The Detroit Lions can go any direction with their top-10 pick, but they appear committed to adding a weapon for new quarterback Jared Goff.
The Detroit Lions are rebuilding again, with a new head coach and a new general manager. The No. 7 overall pick on Thursday night will be a key piece in that resurgence, with multiple ways the Lions can go depending on how the board ahead of them falls.
But there’s some insight into the direction Detroit is leaning.
According to Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano of ESPN, the Lions explored trading up with the Atlanta Falcons at No. 4 with their eye on LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. But the price was too high.
The Lions lost Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones in free agency, and replaced them with Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman. So wide receiver is their No. 1 need in the draft, if only narrowly over cornerback.
The Lions can still get an elite weapon at No. 7
The Lions didn’t bend to Atlanta’s asking price to move up three spots, and even without knowing specifics they shouldn’t have. If they covet Chase, who is widely regarded as the best wide receiver in this class despite opting out of last season, there’s a chance he’s there for the taking at No. 7.
If Chase is gone by the time they go on the clock, the Lions can easily pivot toward the two Alabama wide receivers–DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. Florida tight end Kyle Pitts could also be available, as a pairing with T.J. Hockenson would look very promising.
Lions quarterback Jared Goff was at his best with the Rams when Sean McVay’s offensive scheme was paired with high-end skill position talent all around him. The level of both of those things are questions right now for the Lions. To fairly evaluate Goff as a multi-year answer under center, as they seem willing to do, upgrading the pure talent level around him is necessary.
The Lions are lined up to be one of the NFL’s worst teams in 2021. But it will be an important first step in the latest rebuild, and getting a high-end weapon for their new quarterback seems to be the top priority.