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Some folks think that since Matthew Stafford was drafted No. 1 overall in 2009, what he's accomplished in the NFL, so far, is nothing special. He passed for 5,000 yards two years ago, but he also missed 19 games his first two seasons and took a big step back last year.
Those same folks probably think that it was no great feat on Mayhew's part to select the highest-rated quarterback with the first pick. No brainer, right?
Not so fast.
It's important to remember that many people predicted that Aaron Curry, the OLB out of Wake Forest would be the No. 1 pick. In fact, on February 25, 2009, Sports Illustrated's Don Banks did just that in this mock draft.
Not only was Curry the No. 1, Mr. Banks predicted Stafford would go 10th—two picks after Mark Sanchez.
As ridiculous as that sounds now, that opinion was shared by enough people that Stafford wasn't even close to a consensus No. 1 pick.
Mayhew made the right call. He needed a player to lead the Lions out of the darkness that was the Millen Era, and he got one.
It took a couple years, but Stafford did it.
No one in Detroit should ever forget what Mayhew did. NFL franchises spend decades looking for a quarterback with Stafford's talent level, and Lions' fans should know. Detroit had been searching for one since Bobby Layne was traded in 1958.
Stafford gives the Lions a chance to win every time he steps on the field, and he's capable of taking over games like Elway, Montana and all the other great quarterbacks who came before him.
He's the most important player on the field. He's the reason the Lions went 10-6 in 2012, and as long as he's in Detroit, there will never be a quarterback controversy. He is elite, and Mayhew is the one who brought him to the Motor City.
That will be his legacy, as well it should be.