Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Stafford stands amid 2009 draft rubble
By Kevin Seifert
Was it just three years ago when we were all arguing about who the Detroit Lions should select with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2009 draft? The Lions narrowed their options to Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford, Baylor offensive lineman Jason Smith and Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry.
Curry was the choice of Lions fans wary of highly-drafted quarterbacks and desperately hoping for an improved defense.
Traditionalists wanted to draft Smith to replace what seemed to be an aging Jeff Backus.
The Lions, as it turned out, were sold on Stafford for months before the draft and negotiated with Smith and Curry only to aid their leverage with Stafford's agent.
I was reminded of those times this week when the St. Louis Rams, who drafted Smith No. 2 overall, demoted him to second-team right tackle. Curry, drafted No. 4 by the Seattle Seahawks, moved to the Oakland Raiders last season and is sidelined for the moment by a knee injury he reportedly sought stem-cell treatment for.
Stafford, I'm told, threw for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns last season.
To be clear, there weren't many people arguing from a public perspective that Stafford was the slam-dunk choice, myself included. It's hard to argue with it now.