It feels like the Detroit Lions will come out of the 2023 draft with a quarterback, and an ESPN analyst has unearthed someone they see as an interesting potential late-round fit.
Some Detroit Lions fans believe in Jared Goff as the team’s starting quarterback long-term. The harsher reality says they have an eye on the future beyond him, and that future could come as soon as 2024.
Based on inactivity in free agency, despite general manager Brad Holmes saying the No. 2 quarterback spot would be a priority, it seems like a virtual certainty the Lions will draft a quarterback later this month. Getting one of the top prospects at the position is patently unlikely, but taking a potential future signal caller on Day 2 or Day 3 is in play.
There are some mid-to-late round quarterbacks that should intrigue the Lions. Last weekend, ESPN’s Jordan Reid unveiled what he sees as an interesting one who hasn’t been widely mentioned.
"One option I would like to bring up here is Houston quarterback Clayton Tune. A player who’s seen as a very intriguing late-round pick. Tune had a break-out year last year, over 4,000 passing yards, 40 touchdowns and a team-leading 546 rushing yards. He operates well in rhythm, he has enough arm strength and mobility as a developmental option. I think they could find a lot of intrigue in him,”"
2023 NFL Draft: Clayton Tune could be an interesting fit for the Detroit Lions
Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UCLA) and Tanner McKee (Stanford) have probably gotten the most attention as Day 2-Day 3 quarterback options for the Lions. Tune is a new mention.
Over his final two seasons at Houston, Tune had 70 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions. In two of his last three collegiate seasons, he ran for five touchdowns and he totaled 12 rushing scores over the three-year span. He has good size (6-foot-2-1/2, 220 pounds), good-enough arm strength and his mobility is solid.
In some ways, Tune could be considered a younger version of Goff with more mobility. Many of the strengths and weaknesses noted by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com transfer between the two pretty seamlessly. Zierlein does note Tune having pretty good feel within the pocket, and some functionality outside the pocket. Goff obviously lacks in both of those areas.
The Lions won’t be rushing any quarterback they draft into immediate action as a rookie. So Tune makes some sense to be on the late-round radar as a developmental guy, and it’s clear they are leaving few if any stones unturned as they survey the incoming quarterback class.