The Stafford 10: Matthew Stafford and the QBs of the 2009 NFL Draft

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DETROIT, MI – NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions walks off the field after the Lions defeated the Browns 38-24 at Ford Field on November 12, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Matthew Stafford is closing in on a decade as the Detroit Lions’ starting quarterback; what happened to the other 10 quarterbacks taken in the 2009 NFL Draft?

Boston got hit with over a foot of snow in a Nor’easter blizzard last week, giving me two unexpected days off of work. Somewhere in between organizing my bookshelves and doing absolutely nothing else, I watched The Brady 6 on YouTube.

It’s a fairly old (2011) ESPN documentary about Tom Brady, back when he only had three Super Bowl rings. The basic premise, in three parts:

1) There were six quarterbacks taken ahead of Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft.

2) In hindsight, Brady probably should have been chosen sometime before the 199th pick (maybe like a 4th round steal if teams had another chance at it)

3) None of the QBs taken before Brady had anywhere near the same type of career as him. Most of them were complete washouts in the NFL.

Chad Pennington, Chris Redman, Tee Martin, Giovanni Carmazzi, Spergon Wynn, and Marc Bulger. Those are the players that make up the “Brady 6”.  The documentary profiles each of them (as well as Brady’s teammate/rival as a Michigan Wolverine, Drew Henson) and their various levels of failure as professionals, while Brady came out of nowhere to become the greatest quarterback of all time.

I decided to take the Brady 6 concept and turn it on its head a little bit for Matthew Stafford.

The Stafford 10

On the heels of the nightmarish 2008 season, the Detroit Lions were a franchise starting from scratch. Entering the draft with the #1 pick, it was fairly obvious that they were looking for a franchise quarterback to start over with. Stafford was the consensus top QB, but in relatively weak draft class of quarterbacks.

The Lions hitched their wagon to Stafford at no. 1, but he was hardly a can’t-miss prospect. Some scouts felt that a Vincent Chase lookalike out of USC was the better option at the time, and the real can’t-miss QB decided not to turn pro in 2009. If Sam Bradford hadn’t gone back to Oklahoma for one more year, it’s very likely that he would have ended up in Detroit instead of Stafford.

In the end, the Lions lucked out by finding their franchise QB (albeit, one without postseason success yet) in 2009. Now entering his 10th season in Honolulu blue, Stafford has lived up to his billing as the #1 choice. With ten more quarterbacks taken after him, Stafford has easily had the best NFL career out of any of them.

I’m not here to talk about Stafford today, however. I got curious about the other 10. Who are they, and what type of success (if any) did they find in the NFL? I give you, “The Stafford 10”.

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