ESPN's KC Joyner recently put together a list of the top 10 NFL players under 25 that you would want to build a franchise around. A number of the players on the list are quarterbacks, including the Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford. He came in at No. 2 on the list, one spot behind Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy.
Here's Joyner's reasoning for having the 24-year-old Stafford near the top of the list:
Pros: Stafford racked up more than 5,000 passing yards last season despite throwing more than 75 percent of his targets to guys like Brandon Pettigrew, Nate Burleson, Titus Young and Tony Scheffler. Having Calvin Johnson as a primary target is a big help, but those numbers illustrate Stafford has an ability to post voluminous numbers even when throwing to less-than-elite pass-catchers.
Cons: He has had only one healthy NFL season, something that shows Stafford still has a ways to go to prove his long-term durability.
Before Stafford joined the Lions, the only real weapon on offense was Johnson. Since then, Martin Mayhew has spent a lot of time building around Stafford by adding guys like Pettigrew, Burleson, Young, Scheffler, Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure. Once you find that "cornerstone" player, it's important to surround him with talent, and the Lions have certainly done a good job of that with Stafford.