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Saturday open thread: Which quarterback should the Detroit Lions draft in 2022?

Detroit may think they have their guy in Jared Goff, but if they don’t, the answer to their quarterback questions could be answered in this draft.

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Next week is the start of practices for the Reese’s Senior Bowl, and if you’re a Lions fan, you’re paying much more attention than you might in other years considering Dan Campbell’s group of coaches, coordinators, and position coaches are set to coach the event’s American roster.

The Lions have plenty of needs on their roster, and it’s a good thing they’ll have some extra capital this draft to help them address them—whether that means they’re used to fill immediate needs or to bring in players who could end up eventually helping the team down the road.

One of those needs could be quarterback, depending on who you’re talking to. Some think Jared Goff played well enough to earn another chance after closing out the season on a high note when playcalling responsibilities shifted to Campbell and tight ends coach Ben Johnson. Others felt they’ve seen enough of Goff to know they want to move on and bring in the franchise’s next quarterback.

This brings us to today’s Question of the Day...

Which quarterback would you want the Detroit Lions to draft in 2022?

Lucky for the Detroit Lions, they have a talented group of quarterbacks they’ll be getting a chance to look at close-up and personal in Mobile next week. Sam Howell from North Carolina is often seen getting drafted in the first or second round of mock drafts. Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe is a name many associate with a later draft choice, but he has the upside to be on an NFL roster. And lastly, there’s Malik Willis, a quarterback from a small independent school you can find in all sorts of places on mock drafts, but all the upside you could imagine.

The answer for me is simple: use the draft capital you have from the Rams' first-round pick and pick No. 34 to move up into the first round and take a quarterback you can allow to develop behind Jared Goff—and that guy is Willis. Maybe it takes even less to move up and take Willis, who knows, but Detroit has enough picks to make a move of the sort. The Lions are in a great position to bring in a young, toolsy quarterback like Willis who could benefit from developing behind the scenes. In the event Goff works out, Detroit has their guy and they have a valuable asset at a highly coveted position. If Goff doesn’t work out, Detroit has a player with all the upside you could ever want in a quarterback, and he’ll have a season of tutelage in the offense to boot.

If Detroit has a guy they like now in this draft, spending a year of that player’s rookie contract on a developmental season, at this stage of the rebuild, seems like good timing.

The quarterback prospects at the top of the 2023 class are high-profile names like CJ Stroud and Bryce Young, and there will inevitably be the phenomenon that happens every year with other prospects who seemingly come out of nowhere. But, if Detroit kicks the can another year, finds out Goff isn’t their guy in 2022, and then is forced to draft a quarterback in 2023, that rookie is going to be under immense pressure in year three of the rebuild.

Fans can be patient in year one of a rebuild, but as you saw during this past season, the losses can pile up quickly, and people lose that patience even quicker. If this is the same song and dance heading into year three with a rookie quarterback, I can already imagine the sort of unfair expectations being put on that hypothetical quarterback’s shoulders.

Detroit might put more wins on the board next season, but it’s hard to imagine this offseason offers them enough opportunities to improve the roster in all the areas it needs to receive improvement—or development. Instead, have your guy in-house for a season and ready to hit the ground running in year three of Holmes and Campbell.

Poll

Which quarterback would you want the Detroit Lions to draft in 2022?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Sam Howell
    (172 votes)
  • 5%
    Matt Corral
    (107 votes)
  • 21%
    Malik Willis
    (418 votes)
  • 11%
    Kenny Pickett
    (218 votes)
  • 5%
    Desmond Ridder
    (106 votes)
  • 8%
    Bailey Zappe
    (162 votes)
  • 3%
    Other
    (69 votes)
  • 34%
    None
    (655 votes)
1907 votes total Vote Now

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.