When the Detroit Lions traded quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams, they were trading a top quarterback to a roster ready to contend. As compensation for their franchise quarterback and beloved player, the Lions received Jared Goff and two likely late first round picks.
Stafford and the Rams went on to win the Super Bowl in 2021, reaping the benefits of their trade and happily handing the Lions the 32nd overall pick. Many thought this was a team capable of repeating their run in 2022, but after a five game losing streak, the Rams are just 3-8 through 11 games.
Not only do the Rams have a worse record than the Lions, but with that record, they currently hold the 3rd overall pick. The Rams have already lost star wide receiver Cooper Kupp for the year to an ankle injury, and they just recently lost Allen Robinson from that receiving room as well due to a season ending foot injury.
Most importantly, however, Matthew Stafford may be done for the year as well. Two recent concussion protocols along with a neck strain have kept Stafford sidelined for the past few weeks, but recent reports have suggested that he may be done for the year. If that is the case, the Rams would be without their two top wideouts and their star quarterback while already sitting at the bottom of the league.
When they traded for Stafford just over a year ago, the Rams could not have anticipated their 2023 draft pick to be so valuable. While the Lions certainly didn’t anticipate it either, they will be more than happy to be drafting in the top 5 without owning a bottom 5 record for once.
The Lions are coming off of a good stretch of football where they won three in a row and lost a close game to the championship caliber Bills. At 4-7, they sit with the 13th pick and a prayer at the playoffs. Regardless of how the season finishes from this point, the Lions seem poised to end with great draft capital (They also have the Vikings’ second round pick) and a real chance to turn their roster into a competitor as soon as next year.