Lions are huge winner with Matthew Stafford going on IR

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions are the biggest beneficiary of their former starting quarterback Matthew Stafford going on injured reserve for the Los Angeles Rams.

When you forget them picks, them picks forget about you…

Draft picks were not important when it came to the Los Angeles Rams winning the Super Bowl last season. General manager Les Snead famously wore a t-shirt at the parade to let everybody know how he felt about them. Well, the Rams are 3-8 and their starting quarterback Matthew Stafford is going on injured reserve, almost certainly ending his second season with the team…

While it stinks to see a great player have to be shelved like this, the biggest winner from this unfortunate scenario brewing in Los Angeles are the Detroit Lions. Snead’s former right-hand man Brad Holmes is now likely to end up with a top-10 pick he was not expecting as a part of the Stafford trade made ahead of last season. Maybe the Lions will draft Stafford’s heir apparent?

Simply put, Holmes and the Lions’ front office should have the necessary draft capital to move up and take a potential quarterback, or another blue-chip prospect of their choice. One would expect Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud to come off the board inside the top five this spring. Detroit can take either one of them, or possibly surround Jared Goff with even more talent.

Though Stafford is eligible to come off IR in Week 17 vs. the Los Angeles Chargers, why risk it?

Detroit Lions are the biggest winner with Matthew Stafford being shut down

What Stafford being shut down for the season, for all intents and purposes, means is the Lions are incentivized to play as hard as possible down the stretch, without necessarily hurting their draft positioning. Since the Rams are not going to win many more games, the Lions are bound to end up with a top-five pick anyway. If they were to combine theirs with the Rams’, they could get to No. 1.

Even if the Lions only win around six or seven games this season, one would think presumably two top-12 picks can move them anywhere up on the draft board as Holmes so chooses. Perhaps even more interesting, the Lions could flip that pick they are getting from the Rams for even more future draft capital. Holmes has crushed the last two drafts for Detroit. Why expect anything less?

Overall, the Lions’ future looks incredibly bright. They have the right general manager in Holmes, and maybe at head coach in Dan Campbell. Goff may not be the long-term solution under center, but he was a former No. 1 overall pick himself … by Los Angeles. As for the Rams they are looking more like a one-off when it comes to winning another Super Bowl. They may have to rebuild now.

There is a chance this could be a franchise-altering, win-win trade for both of these NFC teams.

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