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Given the way the Detroit Lions roster looks, nobody would be surprised if quarterback is made a major point of emphasis in the 2022 offseason, likely in the NFL draft. Patience on that front, however, could be the best virtue for the team to follow as some are starting to realize.
If the Lions opt not to make a huge move at quarterback this offseason, that shouldn’t be reason for anyone to panic whatsoever. It might be a cause for celebration in hopes for a much brighter future as Pro Football Focus recently explained when looking closer at the situation.
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Recently, PFF along with writer Michael Renner took an honest look at breaking down top needs for every team in the 2022 offseason, and whether those needs come within free agency or the draft. Unsurprisingly, quarterback was the choice for Detroit, but interestingly enough, not for the 2022 offseason. Renner picked the need out for the 2023 draft, a time he thinks would be perfect for Detroit to have a top pick and perhaps a shot at landing Alabama signal caller Bryce Young.
Renner wrote that “instead of forcing someone at No. 2 overall, though, they should realize they are still going to be in a rough spot as a roster next year.” He advocates for the team moving on from Jared Goff and trying to land the top pick in 2023 as an avenue to land Young.
The Lions will be trying to improve their roster for 2022 and don’t seem destined to move on from Goff whatsoever yet, but the idea is an interesting one as it relates to not forcing a quarterback and waiting things out. An important variable to remember is Detroit has a pair of first-round picks in 2023 as well, which could allow the team a chance to move around in the draft if they wish, or give them a better shot at securing an elite quarterback of some kind.
With multiple big needs, the Lions could be better served to patch other holes in 2022 and wait for 2023 to solve another roster question mark. To that end, Renner’s idea makes a lot of sense, regardless of who plays quarterback this year.
2023 Quarterback Class Looking Very Loaded
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.
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 Young 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. The point stands, however, that the draft class figures to be more well-rounded next year than this year.
Lions Offseason Quarterback Plan With Draft, Free Agency
Who could the Lions look at in the draft for quarterback in 2022 if they choose? There are plenty of options for the team, and that’s especially true after the Lions watched the Senior Bowl last week. While at the game, the Lions saw the likes of Kenny Pickett, Sam Howell, Malik Willis, Matt Corral and Desmond Ridder excel. Any of those players could be early picks for the team, and while some make more sense than others, the Lions could conceivably roll the dice on one of these names if they are happy with how they can develop. The team could also decide to re-sign Tim Boyle and roll with him as their main backup for 2022 and do exactly what they did last season.
Goff’s presence ends up helping the Lions in a big way. The team can select a quarterback if they find one they like and believe in, but they don’t have to make a sudden move whatsoever and take a player they aren’t sure about for the future. They also don’t have to go out and sign a player who has bounced around a lot in free agency recently.
All of those options could set them up well as it relates to solving their quarterback conundrum in the best way moving forward.