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Stafford Is Only Choice For Lions

Analysis

The Detroit Lions are doing what the team with the top overall selection in the NFL draft always does. They're keeping their options open. They're refusing to tip their hand. They're preparing to launch contract negotiations with several players, giving the impression that whichever player agrees to the "right" deal before the draft will be the choice. They're giving other teams a chance to make an overwhelming trade offer, despite the fact that no other club seems particularly eager to have the top pick.

In the end, though, there's only once choice for the Lions to make.

They need to draft Matthew Stafford, the Georgia quarterback.

The NFL is about quarterback play, especially at a time when the league has tweaked so many rules to favor those who throw the football and the receivers to whom they throw it.

If you don't have a franchise quarterback, you need to get one. Or at least try to get one.

The Lions certainly don't have a franchise quarterback.

They're coming off the first 0-16 season in the history of the NFL.

There simply is no decision to be made here.

This won't be a quick fix like the turnarounds crafted by Matt Ryan in Atlanta and Joe Flacco in Baltimore last season. Those rookie quarterbacks had plenty of help. Stafford won't have nearly enough help in Detroit.

But if you can fix the quarterback position on your team in this league, you end up fixing plenty of other things around it. Even if Stafford is a couple years away from being ready to be a winning NFL quarterback, that's fine. The Lions are a couple years away from being ready to be a winning NFL team.

Aaron Curry is a very good linebacker. Jason Smith is one of a few very promising left tackles in this draft. Michael Crabtree is a potentially dominant receiver.

No matter.

For the Lions, the cupboard is empty at the most important position in the sport.

They don't have a quarterback.

They need to get one.

By Mark Maske  |  April 14, 2009; 9:53 AM ET  | Category:  Draft , Lions Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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It's a shame no one would trade with them for the first overall pick, because they could have gone after Josh Freeman later in the first round. Sanchez and Stafford are getting all the attention, but Freeman is the better all around athlete and could be had for less money since he is a little bit more under the radar. I'm not sure if he would drop all the way to the 20th pick though which they got from Dallas in the Williams trade.

Posted by: ozpunk | April 14, 2009 5:01 PM

Drafting a first round QB is no guarantee of success for the Lions, just look at some recent selections that didn't pan out: Rex Grossman, Byron Leftwich, J.P. Losman, Kyle Boller, Alex Smith, Vince Young, Matt Leinart, etc. The Lions should look long and hard at all their options before they take a QB at the first spot.
Posted by: ozpunk | April 14, 2009 2:22 PM


yeah alot of them dont work out...so dont a lot of people drafted high in other positions...but that doesnt mean you dont take a calculated shot when you have those gaping holes and the opty...

i just dont understand why the skins are talking about drafting sanchez...i dont know if campbell is franchize or not...a lot of experts think he could be...i think he can be...i think he deserves a shot...and that shot deserves an offensive line and some good targets for him to work with...thats where we need to focus our picks...that and the other gaping holes on defense (and no im not actually suggesting we draft another WR) but we've got gaping holes to fill and one of them isnt the qb position...and though DT was, it wasnt necessary to use up our FA allotment on one position...

haynesworth isnt going to put us over the top any more than another shot at a QB is...filling out a complete team around what we already have would!!!!

Posted by: deadskin | April 14, 2009 2:57 PM

Another interesting fact: of the 10 first round QBs since 2005 only half of them are starters which includes Aaron rodgers who had to wait until Brett left and also a tenuous starter in JaMarcus Russell. Jason Campbell is also in there too for now.

Posted by: ozpunk | April 14, 2009 2:47 PM

Drafting a first round QB is no guarantee of success for the Lions, just look at some recent selections that didn't pan out: Rex Grossman, Byron Leftwich, J.P. Losman, Kyle Boller, Alex Smith, Vince Young, Matt Leinart, etc. The Lions should look long and hard at all their options before they take a QB at the first spot.

Posted by: ozpunk | April 14, 2009 2:22 PM

Is Jason Campbell a franchise QB?

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | April 14, 2009 1:10 PM

The Bengals have a "franchise quarterback", Carson Palmer. How has that worked out in solving their win problems?

Posted by: gherrick | April 14, 2009 12:39 PM

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