Quarterback is one of the most important positions in any sport. Depth is must, and the Detroit Lions need more security at that spot.
Backup Jake Rudock looked promising in relief of Stafford against the Baltimore Ravens until he threw a pick-six. It’s unfair to write him off so soon, especially after just a few series. What the Lions can’t do is settle with Rudock and assume he is the best backup option for the team.
Currently, Detroit doesn’t have the luxury of drafting a quarterback in this year’s draft. Five draft picks is all the Lions have, and they can’t afford to use one on a quarterback. Of course free agency and the possible acquiring of picks could change that narrative.
Recent history with the New England Patriots would tell you it’s wise to take quarterbacks to groom and develop. They drafted quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo (2015) and Jacoby Brissett (2016) in back-to-back drafts. Both got traded this past season and started on their respective teams. Garoppolo, a free agent, caught fire with the San Francisco 49ers and Brissett was serviceable with the struggling Indianapolis Colts.
Whether for trade purposes, quality depth or securing the future, you can never have too many good quarterbacks.
So what should the Lions do? I think the free agent market is the place to go.
Roughly $50 million dollars in cap space is quite a bit, and with that money, Detroit could afford a top backup. The depth of this years quarterback draft class is good, so that leaves a lot of quarterbacks to choose from in free agency.
To name a few, Derek Anderson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne and Drew Stanton. Not to knock Rudock, but the Lions could easily upgrade the backup quarterback spot or at the very least add great depth at the should he beat out the competition.
Teams like the Chicago Bears tried to poach Rudock from the Lions’ practice squad in 2016 and several other teams’ general managers spoke highly of him in 2017. There is still a place for the third-year passer on Detroit’s roster.
Injuries happen too. Just look at the Philadelphia Eagles with Carson Wentz. They still won a Super Bowl without him thanks to the super play of backup and now Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. Championship caliber teams have good backups.
If Cris Collinsworth is right about the Lions being on the verge of a Super Bowl, adding another quality passer is a move that would help reassure that claim. Rudock is a good start, but the Lions can’t stop there.