The Beauty Of Not Being Very Good At Football
Of course, there’s a glimmer of hope in all of this. While the 2022 Detroit Lions might be primed to disappoint you, the 2023 Lions and beyond most certainly will not.
Over the past two years, the Lions have shown not just a capacity to draft well, but the capacity to draft well into day three. Anyone can hit on a first-round pick, but it takes a smart front office to hit on guys in the fourth round and beyond. Since 2021, the Lions have drafted both Amon-Ra St. Brown, who again will likely be their top receiver for 2022 before Jameson Williams takes the field, and Oklahoma State linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez, who I believe will be one of, if not the steal of this draft class.
It’s not a great clip, hitting on one day-three pick a year, but it’s a proof of concept that the Lions can build a team through all three days of the draft. If the Lions can nab a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft, they’ll really be cooking with some gasoline. Fortunately for them, there should be a bevy of signal-callers for them to choose from. Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Alabama Heisman-winner Bryce Young, Florida’s Anthony Richardson, even Will Levis out of Kentucky, who puts mayonnaise in his coffee for some reason (no seriously, look it up). The possibilities are endless; the Lions just have to be sure of themselves.
There’s a light at the end of this tunnel, despite everything. And the light at the end of a tunnel isn’t an oncoming train! No, there’s a pretty easily-achievable way for the Lions to become genuinely good within the next cycle of the NFL year. There are methods by which we could see Detroit in the playoffs by fall 2024, or even 2023. Under the Dan Campbell “bite your kneecaps off” system, Detroit could see heights that they’ve not reached in decades.
But for Detroit to be good this soon? In 2022? Sorry, that’s just a little rich for my blood. Call me back next year.