There’s little doubt that Matthew Stafford took a big step in 2016. Not only did he put up some of the best statistics in his entire year, but he gained the attention and respect of many around the league. He was in the MVP race up until he suffered a finger injury in December, he was recently ranked above both Andrew Luck and Cam Newton in a top No. 1 picks of the past 50 years list and he’s expected to sign a contract this offseason that could make him the highest paid quarterback in the league.
But he’s also apparently gaining the respect of his peers. Washington cornerback Josh Norman spoke quite highly of Stafford in this NFL Films promotional video:
.@J_No24 @Redskins .@J_No24's ANSWER IS... Matt Stafford! Where would you rank the bazooka-armed @Lions QB on the #NFLTop100 list? https://t.co/Z7xLqZpkZf— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) April 12, 2017
As seen in the clip above, Norman saw firsthand what Stafford can do with his arm. Stafford laid a pinpoint 52-yard bomb to Marvin Jones Jr. with Norman in perfect coverage. Norman was shocked by Stafford’s accuracy and power on that play. “I was like, ‘there’s no way this ball is gonna get in here,’” Norman said. “Sure enough it dropped right in there and I was like, ‘This son of a gun.’”
Not only did Norman give Stafford credit for that throw, but he commented on seeing Stafford develop into a leader. “You can kinda see him being more of that guy, that leader,” Norman said. Norman even said he could see Stafford becoming a top five quarterback very soon.
The video was a teaser for NFL Network’s highly popular “Top 100” series, where they rank each player in the NFL for the 2017 season based on player votes. Stafford has made the list before, but he was shut out the last two years. In fact, only Ezekiel Ansah made the list in 2016, falling in at No. 43.
Here’s where Stafford has ranked in the past:
Where do you think Stafford will land on this year’s list?