In terms of acquiring quarterbacks, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes may not be done just yet.
After acquiring quarterback Jared Goff in a trade early in his tenure with the Lions, Holmes took to the podium Tuesday, and praised the depth and versatility of the quarterbacks in the 2021 draft class.
“What’s cool about this year is that (the quarterbacks) are in all different flavors,” Holmes said. "You have a guy that can actually do it all, can do it from the pocket, do it with his legs. You have another guy that’s probably a little bit more does it with his legs, a little bit more being creative. There’s another guy that actually probably does it more from the pocket, so all the different flavors makes it very, very intriguing in terms of when you’re looking across the whole scope of the class of these quarterbacks."
The class has four headliners: Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, BYU’s Zach Wilson, Trey Lance of North Dakota State and Ohio State’s Justin Fields. While Lawrence is virtually a lock to be the top pick, the Lions may get their pick of the litter with the other three, depending on how the draft shakes out.
Alabama’s Mac Jones and Florida’s Kyle Trask are two other options. Jones is projected to be a late first-round selection, while Trask looks to be a Day 2 pick.
Lawrence is considered a guy who can do it all. Wilson is a gunslinger who can make plays on the move, while Lance and Fields are both mobile guys, as well.
Detroit picks No. 7 overall in the upcoming draft, a spot where Holmes said it’s important to consider all options, especially at quarterback.
“I like the crop of quarterbacks that are coming out in this year’s draft,” Holmes said. “That’s obviously a very, very important position. When you’re picking in the top 10, I don’t think there’s a position you can really look past.”
On Monday, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said the Lions should pass on a quarterback with their seventh pick and choose to build around Goff.
“I think Kiper, he’s been doing it for a long time,” Holmes said when asked about Kiper’s statement. “He has his own opinion, in terms of where we should go.”
Each quarterback has his own pitfalls: Lawrence just underwent shoulder surgery, Wilson was a late bloomer, Fields struggled at times with accuracy and pocket awareness and Lance comes from the FCS level and played just one game in 2020.
Although Holmes stopped short of naming anyone specifically, his interest was clearly expressed.
With all the depth in the quarterback class, the Lions could elect to choose a player at a different position with their first pick, should Holmes & Co. have enough faith in a player like Trask or Jones falling to the second round.
With Goff currently in place to start, any choice the Lions make at quarterback may not be thrust into the fire right away. This strategy -- sitting a quarterback for a season after being drafted -- has worked recently, with the Kansas City Chiefs’ handling of Patrick Mahomes as a prime example.
Holmes & Co. are considering all options. However, so much is still uncertain with regard to who -- and possibly even where -- the Lions draft in April.
Keeping the Golladay decision ‘in house’
Holmes was asked about the impending decision with regard to wide receiver Kenny Golladay.
The popular opinion is that Holmes will use the franchise tag to keep Golladay around. However, Holmes kept his thought process close to the vest, when discussing the looming decision Tuesday morning.
“That’s another decision that we’re keeping in house,” Holmes said. “Just out of respect for the process. But, you know, I’m sure you’ll hear about what we’ll be doing shortly.”
Last season, Golladay played in just five games while nursing injuries. He has amassed 3,068 yards and 21 touchdowns over the course of his four-year career.
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