As the NFL Draft draws closer, and we start to get into the NFL Combine as well as individual workouts, the arguments over who the Lions should take with the No. 1 pick will rage on. The problem is that this just isn't a draft pick, it's a statement; it's the future of this franchise, it's break the trend of failure right now, or it's just the same old Lions.
Take a step back and look at this situation for a moment, if the Lions pick Stafford the pressure caused by 50 plus years of losing goes straight onto his shoulders. If the Lions win then its about time, if they lose then its Matthew Stafford's fault. What's that you say, offensive line didn't block? The defense didn't play well?
Well Mr. Stafford, you were the No. 1 pick, right? We paid you all this money to be our franchise quarterback and lead us to the promised land, right? Then guess what, Mr. Stafford, it's all your fault; I mean, look what Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan did in their first years. You're telling us you can't do that?
Yep, that's what Matthew Stafford has to look forward to if the Lions take him with the first pick in the draft. Meanwhile if we take an offensive lineman none of those expectations are there because you rarely here one offensive lineman singled out as the reason that a team lost a game. Also, I'm pretty sure that I have never heard an offensive lineman saddled with the blame for setting back a franchise for a few years.
In the end though the decision rests with the coaching staff and front office of the Detroit Lions and the person they choose will let me know what to expect in the next couple of years. We can even make a holiday out of it; it will be like Groundhog Day, but we'll call it Detroit Lion Day.
If on draft day an offensive lineman sees himself in Honolulu blue, a winning season comes early, if a quarterback sees himself in Honolulu blue, then we'll have at least three more years of losing.
It may seem as though I'm not giving Stafford a chance here but as I said in a previous article I'm not impressed by him and I was always taught that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
2002 NFL Draft Round 1 Pick #3 Joey Harrington QB Oregon - 2,538 Attempts, 1,424 Complete, 14,693 Yards, 79 TDs, 85 Ints, 124 Sacked, 25 Fumbles, 9 Fumbles Lost, 69.4 Passer Rating
1990 NFL Draft Round 1 Pick #7 Andre Ware QB Houston - 4 Seasons, 161 Attempts, 83 Complete, 1,112 Yards, 5 TDs, 8 Ints, 27 Sacked, 7 Fumbles, 3 Fumbles Lost, 63.5 Passer Rating
1986 NFL Draft Round 1 Pick #12 Chuck Long QB Iowa - 8 Seasons (4 Lions, 1 Rams, 3 Lions without taking a snap), 607 Attempts, 307 Complete, 3,747 Yards, 19 TDs, 28 Ints, 43 Sacked, No Fumbles, 64.5 Rating
1968 NFL Draft Round 1 Pick #11 Greg Landry QB Massachusetts - 15 Seasons (12 Lions, 3 Colts, 1 Bears), 2,300 Attempts, 1,276 Complete, 16,052 Yards, 98 TDs, 103 Ints, 316 Sacked, No Fumbles, 2,655 Rush Yards, 21 Rush TDs, 72.9 Passer Rating
1964 NFL Draft Round 1 Pick #5 Pete Beathard QB USC - signed with the Kansas City Cheifs of the American Football League. But just for arguments sake since he was technically a Lions pick. - 11 Seasons ( 4 Kansas City, 3 Houston, 2 St. Louis, 1 L.A., 1 Kansas City, 1 Oakland), 1,282 Attempts, 575 Complete, 8,176 Yards, 43 TDs, 84 Ints, 70 Sacked, No Fumbles, 49.9 Passer Rating
The NFL website also lists Y.A. Tittle (1947) and Otto Graham (1944) as Lions 1st round draft picks however they never played a down in Detroit. Which would make perfect sense because they both are in the NFL Hall Of Fame.
If Matthew Stafford gets drafted I feel sorry for him because like me all Lions fans are going to expect the worst until he proves that he can beat opposing defenses as well as history.