Detroit Lions: 4 players under the most pressure in 2021

Jeff Okudah, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Jeff Okudah, Detroit Lions (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /
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Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (Photo credit: Detroit Free Press)
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (Photo credit: Detroit Free Press) /

Jared Goff

Position: Quarterback

Age: 26

2020 stats: 15 games played, 3952 passing yards, 67% completion, 20 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 7.2 yards per attempt (with Los Angeles Rams)

Many Lions followers would have placed Goff at the forefront of this list, and in some ways, they would be justified. However, with the Lions deciding against drafting a quarterback this past offseason, Goff will get at least one season to show that he should be the team’s signal-caller for the foreseeable future.

It won’t be easy for him. While Goff never had an A-list wide receiver at his disposal with the Rams, his options at the position with the Lions this year are among the least inspiring in the NFL. Young, inexperienced players and reclamation projects litter the unit, not the ideal kind of targets to help an embattled quarterback revive his career.

Goff will have the benefit of playing behind what could be one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. Headlined by three former first-round draft picks, the Lions’ offensive front should at the very least give Goff enough time in the pocket to locate his pass-catchers and help establish the play-action game.

One thing that may help Goff is simply more opportunities to throw; his two best seasons in L.A. came when he racked up his two highest pass attempt totals. As his attempts plummeted in 2020, so did his effectiveness, and the Rams’ confidence in him. The Lions’ coaches would be wise to try and get the former first overall draft selection into a throwing rhythm early.

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Clearly, if the Lions hope to be competitive in 2021, they will need a major renaissance from Goff. Anything short of that, and they will likely be looking at another change under center next offseason. No pressure at all, right?

All salary cap figures courtesy of Spotrac.