Allen Park — Like with most things, actions speak louder than words in the NFL.
So for all the public support the Detroit Lions have bestowed upon quarterback Jared Goff since acquiring him in a trade last offseason, we won’t truly know how committed the franchise is to him this season and beyond until after the first round of next week’s draft.
The Lions hold two picks in that opening round, including the No. 2 overall selection, and there continues to be a healthy amount of speculation the team could address the quarterback at either spot. Whether it’s numerous mock drafts or current betting odds, there’s a perception Liberty’s Malik Willis remains in play for the Lions at the top of the night, while options such as Desmond Ridder, Matt Corral or Sam Howell could be considered at No. 32.
Until those picks are made next Thursday night, Goff is just like the rest of us, sitting in wait-and-see mode.
“Whatever it is I trust those guys,” Goff said Thursday. “They’ve expressed a lot of confidence in me and about where I’m at, where I’m at with them, and where we’re headed. I’m excited about it. But if anything were to happen there, no concern. I trust the guys upstairs.
“There’s no way for me to control it. What do I make of the talk? The talk is always just talk. If it happens, great, I’ll deal with it from there and be the best player I can be. If it doesn’t, then you guys probably won’t talk about it again. It’s the way the media cycle works.”
As the Lions transitioned to a new era under general manager Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell, everyone including Goff got off to a sluggish start before the veteran quarterback and former No. 1 pick finished the 2021 season strongly. Over his final five games, Goff completed nearly 70% of his passes with 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions as the Lions posted a 3-2 record during that stretch.
Whether the Lions draft a quarterback, Goff doesn’t believe it will provide any additional motivation.
“I’m always trying to be the best I can be,” Goff said. “Always trying to prove myself right and prove the doubters wrong, be the best I can be. Anytime you win three games, there’s going to be discussion at a lot of positions and quarterback is no different. I’ve got to prove myself every year, every day, and work as best I can and be the best I can every day.”