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Kiper: Lions 'almost have to take' Stafford No. 1

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper, in his second teleconference previewing the NFL draft, said Wednesday he still has the Lions taking Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford with the No. 1 overall pick.

“I'm not making the choice,” Kiper said. “All I'm saying is for the Detroit Lions, who do you take? And if you don't take Stafford and you take somebody else, who's going to be your quarterback? You got (Daunte) Culpepper and you got (Drew) Stanton. Are you just going to forget about quarterback this year because there's no guarantee (Josh) Freeman's going to be there at 20 (and) there's no other quarterback to think about until the fifth round?”

The Lions have a private workout set up with Stafford next Tuesday and already have begun contract dialogue with him and other potential No. 1 picks. Baylor left tackle Jason Smith, Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji and Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry are other potential top choice. Stafford and Smith are represented by the same CAA Football agency, and the Lions have yet to reach out to Curry's agent.

“He's got skills that very few quarterbacks have throwing the football,” Kiper said of Stafford. “And if the Lions don't take him and he goes say four to Seattle, then you say who would they take? You would probably have to take the offensive tackle Jason Smith. Curry, I don't know? Curry's a great player, but are they going to take another linebacker? They've kind of addressed that already during these last couple of months.

“I just think the Lions, at the end of the day, unless they make a deal for (Jay) Cutler and get the quarterback that way, I think Stafford's a guy you almost have to take. If they don't get Cutler, I'd be very surprised if they don't take Stafford.”

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Blogger spacecataz said...

Bah. Kiper is a hack. Is this how he felt last year when considering the position that the Dolphins were in?

I'm not against taking Stafford, but to say that he is basically the only choice is ridiculous.

12:33 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure I follow Kiper's reasoning on Detroit's QB situation. I mean is he privy to Culpepper's status? Has Stanton had a chance to really show what he has? Plus...Stafford is not going to come in and play right away..anyway.
So why not take a Jason Smith. Why do the Lions have to take a QB in this draft at all?? Why can't the Lions build the DL and OL and shore up the Defense as opposed to drafting more of an unknown in QB Matt Stafford?
Kiper has to know how bad the defense was last season....yet he keep insisting the Lions draft Stafford....its almost as he has some sort of vested intrest in Stafford and it is a little scary if you ask some objectivity man...seriously....

12:51 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

according to the lions have had NO contractual conversations with ANY agents or players thus far.

1:14 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose that is why Kiper isn't an NFL Head Coach or GM. Stafford may have the arm strength, but the intangibles, the maturity level, the ability to lead when things are tough (and they will be) and something as simple as the determination and intensity are the areas of concern.
The childish behavior of picking up Tom Lewand off his feet from behind briefly demonstrated the immaturity level one should expect in a junior vs. a senior. Photos of Sanchez at the combine show a more intense gaze, a set jaw and a focus that just seems to be missing in Stafford. Maybe it is because being a QB comes naturally to him, but it is a long way from the University of Georgia to Detroit in the NFL.

1:20 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Media personality that makes bold predictions about personnel. Once Mayhew is run out of Detroit I think I know who Ford will replace Millen with...

Mel Kiper, Lions GM 2011

2:01 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Espn has a vid about Jason Smith. This guy has been preparing since he rode his bike through Stafford's billion dollar neighborhood.
DRAFT JS! a QB with more time doesn't need elite arm strength the drive a team. a QB with no time and an elite arm just means the ball will be intercepted quicker.

3:45 PM 
Blogger Dave Birkett said...

I didn't see the video on Smith, but everyone came away super impressed with him and Curry at the combine. I still think Curry's going to be a heck of a player, but I'm off the take-him-No.-1-boat. I think it's down to Smith and Stafford. If I were running the show (without the benefit of film or an NFL pedigree) I'd take Smith. My first mock draft will be posted here Saturday and you'll see what I think the Lions are going to do.

4:01 PM 
Blogger Dave Birkett said...

By the way, Matt Mosley has a great piece on Smith on right now. Love the story about how when he was young he'd ask for leaf blowers for Christmas so he could start his own lawn business. Give it a read if you get a chance:

4:07 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im glad Kiper is usually wrong hah!

The guy is a serious blowhard and I take everything he syas with a grain of salt,if that!


6:12 PM 
Anonymous Steve said...

Mel Kiper does have a vested interest in Stafford. He said when Stafford was coming out of high school that he would be the #1 pick in the draft someday. He just wants to be able to say I told you so. I still say Curry should be the pick. He is the best player available in the entire draft and it is a HUGE hole in your D. It seems like a no brainer But only if they are for sure he can play MIKE. He they have doubts, then take J. SMith. They have to have a MLB out of the top 2 picks.

6:41 PM 

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