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.