The other day, I mentioned that Detroit’s approach in free agency thus far did little, if anything, to impact their approach to the 2021 NFL Draft. The Lions new general manager, Brad Holmes, has decided to play the long game when it comes to this rebuild by signing players to one-year contracts and keeping the team’s cap situation as flexible as possible moving forward.
For instance, much was made a year ago about Detroit not having a single wide receiver besides rookie Quintez Cephus—or Geronimo Allison who opted out of the 2020 season—signed beyond the 2020 season. Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola, Mohamed Sanu, and Jamal Agnew were all set to become free agents this offseason and all of them—with the exception of Amendola—have signed with new teams for 2021.
After signing Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, Kalif Raymond, and Damion Ratley, the Lions have one receiver under contract for the 2022 season: Cephus.
There isn’t another position on the team as extremely impermanent as the wide receiver position, but outside there a very few positions where the Lions either have a contingency plan or a foundational piece in place and under contract for the long term.
This brings us to today’s Question of the Day…
What position are you taking off the board completely for the Lions in this draft?
This is a tough question for reasons already laid out by plenty of people who are plugged in to what’s going on with this team. The Lions don’t have a long-term plan in place and under contract for any position besides Taylor Decker at left tackle and Jared Goff at quarterback—the latter of which has been the focal point of much discussion over the past few weeks.
If there’s a position I’m taking off the board for the Lions in this draft, this is going to sound hypocritical and border on heresy, but it’s the EDGE position.
There isn’t a single EDGE prospect worthy of reaching for at seven. Not Kwity Paye, not Jayson Oweh, not Gregory Rousseau. And you know what, the Lions are kind of set with some solid talent at that position heading into the 2021 season. Romeo Okwara got a nice contract this offseason, and Detroit has some intriguing pieces to figure out if they fit into their long-term plans like Trey Flowers, Austin Bryant, and Romeo’s brother, Julian Okwara.
You could make the case the Lions will do the same with Goff and take quarterback off the board as well, but if a talent like Justin Fields or Trey Lance falls to seven, passing on them is the kind of fatal mistake a general manager doesn’t get to make very often.