Welcome to the 13th ever edition of ‘The Super Bowl Race in the Perspective of Chase’, an almost daily article about your favorite NFL team. We have mostly broken down playoff contending teams so far. However, the Lions aren’t one of those teams. They’re in the Seahawks and Lions tier of teams we’ve done. However, they have a lot of promise. Between two top twelve picks and a very promising running back, the Lions have potential to pull of some upsets like they did last season! How much a progression will the Lions make in this rebuilding process? Lets, get into this!
Before we get into this, I would like to let you know we are doing something very similar to this on the Cool Sports Newsletter for the NBA if you want to check that out. Also on there, we just ranked the top ten wide receivers and future top ten wide receivers with in-depth breakdown if you want to check that out. Quarterback and running back rankings come soon as well on there!
The 2021 offseason was pretty big. One of the trades that stood out across the entire NFL is the Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff swap (with some picks also going to Detroit). The deal was sending Matthew Stafford to the Rams, as Detroit received Jared Goff, a 2021 3rd round pick (ending up being Ifeatu Melifonwu), 2022 1st round pick (Lewis Cine; turned into Jameson Willams) and a 2023 1st round pick. At first, I thought the deal was terrible for LA! I thought Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff were very similar type quarterbacks and giving up that pick capital wasn’t worth it. Man do I look so stupid! The Rams made the Super Bowl now with Stafford, and finally gave Aaron Donald the ring he has been looking for! I make a lot of good takes. This one wasn’t my best!
The 2021 season saw the Lions being a very competitive team. Now, for those casual fans who just look at team record to determine a team, you wouldn’t see that. Because, they started off the 2021 season 0-10-1! They hadn’t won a game! But, out of their ten losses, five of them were separated by one possession! If Justin Tucker doesn’t make 66 yard field goals, if little things happen, the Lions may have found themselves with a 4-6 record! So, that is not a knock on head coach Dan Campbell for not winning a game in their first eleven games. He made this team surprisingly competitive. And they showed that towards the end of the season. They beat Arizona and Green Bay to end the year, finishing the season with a 3-13-1 record! However, that Week 18 win over Green Bay ended up hurting bad. Because, Jacksonville was playing Indianapolis which should have been a loss. But they won. So if Detroit lost, they would have gotten the #1 pick. But a 3-14 Jaguars ended up taking the spot instead! However, it didn’t end up backfiring!
With the #1 overall pick, Jacksonville selected Travon Walker, which I think was one of the worst picks of the draft! Aidan Hutchinson should have been #1 overall. But instead, he fell to Detroit at #2. Luckily for them, that Green Bay win didn’t end up hurting them, since they got the best player in the draft anyway. Their next pick was at #32, from the Stafford trade. However, they traded the pick, along with a 3rd round pick (who ended up being Christian Watson, but to Green Bay in a separate trade) to Minnesota in exchange for the 12th pick, where they selected, in my opinion the best receiver in the draft, Jameson Williams. Now, they basically traded Lewis Cine and Christian Watson in exchange for Jameson Williams. Was that worth it? Some people may have a different answer, but I saw yes! Williams is one of the most talented players in the draft. His route running, speed and agility makes cornerbacks have trouble around him! So in reality, they traded Matthew Stafford in exchange for their now starting quarterback and future franchise receiver! Forget the part about Los Angeles winning the championship since that doesn’t affect Detroit, do you think Detroit made a good deal?
The Lions had a pretty normal offseason. They did make some good moves however. They stole from players from the Baltimore Ravens. They signed Ravens safety DeShon Elliott who despite not making a Pro Bowl appearance yet in his career, is a very talented safety. He’s fast and very athletic. He is coming off a season ending injury and should be ready by Week 1. It is a good move for Detroit to bring in a young safety who’s only getting better! They also signed Ravens linebacker Chris Board. Even though he didn’t do as much as an actual linebacker in Baltimore, he will get a much bigger role in Detroit to show good he really is. And also, he is an All Pro type special teams player. Trust me as a Ravens fan! That is another good signing.
The roster has a lot of talent. Goff is quarterback isn’t great but then look at everything else! DeAndre Swift is a good starter and Jamaal Williams is a good backup. They have such a good top six receivers, being Williams, Amon-Ra St. Brown, new offseason addition D.J. Chark, new offseason addition Josh Reynolds, Quintez Cephus and Kalif Raymond! Once they get a new young quarterback, that’s not a bad six for them to work with! They also have one of the best receiving tight ends in football in T.J. Hockenson. They have a former Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow and a developing offensive line. On defense, everyone always gorgets about 2020 3rd overall pick, Jeff Okudah. The man has all of the talent in the world and if he can finally stay healthy for the first time in his career, he can have a shot at the Comeback Player of the Year award!
I am very high on Detroit this year. I think they are too good to tank for Bryce Young. But I think next offseason they will finally move away from Jared Goff and find their future franchise quarterback. But that won’t stop this talented crew from making some upsets, and being a surprisingly competitive team again this season, except this time with wins!
My prediction: Detroit finishes last in the NFC North at 5-12 (upsets Vikings again for second straight season in a row). But, Jameson Williams is going to pop off. He will have 1,300+ receiving yards in his rookie season, win the offensive rookie of the year award and rank as a top ten wide receiver going into 2023!
Wiz Talk with Chase
Cool Sports Network