Mel Kiper: Lions would be wise to build around Jared Goff rather than drafting QB


ALLEN PARK – Mel Kiper Jr. took over the Detroit Lions in his last draft. But even if the Lions were to stay on the seventh overall pick, the ESPN draft analyst says the team would be wise to avoid taking on a quarterback.

That’s how much he still believes in Jared Goff.

“I wouldn’t consider a quarterback if I were the Lions,” Kiper said on a call Monday afternoon. “I think Jared Goff is a 26 year old quarterback who went to a Super Bowl, was out for the races, was the No.1 pick overall, all that stuff. So I think now he has people who know him well, whom he knows in terms of front office. For me, you build around the quarterback.

Lions acquire Goff and three draft picks for Matthew Stafford. The deal cannot be finalized until the start of the new league year on March 17, but the deal is in place. Stafford requested the trade, and the Lions greeted him by sending him to the Los Angeles Rams for a third-round pick this year, a first-round pick in 2022, and another first-round pick in 2023.

That’s quite the bonus, in part because of the Lions’ willingness to take on Goff and that massive, four-year, $ 134 million contract he signed in 2019. Goff had just finished two consecutive seasons. in the Pro Bowl at the time, and had led Los Angeles to the Super Bowl. But his performance dropped sharply the following season, and he was even worse last season. He has flipped football 38 times in the past two seasons in total, a league record, while his aerial yards per attempt have plummeted to the bottom of the league in 2020.

The Lions, meanwhile, have launched a rebuild under the leadership of new general manager Brad Holmes, who was the Rams’ scouting director when LA traded to take Goff at No. 1 in 2016. The Lions are hoping a change in scenery can do for Goff what it does for Ryan Tannehill, a former Miami bust who led one of the NFL’s most effective offensives in the past two seasons in Tennessee.

Kiper said it would be wise for the Lions to try and save Goff’s career by using the seventh overall pick to build around him, rather than burning the selection on another quarterback, be it Justin Fields. – his unnamed favorite quarterback prospect Trevor Lawrence – – Zach Wilson, Trey Lance or another QB prospect.

“That’s the problem with Matthew Stafford – he didn’t have enough talent around him,” Kiper said. “Defensively, they’ve always had problems. They tried to fix the offensive line, get the right running back, keep the receivers healthy, they added the tight end. They never made it all work together. They would always have a strength in that squad or squad, but due to injuries and players not living up to their potential, or anything that went wrong, they were never able to put it all together. place for Matthew Stafford. So I hope that with the new (regime), they can do it for Jared Goff.

“So to answer your question, I think Jared Goff can be a good quarterback in this league. Can he be super elite? Well there was a time when he was considered one of the young quarterbacks. -Brilliant fullback and a really good quarterback with a chance to be great when he led this team to a Super Bowl. So I think if he can recapture those moments and regain the confidence he had in there. ‘era, which may have been a bit lost this year, so I think Jared Goff is the right fit for the job.

The Lions are committed to Jared Goff in the short term, although his acquisition won’t stop Detroit from considering a quarterback with the seventh overall pick according to a source. And even if the club take a quarterback, Goff will still be with the squad for at least a year – his contract guarantees it – and likely two.

Goff will almost certainly start no matter what happens elsewhere in the post in 2021. New Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn prefers to sit with rookie quarterbacks if possible, as he did when throwing Tyrod Taylor on Justin. Herbert while with the Chargers last season. But Taylor was injured at the start of the first month, Herbert entered training and won the title of offensive rookie of the year.

“If (the rookie) wins the battle at camp, you have to play the best player,” Lynn said recently. “If you don’t, you’re going to have a riot in the locker room, if you don’t put the best people on the pitch. But I would love to see this rookie sit down and watch for a little while.

“If he could watch half a season or the first year like Patrick Mahomes did, I think you can learn a lot from the good veteran quarterback because a lot of rookies come into this league and they’re not. ready. The speed of the game is twice as fast as in college. And if they don’t have success in today’s environment, with social media, things get messed up and some of these guys lose their self-confidence and, damn it, they never get her back. If I can seat a rookie, I will. If I can.”


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