2011 NFL Draft: Should the Detroit Lions Draft a Quarterback?

Michael MrockCorrespondent IApril 26, 2011

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 12:  Drew Stanton #5 of the Detroit Lions is congragulated by Matthew Stafford #9 and Shaun Hill #14 after a fourth quarter touchdown against the Green Bay Packers on December 12, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 7-3. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

With so much talk on the Lions going defensive line, defensive back or offensive lineman in the first round, there is a lot less seen as the ideal pick for the later rounds. Wide receivers, running backs, linebackers and linemen on both sides of the ball seem like easy positions to focus on. If any of those draftees do not start, they still have a job on special teams or the practice squad. 

However, drafting a quarterback means the Lions are looking to make changes. A lot of talk in Detroit on the airwaves is debating if Matthew Stafford is injury prone—a difficult pronouncement when he had his non-throwing shoulder wrenched by Cleveland in his rookie year and his throwing shoulder drilled into the Soldier Field turf by Julius Peppers in last season's first game. 

Yet when one of the highest paid young players in the league has spent little time on the field, it does warrant the fans to wonder if all that guaranteed money was worth it.

Shaun Hill did do an impressive job filling in for Stafford for most of last season. He didn't have the hyped arm of Stafford but he did have a poise on the field that at least gave the Lions a competitive performance at times. However, his own injury in the form of a broken arm against the Giants left the Lions going to Drew Stanton. 

He was the winning quarterback against the eventual Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers which is not the first time the Lions beat a team that won the Super Bowl in the same year. He also quarterbacked the Lions to victory against the Bucs in Tampa which ended the most recent Lions away losing streak. 

Stanton has become the Brandon Inge role for the Lions. This means he is either seen by fans as someone should have started from Day 1 or he should have been dumped soon after. Inge is the lightning rod on the Tigers in that either he is seen as the best pound-for-pound third baseman in the game or due mainly to his proclivity to strike out, Inge needs to be shipped ASAP.

Stanton has the better mobility than Hill but he is not perfect in his passing game. Is his lacking performance due to not playing enough games or is it that his talent set is a bit overrated? It is probably a bit of both. However, keeping him on the roster has been a matter of rumors leaning toward Detroit going in a different direction. He is also one of the few holdovers from the Millen era that isn't named Calvin Johnson or Dominic Raiola. 

The drafting of a new quarterback makes greater sense than picking up a free agent as the rookie will be understanding what his role will be. A seasoned veteran will be more focused on trying to move up the depth chart which would create unnecessarily needed drama as this is supposed to be Stafford's team.

However, if there is a chance Stafford getting hurt again, Hill is second string and Stanton is gone, then drafting a quarterback that can play will be needed.

Therefore, the best bet will be Scott Tolzien out of Wisconsin. He is not one of the best rated quarterbacks in the draft but he was the field general of the Badgers as they upset the No. 1-ranked Buckeyes, later were co-champions of the Big Ten with the Spartans and went to the Rose Bowl. He is only 6'2" and 212, which is not undersized, but he is not at the size of Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert nor will he cost as much.

He is not the most mobile QBs but he has the persona of someone who can be coached.  He is not of the Tom-Brady-steal-of-the-draft mold, but he can be a good third-stringer who will learn the system. He will not play much. But the Lions need to make a decision on Stanton so that the team is focused more on Stafford with Hill on backup. 

He would fit as the fourth-round pick (No. 10) of the Lions on Saturday of the draft.