Saturday, April 25, 2009

Stafford Goes #1

There is no longer a guess as to who the Detroit Lions will select with their #1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft as last night they came to a six-year $72 million dollar contract that could escalate to $78 million after incentives. This is the richest rookie contract in NFL history and will earn Stafford $41 million in guaranteed money meaning no matter what happened dude is getting PAID.  The only question I have though is why Stafford?

I understand that the Lions went 0-16 last year and that they have a glaring need at quarterback as currently their starter is Daunte Culpepper but I don't think Stafford is going to be a great pro nor do I think the money the Lions have invested in him is worth it.  The Lions were cursed with needing a quarterback in a draft that doesn't have any standouts like certain drafts have had in the past.

Yes Stafford is good as is Mark Sanchez but neither is phenomenal nor worth a 1st overall pick in my opinion.  The Lions just feel like their whole organization needs a face lift and drafting a franchise quarterback is a great way to start. 

The problem however is that if Stafford doesn't turn out to be what the Lions think he is going to be then they just dumped over $40 million in guaranteed money on a scrub.  That kind of move can set your team back for years to come and begs the question why not pick linebacker Aaron Curry or left tackle Jason Smith?  Both of these players have a much better chance of becoming solid pros, would cost the Lions far less money, and would still have a strong impact on the team.

The Lions have said that they are going to keep Stafford on the bench for a whole season before he plays at all. To me this means that the team is going to suck again and in all likelihood will wind up with another top 5 pick next year.  Why not wait until then and grab one of the elite quarterbacks that will be coming out then like Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy?

Stafford wasn't even that amazing in college.  Yes he led Georgia to a 10-3 record but it wasn't done entirely by him.  As far as quarterbacks go he was 15th in the nation in terms of Quarterback Rating, tied for 17th in touchdowns, 14th in yardage, and tied for 38th in completion percentage.  These are hardly numbers that are making me upset that the Jets didn't draft him.

Not only is this a bad move personnel wise but just look at the recent history of the draft.  Eight of the past 11 players taken first overall in the NFL have been QBs, and half of them either haven't or didn't pan out for the teams that took them.

Stafford is a smart kid with a strong head on his shoulders and judging by everything I have read about him he seems like an alright guy.  Unfortunately being a nice guy dones't account for anything in the NFL and Stafford will have to step up and prove he is worth all the money the Lions dumped on him.

Hey at least they didn't take Michael Crabtree.

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