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Thursday, April 16, 2009
Stafford and the latest McShay mock draft

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

The most interesting thing about Matthew Stafford's chat with SportsNation on Thursday was the matter-of-fact way he discussed playing for Detroit. The Lions, of course, have offered no public indication that they plan to draft Stafford -- only that they want to have their eventual pick signed before the draft.

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But Stafford offered few caveats when asked about playing for the Lions. Does he know something we don't? Or did the format just lend itself to the answers below? Check them out:

Jon (Atlanta, GA): How are you going to adjust from an environment of 80+ degree weather and 15,000+ coeds dressed in sundresses to Detroit?

SportsNation Matthew Stafford: (3:31 PM ET ) Well, Detroit has a dome, so it shouldn't be too cold, hopefully.

Alex(Detroit, MI): Matthew, Will it be weird to be throwing to a Yellow Jacket if you get drafted by Detroit? How fun will it be to throw to Calvin Johnson?

SportsNation Matthew Stafford: (3:32 PM ET ) It will be awesome. I don't think it will be weird at all. It will be a lot of fun. He's an outstanding player.

Barron Detroit MI: With Detroit Allowing a league High 55 sacks. Do you think you will be able to get the necessary time to complete the passes needed.

SportsNation Matthew Stafford: (3:33 PM ET ) I think so. I think that starts with the running game. The Lions were down so much that they had to throw the ball. That gave the defense a chance to get to the QB. You have to stay ahead as much as you can.

Bob (Detroit): Hey Matt give the people some encouragement tell us why you would save our franchise!

SportsNation Matthew Stafford: (3:41 PM ET ) It's going to be a guy that steps in and brings a winning attitude and won some college football games. With a new staff and other guys coming in, we'll bring a winning attitude.

Daniel (Atlanta Ga): how disappointed would you be if you were not drafted first overall.

SportsNation Matthew Stafford: (3:38 PM ET ) It would be a little bit disappointing, but I 'm going to make the best out of any situation I go to.

As noted earlier, Stafford is Detroit's likely choice in the estimation of ESPN analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay.

McShay has been critical of Stafford's aptitude at No. 1 overall but believes the Lions are moving in that direction. We'll know soon enough. While we're at it, let's look at McShay's latest choices -- released Thursday -- for the rest of the NFC North who currently own first-round picks. (You need an Insider subscription to view the entire draft.)

DETROIT LIONS

No. 1 overall: Stafford
No. 20 overall: Mississippi offensive tackle Michael Oher

My take: The Lions won't know for sure if Oher will be available if they bypass Baylor's Jason Smith and Virginia's Eugene Monroe to take Stafford. But ultimately, the chance to have a great quarterback could prove more tempting than the likelihood of having a 10-year starter at left tackle.

GREEN BAY PACKERS

No. 9 overall: Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji

My take: This is a serious possibility considering the proven willingness of Packers general manager Ted Thompson to take the best available player. Raji is the best defensive tackle in the draft.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

No. 22 overall: Florida receiver Percy Harvin

My take: Harvin's status seems to have slipped amid recent reports about his character and alleged drug use. From a football standpoint he's an excellent value at this spot. Minnesota vice president Rick Spielman recently went out of his way to note the Vikings have eliminated 78 players from their draft board for various red flags. Does this mean the Vikings won't draft Harvin? Or that they want people to think they won't?