So far (us included), most of the Detroit Lions draft discussion starts with a debate about whether general manager (GM) Brad Holmes should use the seventh overall pick on the North Dakota State product.
One can justify their opinion in various ways.
For the folks who say the organization needs to find themselves a franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future, do not expect Jared Goff to be ‘the guy’ moving forward despite being just 26-years old. They may be correct, but the jury is still out on Goff. He has yet to take a snap with the Detroit Lions and, better yet, with newly appointed offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn calling the offense.
Only time will tell.
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Another justifiable reason for taking Lance seventh overall if he remains on the board when the Lions are on the clock is understanding Detroit may not see another opportunity to land this type of talent at the position in the coming years.
Detroit Lions draft prospect Trey Lance was very impressive, showcasing his skill-set during his Pro Day.
Lance stands 6-foot-4 and plays at 224-pounds.
As seen below, Lance dazzles in his Pro Day against air, making all of the necessary NFL-type throws. He clearly has the arm strength to drive the ball, which is needed to complete the ‘NFL sideline out. Lance also has the ability to set his feet and launch a ball deep down the field.
Every year a handful of highly sought-after quarterbacks emerge, but they are frequently gobbled up early.
Last season the Detroit Lions were at a premium spot in the draft holding the third overall choice but opted to allow both Tua Tagovaila and Justin Herbert to fall through the cracks only to draft a cornerback. Perhaps that was the precise time to get the quarterback of the future to sit behind Matthew Stafford for a season.
Some fans surely hope the Lions try and trade up in the draft, but in doing so, they’d need to be fully committed to whoever they are trying to select. The Lions are sitting pretty with five first-round draft picks over the next three seasons; it’s difficult shedding a lot of that draft capital in just year one of the rebuild, but if they land a franchise quarterback, perhaps it’s worth it.
Lance does display what you hope for in today’s NFL quarterback. He’s a dual-threat quarterback that can throw the football. He may not have quite as strong of an arm as Josh Allen or be quite as dynamic as Lamar Jackson as a runner, but he’s clearly a mix of the two.
The downside to Lance is simply his lack of experience. Lance has only played a total of 17 college football games and not exactly against the nation’s top talent. The lack of experience has many experts suggesting it would be good for the young quarterback to sit behind a veteran for a season before being handed the keys to a franchise.
That thought goes into Detroit’s favor. If Lance is as good as expected, why not have him sit one season behind Goff, and if Jared performs well, the organization will have an opportunity to trade him before next season or having him back up Lance a year before the franchise can void the last two years of his current contract the following season.
At this point, I expect Trevor Lawrence to go first overall. It wouldn’t shock me if the Jets opted to take Zach Wilson. That leaves the Miami Dolphins either selecting one of the talented pass-catchers, or perhaps tackle Penei Sewell, or trading down. If the Dolphins trade out of the third choice, it will be due to a team coming up to grab Justin Fields or Trey Lance.
The Atlanta Falcons are in the market to get a young arm to replace Matt Ryan shortly to pair with their talented receivers. The Bengals won’t be in the quarterback market, but if Sewell is off the board, they will also be a candidate to trade back, and the same goes for the Eagles, who pick right in front of the Lions.
I feel the Carolina Panthers, and Denver Broncos will be very aggressive and hope to leapfrog the Lions at seven if Lance or Fields are available when the Bengals and Eagles are on the board.
Suppose my notion is correct that leaves the Lions no choice but to join the bidding war, trade back themselves, or pick the best player available at seven. We won’t know until draft day, April 29th, but I can’t wait to find out.