A big question in the minds of many is whether or not the Detroit Lions make the move to pick up a quarterback in the NFL Draft or not, and a potential answer may have come from a former member of the team.
ESPN analyst and former Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky hopped on a recent conference call and was asked if he could see the Lions taking the plunge at quarterback. Perhaps unlike plenty of others who have been asked lately, Orlovsky’s answer was more of a resounding no.
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According to the pundit, he would be surprised if a signal caller was the pick in the end, and instead expects the Lions to draft someone for the trenches, either an offensive lineman or a trade backwards in order to help the rebuild.
Orlovsky’s opinion on this matter is not to be discounted, as he has maintained ties with the organization and was amongst the first to speculate that the Lions would have to seek to trade Matthew Stafford this offseason. That move played out, and since, Orlovsky has been effusive in his praise of Jared Goff. Is that a coincidence? Perhaps, or perhaps Orlovsky’s thinking more closely mirrors the team’s at this juncture.
With a deep class at wide receiver and few elite defensive options early on, momentum seems to be building in Detroit for an offensive lineman in the draft. This is just another potential step in that direction for the Lions if Orlovsky is right.
Why Lions Might Not Draft Quarterback in 2021
The Lions will have Jared Goff 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. Like Orlovsky is saying, it seems as if the Lions would avoid one early.
Given Brad Holmes seems to appreciate the quarterback class, it wouldn’t be wise to bet on the Lions skipping the position entirely. Whether or not they gamble on the spot high in the 2021 draft will be interesting to watch, and with a few weeks left until the draft, all bets are off as it relates to what might actually happen.
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Offensive Line Looking Like Target for Lions
It makes more sense that the Lions could target another lineman for their rebuild. Even though the Lions have Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson and Frank Ragnow in the fold as well as quality young depth pieces like Tyrell Crosby, the team could need one more elite piece to perhaps cement their transformation toward one of the best groups in the NFL. While wideout and defense are big needs for the Lions, the team could simply stay put and take an elite talent like Rashawn Slater or Penei Sewell in order to help out their offensive line for the near future.
It’s clear Slater, Sewell or potentially even Christian Darrisaw are the types of players who could move the needle for the Lions in terms of getting a tough lineman up front. Whether the draft plays out like this or not is anybody’s guess, but right tackle could be a need deemed too important to pass up in the end for the team.
That’s just the move some like Orlovsky see playing out when all is said and done.