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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.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to think if this article is correct in its assumptions, that Mr. Mayhew may be simply trying to rid the Lions of the QB selections from the Millen era. If that is startig with a "clean slate" then it isn't about Stanton's skills, it's about wiping clean the last vestiges of the Millen era at a critical position such as QB.
I would like to think the Lions will be more fair than that, and that Stanton will at least get his shot to prove he is a viable No. 2, at least.

8:42 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this is true, then this is another second round bust. When was the last time we picked a player that actually was good and played?! Riola in 2001...Bullocks in 06...

10:33 PM 
Blogger GMart said...

Hey Dave,

Do you think they might end up dealing Stanton on draft day? If so, what could they expect in return?

11:09 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hope you're wrong dave, but stanton's facing an uphill battle unfortunately .. really want him to show what he's got and find a way to be on the team when the season starts. he deserves that much.

12:10 AM 
Blogger Dave Birkett said...

That's why I was a proponent of playing Stanton last year, to give him a shot and see what he's got. There was no rush to sign Culpepper. They could have done so late in the season or this offseason, or they could have added Leftwich or Losman instead.

If the Lions draft Stafford or Sanchez or Freeman, Stanton falls to third in the pecking order, with Culpepper the veteran fill-in and the rookie the quarterback of the future. If they draft a QB late, the Lions will add a second vet as insurance for Culpepper, thus making Stanton, the rookie and you can include Drew Henson battle it out for No. 3.

Stanton needs a change of scenery to get his shot, but he has limited trade value right now and the longer he sits on the roster the lower his value sinks. It's up to his agent to broker a way out.

9:19 AM 
Blogger Erick said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:18 PM 
Blogger Erick said...

I don't think QB should be a pressing need this year. I mean for Christ's sake we were 0-16 last year. I'm fine going into the season with Stanton backing up Culpepper. Why even waste money on another backup? Stanton is good enough as a #2 on a team coming off a 0 win season.

Draft Raji, Smith, or Curry, then based on that take one of those same positions at 20 (or a CB). Then continue doing that all the way down the board. NO QB! Pick one of those next year when the class coming out will be much deeper. I have to assume we will have a top 15 pick in the 2010 draft.

1:21 PM 
Blogger Michael said...

The only question I see about Stanton is durability. The few glimpses he's shown have been excellent but they have been short and interrupted. Part of that reason is the lions front line. Culpepper is NOT the answer. If he was that good, he never would have been dealt from Minnesota.

8:15 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of you forget mayhew seems to be a master at misinformation. Let's say he wants everyone to believe we may take Stafford, but really is just trying to increase the trade value of the pick. He couls already believe Stanton IS our future QB, he's going to keep saying the opposite upto the draft. Don't know, just saying

3:55 PM 

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