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Lions May Draft Matt Stafford #1 Then Not Start Him

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An interesting take on the Detroit Lions' draft options from Detroit Free Press writer Nicholas Cotsonika.   He points to the fact that the Bengals drafted QB Carson Palmer #1 overall, then sat him for his entire rookie season as Jon Kitna started.  Under this theory, the Lions could draft QB Matt Stafford, then sit him for 2009.

 

Lions coach Jim Schwartz has said that every quarterback is different, and he could point to how the Colts played No. 1 pick Peyton Manning immediately. But the way the Lions are set up, if they draft a quarterback, they wouldn’t have to play him until they feel he’s ready.

Really? The way the Lions are set up?!  Which way is that?  The way that brought them an 0-16 record last season?  Who is going to start at QB while Stafford "matures"?  Drew Stanton? Daunte Culpepper?!! 

That's the plan, start Daunte Culpepper for 16 games?  Then what, after the Lions go 1-15 they can draft Tim Tebow, sit him for a season so they can then start Stafford?!! 

The 2003 Bengals could afford to put Palmer on the bench.  Kitna finished with 3591 pass yds, 26 TDs and 15 INTs.  The Bengals went 8-8 that season, losing four of those games by seven points or less.   Daunte Culpepper is NOT going to throw for 3500 yds next season.  He's not going to throw 26 TDs.  The Lions are NOT going to go 8-8.   For crying out loud, if the Lions DO think he'll do all those things, why are they spending the #1 pick on a QB?!

You can easily make the argument that the Bengals didn't need to use that 2003 pick on a QB as well.  Considering that Kitna has thrown for 13,122 yds in 55 starts since Palmer was drafted, and considering the talent that was available later in the first round (Andre Johnson, Terrell Suggs, Troy Polamalu, Dallas Clark, etc) the Bengals could have done better NOT drafting Palmer.

 

I realize that not every QB is Peyton Manning or Matt Ryan.  But considering the situation the Lions are in, they need to draft a QB that can start on Day One.  If Stafford isn't it, then draft Sanchez or trade for Cutler or ask the Cowboys if they can have Kitna back pretty please.  Daunte Culpepper is not the answer.