Kiper: 'Common sense' says Lions have settled on No. 1 pick
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper isn't buying Jim Schwartz's contention that the Lions are still deciding who to take with the No. 1 pick.
It's common sense, if you're going to make a quarterback the No. 1 pick in the draft, you better 10 days before the draft know he's your guy, Kiper said in a teleconference Thursday. If you don't, you don't take him.
They should have known two months ago that this was the right man for the job. They may say on draft day we've known Matthew Stafford was our pick all along. They want to get him signed. Maybe they're trying to put pressure on him. Now the agent for Jason Smith is also the agent for Matthew Stafford so I don't know how much you can pressure that, but I don't know.
I just think myself, common sense would say that if you're a general manager, a head coach of a team picking first and that quarterback's the guy and you need that quarterback, you have to know he's the guy, especially when you're talking about a left tackle (Smith) who emerged. He had a late first-round grade going into the year. You're going to take him No. 1? An outside linebacker (Aaron Curry) when you made the trade for (Julian) Peterson? Your need is middle linebacker, not outside. He's not the prototypical middle linebacker.
It's entirely possible and I firmly believe that the Lions have known for a while who they're going to take No. 1. Kiper is right, though. If the Lions have any doubt about Stafford being a franchise-worthy quarterback, they should pass on him and draft Smith, Curry or Virginia offensive tackle Eugene Monroe instead.
For me, if you're waffling, don't take him, Kiper said. You got to be really strong that this is our guy. I don't think Bill Polian was sitting there when he took Peyton Manning sitting there thinking, 'Well, am I going to take Ryan Leaf,' two weeks before the draft. 'Should I take Leaf? Should I take Manning? I really don't know what I'm going to do if we don't have him signed.' He knew that Peyton Manning was his guy.
You have to feel that way. Even if you're wrong, at least feel strongly about It. You can't go in thinking, 'Well, he could be a bust, he could be this.' No great GM or head coach thinks that the player they drafted is going to be a bust or worry about that. They feel like they've evaluated this guy, they know football inside and out, this guy can do it.