Which Qb will Detriot Lions draft no. 1?
The 2009 National Football League draft this weekend poses an interesting dilemma for the Detroit Lions, who “earned” the No. l pick with their NFL record 0-16 finish last season.
It’s no secret that a quarterback is at the top of their huge shopping list, but the big question that many of the NFL draft experts are wondering is which one will fill the Lions’ need best.
The draft watchers are intrigued by underclassmen Matthew Stafford of Georgia and USC’s Mark Sanchez but wonder whether the high-risk, high-reward gamble each quarterback represents will really be what Detroit is looking for.
The Lions need a quick fix at quarterback this season and questions loom like how NFL-ready is either prospect, how much time must be spent getting them ready to compete at that level and does Detroit want to commit all that money to an untested quarterback.
Mel Kiper, Jr. of ESPN points out, “They don’t treat quarterbacks like they did in the 1980’s, where you have three or four years to develop a young quarterback. They want them to play right away.”
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock agrees and adds, “If you are going to get drafted as a top-10 quarterback, you’d better be ready to play. They have so much invested. And you better have the physical toughness and the emotional maturity to get the tar knocked out of you week-in and week-out.”
Mayock went on to point out the fate of Kyle Boller and David Carr. The Baltimore Ravens traded into the first round to acquire Boller in 2003, thinking he would end their lengthy search for a franchise quarterback. That didn’t happen, but they got lucky when they chose Joe Flacco last year.
But the Houston Texans selected Carr as the No. 1 overall pick in 2002, thinking they could build their franchise around the young quarterback from Fresno State, and he set an NFL record for being sacked in a single season. Carr no longer is with the Texans who are still searching for their first winning season.
The 6-2, 225-pound Stafford is the draft’s highest rated passer and Sanchez is close behind him but was a full-time starter for the Trojans only in 2008. He was publicly chided for making his decision to forego his final season by USC coach Pete Carroll, who had hoped Sanchez would play his senior year like recent star Trojan quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart.
NFL scouts consider Kansas State junior Josh Freeman the most athletic pure quarterback in the draft. At 6-6, 248 pounds, he has been a model of consistency and an outstanding leader who possesses a strong, accurate arm to go along with his enormous frame.
A couple of signal-callers who toiled in the Lone Star State should also be considered by the Lions when the draft begins on Saturday. Texas A&M’s Stephen McGee and Sam Houston State’s Rhett Bomar are rated among the top quarterbacks in the draft.
McGee, who was rated as the fifth-best quarterback in the draft by ESPN’s Kiper, will always be remembered around College Station as the quarterback who twice led the Texas Aggies to an upset victory over the rival Texas Longhorns. The football world is evaluating his future as a raw thrower who must learn how to be a passer.
Coincidentally, McGee flew to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on the same plane with Houston Texans’ coach Gary Kubiak, who was selected in the eighth round out of Texas A&M by the Denver Broncos in 1983. McGee is the highest-rated Aggie quarterback in
“I think he has a chance to be a very good quarterback,” Kubiak said after watching McGee go through an excellent workout at the combine that included a 40-yard run of 4.61 seconds and a vertical jump of 33 inches.
Before Bomar becomes a bona fide NFL quarterback he will have to prove he is done with his off-field issues that got him canned at Oklahoma and that his maturity has caught up to his obvious physical skills.
In his two seasons at Sam Houston in the Southland Conference he passed for a school-record 5,564 yards and also impressed the NFL scouts at the Senior Bowl, where he made it obvious he has the physical ability to make all the throws necessary.
Another option for the Detroit Lions is to trade their No. 1 pick to and team that has an available quarterback who is already established. But this Korner doesn’t look for that to happen.
KWICKIES…A tip of the Korner Kap to the dozens of local high school athletes who qualified for their respective regional track meets based on their recent performances at the district track meets last week. Although the weather played havoc with the various meets, they all managed to be completed and the performances were top-notch. Hopefully many of these athletes will do well enough in regionals to qualify for the upcoming state track meet. The Class 3A Regional track meet will be held in Humble May 1-2.
Ageless Randy Johnson held the Arizona Diamondbacks hitless for six innings Sunday, marking the 14th time in his career he has pitched a no-hitter for six innings. The 45-year old lefty lost his no-hitter in the seventh in