Not everyone sold on Stafford
Not everyone's sold on Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford as the No. 1 overall pick. I had a chance to catch up with a coach who had the chance to evaluate both Stafford and last year's top quarterback, Matt Ryan, during their college careers. He said Ryan was clearly the more impressive player.
I don't think Stafford was better than Ryan was, the coach said. In the warm-up for Ryan pre-game, I was like, 'Whoa, that guy's got a gun.' Stafford didn't impress me during the pre-game nor did he impress me during the game.
He said Stafford, despite his undeniable physical attributes, did most of his damage in the short-passing game and on bubble plays, and that defensively his team played plenty of press coverage but did nothing Stafford wouldn't have expected in the gameplan.
He threw the bubble, but any quarterback can throw that. You and me can throw that pass, the coach said. (Ryan) threw the deep ball real well against us. He threw some one-on-one where he had the confidence to just put it in there and throw it. ... He had the arm also and was able to chuck it deep and the confidence to put it in there. I don't know Stafford did.
Stafford, USC's Mark Sanchez and Kansas State's Josh Freeman are the top three quarterbacks in this year's draft. All left school with one year of eligibility remaining.
Typically, early-entry quarterbacks haven't fared well in the NFL. Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger is the only underclass signal caller drafted this decade to live up to expectations, and the coach I talked to said Roethlisberger's intangibles are much better than Stafford's.
If you were a corner and he'd see you coming Stafford when he sees you coming would start running, the coach said. Ben Roethlisberger had the instinct that he'd stay right there and he knows you see him and then he would step at the last second and boom you'd miss. If you're a corner that can run and I start to move, now you got me. If I pretend like I don't see, I dodge you at the last second and get out of the way. He's got a knack for it.
Still, if the Lions are set on drafting a quarterback, the coach said he'd prefer Stafford to Sanchez.
He's a good player, he's got a strong arm, but I don't think he's got I don't know, there's something about him, the coach said of Stafford. I'm sure he'll be a good player, but is he a first-rounder?
I like him better than the guy at USC, though. I haven't watched him a lot, but just the one year experience would worry me if I was going to take him.