What if They're All Wrong? What if Matt Stafford Is Not No. 1?
With the first overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft the Detroit Lions select Matthew Stafford, Quarterback, University of Georgia.
Or will they?
Nearly every mock draft you see today has Matthew Stafford the consensus No. 1 pick. Everyone seems to agree. Everyone except the team with the No. 1 pick.
As recently as Thursday rookie head coach Jim Schwartz insisted that the Lions had not settled on a number one pick. "No, not 100 percent. There's still discussions to be had," Schwartz said.
Everyone knows the Lions need lots of help including quarterback. Adding fuel to the fire is the apparent attempt to get Matt Cassel and the fact that the current depth chart is Daunte Culpepper, Drew Stanton and Drew Henson (not necessarily in that order).
However, teams always say you build from your lines. Schwartz knows this first hand having come from Tenneseewho built both solid offensive and defensive fronts. And don't forget about that whole Vince Young thing.
It still seems likely that the Lions will attempt to brand their franchise with the sexy quarterback and attempt to forget last year.
But if they don't, if they decide they want to avoid the massive bust rate for first round quarterbacks and take tackle Jason Smith, all hell could break loose.
What happens then?
This would leave several teams with very difficult decisions that could come to define the next 10 years of the NFL in the same way that Leaf vs Manning did in '98.
Here are some of the teams that would be affected.
St. Louis Rams
The general thought right now is that the Rams will take Jason Smith number two. This would help fill the large hole left by the release of Orlando Pace and hopefully keep some stability to an offensive line that has seen anything but consistency over the last several years.
The Rams have publicly stated that they will listen to offers for the No. 2 pick and have expressed some interest in Mark Sanchez and Aaron Curry.
With the age and inconsistency of Marc Bulger over the past two seasons (not to mention his injuries) it would be hard for rookie coach Steve Spagnolo to pass up Stafford if no one comes calling for a trade.
If Spags screws up this pick, don't expect him to last long with the Rams or get another head coaching job.
Rumors are the Seahawks are torn between Sanchez and Virginia OT Eugene Monroe. They could try and move up to No. 2 to get Stafford, could trade down to get Alabama OT Andre Smith, or could stay and still take either Sanchez or Monroe.
One would think that they would be in talks with the Rams and depending on which direction the Rams planned to go the Seahawks would react.
I never underestimate how crazy Al Davis is. He may be just senile enough to forget that he just drafted JaMarcus Russell and make a run at Stafford.
The 'Niners made some failed attempts at signing a QB this off-season (Kurt Warner). They would love for Sanchez to fall to them at ten, but it doesn't look like that will happen. If the draft board gets shaken up they are going to be affected. If it is not by getting a QB, it could be a projected top five player falling into their lap.
As much as I like Chris Simms and think that if gets a shot he can be a very good QB, the Broncos would jump at the chance to replace Cutler, especially with Stafford whose style has been compared to Cutler's a lot recently.
Don't forget their number of picks, especially the extra first rounder from the Bears, helps them tremendously in moving up without sacrificing the rest of their draft.
The 'Skins have appeared to all but give up on Jason Campbell. There are rumors of their interest in Sanchez. They could try and move up to get him or Stafford. Depending on how the rest of the board shapes up they could be the landing spot for Sanchez at 13, a la Brady Quinn.
The Jets still need to replace Favreand could jump at a chance for either QB (Stafford's arm strength would be nice in Giants Stadium) especially if they could get a bargain. If Sanchez falls past the Seahawks at four, don't be surprise to see the Jets try and move up to eight or nine.
I guess this could happen anyway, but Sanchez falling seems more likely if Stafford isn't No. 1.
Unlikely they'd make a move, especially after signing Byron Leftwich but they could at least be a factor in driving up the price of a trade up.
Another consideration for the Lions in determining their No. 1 pick is the 20thoverall pick they got from the Cowboys in the Roy Williams deal. Most people think they'll take an offensive lineman here but they if they take Smith number one they could draft Josh Freeman here.
That way they'd still have their quarterback but with less financial obligation and less pressure to perform.
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