Detroit Lions: 15 best first-round draft picks of all-time

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions /

Expect him to keep climbing up this list. For now, we’ll have to settle for putting Lions starting quarterback Matthew Stafford at No. 6 in the all-time hierarchy of greatest first-round picks in franchise history. Let’s just put it at this. It was a no-brainer move for the Lions to take Stafford No. 1 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Georgia.

The Lions were coming off an embarrassing 0-16 season and were in desperate need of a franchise quarterback. After a few injury riddled years, Stafford has started every game under center for the Lions since 2011.

Known for his powerful right arm, his ability to throw for a ton of yards and his knack for fourth-quarter comebacks, Stafford stands to be the best quarterback in franchise history at the end of the day.

Stafford may only have one Pro Bowl nod on his résumé, but did win NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2011. He has thrown for well over 4,000 yards in the last seven NFL seasons. Stafford has led the Lions to the NFC playoffs three times in his NFL career, but is still looking for his first playoff victory to date.

Overall, Stafford has brought much-needed stability to the Lions organization. He may not be a Pro Football Hall of Fame level player, but will put up some gaudy passing numbers before he hangs up the spikes. Through the 2017 NFL season, Stafford has completed 62.0 percent of his passes for 34,749 yards, 216 touchdowns and 118 interceptions.