Detroit Lions criteria
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell had a lot of success in his first year in Detroit but was forced to use three different quarterbacks, a less-than-ideal situation. Starter Matthew Stafford was having an All-Pro kind of year until his back injury forced him to miss the remainder of 2019, just eight games in.
Jeff Driskel started three games and although he didn’t win any, he was pretty effective for a guy not on the roster in the preseason. Likewise, when Driskel went down, David Blough, a rookie, came in and was productive.
Bevell has had Brad Johnson, Tarvaris Jackson, Gus Frerotte, Brett Favre, Charlie Whitehurst, and Russell Wilson as his starters in previous stops with the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks so he has used multiple kinds of athletes at the position, according to The Football Database website. Some of his quarterbacks are more dynamic athletes while many are pocket passers.
Stafford is a strong-armed, gunslinger, downfield passer who can move some but isn’t much of a threat to hurt you with his legs but he sees the field exceptionally well and distributes the ball as well as any quarterback in football. Bevell’s most successful stint was with Wilson in Seattle where they rode running back Marshawn Lynch to a couple of Super Bowls.
The point here is that while Russell Wilson is often given a lot of credit for being athletic, his ability to stand in the pocket and deliver the football is his best asset. Wilson and Stafford have many similarities that way. Wilson has better mobility, Stafford the better arm.
Detroit Lions candidates
Of the seventeen quarterbacks in Indianapolis for the combine, the Detroit Lions need one guy who can push the ball downfield, a staple of Bevell offenses, so that may rule out anyone with an “adequate” arm or less. In terms of mobility or overall athleticism, he has had multiple players with good mobility and has shown what he can do with them including some designed runs, option reads, and just getting outside of the pocket.
That makes mobility a desirable characteristic, it is not necessarily a have-to-see trait at the combine. Stafford is more mobile than usually given credit for, although he certainly isn’t going to do much damage with his legs unless he is completely forgotten about as a runner. Stafford does, however, make the occasional short run when plays break down.
In conclusion, the Detroit Lions have been the subject of many trade scenarios and rumors regarding the quarterback position but if they’re going to select another player to add to the quarterback room, it is highly likely going to happen either late in day two or on day three after the combine and draft have completed.