The Detroit Lions will enter the draft looking for key pieces for this rebuild. Don’t expect a quarterback to be one of them.
The Detroit Lions have completed the first season under the regime of general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell. It wasn’t chocked full of wins, but a foundation to be built upon has been laid.
Make no mistake about it, when Lions principal owner Sheila Ford Hamp hired Holmes and Campbell to build a winner last January, there was work to be done. However, after evaluating the roster they were handed, Holmes and Campbell spent very sparingly in free agency and almost everyone they signed was to one-year contracts.
The draft was the big show, and it played out that way this season as every pick made the roster along with a few undrafted free agents. Many made notable contributions, and the Lions are hoping for another fruitful draft to build upon.
However, the one piece that most Lions fans are anticipating will most likely not be included in this draft class.
The Detroit Lions may not find their quarterback of the future in 2022 draft
Jared Goff entered this season surrounded by skepticism from everywhere. His final two seasons in Los Angeles were not good, with turnovers and play that laid bare his limitations. He had become a check-down heavy quarterback, afraid to unleash deep passes.
Goff hadn’t even taken the field for OTAs before talk about who the Lions were going to draft as the quarterback of the future came. Instead, Holmes and Campbell built in the trenches and Goff was given the stamp of approval.
When the season opened, the growing pains were brutal. Both of the top receivers Holmes signed in free agency didn’t last. Breshad Perriman was released after a poor exhibition season. Tyrell Williams was injured in the season opener, and never played another game for the Lions before being released.
Goff had little to work with in the passing game, and he still refused to throw the ball down the field. Even with limited weapons, the weight of the offense’s struggles were placed on the quarterback.
After Campbell took over the play-calling coming off the bye this season, the Lions went 3-2-1 with Goff under center. Goff posted a 107.1 passer rating over his final five starts.
Does that mean Goff is now the Lions quarterback of the future? Campbell hasn’t shut the door on that possibility, but expectations will be higher on the idea the supporting cast will be better next season.
With Goff’s contract situation as it is, he’s going to be back as the starter next season. What should be monitored this offseason is what is done behind him on the depth chart. Tim Boyle did nothing to ensure himself of anything in three starts, and David Blough was never given the opportunity to play. Both are slated to be free agents, with Blough a restricted free agent unlikely to be tendered.
So it would not be surprising if there is an upgrade behind Goff going into next season, and it should happen in some way.
Lions fans should see several moves to upgrade the roster this offseason, possibly even selecting a developmental quarterback in the middle to late rounds of April’s draft. But barring injury or a surprising addition to the quarterback room, Goff will again be the unquestioned guy under center for Detroit in 2022.