May 29, 2012; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterbacks Shaun Hill (14), Matthew Stafford (9) and Kellen Moore (17) stretch during organized team activities at Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
From now until the start of training camp, Pride of Detroit will take a look at each position on the Detroit Lions roster. The series begins today with a look at the quarterback position.
The evolution of the main storyline for the Lions quarterback position over the last year has been quite interesting. A year ago, the focus was strictly on if Matthew Stafford would be able to stay healthy and make it through the 2011 season. He did in fact play in every game, and he put up big numbers in the process. He cemented his status as one of the up-and-coming quarterbacks in the league, and now we've thankfully moved past talk about him and injuries for the most part.
Earlier this offseason, the main storyline at quarterback was what was happening behind Stafford. Both Shaun Hill and Drew Stanton became free agents, and the Lions decided to re-sign Hill to a two-year deal. Stanton left for the New York Jets and was later traded to the Indianapolis Colts.
Stanton's departure left the Lions with a need for a new third-string quarterback. They didn't fill this need during the draft, but they did quickly sign Boise State's Kellen Moore after the draft concluded. At the time, the thinking was that he would for sure be the No. 3 quarterback in 2012, especially after the Lions didn't sign R.J. Archer following their rookie minicamp. Archer took part in it, but he didn't earn a contract immediately after it concluded.
Things have changed since the minicamp, as Archer is now on the team. It took a month, but he was signed to a deal in June, giving the Lions four quarterbacks on the roster. There has been talk that they might only keep two QBs in 2012, but that seems unlikely now that they have four QBs on the team. Archer is set to battle Moore for the third QB spot, and the loser of the competition will have a very good chance of making the practice squad if the winner makes the 53-man roster. That is the only real battle that will take place at QB this summer barring an injury.
Need going forward?
As long as they're healthy, Stafford and Hill will occupy the top two spots on the depth chart. After that, as mentioned, the Lions have Archer and Moore set to battle for the third spot. I could see the Lions bringing in another quarterback if it's determined early on during camp that Archer or Moore isn't up for the challenge. There isn't a need at all for any more QBs right now, though. For the time being, things are set, and the situation with Archer and Moore will play itself out during the preseason.