When the Detroit Lions began their rebuild under GM Brad Holmes and HC Dan Campbell, one of the first moves they made was to trade away quarterback Matt Stafford. As a part of that deal with the Los Angeles Rams, Detroit received 2 first-round picks and former number one overall pick Jared Goff. A once top prospect who led a team to the superbowl, Goff gave some fans hope for a resurgence in Detroit. While the Rams went on to be Super Bowl champions in 2021, the lions have gone 4-16-1 with Goff under center.
Goff and the Lions led a league worst offense through most of last season. Goff looked incompetent until the the final five games of his first season in Detroit. Over that final stretch, Goff produced 11 touchdowns, 1,136 yards, and just two interceptions.
With a strong end to the year, Goff created some optimism that he could be the permanent solution at quarterback. He also began this season red hot, posting an impressive statline of 1,126 yards and 11 touchdowns, and just 3 interceptions through four games.
Goff has had his fair share of plus performances, but Lions fans will tell you that any offensive production has come in spite of him, not because of him. Goff still struggles to accurately throw a deep ball, his pocket awareness is non-existent, and he lacks the ability to innovate when plays break down. His shortcomings became unignorable against Dallas and New England. Over those two games, he failed to score a touchdown and turned the ball over 6 times.
For fans who knew Goff was a stopgap QB, those games were simply confirmation. For fans who were more hopeful, those games were a wakeup call. Whichever boat they fell into, Lions fans can agree that Jared Goff is not the quarterback of the future. So where does that leave the team in 2023?
Many believed that the Lions were going to address quarterback heading into the 2022 draft. With a weak prospect class, however, the team opted to fill other glaring holes on the roster. In 2023, the quarterback class is deep and talented. There are potential cornerstones like Bryce Young, out of Alabama and C.J. Stroud, out of Ohio State. There are also some riskier prospects like Kentucky’s Will Levis and Stanford’s Tanner Mckee.
The Lions, who currently hold the number one pick through 8 weeks, should have a shot at their choice of QBs come April. While the team still has many needs, drafting a franchise quarterback with a top pick allows the team to upgrade at the position and save cap space in the process.