The Detroit Lions kicked off their retooling with a bang, trading quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for a boatload of draft capital and a Pro Bowl passer in Jared Goff. But does Goff’s presence prevent the Lions from drafting a quarterback with their top pick in 2021?
The biggest argument against drafting a passer with the seventh overall pick in the first round of April’s draft would be the Lions’ defense. This is a unit that ranked dead last in total yards allowing an average of 419.8 yards per game to opposing offenses. The “D” in Detroit also allowed a whopping 32.4 points per game, the highest most in the NFL last season.
While there’s no clear-cut defensive player who deserves to be drafted in the top ten this year, there are several whose presence would be welcomed in the Motor City. Prospects like Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, or Michigan edge rusher Kwity Paye.
But there’s an overwhelming sense that the more talented players available to the Lions with the seventh overall selection will be on the offensive side of the ball. And the most intriguing of them all might just be North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.
It’s no secret that some Lions fans are suspect of Goff and his ability to come in and lead the resurgence in Detroit. After all, the Rams gave up two future first-round picks in part to get out from underneath him and his massive contract in Los Angeles.
But obtaining Goff makes a lot more sense if it’s with the intention of making him a bridge player to a rookie quarterback that new general manager Brad Holmes believes is the team’s future franchise passer. That’s where drafting Lance with the seventh overall pick comes in.
The 6-foot-4, 226-pound Lance put up videogame-like numbers as a sophomore for North Dakota State in 2019. He threw for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns, and no interceptions in 16 games. A dual-threat quarterback, Lance also rushed for a whopping 1,100 yards and 14 more scores on the ground.
For those keeping score at home, that’s an incredible 42 total touchdowns. Although that all came against a questionable level of competition on the college level. Still, Walter Football believes a solid comparison for Lance in the NFL is Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
Trey Lance projects to be a top-ten selection in the upcoming NFL draft and the Detroit Lions should be in play to land him. Even if they are fearful another team would draft Lance ahead of them, the Lions possess the draft ammunition to easily trade up to nab him. Now the only question is how does the new regime in Detroit feels about the player and if they believe he’s worthy of becoming the true successor to Matthew Stafford in the Motor City.