The Detroit Lions are in need of their “Franchise QB”. If these 2022 NFL Playoffs of any indication, they need that QB sooner rather than later.
If it was not already obvious, last weekend’s NFL football games put an emphatic stamp on the state of things league-wide. Teams with quarterbacks capable of playing at a high level (with their arms and feet) are leading the way. Lets take a look at who the Detroit Lions could potentially draft.
Look no further than what we saw between Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Bills quarterback Josh Allen. A legendary game with quarterbacks playing at an incredibly high level. This is a game that will be remembered for a very long time.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is well on his way to being an elite signal-caller. He is one of the best young quarterbacks in the game. Remarkably, the star quarterback was sacked nine times, and the Bengals still came away with a last-second win.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford did “Matthew Stafford” things leading the Rams to a win on the road against an outstanding team. Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is still playing at a high level. While they came up short in the end, it was remarkable to see the Buccaneers charge from behind.
While watching these games play out, I found myself thinking about how other teams stack up. What stood out was this: without high-level quarterback play, teams are consistently starting games from behind without much hope of catching up.
QB’s and the NFL
Looking around the league, it is easy to see that there is a quarterback problem as most teams do not have an answer to the position. There are very few difference-making players around the league. Solving that problem should be one of the main focuses of any team needing a quarterback when it comes to the draft.
Starting in the NFC North, it is tough to see any team set up well right now. The Bears have a young, exciting player in Justin Fields, but he needs to develop to make the jump and no guarantee that happens.
The South has aging veterans and a bunch of unknowns. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott looks like a long-term solution. The rest of the NFC East division is up in the air with lots of question marks.
You have some solid situations in the West, but Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Stafford are older veterans in the summer of their careers. The 49ers have Jimmy Garoppolo but made a massive investment into Trey Lance in the 2021 draft. There are huge unknowns about Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray’s game right now.
The AFC North has Burrow and then a few question marks. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is incredibly dangerous, and he has played well enough, but he is not without flaws. The Steelers just lost Ben Roethlisberger, and I’m not sure Mason Rudolph will get it done there. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield needs a new contract, but that is a tough sell at his point.
The AFC South has a young player that needs time in Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Texans quarterback Davis Mills played well in his rookie season, and he should get a year to develop.
The Colts have no answers as to whether quarterback Carson Wentz is their answer, and while the Titans look good with Ryan Tannehill, there is no certainty he is the guy who can get them over the top. The wildcard here is the Deshaun Watson situation and how/if that gets resolved.
The AFC East had a rookie play relatively well in New England with Mac Jones. The Jets drafted Zach Wilson second overall last year, and he needs time. Miami has Tua Tagovailoa, and the Bills struck gold with Allen. More questions than answers.
The AFC West has two stars in Mahomes and Herbert, but the Denver Broncos and the Las Vegas Raiders are behind. There is a need all over the league for good quarterback play.
Let’s move to the Detroit Lions and their position in their rebuild with multiple first-round picks in the next two drafts. Yes, the better quarterback play is in the AFC right now, and it will probably be that way for many years. It is nice to qualify for the playoffs and not have to play Mahomes, Allen, Burrow, or Herbert until the final game.
However, the goal is not to settle on winning the NFC North. It’s not winning the NFC and getting to the Super Bowl. The goal is to win the Super Bowl.
The truth in the NFL is that no matter how well the Lions draft and fill holes over the next several years, it is likely that none of it will matter until they get the quarterback position resolved. No matter how great a general manager builds a team around a quarterback, it is likely to fall flat because the position matters that much.
2022 NFL QB Prospects
A few quarterbacks in the 2022 draft have excellent physical talent. Guys that can make plays with their arm and hurt teams while running with the ball. Interestingly, they are both on the roster the Detroit Lions are coaching at the Senior Bowl.
North Carolina’s Sam Howell and Liberty’s Malik Willis are both capable players and had interesting college situations. It is worth reminding everyone that neither Mahomes, Allen, or Herbert were considered top-of-the-class players in their draft classes. All came to the NFL with flaws, some more significant than others.
Both Howell and Willis are worthy of selection at some point in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft, but the discussion of where they fit in will come over the next few months. The Lions have a chance to select a physically gifted quarterback in this year’s draft, and it was apparent watching the games over the past weekend that they need one.
This year, drafting a quarterback allows for Jared Goff to start at quarterback next year. It gives a young quarterback a redshirt year, which is the best-case scenario for all involved.
Drafting a quarterback is smart business. It gives them a chance to find a game-changing player who can take them to the next level. Detroit has the assets to continue to build the best team around that quarterback.