Assuming the Detroit Lions can get “fair market value” in a trade for Matthew Stafford, they will have a new starting quarterback when the 2021 season begins.
Most assume the Lions will select Stafford’s replacement in the 2021 NFL Draft but in my opinion, that would be a mistake.
First of all, the only ‘can’t miss’ quarterback in the upcoming draft is Trevor Lawrence out of Clemson and we all know that he will be selected with the No. 1 overall pick. Second, the only quarterback I am interested in other than Lawrence is Zach Wilson out of BYU and I believe he will be long gone by the time the Lions are on the clock with the No. 7 overall pick. (Note: If Wilson is available at N0. 7 or if the Lions could trade up for a minimal cost, I would select Wilson in a heartbeat)
Sure, the Lions could go after Justin Fields (Ohio State) or Trey Lance (North Dakota State) but in my opinion, neither of those guys will ever become a franchise NFL quarterback and neither is worth wasting a pick on.
That being said, there is a quarterback who I believe will be a future Pro Bowl-caliber player but we not be available until the 2022 NFL Draft.
That quarterback is North Carolina quarterback, Sam Howell.
Howell, who is 6-1, 225 lbs, just completed his sophomore season with the Tar Heels, and he widely considered as the top quarterback prospect for 2022. During the 2020 season, Howell completed 68.1% of his passes for 3,586 yards and 30 touchdowns to go along with seven interceptions. During his freshman season, Howell completed 61.4% of his passes for 3,641 yards and 38 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions.
If the Lions cannot get Zach Wilson, my plan would be to sign a cheap veteran to run the show in 2021. This would, in turn, cause the Lions to lose a ton of games and get the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, where they could then get Matthew Stafford’s replacement, Sam Howell.