DETROIT -- The Lions wrapped up the pre-draft deal they coveted with Georgia quarterback
If things really go as planned this season in Detroit, we won't see much of Stafford, the ninth quarterback to go No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft in the past 12 years. And we shouldn't. The odds are pretty stacked against Stafford duplicating the rookie experiences of Atlanta's
Detroit needs to show patience and a sense of resolve toward Stafford, giving the Georgia junior what amounts to a redshirt season in 2009. They'd do well to use the
Both Palmer and Carr joined bad teams as No. 1 overall picks, just as Stafford will do. Carr was the new face of a new franchise in Houston and the city was wild about having NFL football back after an absence of five years. He started all 16 games as a rookie and proceeded to absorb a mind-boggling 76 sacks -- a beating from which he never really recovered. Palmer, by comparison, never took the field for Cincinnati as a rookie, and quickly emerged as one of the best young quarterbacks in the league shortly thereafter, taking the Bengals to the playoffs in his second season as a starter.
As for Rivers, the fourth overall pick in 2004 joined a quality team in San Diego and wound up sitting behind starter
It won't be easy for Detroit to stick with veteran
Recent history fairly well screams that Stafford would be better served by watching for a while. Remember, Ryan and Flacco were fifth-year seniors. Stafford is a true junior. In fact, of the 14 quarterbacks taken in the first round in the last five drafts, the only junior to have early success was Pittsburgh's
The other four junior quarterbacks have been quite the mixed bag.
Which camp will Stafford wind up joining? If the Lions have learned anything from all their failures this decade -- and the failures of other first-round-quarterback-drafting teams -- Friday night's big headlines for Stafford should be his last for a while. It's now assured that he'll go No. 1 in Saturday's Draft, but that's the only time he should be first in line in 2009.