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Lions notes: Revisiting how and why the Detroit Lions drafted Matthew Stafford

The Athletic provides an in-depth look into what was one of the most important decisions in franchise history.

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2009 NFL Draft Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Chris Burke of The Athletic has an outstanding piece on the oral history of the 2009 Detroit Lions and their process in deciding to draft Matthew Stafford first overall.

Burke talked with then general manager Martin Mayhew, head coach Jim Schwartz, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, and, of course, Stafford himself to get the scoop on the kind of pre-draft process they put Stafford through, the outside pressure from fans who overwhelmingly wanted Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry, and the internal team debate between Stafford and Marc Sanchez, the second quarterback off the board in the 2009 NFL Draft.

It’s a very good behind-the-scenes look at what the pre-draft process really looks like, and what goes through the mind of a general manager trying to turn around a franchise in their darkest hour. If you have an Athletic subscription, I highly recommend taking some time out of your day to read this.

  • Ford Field will host a couple of celebrities Monday night for the Detroit Lions’ preseason opener against the New York Jets. Popular Fortnite streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and entrepreneur/wine critic Gary Vaynerchuk will be in attendance, and the two may have a bet going on between them (Blevins is a Lions fans, Vaynerchuk a Jets fan):

  • Wednesday was Justin Rogers’ turn for game-by-game predictions of the Lions’ 2018 season. You won’t be too happy about this one either—though Rogers just notoriously picks the favorite in every game.

  • Be prepared to eat a lot of Hungry Howie’s pizza this year. For every Darius Slay interception, the pizza chain is offering a second pizza for just 23 cents:

  • “It’s only the preseason,” but Kerryon Johnson looked promising in the Lions’ first few exhibition games:

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.