With Alex Smith announcing his retirement Monday afternoon, there are currently nine former first overall NFL draft picks still active in the league.
In honor of his contributions to the NFL, having just won Comeback Player of the Year, CBS Sports’ Bryan DeArdo ranked each No. 1 pick from 2000-20. Both current Lions quarterback Jared Goff and former Detroit signal-caller Matthew Stafford cracked the top 10.
First, we have Stafford at number 7, but DeArdo believes he can move into the top-five before his career is over—especially now that he’s playing for a perennially contending team.
“While he is often overlooked by the other great quarterbacks of this era, Stafford has enjoyed a prolific run in Detroit. A Pro Bowler in 2014, Stafford averaged 4,466 passing yards and 27 touchdown passes per season from 2011-18. He didn’t miss a single start during that stretch while helping the Lions advance to the postseason in 2011, 2014 and in 2016.”
DeArdo explains Goff flourishing under Sean McVay after a rocky rookie season is what lands him at number nine on the list.
“During his second and third seasons, Goff completed nearly 64% of his passes while averaging 4,246 passing yards per season. He also threw 60 touchdowns against just 19 interceptions while posting a 26-9 record as a starter. Goff’s performance during the 2018 playoffs helped the Rams advance to Super Bowl LIII, where they managed to score just three points in a loss to the Patriots.”
And onto the rest of your notes.
- “If health cooperates, each should be able to turn into franchise anchors on the offensive side of the ball.” The Athletic’s Nick Baumgartner makes a case for the Lions taking either Penei Sewell or Rashawn Slater at No.7.
- A piece from Friday if you missed it — the NFL won’t discipline players for “high-risk COVID conduct” during the offseason, like going to bars and indoor events. You’ll remember players faced fines for things like this, probably most notably Dwayne Haskins.
- The league will be voting on a few rule change proposals this week, our friends over at the Falcoholic have more on that.
- Detroitlions.com’s Mike O’Hara continues his draft preview series, this time offering a list of offensive linemen who could interest the Lions.
- “Here’s the bottom line as it concerns Lions fans: Your team will probably be worse because players are skipping workouts.” Detroit Free Press’ Carlos Monarrez says he thinks players skipping voluntary workouts is a mess and the team will suffer for it. (Subscription required.)
- Riley Gates at 247sports.com explains how he believes Michigan defensive lineman Kwity Paye could be a fit for the Lions.
- Look! More mocks! This time it’s a three-round NFC North mock from Pro Football Focus’ Seth Galina.