The idea of the Detroit Lions drafting a quarterback this year is divisive to some degree, but a recent mock draft has them going with one very early.
Despite a solid, Pro Bowl-caliber 2022 season, it is still a matter of when, not if, Jared Goff is replaced as the Detroit Lions starting quarterback. Even those who think Goff should be the starter beyond next season know that’s the eventual reality.
If, and it’s a massive “if”, the Lions draft a quarterback in April, it most likely won’t be in the first couple rounds. But general manager Brad Holmes is open to the idea of drafting someone to sit an develop behind Goff next season with an eye on the future. This week’s Senior Bowl is an opportunity to get a look at some incoming draft prospect signal callers.
It’s 2023 mock draft season, and those of us who do them open ourselves up to scrutiny and name-callers on social media. But we keep doing them anyway, since those things are part of the deal.
Detroit Lions go quarterback very early in new mock draft
The most recent mock from James Fragoza of Pro Football Network is sure to catch plenty of ire from Lions fans.
At No. 6 overall, while acknowledging Lions’ fan ire right out of the gate, Fragoza has the Lions taking Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson.
"Before you click off the page, Lions fans, hear me out. Yes, Jared Goff looked good with Ben Johnson calling plays. But is that enough to be a legitimate contender? Even in the Rams’ high-powered offense, Goff maxed out at three points versus the Patriots in Super Bowl 53.Let Goff be the bridge QB to Anthony Richardson, who may actually be more pro-ready than some analysts believe. The Chiefs took Patrick Mahomes to sit behind Alex Smith for a year when many believed it was a wasted pick — look how that turned out."
Pieces of Fragoza’s rationale for taking Richardson sixth overall are a stretch. Goff’s performance in Super Bowl LIII isn’t relevant to right now, and a mention of Patrick Mahomes in the same breath as Richardson when harkening back to the Chiefs’ situation in 2017 is reaching for a justification.
In a broad sense, Richardson’s upside makes him an interesting prospect. Another mock draft in January had the Lions making a small trade up from No. 18 overall to get him.
At No. 18, as far less of a headliner, Fragoza has the Lions taking Pitt defensive tackle Calijah Kancey.
"Defensive tackles that check in at 6’0″ and 280 pounds usually struggle to win, even at the collegiate level. But Calijah Kancey is more than his size profile, using his natural leverage and incinerating get-off to blow by interior lineman into the backfield."
The Lions can certainly use another interior defensive lineman, and Kancey feels like an option sitting here on February 1.