Why Drafting Matthew Stafford Truly Means Building for the Future

Dustin CohickCorrespondent IApril 17, 2009

LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 8:  Matthew Stafford #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs stands under center during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium on November 8, 2008 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

So much has been said in the media and blogs surrounding the 2009 NFL Draft, about who should be selected No. 1.

Whether you want the closest thing to a pro-bowler in Aaron Curry, one of the great left tackles, Smith or Monroe, perhaps another WR sensation in Crabtree, or as experts predict the Bulldog signal caller in Matthew Stafford.

All have great potential and are seemingly top ten picks in this years draft.

I for one, in the beginning, hated the idea of selecting Stafford No. 1 overall, but not based on his talent level though. I saw far too many holes on an 0-16 team to draft anyone that would not help the team week one.

Here are some reasons why Matthew Stafford could benefit the Lions in the future:

1) The obvious reason is that he could pan out and be the franchise quarterback all of us hope he will be, and that the team needs.

It serves him well to hold a clip board and learn the X's and O's for at least one year or more.  Also playing behind a former all pro in Culpepper can teach him invaluable lessons he can carry into the future.

Scott Linehan can help him in the transition from the college game to the pros as he did help Culpepper throw a couple of touchdowns in his career.

2) It's not a sprint, it's a marathon.

This in my opinion is very important from a fans perspective.  Many of us have liked the moves Mayhew and the front office have made thus far.

But they didn't go out and over spend to make the team better, and I say that is ok.  We as Lions fans are already patient, we need to continue on this path even if Stafford is selected.

We can't turn around eight years of Millen failures in one off season and draft.  It will take a while, two to three seasons before we should judge how the new regime is doing.

Keep this in mind if this season is rough. If we want our new QB and team to succeed, do not go calling for anyone's head too soon or we may be in for another bad decade.

Culpepper should, and will start, if he and the team go 0-8, remember we as Lions fans are patient.

3) Stafford is the best QB prospect.

Yes I said it, he is better than Mark Sanchez.  His arm strength is amazing and is not found in the draft every year. He put up good numbers against good defenses of the SEC. He can make all the throws in an NFL style offense.

I'll take this point one step further and say he is the best quarterback prospect in this year and next years draft combined.  The three headed QB monster that returned to college this year in Bradford, McCoy, and Tebow all are great college quarterbacks.

None of which I would want over Stafford.

The closest thing to an NFL style of offense these three have seen is a fourth and inches QB sneak. And even then it was a shotgun QB draw play. Look, they all have skills, and I love watching them play, just not for my beloved Lions. It seems as thought their skills do not translate into good NFL quarterbacks.

4) How many holes are left?

If the Lions do in fact snag our signal caller of the future this year, it is one less hole to fill for the team. Sure, I had QB as being the fourth or fifth hole for this year, but drafting Stafford means there is one less hole.

The Lions will hopefully not have the first overall pick in next years draft, but it seems it will fall somewhere in the top 10. The front office can evaluate the team on a position by position basis after this season, add some free agents, and come up with a draft strategy for next year.

If they could trade out of their first round spot next season and pick up some very valuable picks, the future of the franchise will be looking a lot better.

It seems as thought the Detroit Lions will draft Matthew Stafford first overall on draft day. I believe this is a wise choice for the future of the team, and ultimately the best strategy.

Remember patience is a virtue we all must posses with everything involving the Lions.

The curse of Bobby Layne ends April 25, 2009 with the first pick in the draft.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.