After the Detroit Lions sent franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford to Los Angeles for a massive haul that includes Jared Goff, two future first-round picks, plus a third-round choice in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft.
Now the Detroit Lions own five first-round picks over the next three years. It’s exactly what the rebuilding organization needs, but it also explains why Detroit gave Dan Campbell a six-year deal to replace Matt Patricia as the teams’ head coach. It’s apparent the higher-ups understand Detroit is entering another full-blown rebuild whether the fans want to accept it or not.
General Manager (GM) Brad Holmes certainly received a haul moving Stafford but also landed a capable NFL quarterback along the way. Is it a downgrade at the position? Certainly. Is Goff a serviceable placeholder until Detroit can draft Stafford’s long-term replacement? Yes.
There is plenty of talk about the Lions drafting a quarterback seventh, maybe Trey Lance, or even Justin Fields. To land Fields at seven would be a steal, but stranger things have happened in the past.
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After compiling those five first-round picks over the next three years, some are suggesting the Lions may feel the need to package a couple of those picks and move up in the draft in hopes of picking Zach Wilson or securing Fields.
Since the Detroit Lions traded for Goff, there is no real urgency to select a quarterback in 2021. What if Holmes decided to trade that seventh overall pick for a pair of future first-round picks?
It’s just a suggestion.
Let’s say Holmes is targeting Wilson, but the New York Jets are hell-bent on replacing Sam Darnold, refusing to trade out of the two spot, and he’s their guy. Do the Lions settle on their second option? Or should Detroit trade back and focus on selecting a quarterback next year?
Let’s face the music; the Lions will have a top-five choice in the 2022 NFL Draft, maybe even the first overall pick. If Detroit can trade pick seven to Indianapolis for the 21st overall pick in 2021 and the Colts’ late first-round choice in 2022, the Lions will have six first-round picks over the next three years. That’s the way to rebuild.
Don’t rule out The Washington Football Team either. Washington picks 19th overall in 2021 and in need of a quarterback. The same thing applies here. Perhaps Washington moves up to seven and throws in next year’s first-rounder to do so.
One more option could be the San Francisco 49ers. The NFC North is loaded with talent and high-end talent at the quarterback position. The 49ers can save a plethora of money if they trade or cut Jimmy Garoppolo, and they may opt to replace him with a rookie.
The 49ers may offer up the 12th overall pick in exchange for pick seven and throw in a kicker, perhaps one of their third-round selections.
Adding draft capital is vital to aid and speed up the rebuild. Don’t overlook trading back in 2021, rather than trading up and still settling with your second option at quarterback. This is shaping up to be a fascinating offseason for Detroit…like it hasn’t already.