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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.”

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Anonymous dan sullivan said...

Birk's source is more than likely an MSU coach since the Spartans and Georgia Tech were the only common foes of Boston College in 2007 and Georgia in 2007 and 2008.

MSU didn't stop either Ryan or Stafford.
Ryan threw 47 for 22 completions, 249 yards, 3 TDs and 1 Int in a BC bowl win.

Stafford threw 31 times, completing 20 for 250 yards, 3 TDs and 1 Int in a Georgia bowl win over MSU.

Regardless of the impression they left on Birk's mystery coach, Stafford was Ryan's equal on the scoreboard and stat sheet.

2:02 PM 
Anonymous Michael Schottey said...


You've completely missed the point of the article. The Coach (whether it was an MSU coach or not) never said that Stafford wasn't impressive. What he said was that Stafford did most of his damage in the short game, bubble screens, shorter passes, etc.

We all know Stafford has a cannon but that doesn't mean a whole lot when its game time. Guys like Warner and Brady throw the best long balls in the NFL and don't have cannons.

Stafford benefited from a lot of YAC and broken plays at Georgia. He's the most impressive thrower in the class but not the most impressive QB.

2:12 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

peters traded to eagles per

2:20 PM 
Blogger Dave Birkett said...

Central Michigan also played both Georgia and BC in recent seasons, and while I can't reveal names for obvious reasons I'd just say it'd be wrong to naturally assume it's someone from any of those schools because of the nomadic nature of coaching.

As for Peters, didn't hear what the second pick they're giving up is yet, but I like that for the Eagles. He's one of the best left tackles in the league. It also just about assures that none of the top four tackles will be on the board when the Lions pick at 20. Jason Smith and Monroe will be gone early, probably Andre Smith, too. Now the Bills need a tackle desperately and don't discount a team like Washington from going OT, either.

2:42 PM 
Blogger Ty said...

This is quite interesting piece. I noticed the same thing when looking at Matt Stafford highlight montages on YouTube: a whole lot of them were really Knowshon Moreno highlights. A lot of the passing damage he did, he did with screens and flares. I guess, to play Devil's Advocate for a moment, isn't it a classic sign of strength as a quarterback that you know how to effectively use your weapons?

What's odd was that I felt the same way about Ryan at this time last year as I do about Stafford--Ryan didn't really accomplish that much in multiple years of being a heralded starter, didn't have overwhelming production, etc. I couldn't figure out what justified selecting Ryan in the top three . . . I would absolutely LOVE to be as wrong about Stafford as I was about Ryan.


3:01 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^chances of that happening are pretty slim, unfortunately. when it comes to the lions, every bad feeling we have more often than not turns out to be justified.

i say draft monroe first since it's obvious they're gonna be a pass first offense what with all the receivers we've acquired over the past few weeks.

3:15 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're not going to be a pass first offense. They want to be a hard nosed running team.

They're bringing in a ton of receivers to try out for the #3 and #4 WR spots. Most won't take the team.

4:42 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^we'll see come game day. don't believe everything you see/hear.

5:04 PM 

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