Despite mother nature playing an evil trick on us with two days of sunshine in the Chicagoland area, it’s still January. But the silver lining is that we have the NFL playoffs to distract us for the next month, and they start in just a few days!
Lions Plan to Stick with Goff in ’23
Even with the Lions going 9-8 in 2022 and just missing the playoffs by a tiebreaker with Seattle, Lions GM Brad Holmes was asked on Tuesday during the team’s end-of-season availability whether or not the Lions intend to build around Jared Goff this offseason.
Holmes told reporters that the Lions “never deemed [Goff] as a bridge” and added that he thought “everybody else did.” After throwing for 4,438 yards (6th in the NFL), 29 touchdowns (5th in the NFL), and a 99.3 passer rating (7th in the NFL), Goff seems to have the full support of the Lions’ front office.
This means that the Lions will use their impressive array of draft picks — including two first-round picks and two second-round picks — to try to improve other areas as they compete for the NFC North title in 2023.
Detroit owns the sixth overall pick in the draft (from the Rams as part of the Stafford-Goff trade), the 18th overall pick, and three more in the top 81. Those five picks can go a long way toward improving a defense ranked 30th in scoring and last in yards allowed.
Imagine Kelee Ringo in a Lions uniform opposite Jeff Okudah at cornerback … not great news for the rest of the corners in the NFC North.
Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. Declares for NFL Draft
The NFL Draft is getting a big offensive line prospect as Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. made it official on Tuesday that he will enter the NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-6, 310-pound tackle anchored a Buckeyes offensive line that ranked seventh in the nation in fewest tackles for loss allowed (39) and allowed just 12 sacks all season. Johnson spent the last two seasons keeping projected first-round quarterback C.J. Stroud clean and was named a consensus All-American this season.
The Athletic’s Dane Bugler has Johnson ranked No. 11 on his top-50 list, but most have the big Ohio State tackle going inside the top 10 this spring.
Depending on how the Bears handle their No. 1 pick, maybe a trade-back puts them in a position where Johnson is the best available while they’re on the clock. Of course, a trade-back with the Colts is one popular idea floating around lately, but that would probably put the Bears in a position where they could draft either Will Anderson Jr. or Jalen Carter to inject some life into the front seven on the defensive side of the ball.
But, if the Raiders or Panthers come calling for that No. 1 pick, placing a stud building block in front of Justin Fields becomes a real possibility.
Commanders Fire OC Scott Turner
The coaching changes are rolling on around the NFL with the Washington Commanders’ offensive coordinator Scott Turner becoming the latest to fall victim to change on Tuesday.
Turner spent the last three years as the OC in Washington under Ron Rivera and previously served as the quarterback’s coach in Carolina under Rivera. Washington finished the 2022 season ranked 20th in total offense this season, averaging 330.3 yards per game. Under Turner, the Commanders ranked 29th in 2020 and 21st in 2021.
After an 8-8-1 season and a sixth season without a trip to the playoffs in their last seven, the Commanders are heading in a new direction offensively in 2023. With Taylor Heinicke set to become a free agent and Carson Wentz expected to be released, the Commanders’ next offensive coordinator will have a new quarterback to go with his new offensive system.
- With plenty of coaching changes going on around the NFL, the Falcons and Patriots, whose staffs remain primarily unchanged, have been selected to be the coaching staffs for this year’s East-West Shrine Bowl.
- This is really cool. The NFL and the NFL community are really going to miss J.J. Watt in his retirement!
- Paris Johnson Jr. isn’t the only Ohio State offensive lineman leaving Columbus for the NFL Draft. Center Luke Wypler, an All-Big 10 selection this season, has declared for the draft.
- Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo have the latest on Lamar Jackson as the Ravens prepare for their Wild Card matchup with the Bengals in a few days with their starting quarterback’s availability still up in the air.
- NFC Players of the Week:
- AFC Players of the Week: