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Will Goff impress enough this year to stave off a rookie selection in 2022?
We close out our week of Detroit Lions 2021 predictions with a prediction that isn’t about 2021 at all. Jared Goff is under the spotlight this year, having replaced Matthew Stafford as the face of the franchise. When the trade was initially made, many viewed Goff as a throw-in for the trade. A salary dump for the Los Angeles Rams and a bridge quarterback for the Lions.
But Detroit hasn’t treated him that way since arriving. Members of the Lions front office, coaches and teammates have all sung Goff’s praises. He may have struggled in his past two years with Los Angeles, but he nearly won a Super Bowl and made two Pro Bowl prior to that. He’s just 26 years old, so he has plenty of time to develop and improve his game.
Will he, though? Things didn’t look great in training camp, and he faces an uphill battle with Detroit’s lackluster receiver room. So the final panel question for our 2021 Lions preview is:
Will the Lions draft a quarterback in 2022?
Chris Perfett: Yes
There’s been a lot of overreactions to poor performances in the first week of the NCAA football schedule (Sam Howell spooked in Blacksburg! Spencer Rattler slow to start!) but if you’re writing off the whole class because of one weekend, you’re a myopic moron. Every year teams underperform in Week 1. Every year, fans freak out. Nobody ever learns their lesson. There are many excellent options for the Lions to select in this class; they should take the opportunity should it present itself while they have the draft capital.
Andrew Kato: No
To the extreme disappointment of the haters, two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Jared Goff will play well enough for the current team leadership to believe Goff can be the longer term starter they are convinced he can be. Therefore, no early round quarterback pick in 2022.
Hamza Baccouche: No
This regime has shown a lot of patience and I hope it’ll continue in 2022, because I don’t like what I see out of the 2022 crop of quarterbacks. Even if that changes, I don’t feel comfortable betting the farm on a one-hit wonder just for him to pan out the way Joe Burrow has in the league. If you draft a new quarterback in year two you don’t have the time to draft another one high unless you’re willing to give up on him before his sophomore season. The Lions are better off waiting for a better talent and better fit in 2023.
Kellie Rowe: ¯_(ツ)_/¯
The Lions have a heap of 2022 draft picks, including two in the first round, and that QB could learn under Goff for a year… They very well could.
Jeremy Reisman: Yes
I think 2022 presents the best opportunity for this franchise to draft a quarterback. I’m ignoring all of the “there isn’t one worth taking” talk this early in the college football season. These kids are young, let them develop the same way you’d allow an NFL rookie to develop. I think there’s a good chance thing looks significantly different by January.
The Lions are going to be bad this year, and they’ll likely already be in the top 10 in the draft. With additional draft resources, they will absolutely be able to get into the top three, if necessary.
Goff will almost certainly be on the team next year because of his contract, but I don’t expect much out of him this year. Get a QB next year, and ease him in during the season so that this team can make a serious run in 2023.
Kyle Yost: No
Jared Goff is not going to ever meet No. 1 overall pick level of play again, but that is not what this team needs. Should the Lions again find themselves picking in the top 10 (likely), this is another chance to grab a defensive cornerstone. Matthew Stafford proved that even top-10 quarterback play is not enough to overcome an awful defense. No new quarterback is going to fare any better should the team continue to neglect the other side of the ball.
John Whiticar: I hope not
Things will obviously change once the NCAA season happens, but there are no quarterbacks I view as franchise-caliber players right now. Even if we do see some risers, they could easily be one-year wonders. I would keep Goff as the starter for another season—if you truly want to see if he is a franchise quarterback, you need to give him receivers next season. I dread the idea that the Lions not only take a quarterback in 2022, but trade up for one. The Lions got some valuable assets from the Stafford trade, I don’t want them to waste it on a quarterback prospect in a bad draft class.
Ryan Mathews: #DrillUs4Willis
Mike Payton: No
It’s going to be Jared Goff for a while. The Lions seem to believe in the guy and I believe that Goff will give the fans reason to believe too.
Erik Schlitt: Yes
This team is, and has, already been making decisions with the future in mind. At this stage of their roster construction, it appears that next offseason, the Lions will be in an ideal situation to compile assets and invest in the future. They will likely be picking at a premium spot in the draft, will still have future draft picks at their disposal if they need to move up, and will still have Jared Goff under contract if the rookie needs developing. Things can change of course, but this is what the tea leaves say to me ahead of 2021.