The national NFL media hasn’t been enthusiastic about the Detroit Lions for good reason for years, but it seems that narrative will finally begin to change in the future.
Brad Holmes and the team’s front office has committed to a full rebuild, and it looks as if the team has taken things in the right direction pushing toward the 2022 season. For the last few offseasons, the Lions have had a refreshing change.
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ESPN’s Mina Kimes has taken note of this, and as she explained, it has her very high on the Lions for the present and future. Specifically at the key position of quarterback, where she believes Detroit has made some sound choices for the future.
“I absolutely love it…everything they’ve done over the last two offseasons has made this team an incredibly attractive landing place for either a disgruntled quarterback, a veteran as we’ve seen a lot of movement in that area over the last few years, or the perfect spot for a rookie,” Kimes said. “Usually teams that are drafting near the top do not have good offensive lines. Something you’ve seen a lot with rookie quarterbacks being thrown into the fire. The Lions have an excellent offensive line, a super solid running back, a group of pass catchers that’s not only incredibly talented, but has diverse and complementary skills.”
Specifically, Kimes is so optimistic about the direction of the Lions that she actually worries the team may do too much winning next year to secure a top quarterback, though she feels there could be an easy solution to that problem.
“My only concern for this team going forward is what if they win too many games this year that puts them out of reach for one of the top, top rookies? I will say, they’ve got that extra (2023) first, and I suspect they’d be willing to do whatever it takes to get in position to grab one,” she said.
Detroit traded up to secure wideout Jameson Williams in 2022, so it isn’t a stretch to say they could be just as bold if they like a quarterback in 2023. Jared Goff may lock down the role next season, or the team could draft someone. They might also elect to make a big trade for a younger veteran. The biggest theme as Kimes admits is the Lions have options, and the rest of their roster is coming along.
Kimes Also Loved Detroit’s 2022 NFL Draft
It wasn’t just Kimes pointing out on Twitter that she appreciated Houston’s nickname as a sixth-round pick, but sharing love for the entire Detroit draft as a whole. The analyst went down the list of plenty of selections on The Mina Kimes Show Featuring Lenny podcast and talked about why she believes the Lions had one of the most impressive drafts this year. For her, it starts with Aidan Hutchinson up front.
“I’ve said this, I think he is kind of unfairly viewed as a lower-ceiling prospect. I think his athleticism actually raises that a bit. Undeniably the highest floor edge rusher,” Kimes explained on the podcast about Hutchinson.
In terms of Detroit’s bold deal for Jameson Williams, some have wondered about the move. Kimes is a quick believer in it thanks to the talent the wideout brings.
“I was fine with this for two reasons. One, I think he’s an absolute superstar. He’s my favorite wide receiver in the draft. Two, they didn’t give up any 2023 picks. They just traded up inside this draft. And also, this is a team that knows they’re not winning the Super Bowl this year. Take the best dude and have him be a cornerstone of the franchise, I feel like for both these players,” she said.
Kimes also appreciated a pair of Detroit’s other middle-round picks in defensive lineman Josh Paschal and safety Kerby Joseph.
“Paschal’s a guy I didn’t get to until very close to the draft because he started getting that round one hype a bit. I really like him. I especially like him opposite Hutchinson. Very different types of players. He actually, I’ll say, is the higher-ceiling guy. Another higher-ceiling guy is Kerby Joseph, the safety out of Illinois. Again, I would describe him as pretty developmental. I don’t think he starts day one, but there is a lot there in terms of size, athleticism, speed. That’s just a really interesting pick.”
As a whole, it’s safe to say Kimes loved everything the Lions did in the draft and thinks of the team as on the rise upward in the near future. That’s the good news as it relates to where the Lions are at and have been in recent years.
“I just look at this rebuild in Detroit, the way they’ve already got their offensive line in place, defensive line is rounding out, and I just love it,” she said.
As a whole, Kimes seems to appreciate what the Lions are doing in multiple ways.
Analyzing Detroit’s Approach at Quarterback
The Lions didn’t elect to make any moves at quarterback this offseason. The team kept Jared Goff in place, and has built Goff up to where he could be seen as a major winner for 2022. They also re-signed Tim Boyle as well as David Blough, keeping their 2021 group fully intact. In the draft, the team didn’t make a move for any quarterback, proving they could be looking at 2023 for a young addition, or perhaps even a young veteran addition for the roster as Kimes speculates. Detroit didn’t have to move on from Goff, and they elected to keep him in place for this season to see if he can be the guy to lead Detroit’s offense moving forward.
Add it all up and it seems as if the Lions are handling things very well this offseason. That’s something which Kimes believes will benefit them at a very key position in the near future.