"Did the Lions improve?" is our latest series analyzing the Detroit Lions' roster in comparison to their 7-9 2015 season. To start things off, we look at the quarterback position.
2015 QBs: Matthew Stafford, Dan Orlovsky
2016 QBs: Matthew Stafford, Dan Orlovsky, Jake Rudock
For the third straight year, the Lions will be entering the season with the same presumed starter and backup quarterbacks. After moving on from Shaun Hill in 2013, the Lions have been rolling with the duo of Matthew Stafford and Dan Orlovsky. Because Stafford has not missed a game in since 2010, the Lions' depth chart hasn't mattered much.
This year, there was a significant development in the roster, however. The Lions drafted Jake Rudock in the sixth round, their first draft pick used on a quarterback since selecting Stafford in 2009. While Rudock isn't expected to start anytime soon and may not even enter the season as the primary backup, this still represents a new direction for the position.
Did they improve?
It's hard to say they Lions improved simply by adding a raw quarterback who has little chance of making any sort of impact in 2016. However, Detroit has been looking for a developmental backup for a few years now and it appears they finally may have their guy. Rudock could very well be the backup for this team in the near future, and many may see that as an upgrade over the aging Orlovsky.
What about compared to 2014?
2014 QBs: Matthew Stafford, Dan Orlovsky, Kellen Moore
The Lions had three quarterbacks back in 2014, and many believed Moore may have been the developmental quarterback the team needed. But when Scott Linehan was fired, Moore's days were numbered until the two reunited in Dallas last year. Only time will tell whether Rudock is a more apt backup than Moore.