Lions end first round by taking Liberty QB Malik Willis 32nd overall
The Detroit Lions received this pick as part of the deal that sent quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams. The deal worked out for both sides as Detroit faced a rebuild and the Rams have just won the Super Bowl.
Stafford was able to cement his legacy even after a tumultuous career with the Lions and now has a Super Bowl ring to elevate his Hall of Fame candidacy. The Lions will now seek to effectively return to the playoffs.
Jared Goff, who was also a part of the Stafford deal, was a serviceable quarterback for the Lions. For a good deal of the season, Goff didn’t have more than one target on tight end T.J. Hockenson. Players like rookie wide receiver Amon-Ra St.Brown blossomed into a young star before the team’s eyes.
Even with that, the Lions should still keep an eye on a quarterback, this year or next. If the team decides to go after one this off-season, mainly with this pick, the dynamic Malik Willis would be a good call.
The Liberty product might have the highest upside of any quarterback in this draft, but sitting a year would be a good call. It would be up to the Lions to properly develop Willis, but it would give them a dual-threat quarterback they’ve never had.
Willis could still climb up boards in an uncertain quarterback draft class, but if he’s available for the Lions at 32, then they’d benefit from letting him develop for a season behind Goff and then making a decision on the quarterback position.