Yes, Drew Stanton.
Stanton was a second-round pick in the 2007 draft. He was the "Franchise Future." But, after arthroscopic knee surgery that ended his 2007 campaign before it started, almost everyone forgot about him.
In 2008, Stanton was the third-string quarterback for the Detroit Lions. He only played in three games, as Jon Kitna, Dan Orlovsky, or free agent acquisition Daunte Culpepper got the starts and reserve time.
Kitna and Orlovsky are now gone and Stanton has his opportunity staring him in the face. I would personally give Stanton the nod over the assumed first quarterback taken in the draft, Matthew Stafford.
Let's compare some stats:
Player A: Average CMP%—64.9, passer rating—136.5, longest TD—75 yards, total INT—28, total TD—44, sacked 48 times in career.
Player B: Average CMP%—56.6, passer rating—130.4, longest TD—84 yards, total INT—33, total TD—51, sacked 44 times in career.
As you can tell in almost every major category, Player A takes it all. Player B is close but let's reveal the names.
Player A: Drew Stanton at MSU.
Player B: Matthew Stafford at Georgia.
If today both were currently in the draft, Stanton would be a top quarterback selected. So, if I'm Detroit, I already have the "Franchise Future" in Stanton and all we need to do is mold him into the starting quarterback role.
I say one more year—a year under Schwartz's system—and I believe Stanton will be the starting quarterback of the Detroit Lions.
I think Stanton, clearly based on stats, fills the need of a franchise quarterback if we were comparing him to Stafford. Stafford is the best quarterback in this year's draft? The Lions won't need a quarterback.
Stanton may have been coming off an injured-reserve season in 2007. Stanton got some playing time in the Lions winless season, throwing his first and only touchdown of his career in 2008.
2009? Who knows, but if i'm Martin Mayhew, I would have worked with Culpepper and Stanton in 2008 and give Stanton a shot in 2009. I know he wont disappoint. Such high regards in 2007, but in 2009 I believe the same amount of pressure would be on him.
The Lions would be able to fill other needs in the draft and having Stanton can surely ease the pressure of taking Jason Smith of Baylor, Aaron Curry of Wake Forest, or B.J. Raji of Boston College at No. 1 overall.
Drew Stanton or Matthew Stafford?
Give me...Drew Stanton.