Jared Goff Says Lions Not Drafting a QB a 'Nice Vote of Confidence'May 6, 2021
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff said he felt the team not selecting a quarterback in the 2021 NFL draft was a "vote of confidence" in his ability to lead the team.
"We had some talks before the draft," Goff told reporters Thursday. "Again, I think it's a nice vote of confidence obviously for me. I think what's not lost on me is their first move as a staff, Brad and (coach) Dan (Campbell), involved me. It's exciting, and it makes you feel good."
Justin Fields and Mac Jones were both on the board when Detroit was on the clock with the No. 7 overall pick, but the team instead chose to begin rebuilding from the inside out, selecting offensive tackle Penei Sewell.
Goff liked the Sewell selection for multiple reasons:
"When I saw we took Penei, I know the staff was fired up, and so was I obviously as a quarterback. Any time you get help up front, that's always good. We got a lot of solid guys up there right now, and I think it's shaping up to hopefully be one of the top groups in the league. There's obviously a lot of work to do, and I know they know that. But there's a lot of good players up there right now, and as a quarterback, that's your best friend. So I'm excited for it."
The Lions acquired Goff along with two first-round picks (2022, 2023) and a 2021 third-round selection in exchange for Matthew Stafford in March. The deal was seen as both an attempted upgrade at quarterback and a salary dump for the Rams, who quickly grew to regret the four-year, $134 million contract extension Goff signed in 2019.
After making the Pro Bowl in 2017 and 2018, Goff regressed and became more mistake-prone over the last two seasons. He threw for 3,952 yards and 20 touchdowns against 13 interceptions in 2020, ranking 23rd among starters in QBR (58.5) and 22nd in Football Outsiders' DVOA metric.
While Goff is a starter-worthy NFL quarterback, he's been below-average among starters for the last two seasons and the Rams feel they have a Super Bowl-quality roster with Stafford.
It's unlikely the Lions see Goff as their long-term starter even though he'll enter the 2021 season as their unquestioned top option at the position. The Lions' rebuild is expected to take multiple years, and it'd be fair to call Goff something of a placeholder until the team finds a better option.
Only Goff's own play could change perception and stretch the "vote of confidence" beyond the 2021 season.