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Monday open thread: Will David Blough make the team in 2020?

The undrafted rookie was thrust into action in 2019. Will he keep his spot in 2020?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Most rookie quarterbacks are expected to backup for a season or two. Most undrafted quarterbacks never achieve an NFL start. For the Detroit LionsDavid Blough, starting five games in 2019 was certainly unexpected.

Filling in for Matthew Stafford is a tough task for any quarterback — just ask Jeff Driskel — but the undrafted rookie failed to lead the Lions to a single win. However, when the 3-8-1 Lions faced off against the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving Day for Blough’s first career start, the season was already over. Losing, if anything, helped the Lions secure Jeff Okudah in the draft.

Thanks, David.

From a performance perspective, however, it is worth looking at what Blough did in his brief stint as a starter.

For the first time in years, the Lions had to turn to backup quarterbacks in 2019. Boy, did it show how important Stafford is to this team. Developing a backup quarterback is difficult to do, but the Lions have not had much success in doing so, with Blough being the latest young quarterback they’ve acquired.

You either draft a quarterback early in hopes of grooming a successor or trading them, like the Patriots did with Jimmy Garoppolo, or you acquire someone later on — drafted or undrafted — in hopes of developing them into something dependable. Not every player is going to be another Tom Brady. A likely outcome is Kellen Moore or Jake Rudock.

Perhaps a positive outcome would be a player like Chase Daniel, which is exactly why Blough’s roster spot is in danger. The Lions signed the journeyman backup this offseason to solidify the quarterback room behind Stafford, and it leaves the question about whether or not Blough will fit.

Will David Blough make the team in 2020?

My answer: I don’t think Blough will make the team.

Carrying two quarterbacks has become a trend in recent years, and for good reason. With ever-changing defensive scheme and gadget players all over, saving even a single roster spot is important. Oftentimes, if a team’s starting quarterback goes down, their performance as a whole will suffer. In most situations, if a team’s starting and backup quarterback go down, then the season is all but lost.

That was the situation for David Blough in 2019, and he was, to his credit, working with a team losing players to the injured reserve nearly every week. Was his performance subpar? Maybe. With a yards-per-attempt of 5.7, he had the third-lowest average of all quarterbacks with at least 100 dropbacks. Meanwhile, his touchdown-to-interception ratio of 4:6 was subpar.

Yet once again, working with a battered and demoralized team over the course of your first five career starts is a bit too small of a sample size to properly judge. Additionally, he faced the Bears, the Vikings, the Buccaneers, the Broncos, and Packers, all of whom boasted above average defenses. As for positives, he showcased decent composure in the pocket and intangibles to warrant development in the future.

However, I still believe that the practice squad would be best for the team. Given that the practice squad is increasing from 10 to 12 players, on top of a potentially larger squad due to COVID-19, there is ample room for Blough. I would rather carry an extra wide receiver or defensive lineman. They might not be active on game day, but it gives you matchup opinions during the season. The biggest risk is that Blough could get poached by another team, but I don’t view this as a significant loss for the Lions.

Your turn.


Will David Blough make the team in 2020?

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