The Detroit Lions‘ situation at backup quarterback was never stable until the arrival of Shaun Hill in 2010. Hill provided valuable stability behind Matthew Stafford and filled in nicely when he got injured.
Hill left for the St. Louis Rams in free agency, though, and that left a void at the backup QB position for the Lions. While they went out and signed veteran quarterback Dan Orlovsky, a quarterback who has struggled mightily when given the chance to play, the team needs a better option and more depth at the position besides Orlovsky and Kellen Moore. The Lions should look to target former LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft.
Mettenberger was highly regarded going into this year’s draft and would have possibly been a first-round pick had he not torn his ACL and sprained his MCL in the team’s Week 12 game against Arkansas. Despite the setback of the injury, he is now widely regarded as a second or third-round pick in this year’s draft.
Mettenberger, who has a solid frame for an NFL quarterback at 6-foot-5, had his pro day at LSU today just 13 weeks after his knee injury. According to many scouts, he looked sharp. Like Johnny Manziel, Mettenberger chose to throw in a helmet and shoulder pads in front of scouts, and a lot of coaches took notice. According to Mettenberger, he is around 85-90 percent and thinks that he will be fully recovered by the time mini-camps open.
The former LSU QB threw for 3,022 yards and 22 touchdowns in his senior year before his knee injury. He is scheduled to visit the Lions on Saturday.
While the team has other positional needs that it must address in rounds one and two, they should definitely take a look at Mettenberger if he is still around in the third round. It is important for the team to have depth and stability at the quarterback position, and in my opinion, Orlovsky and Moore do not provide that. Mettenberger could learn a lot sitting behind Stafford. And who knows, with Stafford’s inconsistent play and injury history, he could get a chance to play if Stafford can’t get it done.