Lions GM Holmes has continued confidence in Goff, but sees value in drafting a QB

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Palm Beach, Fla. — Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes has never wavered in his public support of quarterback Jared Goff.

There was no change in that approach Tuesday at the NFL's annual league meeting, but Holmes also wouldn't rule out adding a quarterback via the draft to be an understudy behind the starter. 

In his first season with the Lions, quarterback Jared Goff posted a 3-10-1 record in 14 starts.

"Sure, I could see some advantage of there (being) a young quarterback that can learn under Jared," Holmes said. "I don’t think Jared would have any issues taking on that role. He’s had more younger guys with less experience behind him, so he’d be very comfortable with that."

With two first-round picks and a third selection early in the second round, there's a perception the Lions could not only add a premium backup, but someone who could be developed to potentially replace Goff down the road. 

If Holmes is thinking that far ahead, and he assuredly is given it's a critical element of his position, he danced around answering any questions about Goff's ability to be the franchise's long-term solution, repeatedly reframing the answer to express confidence in the starter to lead the Lions next season. 

Holmes was specifically asked why the Lions weren't involved in the latest round of quarterback trade talks, after Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan and Carson Wentz were dealt. 

"Well, Jared played good football for us late in the year. We have a lot of optimism about Jared going forward so we have a quarterback," Holmes said. "If you’re asking why we did not kind of hop into that world, we’re happy with where Jared is at right now. We’re looking forward to him having a productive year for us."

In his first season with the Lions after being acquired in a trade that sent Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams, Goff completed 67.2% of his throws with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. But, as Holmes mentioned, it was the strength of Goff's finish that gives way to optimism. Over his final six starts, he tossed 11 touchdowns to just two interceptions, going 3-2-1 in those contests.

"(We want) a starter that can be productive for us," Holmes said. "I mean, I think that’s what we have. Whatever the case is, Jared is our quarterback and we’re going to make sure that he’s put in the best position to succeed. We’ll let the chips fall from there."

This offseason, the Lions have made a clear effort to bolster the offense around Goff, re-signing midseason waiver claim Josh Reynolds and adding former 1,000-yard receiver DJ Chark in free agency. Holmes could look to continue that trend in the draft, where another receiver with pick No. 32 or No. 34 would make sense, given Chark only signed on for one season.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers