But could the team elect to move on from Goff at some point in the near future for a eerily similar replacement? It’s a possibility even in spite of Goff’s solid 2022 season which earned him a Pro Bowl nod this past year for his work on the field.
While most mock drafts have centered on Detroit’s need for more bodies on defense, NFL.com draft analyst Eric Edholm took things in a wildly different direction with the team’s sixth-overall pick.
In the first edition of his mock, Edholm had the Lions selecting Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, a player he admitted has Goff qualities at the position.
“If the Lions stay here, why not use the pennies-from-heaven Rams pick on an eventual successor for Jared Goff? Trading down certainly has some appeal, but Stroud possesses some Goff-like traits from the pocket and could sit a year if needed,” Edholm wrote in the piece.
Later on in the mock, Edholm had Detroit selecting Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon with the 18th pick, a move he said would “fit the Lions’ mold” given his status as “one of the scrappiest, most instinctive corners in the draft.” That’s been a popular move in recent mocks.
For these purposes, though, Stroud is the headliner. Early in the draft process, he’s been seen to potentially get selected within the top 10, but hasn’t been mocked to the Lions much if at all since the conclusion of the season.
Would it be counter-productive for the Lions to have Goff, yet draft a player that an analyst seems as similar? That’s potentially the case, but as of now, this is merely another opinion as the offseason gets set to take shape over the next month.
Lions Feel Unlikely to Draft a Quarterback
As much as this scenario might speak to some folks, the fact of the matter is, the Lions probably aren’t going to move on from Goff, especially at this very moment in time.
Last season, Goff managed to put up a very solid 29 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. Goff threw for a quality 4,438 yards with a good 99.3 QBR. Goff was a quality game manager for the Lions. He avoided the big mistakes for the most part, and been a player who has looked very comfortable within the team’s offense.
Detroit could keep Goff given what he has been able to do in leading the resurgent Lions offense most of the year, and it sounds as if that is just what the front office is planning on. Brad Holmes spoke a few weeks ago, and admitted Goff has proven himself as the team’s quarterback.
While Goff may be replaced, the Lions could indeed look to take a flier on a quarterback later to develop as a backup. Already, the team was spotted cozying up to injured Hendon Hooker during the Senior Bowl, which could be a telling sign.
A surprise could always come, but given Detroit’s deep needs on defense, the smart bet remains on the team choosing to get more impact players for that side of the ball rather than take a gamble on a quarterback.
CJ Stroud’s Career Stats & Highlights
In terms of Stroud specifically, it’s easy to see why he is likely to be a very popular quarterback during the pre-draft process this offseason.
In 2022, Stroud managed to take on the look of one of the best passers in a stout 2023 class of quarterbacks. His first year at Ohio State was a banner season in which Stroud threw for 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns.
Here’s a look at some of Stroud’s top highlights from the 2021 season on the field:
A question Stroud will have to overcome as he transitions into the NFL? The failure of Buckeye quarterbacks in the NFL. Few have achieved major success in the league, but there’s always time for a first. Stroud could well be that player with his strong arm and escapability in the pocket.
This season, Stroud managed to post 3,688 yards, 41 touchdowns and just six interceptions, backing up the solid 2021 year. As a result, he was voted the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year for 2021 and 2022.
There’s little doubting Stroud’s overall talent, but is he a fit for the Lions at this point? Most aren’t sure, but this particular mock seems to think that should be the case.