Stanton's future bleak with Lions
Got a story running in tomorrow's paper about Drew Stanton's future with the Lions that I figured I'd address here. Namely, he doesn't appear to have much of one with the organization, and it's not all his fault.
I know people say the Lions reached when they took him in the second round, No. 43 overall, two years ago. But that's revisionist. Yes, they had more pressing needs and I remember sitting in the press room with other writers thinking David Harris should have been the pick. But after JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn, Stanton was roundly considered to be in the second tier of quarterbacks with Trent Edwards and John Beck.
Now about the future, the Lions insist Stanton's starting with a clean slate and he'll get plenty of opportunity over the next few weeks.
We'll hit the first mini-camp (next month) and then those first OTAs, Lions coach Jim Schwartz said last week. I think we'll have six or seven practices before that draft so we'll have a good chance to see where he is. That won't be the end of his evaluation, but it'll give us a good starting point.
The truth, though, is that the Lions appear to already have decided Stanton's fate. General manager Martin Mayhew said he plans to sign a veteran to back up Daunte Culpepper depending on what happens in the draft (i.e., if the Lions don't take Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez or Josh Freeman), and Schwartz has indicated he wants to draft a developmental quarterback if they pass on the franchise type in the early rounds.
Stafford is in the mix to go No. 1, of course, and because the Lions want a contract done before they pick they'll be deciding who to take sometime in the next three weeks. That's before their first mini-camp, before OTAs and before they're able to get a real read on Stanton.
I don't know if Stanton has the goods to be a full-time starter in the NFL. The Lions, obviously, don't think so. But his opportunity to prove otherwise has so far consisted of 17 pass attempts, three offensive coordinators, three quarterbacks coach and one mechanics overhaul (plus a rebuild back) when he was buried on injured reserve his rookie year.
Now, it looks like he's destined to be a third quarterback for as long as he stays in Detroit, the rare second-round pick who never got a shot.