With the Detroit Lions in Arizona for the annual owners meetings, it’s yet another opportunity to see if the team will give any clues as to what they will do in next month’s NFL Draft. After an aggressive free agency period, the Lions’ strategy for the draft—in which they have the sixth and 18th picks—is not so clear.
One option that has been widely discussed—and even more so after taking care of some defensive needs in free agency—is quarterback. Jared Goff is coming off a fine season that helped Detroit score more points than all but four other teams in 2022.
Previously at the NFL Combine, the Lions sent somewhat mixed messages about the future at quarterback, but talking with NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero this week in Arizona, coach Dan Campbell was not so ambiguous.
“Listen, feel really good about it. Goff? Love Goff. Goff’s our guy, man,” Campbell said. “I think he’s proven over the last two years that, man, he’s made for us. He’s had to endure a lot, just like all of us have. I thought he played his best football last year, and I think he’s gonna come out and play some of the best this year. Feel good about it. So I love our quarterback position right now.”
This isn’t all that different than what Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes have said about Goff since the team traded for the former Rams quarterback. However, during the NFL Combine, Campbell did admit that they need to start thinking about life after Goff.
“We believe we can win with Jared Goff,” Campbell said. “And in the meantime, we also know he’s not going to be here for the next 10 years. It’s not like Jared Goff is a rookie. So certainly our eyes are on potentially a quarterback. The question is where do you acquire that at? And that’s something that Brad and I kick around all the time. But we don’t feel like we’re pressed right now. We don’t feel like we’re pressed, but that doesn’t mean our eyes aren’t on a quarterback.”
Goff remains under contract for two more seasons, so the Lions don’t have to make a move for their quarterback of the future right away. That said, the only other quarterback under contract for this season is backup Nate Sudfeld. Holmes promised to add more competition to the quarterback room this offseason. In other words, the Lions are still primed to take a quarterback in this year’s draft—potentially as a backup—even though they remain very publicly committed to Goff.
Campbell is expected to talk more with the media on Tuesday during the NFC breakfast at the owners meetings.