add a quarterback right now.