The Detroit Lions are a team very much in flux. Most notably, under center. Following the pending trade of Matthew Stafford, the Lions will head into the new season with someone else at quarterback for the first time in more than a decade.
Detroit also hired a new general manager in Brad Holmes, a new head coach in Dan Campbell, added new executives in the front office, and hired a new coaching staff. Now the focus shifts to the roster with Stafford being the first domino to fall.
The quarterback position in Detroit is just one of several burning questions about the Lions’ roster that need to be answered this offseason. Here are our top three …
Is Jared Goff the answer at quarterback?
In exchange for Stafford, the Lions received a bounty of high draft picks from the Los Angeles Rams. Detroit also got the Rams’ former number one overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, quarterback Jared Goff, in the deal.
A two-time Pro Bowler who led Los Angeles to a Super Bowl appearance a mere two years ago, the 26-year old appears to be set to take the reins in the Motor City. Goff’s coming off a season where the Rams finished 10-6 after he threw for 3,952 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions while completing a career-high 67.0% of his passes.
Still, there are lingering questions about Goff in Detroit. Will the Lions choose to trade him away or keep him under center? Will they use their first-round selection on a quarterback and make Goff a bridge player? Or will Detroit go all-in on the former first-rounder, surround him with talent, and attempt to build the team around him?
Who is playing wide receiver?
Anyone looking at the Lions’ pending free agents knows the position of wide receiver is a major question mark for Detroit right now. With most of their starters set to hit free agency next month, the only wideout we can predict with relative certainty that will be on the roster in 2021 is Quintez Cephus.
There’s been plenty of speculation that the Lions might choose to use the seventh overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft in April to select one of the top receiver prospects in the class. But the needs at the position are much greater than a single draft pick can provide.
So expect the Lions to potentially sign back a pending free agent or two, perhaps use the franchise tag to retain Kenny Golladay, bring in a couple of veterans when the market opens next month on top of using the draft to help fill the vacant position.
On defense, where do you start?
Is there a single position on this defense that doesn’t require an upgrade? After all, this unit gave up a league-high 419.8 yards per game to opposing offenses in 2020 and allowed nearly 30 points a contest to be scored on them.
From defensive tackle, defensive end, linebacker, safety, and potentially even cornerback; every position could use an infusion of talent, especially if the team parts ways with players like corners Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman.
The question really is where do the Detroit Lions start? Locking down a pending free agent like defensive end Romeo Okwara, who has led the team in sacks for two of the past three seasons, could be a smart, first move. But with a new regime in place, it’s anyone’s guess where the changes will begin. Only that they are coming.