NFL Draft Analysis: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia Bulldogs

by Trent Lujin on April 20, 2009 @ 01:00:00 PDT

 


Matthew Stafford, the 6-foot-2 1/4, 225-pound quarterback out of the University of Georgia, is in contention to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

The Highland Park High School (Dallas) product threw for 7,731 yards and 51 touchdowns during his Georgia career. He established the single-season school record for touchdown passes with 25 in 2008. His 3,459 passing yards in 2008 stands a very close second in school history to quarterback Eric Zeier's 3,525 in 1993.  

Strengths

  • Capable of making any NFL throw - elite arm strength
  • Has adequate NFL height with a thick build
  • Displays quick footwork and awareness in the pocket
  • Adept at reading defenses from playing in Georgia's pro-style offense
  • Has a lot of upside and just turned 21 years old (Feb. 7)
  • Durability - bounces back nicely from a big hit and almost seems to welcome contact at times

Weaknesses

  • Makes questionable decisions at times and gets flustered rather easily under pressure
  • Footwork and mechanics - can get sloppy at times; throws off his back foot too much
  • Could put a better touch on his shorter passes - can force throws since he has such a strong arm
  • Questions about his inability to lead his team to victory over elite teams
  • Never seemed to live up to his limitless potential
  • Could have stayed for senior season for added experience
  • Maturity concerns after a dispute with the San Francisco 49ers over questions regarding his parents' divorce

Expected draft placement

Stafford is about a safe a bet as there is to be a first-round pick. Needing to add talent at multiple positions, the Detroit Lions at expected to look in the direction of quarterback. Without an entrenched quarterback, coupled with the recent trade of veteran signal caller Jon Kitna to the Dallas Cowboys, the Lions are likely to select Stafford No. 1 overall pick. Stafford's representation has reportedly begun negotiations with the Lions. The Seattle Seahawks pick fourth overall and are reportedly in love with Stafford, should he slide to them. 

It appears extremely unlikely that Stafford will fall outside the top 10, in the slim chance that it does happen, the Denver Broncos (No. 12), Washington Redskins (No. 13) and New York Jets (No. 17) would be hard pressed to pass on the gifted quarterback. In all likelihood, the Lions make Stafford the No. 1 overall pick. If they don't, Seattle is the next most logical place for him to land, but a number of teams could trade into the No. 2 spot if Detroit passes on Stafford. The St. Louis Rams, current owners of the second pick, have publicly said they are willing to deal the selection.

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About Trent Lujin

Lujin has been a KFFL contributor since 2008.

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