Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Stafford No 1? It was always going to happen

The Detroit Lions are imminently expected to reach agreement with Matt Stafford (QB, Georgia) to make him the first overall pick in 2009. It's been a foregone conclusion for some time. Whilst speculation has suggested Jason Smith and Aaron Curry were also being considered, they were nothing more than a bargaining tool. The Lions and new head coach Jim Schwartz are working from a blank canvass after a miserable 0-16 season. Getting a franchise quarter back was always going to set up the blue print and it appears that sooner rather than later, Stafford will be confirmed a Lion.

I published my first mock draft on December 3rd, with Stafford at the top. Nothing has been more obvious to me that this was going to be how things kicked off in the 2009 draft. I have to believe the Seahawks would have seriously considered the former Bulldog had he fallen to the fourth pick. Unless Tim Ruskell is seriously considering Mark Sanchez, I don't think the Seahawks will take a quarter back in round one.

When Stafford going #1 is confirmed, attention will turn to St Louis. I think it's almost as much of a lock that Jason Smith (OT, Baylor) will be joining Steve Spagnuolo's revolution. The first big questions will arise with Kansas City. Can they trade down? If not, do they reach for a Tyson Jackson type scheme fit, or will they consider Eugene Monroe, Aaron Curry or Michael Crabtree? The intrigue will likely continue into the fourth pick.


Anonymous said...

Rob, if seattle picks curry, then the hill days will come to a end? I don't think seattle's GM would pick curry and spend that much money on a 3rd linebacker. The only reason seattle signed perterson was that he was a pass rushing DL on third down. Seattle plays a lot of nickle and dime?
Thats why I think Sanches or crabtree will be the pick, unless they think they can't sign Hill.

Rob Staton said...

I would be surprised if Seattle are thinking about this draft with the idea of releasing Leroy Hill. For starters, Hill is currently playing on a one year franchise tag. If they draft Curry and he has a poor rookie season, whilst Hill has a brilliant 2009, how can they let Hill walk in favour of a $60m guy with one year's experience?

Also, Hill is one of Tim Ruskell's big draft steals. I can't see him allowing one of the highlights of his GM career walking away. I wouldn't be surprised to see Hill signed to a longer deal after the draft, or even sitting on the franchise tag. Time is on Seattle's side.

The Seahawks will take Curry if they think his production can stand up alongside Tatupu and Hill and if they are not confident of the linebackers on their roster - or the other rookies in this class. Personally, I don't think the Seahawks need to feel pressured to fill the hole left by Julian Peterson. They've spoken about greater pressure from the front and less reliance from the linebackers. They could get an ideal cover-2 LB like Corey Smith later on to compete, with D.D. Lewis a possible starter. He started when Seattle last went to the Super Bowl.

Having said that, I still think the Seahawks will choose between Curry, Sanchez and Crabtree. Curry is the protoype 'Ruskell pick'. I just think they'll go a different direction this year.

Anonymous said...


As a veteran draft watcher, it will be excruciating if the Lions have already announced the Stafford signing, yet they take a lot of their allotted time to announce it when the draft clock starts on Saturday--- that is about the most ridiculous thing one could ever see.

I have watched and heard Crabtree interviewed numerous times in recent days-- seems to me like a typical 21 year old -- a little cocky and not a polished speaker, but not an imminent threat to society or a person talking about himself in the third person.

I take it that if the Seahawks pick him fourth overall, they will then be reasonably comfortable that he will be understand the responsibility that comes with that hefty paycheck.

Not saying that the franchise won't survive if Crabtree doesn't meet the hype, but it would be a monumental setback.

Your thoughts?

Rob Staton said...

You make some valid points annonymous. Agree on the Stafford pick and Detroit using the time - the thing is - we both know for a fact they'll run the clock to zero before calling the pick!

I had enough time to catch the Dan Patrick interview today (thankyou to nanomoz). It was Crabtree's best interview to date for me. He seemed chatty, personable and willing to have some fun. He isn't a profound speaker and no doubt he's what I'd call a 'young' 21 in terms of maturity. Having said that, I feel like a different person today compared to when I turned 21. I graduated, and then moved out to live in Vancouver with the Mrs. Moving away from home, being dependant on yourself, meeting new people... it changes you. It makes you more mature. I have to believe the same will happen to Crabtree. Seattle also have some great role models on their roster to learn from.

He seems quite levelled to me. I think he wants to be a top football player rather than be a rich football player. Time will tell on that. If Seattle drafts him and he fails, or anyone else fails for that matter, it'll be a blow because of the finance. But that's the NFL draft every year. Crabtree has the potential to be a star and sometimes, you roll the dice because you like the odds.

Anonymous said...

PFT is saying that a deal has been reached with Curry. That doesn't mean they won’t take Stafford or Smith but if their agent keeps playing hardball they'll go with Curry.

As for Curry, if the Hawks draft him you could probably get a couple of draft picks for Hill. Maybe a 3rd and a 5th. Is that too much? Too little?

Would love to see the Hawks move down but don’t think it will happen. Would the Hawks be willing to swap picks at 12 or 13 and get a couple future second rounders?

At 12 or 13 odds are that at least one of these guys would be available. Andre Smith, Oher, Maclin, Raji or Jenkins. I know he's a head case but I think Andre Smith will be a great tackle for years to come. This drafts Randy Moss or Warren Sapp.

kearly said...

I moved to Vancouver (WA) a few years ago, still live here. I agree with the sentiment about being 21. I was a mature 21 year old but then again I didn't have camera's in my face or about to be a multi-millionaire with national fame. The fact that some of these guys handle it well (especially Mark Sanchez) never ceases to amaze me.

Rob Staton said...

The Lions won't draft Aaron Curry. As I said in the article, he was always being used as a bargaining tool. He's making public plea's that he'll accept less money, so there's every reason why Detroit are hoisting him up there.

But look at it this way - Tom Condon is Stafford's and Jason Smith's agent. He'll get a deal done, trust me. Right now his guys are going #1 and #2. Even if Stafford fell only as low as #4, you're talking millions of dollars. They'll get a deal done, and even if they don't I think they'll still take Stafford.