The Stafford 10: Matthew Stafford and the QBs of the 2009 NFL Draft
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1. Mark Sanchez (1st round, 5th overall)
Leading up to the draft, Stafford held the edge over Sanchez, but not by much. It wouldn’t have been implausible for the Lions to go with Sanchez at number one. Though Sanchez peaked in his second year and has been an inferior quarterback in nearly every way, he does hold the edge on Stafford in one extremely important category for Lions fans: playoff wins.
- Sanchez and Stafford had nearly identical stats in their rookie seasons. Sanchez had 2,444 passing yards, completed 54% of his passes, threw for 12 TDs and 20 interceptions, with a QB rating of 63. Stafford had 2,267 yards, 53% completions, 13 TDs and 20 picks, and a 61 QB rating.
- While the Lions went 2-14 with those numbers from Stafford, the Jets came one win away from the Super Bowl. Their defense and “the Sanchize” got hot at the right time and won two improbable playoff games on the road.
- Peaked in year two, having his best statistical season, leading the Jets to an 11-5 regular season record, and winning two more playoff games.
- 2010 was also the first of two career head-to-heads between Stafford and Sanchez. It was a heartbreaking defeat for the Lions, who lost both Stafford and Jason Hanson for the season during this game.
Where is he now?
- Sanchez hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2014. Somewhere along the way, he’s become a punchline for things like the “butt fumble” and also just not being a very good NFL quarterback.
- Now is a backup QB for the Bears. Didn’t appear in a single game in 2017.
Which brings us to the second member of the Stafford 10, another first round pick who also peaked in their second year in the league.