As the Lions eye the upcoming NFL Draft, they are faced with quite a dilemma.
Do they stay at pick No. 7 overall or trade down?
Do they draft to fill their vast voids on defense or possibly explore drafting one of the top wide receivers?
If they decide to trade down, they would acquire even more picks to build with for the future. But, on the other hand, a young star receiver would undoubtedly be a huge benefit to Detroit quarterback Jared Goff and new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn.
In a Monday afternoon teleconference, ESPN NFL Draft insider Mel Kiper Jr. put to rest any notion the Lions will choose a quarterback in the first round.
“I would not consider a quarterback if I am the Lions," he said. "Jared Goff is a 26-year-old quarterback who has been to a Super Bowl, who was off to the races, being a great No. 1 overall pick. To me, you build around the quarterback. That’s what happened with Matthew Stafford. He didn’t have enough talent around him. Defensively they always had issues. They tried to fix the offensive line, get the right running back, have the receivers stay healthy. They added the tight end, but they never had everything working together. They would always add a strength to this group or that group, but it would end because of injuries, players not living up to their potential or whatever went awry. They were never able to put it all together for Matthew Stafford. Hopefully, with the new organization, they can do that for Jared Goff.”
If the Lions stand pat, Kiper told SI All Lions he believes Detroit needs not one, but two linebackers -- which would be the appeal of trading down.
However, he added if Detroit stands pat, it would not be targeting a linebacker, but rather it should look to add the value of a wide receiver. And that player would be Jaylen Waddle out of Alabama.
“If DeVonta Smith and Ja’Marr Chase are gone, I would take Waddle," Kiper explained. "If one of those two were there, I would take one of those two over Waddle. So, by my ratings, it goes Smith, Chase and Waddle. So, you are pretty much -- I don’t want to say guaranteed -- but it would look pretty good you are going to get one of those three at (pick) seven, and more than likely it’s going to be Waddle.”
Kiper's rationale makes a lot of sense, especially if wideout Kenny Golladay leaves Detroit via free agency.
By the looks of it, the Lions are sitting pretty to select one of those three receivers, should Golladay's tenure in Motown end suddenly, forcing Detroit to need a big-time weapon at the wide receiver position.
A lot can still happen between today and the NFL Draft. But, it sure appears like no matter how it comes down, Detroit is in a great position to improve on either the offensive or the defensive side of the ball.
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