What are the Detroit Lions biggest draft needs for 2021?

Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images /
2 of 6
Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) /

Detroit Lions current situation

Kenny Golladay, the number one receiver, is currently hurt, missed both of the first two games, and the Lions have only seen him suit up for five contests. He had two 100-yard efforts and has two scores on the year.

The biggest issue for the offense is that Golladay hasn’t been re-signed to a new deal with his rookie contract due to expire this offseason. He is miles ahead of the next receiver on the roster at 27 years-old. Is he a trade candidate or will the Lions franchise tag him during the offseason?

If it were us, we’d tag him. He’s been a 1,000-yard producer with good chemistry between him and Matthew Stafford. However, the plan enacted by the new regime could change our stance.

The could-be-even-bigger issue is what will the Detroit Lions do with quarterback Matthew Stafford, especially with Quinntricia gone? Does Stafford have the stomach for another coordinator and coach change? Enquiring minds want to know.

His career is playing out very much like former Lions greats Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson, who both retired instead of enduring another rebuild in the Motown.

Defensively, what is there to build around? A few young players and a couple of veterans are keepers, for at least the short-term. The Lions drafted Jeff Okudah to be a CB1 and the jury is out on his performance to date. It frequently takes several seasons for a cornerback to play like a savvy veteran.

In the current NFL standings, the Detroit Lions are slated to pick somewhere in the 8-13 slot based on their record. One of the teams ahead of them will win the NFC East, right now the Washington Football Team and New York Giants (both 4-7) are atop the East standings.

The New York Jets have officially been eliminated from playoff contention with their 0-11 mark. The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10) and Cincinnati Bengals (2-8-1) round out the top three draft slots.

The Jets and Jaguars are likely to select the top two quarterbacks available in  Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields as their picks in the 2021 draft. If the Jets wanted to keep Sam Darnold for some reason, their previous first-round pick, they could probably get a king’s ransom for their pick, too. However, it is most likely that both teams will select the two highly touted signal-callers.

After those two are off of the board, there are lots of options and speculation about who the next-best players are. Right now, the Lions would slot in at number nine, for this article.

Looking at Spotrac’s salary cap breakdown by year, there are some big areas to fill, some of which are quite apparent in the 2020 results.