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Lions GM Brad Holmes: Hendon Hooker’s job as a rookie is to get healthy and develop

Mike Florio and Chris Simms explain why they’re surprised the Lions traded back from No. 6 to No. 12 with the Cardinals to grab Jahmyr Gibbs instead of selecting Bijan Robinson.

The Lions drafted a promising quarterback in Hendon Hooker, but they’re not expecting much from him on the field as a rookie.

Lions General Manager Brad Holmes acknowledged that he hasn’t done enough so far in his tenure in Detroit to develop the quarterback position beyond starter Jared Goff, and he thinks Hooker could be a big part of the Lions’ future. But for now, Hooker is viewed as a third-string prospect behind both Goff and Nate Sudfeld.

Holmes noted that Hooker tore his ACL just five months ago and will need time to get healthy, and that once he’s healthy his job as a rookie will be to learn the pro game.

“We didn’t draft him No. 6 overall when we were there or anything like that,” Holmes said. “He’s got to get healthy, and he’s got to develop.”

Goff has two more years and $52 million on his contract. If he plays as well in 2023 as he did in 2022, he’s not going anywhere. If Goff struggles in 2023, Hooker may have an opportunity to become the Lions’ starter in 2024.