While we all patiently await contract talks to pick up between Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions before training camp, Stafford enjoyed a week of high praise. First, he was not listed yet in NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2017 list, meaning he will place among the top 50, higher than Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers and Kirk Cousins.
Just a few days later, NFL Network ran a segment suggesting that Stafford was at, or near the same level as Ben Roethlisberger.
Then as the week came to a close, former NFL quarterback and current Bleacher Report contributor Chris Simms listed Stafford as the third-best quarterback in the league.
That latter praise from Simms is really the first time we’ve seen Stafford given that kind of respect from a national analyst and is a sign that Matthew’s not only gaining the respect of his peers, but some of his harshest critics, too.
But strangely, there is still a fairly big divide among Lions fans. With what will be an ungodly contract coming his way, not everyone is convinced Stafford is worth that kind of paycheck.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Where does Matthew Stafford rank among current NFL quarterbacks?
My answer: I have him right around fifth in the league. Here’s how I have the top five folding out right now (subject to change):
For me, Stafford and Luck are almost nearly identical in talent, and I think both are due for a step up this year that could put themselves in the conversation among the top three quarterbacks. Still, they’ve had inconsistent careers to this point, and still think both have something to prove. That is why I still have the veteran quarterbacks ahead of them—who have done it better and for longer—but with one more successful season under Stafford’s belt, I don’t see how anyone could deny his talent.