Mel Kiper believes Detroit Lions should build around Jared Goff

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It’s been nearly a month since the Detroit Lions pulled off a franchise-altering deal, sending veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for Jared Goff and a bevy of draft capital.

They also hold the 7th overall selection in the upcoming NFL Draft, and while many are calling for the Lions to draft Goff’s eventual successor, one notable ESPN analyst believes otherwise.

Mel Kiper, who has appeared on ESPN’s annual NFL draft coverage since 1984, believes that Detroit should build around their new acquisition.

“I would not consider a quarterback if I were the Lions,” Kiper said during a call on Monday afternoon. “I think Jared Goff is a 26-year-old quarterback who has been to a Super Bowl, was off to the races, was the No. 1 pick overall, all that. So I think now he has people who are familiar with him, he’s familiar with in terms of the front office. To me, you build around the quarterback.”

Even if the Lions were to draft a quarterback with the 7th pick, which is a possibility per a source, Goff would still be on the team for the next year or two. Kiper would like to see Detrot “put it together” around Goff.

“That’s been the issue with Matthew Stafford — he didn’t have enough talent around him,” Kiper said. “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. They never had everything working together. They always would have a strength in this group or that group, but because of injuries and players not living up to their potential, or whatever went awry, they were never able to put it all together for Matthew Stafford. So hopefully with the new (regime) they can do that 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 bright young quarterbacks and a really good quarterback with a chance to be great when he was leading that team to a Super Bowl. So, I think if he can recapture those moments and get back the confidence he had back then, which was maybe lost a little bit this year, then I think Jared Goff is the right man for the job.”

– – Quotes via Kyle Meinke of MLive Link – –