At this point in the offseason, for many fans, quarterback is one position the Detroit Lions shouldn’t be concerning themselves with at the moment.
On Thursday, the Lions were one of 13 teams in attendance to watch Johnny Manziel work out at the University of San Diego’s pro day.
Scouts from 13 NFL teams confirmed by the school were on hand to watch Johnny Manziel throw at the University of San Diego's pro day: Bears, Browns, Chargers, Giants, Chiefs, Jets, Patriots, Raiders, Titans, Lions, Jaguars, Panthers and Bucs. https://t.co/Le43snoSdf— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) March 22, 2018
The former Cleveland Browns quarterback and 2014 first-round selection, Manziel hasn’t played in the NFL since 2015. His off-the-field struggles with alcoholism, cases of domestic violence, and mental health—Manziel was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about a year ago—have kept him away from football until this year, where the former Heisman Trophy winner is attempting to make a comeback to the NFL—Manziel already has an offer on the table from the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
As far as Detroit’s interest, it’s entirely possible the team scouts on hand for Manziel’s workout could have been in attendance to see the other players working out from the University of San Diego—TE Ross Dwelly, DE Jonathan Petersen, WR Justin Priest, and K/P Jack Flatau.
However, Detroit is in a similar situation at the quarterback position this offseason as they were a year ago: Matthew Stafford is the franchise’s quarterback, Jake Rudock is the backup, but Bob Quinn isn’t adverse to exploring any and all options to improve the roster. Whether or not Manziel could be considered an upgrade is up to you.
According to the reports from his workout at San Diego’s pro day, Manziel had a “strong day” per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
In eight career starts with the Browns, Manziel compiled a 2-6 record as a starter, completing 57 percent of his passes for 1675 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions.
UPDATE: Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press gave a little more information about the Lions in attendance:
Lion had both Cary Conklin (west coast scout) & Lance Newmark there. Lance is from San Diego. Always hits the west coast pro day circuit. But he is director of player personnel now.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) March 22, 2018