Detroit Lions: Searching for Matthew Stafford’s backup

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Alternate avenues have never been the Lions strength, however, and I believe that Bob Quinn has a player he believes will be available in the middle rounds that is worth their time to develop.

Everyone chirps about how next year is a better year for quarterbacks in the draft, but there are are a couple of intriguing prospects in this year’s draft that aren’t nearly ready to play, but have the look of diamonds in the rough with the right coaching.

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The first would be a player that most Lions fans are aware of and seem to appreciate; Tyree Jackson from the University of Buffalo.

Jackson is, of course, a local product from Norton Shores, Michigan who blossomed in more ways than one at Buffalo. The former Mona Shores Public Schools product has literally grown up before our eyes. From a 6-foot 1-inch freshman wannabe to a 6-foot 7-inch prospect with a lot of natural ability.

His strong arm and mobility leave much to the imagination of what he could accomplish if he can get his accuracy figured out. In his time at Buffalo, he posted an overall completion percentage of 56.2 which won’t get the job done in the NFL.

But Jackson impressed at the Senior Bowl and the question is; when will he come off the board? The Lions would probably feel comfortable with using a third or fourth-round pick on him, but all his raw ability could see him selected earlier. Maybe even as early as the Patriots at the end of the first round, although that would be a little bit of a surprise.

Another prospect that is much more under the radar is former North Dakota State signal-caller, Easton Stick, who I have mentioned before. Unlike Jackson who has turned everyone’s head, Stick been largely ignored. Yet he has enough athletic ability and arm strength to make every pass required in the NFL, is a gym rat who never stops working to get better and just happens to win.

Stick was the successor to Carson Wentz and all he did was contribute to three FCS championships at North Dakota State in four years.

Having the measurables matters, but so does winning. Many quarterbacks showcase tremendous ability in college but never win anything, then do the same in the NFL. Winning should matter. That doesn’t mean you take a substandard player, but if a player has enough ability and wins championships, then why not give him a chance.

Especially since stick could be had in the fifth or sixth round according to the experts.

One way or another there are options open to Bob Quin and Matt Patricia to find some young talent to develop and more importantly push Matthew eventually.

Next. Lions 2019 NFL Draft: First Round mock, Picks 1-13. dark

Unlike some fans, I’m not looking to run Matthew out of town, but I’m also not averse to giving him some real competition. Healthy, real competition at the quarterback position will only make the Lions better in the long-run because either Matthew will get even better or someone else will simply be better.