In this second installment of our 4 for 4 interview series, after a long absence, we had a chance to catch up with Jeff Risdon, who covers the Detroit Lions for The Lions Wire at USA TODAY. Jeff has covered the Lions for a long time, and there’s no better person to ask about their plans for the offseason and the upcoming season. Be sure to follow Jeff on Twitter, and let’s jump into the interview starting with the topic of the Detroit Lions draft plans…
What do you think the Lions will ultimately end up doing with the third overall pick?
Jeff Risdon: I think they will land Ohio State DE Chase Young with the No. 3 pick. I believe a team will trade up with Washington to land a QB and that causes Young to drop to the Lions. And if he’s there, Young is the perfect blend of top-end talent and dire need. If Young is gone, then the Lions are in a good position to trade back and land someone like Jeff Okudah, Derrick Brown or Jerry Jeudy.
What do you think needs to happen next season for Detroit to retain head coach Matt Patricia and/or GM Bob Quinn?
Jeff Risdon: Patricia and Quinn are inextricably tied together, and they need to make the playoffs or they’re gone. The mandate to make the postseason is much stronger than the wording from Martha Ford in her public statement. If they’re not legitimately in the playoff race at Thanksgiving I can see the Thursday game being the last one.
How do you see the immediate future shaping up for Matthew Stafford? Do you think this could be his last year in Detroit?
Jeff Risdon: Stafford’s future is tough. While the back injuries aren’t necessarily debilitating, the fact there’s been two of them in the last 16 months is concerning. As long as he is healthy he will be the QB for the Lions as long as he wants to be. There is zero chance the team moves on from him if he gets back to playing the way he did in 2019 before the injury.
What do you see as the biggest needs the Lions need to address in the offseason and if you were GM, how would you address them?
Jeff Risdon: The three biggest needs are pass rush, defensive tackle and wide receiver. I look at needs beyond just the immediate time, though all three need infusions in 2020 if the Lions are going to compete. It’s a good year to make a splash on the defensive line in free agency, and a pass rusher like Yannick Ngakoue or Matt Judon would be nice as well. It’s a fantastic WR draft class and I’m not opposed to using the 2nd and 4th round picks to tap into that.