Detroit Lions: To Draft or Not To Draft Matthew Stafford

Brendan EaryContributor IFebruary 5, 2009

Okay Lions fans, with the season we had, I know we all are looking forward to the draft—talking about who we should draft and who we shouldn’t draft with the number one overall pick.

We all know the rumors and who the experts (and maybe most of the fans) want us to draft, and his name is Matthew Stafford, quarterback from the Georgia Bulldogs.

We all know we struggled at the quarterback position and probably could use an upgrade there, but I don’t think drafting Stafford number one is such a good idea.

Fans comparing him to Joe Flacco or Matt Ryan aren’t looking at the bigger picture—both were seniors with more experience and lesser talent around them.

I see the number one pick as much a chore as it is a boon. With it comes great talent, but also great risk. We must also consider the large amount of money we will have to spend to sign the player that is as likely to be a bust as he is to be a star.  For a team like Detroit, that kind of expenditure could hinder us for years.

With the number one pick we have to draft smart, and it has to be the closest thing to a sure thing as we can find. I believe this pick should be used to draft an offensive tackle that we can get many good years out of, who can be the corner stone of the franchise, and who can block for our future quarterback.

The theory behind this is so strong, legendary coach Bill Parcells follows it. He signed Jake Long before the draft and before they had a quarterback because he knew how important it was to have a solid tackle.

Additionally, 28 of 32 offensive tackles taken in the top ten of their respective drafts remain with their original teams. Conversely, only 17 out of 32 quarter backs are with theirs.

The problem with drafting Stafford is that it’s very risky—likely no better than a 50/50 chance that he can be a good professional starting quarterback.

Its not like he is a horrible quarterback, but we can get someone with more experience in a later round that’s probably just as good or better then him.

Not to mention I’m not sure Stafford merits a number one overall pick. His senior year stats certainly weren’t that impressive. He had a huge opportunity to shine—Georgia was ranked No. 1 preseason, he had some pieces around him, and he lost the big games.

Florida, Alabama, and Georgia Tech all beat Georgia, and in the Florida game where the players are around NFL speed on defense, he threw three interceptions and had zero touchdowns. He may have the arm and size to be a NFL quarterback, but I don’t believe Stafford has the skills and smarts to be the number one pick or to be the savior were all looking for.

I do think we should get a quarterback either in the later rounds or next year. We do want a young QB to pair Calvin and Kevin with, it’s just not Stafford. It may also be wasting another high draft choice on a QB when we don’t yet know how good or bad Stanton is .

I believe it’s just as important to build a solid core of young guys on the offensive and defensive line as getting a young quarterback.