Good quarterbacks are hard to come by in the NFL. Luckily for the Detroit Lions, they have a few, and one is gaining notoriety league-wide.
Where one team might be weak at a certain position, it could be another team’s strength. For the Detroit Lions, quarterback depth is an area of strength. Defensive line depth is a weakness.
With several teams in need of a quarterback, the Lions could potentially swing a trade for a defensive lineman or a mid-round pick. One quarterback for Detroit in particular is perfect trade bait.
Backup quarterback Jake Rudock has only seen preseason action the past two seasons. Word on the street according to @Rapsheet (aka NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport), some general managers around the NFL are convinced he could be something special.
In his second year in the league, the former Michigan/Iowa quarterback has put a stranglehold on the backup quarterback job. His control of the offense along with putting on some muscle this offseason makes him look right at home in Detroit.
As good as Rudock has been, there’s no clear indication he can handle being a solid fill-in starter. His numbers are impressive this preseason (65% completion rate, 339 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, 99.5 passer rating), but is that enough to feel confident about him in regular season action against first team defenses?
Should Matthew Stafford go down with a short-term or long-term injury, the Lions would sign another quarterback. This would happen regardless if Rudock was on the roster or not. With that being the case, Detroit could address some bigger needs by trading him.
If a trade were to go through, the Lions have a few decent options on the free agent market they could target at quarterback. Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, even former Lions’ backup Shaun Hill are viable options. Tony Romo could come out of retirement and…just kidding, but you never know.
It’s fairly easy to assume that all the players I mentioned are better starters than Rudock would be. Getting whoever the Lions would sign acclimated to the playbook would be a challenge but not enough to disregard a trade offer or pursue one.
Let’s say Stafford stays healthy the entire season, the Lions can have anybody as his backup, even rookie Brad Kaaya. He hasn’t been overly impressive (60% completion rate, 109 yards passing, one touchdown, 91.5 passer rating) but he hasn’t turned the ball over and is trending in the right direction.
Any way you slice it, addressing a need or receiving a higher pick than what was originally invested is a win. If the Lions would get a decent backup at defensive tackle/end or a draft pick higher than a sixth round pick, trading Rudock is a no-brainer.