The Detroit Lions drafted the wrong Tennessee quarterback

Yardbarker

Let me just start this off by saying that I have never understood the Hendon Hooker pick that the Detroit Lions made in the third-round of the 2023 NFL Draft. The big hold up for me has been both his age and the fact that the Lions are going to be tied to Jared Goff for a long time. 

There’s a certain subsection of Lions fans that believe that Hooker is the future for this team, but he’s just not. The Lions are on the verge of extending Jared Goff and that extension will more than likely last until 2028. Couple that with Goff playing like a top 10 quarterback in the last two seasons and the Lions find themselves with a premium backup in Hooker. The Goff as a bridge days are over. He is really the Lions guy. 

This isn’t a situation like Patrick Mahomes, Jordan Love or Aaron Rodgers like some think it is. Mahomes was 23-years-old when he took the starting job from Alex Smith. Jordan Love is 25 and Aaron Rodgers was 25 as well. All three guys also had playing time before that. 

Hendon Hooker is 26 and he has not taken a snap in the NFL yet. On top of that, he’ll be 27 when the 2024 season concludes. He’ll be 30 when his rookie deal is up and there’s a good chance that Goff will still be under contract at that time. 

That’s why I think the Lions should have waited one more year and drafted Hooker’s backup Joe Milton. Milton is nearly three years younger than Hooker and he has some crazy ability when it comes to launching the ball. He also has a lot of athleticism with that big frame of his. Milton is what rookie quarterbacks out of the first round are supposed to be. He’s a ball of clay. He just needs time and coaching so that he can learn to take his abilities and channel them into his play. 

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