Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham (8) throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Coming off a 6-10 finish and second straight year missing the playoffs, the Detroit Lions head into the offseason with plenty of needs.
The team will attempt to address them in the 2019 NFL draft, which is April 25-27, and Jan. 14 was the deadline for players to declare. MLive will look at positions of need for the Lions and the top prospects available in the draft.
Today’s position: Quarterback
Matthew Stafford has spent the last 10 years as the Lions’ starting quarterback. He signed a five-year, $135 million extension in 2017 and, despite a decline in production this season, general manager Bob Quinn made it clear earlier this month that Stafford is the team’s quarterback moving forward.
That doesn’t mean the Lions won’t take a quarterback in the upcoming draft to compete to be Stafford’s backup — a role veteran Matt Cassel had this season after signing a one-year deal. Detroit signed former Michigan State standout Connor Cook to a reserve-future contract so he will be in the mix for the backup spot.
The Lions, who have the eighth overall pick this year, have drafted only two quarterbacks since taking Stafford with the No. 1 pick in 2009 — Jake Rudock in 2016 and Brad Kaaya in 2017. Neither are with the team anymore. If Detroit decides to pick a quarterback this year, it will likely be on the third day of the draft in the mid to late rounds.
That means high-end prospects will be likely be long gone by then. So, we’ll skip over Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State), Kyler Murray (Oklahoma), Daniel Jones (Duke), Drew Lock (Missouri) and Will Grier (West Virginia). Here’s a look at 10 quarterbacks who could be available for the Lions if they decide to draft one: