The Detroit Lions could be thinking about making big moves in the 2021 NFL Draft, but by far the biggest would be nabbing a quarterback when few people see that as a real option.
As mock season makes its way into the home stretch, the prognosticators are starting to come full circle with their predictions. Early on, many believed the Lions would be hunting for a wideout or defensive help. Following news the Lions were trading Matthew Stafford, predictions shifted to quarterback, and then back to the skill spots. Suddenly, some of the projections have shifted once again in favor of the quarterbacks.
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Recently, Daniel Jeremiah put out his latest mock at NFL.com and within it, he had Detroit pulling a bit of a surprise and selecting Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields with the seventh pick. As for why, Jeremiah wrote he believes Fields has more upside than Jared Goff, Detroit’s current starter.
“This could be a trade spot, with some teams picking after Detroit potentially in the market for a quarterback, but I wouldn’t rule out the Lions staying put and taking a signal-caller themselves. Fields has more upside than Jared Goff.”
A trade with a quarterback needy team could be the most interesting move for the Lions, so it will be fascinating to see what they decide to do. If they stay put, the Lions might choose to take the best wideout, defender or offensive lineman if they don’t like any of the quarterbacks.
Analyst Calling for Fields to Lions
Recently, in a new mock at NFL.com, analyst Adam Rank revealed what he felt he would do if he were the teams in terms of picking new talent. As he said, the Lions need to be looking at quarterback, specifically Fields as it relates to their seventh pick.
“I know you just traded for Jared Goff. But he’s regressed the last couple of years … with offensive guru Sean McVay. Maybe Goff can thrive with Anthony Lynn in Detroit. You know, the coach who was in charge during Justin Herbert’s amazing rookie season? But I think we’ve seen enough of Goff to know what we’re getting. Goff would be fine as, like, the backup in Kansas City or something. Fields could be your QB of the future. And if nothing else, start dropping hints that you want to do that and see if the Panthers would like to jump up and swap picks.”
Fields has been a controversial player in the lead into the draft, with some believing he isn’t as good as some of the hype he has received. Regardless, he figures to go early in the draft and perhaps even safely within the top 10. There hasn’t been much buzz with the Lions and Fields, but that doesn’t mean the team won’t consider him or a quarterback this year.
It seems unlikely the Lions would prioritize a quarterback early, but as Rank hints, it could benefit them to try and bluff teams into thinking that will be the move. It’s clear the NFL.com contributors are on the same wavelength here.
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Fields’ Stats With Buckeyes
During his career with Ohio State, there’s been little question that Fields has been an interesting prospect. Since becoming the starter a few years back, he’s done nothing but put up elite numbers while with the Buckeyes. The last two seasons, Fields has been solid, putting up 4,794 passing yards with Ohio State as well as 56 touchdowns. Fields has also rushed for 15 touchdowns and a solid 758 yards on the ground. To that end, he looks as if he could be a Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray or Cam Newton type player who can extend a defense with his arm as well as his legs.
How Fields will transition to the NFL is anyone’s guess, and that’s especially true given the fact that Ohio State quarterbacks haven’t had the best track record lately. Fields will be looking to break that mold when he gets into the league next season.
Some believe Fields is still the best choice for the Lions, but only time will tell if the team agrees with such assessments in the end and makes him the pick to make these mocks look accurate.
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