1.) Who is your favorite NFL analyst for mock drafts?
Vito Chirco: I'm like Logan here. I'm a mock draft connoisseur, and I really don't have one draft analyst that I read over the others.
However, I will say that I really trust the opinions of Benjamin Solak and the crew at The Draft Network. Reading their work -- whether it be a breakdown of a prospect or a mock draft -- always helps me feel smarter.
Logan Lamorandier: I can't say I really have one guy that I like more than the rest. I'll click on just about any mock draft article I come across. I did really like Mike Mayock as a draft analyst on NFL Network. But, obviously, he is now the general manager for the Las Vegas Raiders.
Adam Strozynski: It's Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com for me. He seems pretty dialed in, and is a guy who really understands how front offices think. I appreciate his analysis on how players fit.
2.) Is there a free-agent defensive lineman the Lions should target?
Chirco: I basically feel the same way as Adam on this one. The Lions are about to embark on an extensive, multi-year rebuild. So, they clearly aren't in position right now to contend, and subsequently, they shouldn't be looking to add pricey free agents this offseason.
But, if they were to go out and acquire a big-name free agent, in my estimation, it shouldn't be a defensive lineman.
If I were in charge of the organization, I would spend my money on outside linebacker/EDGE defender Shaq Barrett.
He'll be just 28 entering the 2021 campaign, and he's recorded a combined 27.5 sacks the last two seasons.
Also, according to Pro Football Focus,
"Barrett has recorded the 11th-best pass-rush grade and third-highest pressure rate among edge defenders since joining the ranks in Tampa. Taking stunts and Bowles’ infamous blitzes out of the equation, Barrett ranks in the top 10 in both pass-rush grade and pressure rate generated."
If I were Detroit general manager Brad Holmes, I wouldn't be spending big money this offseason. But, if he were to "break the bank" on any one guy, I hope it would be for Barrett.
Lamorandier: Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins. New Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn is familiar with him, as well, as they were both in New Orleans. Rankins is young, and can get to the quarterback.
Strozynski: Honestly, there is not one must-have guy for me. This team isn't ready to win, and depending on how the cap is going to look after Kenny Golladay's and Romeo Okwara's contracts are figured out, I'm not sure who you can afford.
On top of that, I'm not ready to invest heavily in a guy whose contract could expire when I am finally ready to win.
If I had to pick a guy, I would go with Okwara. Now hear me out. He was your best EDGE rusher last year, and for the most part, was used wrongly. The guy posted double-digit sack numbers, and has been a bit of a find.
I think the issue is whether the organization values him over the next three-four years at $10-plus million or if it values a third compensatory pick more. Time will tell.
3.) How big of a downgrade is Jared Goff from Matthew Stafford?
Chirco: Let me just say this to start off ... Stafford is a high-end passer that can win games for you when he's on.
Goff is not. He's an average quarterback that can make all the necessary throws, but is more than likely not going to beat you with his arm.
I'm not trying to say that Goff is a slouch. But, he's also not going to beat you with the vertical passing game, as Stafford can.
Therein lies the difference for me between Stafford and Goff. One can win a game for you with his arm (Stafford), while the other (Goff) is a "game-manager" whose success is largely dependent upon the presence of a reliable ground game.
So, although Goff has been a Pro Bowler twice and has been to a Super Bowl, I think he's a significant downgrade from Stafford.
Lamorandier: It's tough to quantify just how much.
Goff and Stafford are very similar in a clean pocket and throwing to open receivers. If anything, Goff might be slightly better in that situation.
However, the great quarterbacks can make defenses pay when they bring a blitz. That's where Goff struggles. Goff hasn't shown he can consistently make the tight-window throws like Stafford -- which is very important on a team like the Lions that doesn't have wideouts who create much separation.
Strozynski: I think they are the same guy. Not great, but good, and both are better if they have weapons.
I think Goff is maybe a little more accurate and effective in the short passing game, while Stafford is more accurate downfield and can launch the ball.
Neither one is or was the future of this team.
4.) Do you think Trey Flowers will be on Lions' roster in 2021?
Chirco: I think he will be, especially if fellow defensive end Romeo Okwara leaves in free agency.
Sure, the Lions are rebuilding, and Flowers' cap hit in 2021 will be massive -- set to be $19.99 million.
However, without Okwara, Flowers, who finished with two sacks and two forced fumbles in seven games in 2020, instantly becomes Detroit's best pass-rusher.
So, I think in order for the organization to save face and to make it look like it's trying to compete at least a little bit, it will hang on to Flowers.
Lamorandier: I think he will be. He would cost more in dead cap than he would to keep on the roster in 2021 -- unless the Lions traded or released him after June 1.
It would not be surprising if the Lions explored the trade option, though.
Unfortunately, Flowers' contract might not be too appealing to the majority of the rest of the NFL, which typically prioritizes pass-rush skills over a well-rounded EDGE defender.
Strozynski: Due to his contract and cap structure, you really can't move on from him until 2022.
So, unfortunately, yes, he'll be here next season, and unless there is a dramatic upswing in production, it might be his last season as a Lion.
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