It’s unlikely that the Detroit Lions will take a quarterback in the upcoming NFL draft. Here’s an analysis of why they would be smart to avoid the risk.
A decent amount of Detroit Lions fans are hoping that the team will move on with current quarterback Matthew Stafford and draft his successor in the upcoming NFL draft. The excitement from the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl win is giving fans an impression and ultimately, it’s a false hope.
The Chiefs decided to move on from quarterback Alex Smith in 2018, to do that they drafted Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 NFL Draft. Mahomes sat on the bench for a year and in the subsequent offseason, Smith was traded to the Washington Redskins.
This was an anomaly, a one in a million chance of happening and it ended up working for the Chiefs. Recency bias is reliable, but just because one team did it, doesn’t mean every other franchise will be able to do it as well.
The whole idea of trading Stafford is to draft a quarterback that will end up being marginally better. What would be the point of replacing him to take someone who will end up producing just as much, it doesn’t make sense.
Here is the problem or, in better words, the risk of first-round quarterbacks. The success rate isn’t there, especially if you are looking to find one that would end up surpassing Stafford himself. Here is a list of the 29 first-round quarterbacks drafted after him.
At the same level, worse, or too early to tell:
Mark Sanchez, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin, Blake Bortles, Marcus Mariota, Mitchell Trubisky, Josh Rosen, Josh Freeman, Jake Locker, Ryan Tannehill, Johnny Manziel, Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield, Sam Bradford, Blaine Gabbert, Brandon Weeden, Teddy Bridgewater, Carson Wentz, Sam Darnold, Tim Tebow, Christian Ponder, EJ Manuel, Jameis Winston, Paxton Lynch, Josh Allen
Better than Stafford:
Andrew Luck, Patrick Mahomes, DeShaun Watson, Lamar Jackson
There are four quarterbacks drafted from 2009 to 2018 that have become marginally better than Stafford. It gives the Lions a 13.5 percent chance of drafting a player that will end up better than those four.
Keep in mind, this list is opinion-based. Feel free to add or remove from the list, but either way, you are ending up with a 10-25 percent chance. Even dig even deeper if intrigued, the numbers don’t get better.
Again, this is a what-if scenario and it’s the beauty of the NFL. To debate in the NFL is incredibly hard and nothing is guaranteed. Nobody truly knows how things would have turned out if Stafford was drafted somewhere else or how Mahomes would look if the Chiefs didn’t select him.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that teams should avoid taking quarterbacks in the first round. If they need their quarterback, go and take him. Although, if you have someone, mainly who is still producing at a high level, it would be smart to stick with him.
One thing is for sure, moving on from an already talented quarterback to find another that is better, is a risk that is tough to take. A choice that could make you winners or set back the franchise for another period of time.
Everyone should ask themselves and think for a reasonable amount of time about what this means for the future of the Detroit Lions. Is this risk you are willing to take? Make sure to tell us in the comment section below.