As I’ve said over 9000 times, Matt Stafford is most likely to go first overall in the 2009 NFL draft. The Detroit Lions are starting from scratch, coming off of the worst season in NFL history for the 2008 season in what was the cherry and whipped cream atop the worst 8 Year run that an NFL team has ever experienced. That said, you have to start somewhere when the face of your franchise is as blighted as our own Detroit Lions has been and a QB is square one ground zero as pointed out by our new head coach Jim Schwartz in more than one press conference.
So let’s meet Matt Stafford! If you look at his picture and squint, he looks like a young John Elway. He’s got a nice, strong arm and he showed some serious ability on his Pro Day a few weeks ago by really threading the needle in his execution of self designed plays. Physically, it’s all there. He’s tall, he has a Brady-like frame, he can put the ball exactly where it needs to be and he’s got a great attitude. In the combine, he finished third for the QB’s in speed; it’s serviceable. He will be able to get out of the pocket in a bind (and he will be doing some scrambling as the Lions are drafting him and not an offensive tackle) and he will be able to dump the ball off.
With his physical ducks in a row, what about his “in game” and mental characteristics? Well… Joey Harrington had it all there physically too. History shows us that though the fans will blame Joey for being a bum that can’t complete a pass, those of us that paid attention know that the Lions had a remarkable number of dropped pass throughout Joey’s tenure. Add to that a revolving door of overpaid journeymen slot receivers well past their prime and 2 First Round Draft Pick Wide Receivers that couldn’t string together 3 starts in the Pros, and you have a team that can’t get over .500 to save their lives.
History shows us that this is a gamble and the Lions need to roll the dice. There are no safe bets in Pro Football, anything can happen. For every Peyton Manning, there is a Tim Couch, Ryan Leaf and an Alex Smith. Let’s throw Leinart in there too, he lost his job to a Hall of Famer that was bagging groceries a year before he won a Superbowl Championship. It’s not just a cliche… In the NFL, anything can happen.
What will become of the 2009 Detroit Lions season? The Lions pulled a *tough* schedule this year, our road includes double helpings of Green Bay, Minnesota and a newly Cutler powered Chicago Bears amid the Ravens, Saints, Cardinals and Steelers. Two Superbowl teams! Staring down the barrel of another 3 win season, the Lions have the option of going down 2 roads. Gambling on Stafford now and seeing what falls to them in the top 7 of the Draft next year or Drafting an Offensive Linemen or Curry for Defense and pulling Colt McCoy or Sam Bradford next year. Either way you’re going to have to gamble on a top of the litter pick at QB, so pick your poison for now or later. It’s going to have to happen. Let’s hope they make the right choice and we finally get a winner in Detroit.
We’ll know by Thursday or Friday, I think they are going to decide by way of contracts. Curry has said he’s interested but it’s all going to come down to who signs on the dotted line. Good luck Lions!