There was little question when the Detroit Lions traded Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff that Goff was going to be a downgrade. It’s oftentimes quite evident, but credit to Goff and Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson for minimizing those moments as we’ve progressed through the 2022 season. Goff has looked great, like the rest of the Lions, since November, so much so that some have him penciled in as the Lions’ starting quarterback in 2023. That’s a far cry from the common expectation entering this season that the Lions would move on from him after the season. If the Lions do still go for a quarterback, who do you want to see?
Question of the day: Which 2023 quarterback do you like the most for the Lions?
My answer: I was on team “get plowed for Stroud,” but I have slowly transitioned to Bryce Young hive, much to my own dismay.
Young really has all the pieces you look for in a quarterback, with the exception of size. I would still hold my breath when it comes to picking him, as he’s every bit of 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, and even that may be generous. I’ve heard the argument that he has taken hits from SEC linemen, but so did Tua Tagovailoa, and look how that has aged. Size concerns aside, Young has emerged as the clear cut number one quarterback entering the 2023 Draft.
I still like C.J. Stroud a lot, and I think he has a lot to offer. I think he’ll need more development than Young, but he has shown the ability to make just about every throw, and that’s the hardest thing to teach a quarterback.
Then there’s Anthony Richardson, who I think is the most likely prospect for the Lions. The Lions may not draft high enough, even with their pick from the Rams, to select Young or Stroud. If they don’t, they may be enamored with Richardson’s potential enough to select him later on in the first round. I think Goff’s elevated level of play opens the door to keep him your starter entering 2023 and play Richardson when he’s ready.
Honorable mention to Will Levis, who many have penciled in as the next Josh Allen. I see it from a physical standpoint, but I would not hold my breath for Levis (or any quarterback, for that matter) to take a Josh Allen-level leap. I don’t really like the fit for him in Detroit.
Before I end the list there, I do want to play with fire by mentioning Taulia Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa has shown massive progression over the last two years with the Maryland Terrapins, and he’s draft eligible entering 2023. It’s still unclear whether he will declare, and with Maryland trending in the right direction, he may opt to return and try to make a run with the team in 2023. If he does declare, I think he could be a real diamond in the rough for the Lions on day two.
At the end of the day, I think the most likely outcome for the Lions is Bryce Young, followed by Anthony Richardson. Those present two very different scenarios for Detroit heading into 2023, but which one is more likely to happen will depend a lot on how both Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams play for the rest of this season.
Which 2023 quarterback do you like most for the Lions?
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