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Analyst: Time for Lions to draft a backup QB

The Detroit Lions haven't drafted a quarterback since Matthew Stafford in 2009, and NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock believes it's about time the Lions find a young backup to start grooming.

"I'm a big believer that most teams should draft a quarterback every other year," Mayock said in a recent national conference call. "I really am. Just to keep trying to look at different kids and seeing if you can upgrade that position. I'm talking about as a backup.

"So from Detroit's perspective, they've really got nobody right now behind Stafford."

Mayock is right about that. Stafford is literally the only quarterback currently under contract for the 2016 season in Detroit.

Veteran Dan Orlovsky, 32, is an unrestricted free agent. Orlovsky played in two games this past year – Arizona when Stafford was pulled and Kansas City in a blowout loss – and completed 22-of-40 passes for 201 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

The Lions haven't needed a backup over the last five seasons as Stafford has started every game since the beginning of the 2011 season, but it only takes one awkward hit or one misstep for the backup quarterback to become a head coach's new best friend.

The Lions certainly aren't in the market for a Day 1 quarterback, but potentially late in Day 2, or on Day 3, the team could look to add some young depth to the position.

"When you start talking about third, fourth, fifth round, middle-round quarterbacks, one of the big questions this year with GMs around the league is, okay, who's the next Kirk Cousins? Who's that next middle-round that can get you to the playoffs, if he needed to start down the road?"

Cousins started nine games over his first three seasons before replacing Robert Griffin III as the team's starter this past season. He led the Redskins to the playoffs while competing nearly 70 percent of his passes.

"So there's a group of those guys. Kevin Hogan would be one from Stanford. Brandon Allen, fourth- or fifth-round guy from Arkansas. Dak Prescott, developmental guy from Mississippi State, another perhaps fourth-round pick."

"I have two wild cards, and the wild cards for me are Christian Hackenberg from Penn State and Cardale Jones from Ohio State, both of whom have a ton of talent, big, good-looking kids, but their tape is poor."

Stafford, 28, has clearly cemented his status as a durable, quality starter in this league. He's under contract for another two seasons (and potentially more), but it's time the Lions look to groom a young backup who can step in if needed, potentially take over down the road and be viewed as an asset to other teams.

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