With the first pick of the 2009 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, the Detroit Lions select Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Here is DrewsLions' reasoning for the pick:
On a team with needs everywhere, the top pick in the draft needs to mean something. It must be a player that is a cornerstone of your franchise. The pick needs to be safe, yet aggressive. It needs to add value, yet be worth the cost of the pick. I've always held the opinion that there must be a complete marriage of value versus need coupled with overall impact with respect to the top few picks in the draft. That belief reduces the overall field for the first pick to those players that impact the game enough to warrant the massive investment. Right now, there are two players that I feel meet all of those requirements: Matthew Stafford and Jason Smith. There are good, quality players beyond these two, but Stafford and Smith are the best of the two positions that the Lions both need and also are willing to still pay the contract based on overall impact. I have also held the opinion that if you do not have a good quarterback, you try and try again until you have a guy that turns you into a perennial contender. The Lions have been without this piece of the puzzle for thirty-plus years. That is far too long. The Harrington Hangover cannot keep us from making another attempt at finding a leader for our offense.
Matthew Stafford has done nothing to dissuade the Lions from selecting him. He has all of the tangible tools that a team needs in a great quarterback. The question is "what is he capable of between the earpads and how well will he translate to the pro game?" This is the biggest unknown with highly drafted quarterbacks. But this is a risk that the Lions must be willing to take. They will never be a perennial contender or win a Super Bowl - which everyone needs to remember is the ultimate goal - without a better than average quarterback. With Cutler off the market, the Lions must look to the draft for their next attempt at finding a star under center. Might as well take the best one with the highest pick.
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