The Cardinals hold the No. 1 overall pick for April’s NFL draft for the first time since 1958. As the day for the Cards to make their selection draws closer, azcardinals.com will take a look at the last 30 No. 1 overall selections and each player’s impact on the team and league.
NAME/YEAR: QB Matthew Stafford, 2009
TEAM: Detroit Lions
THE SITUATION: The Lions were coming off the first 0-16 season in NFL history, and needed to start over at quarterback. USC’s Mark Sanchez was a possibility, but Stafford, who had been prolific at Georgia, was not a difficult choice.
THE CAREER: In his 10 years thus far, Stafford has always been decent. He has posted good stats, and in his third season even threw for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns. But the Lions have won at least nine games just four times, and Detroit has not won a playoff game. It’s a limbo that can be hard to get out of in a league where quarterbacks are hard to come by.
THE OTHER OPTIONS IN TOP FIVE: When Sanchez (No. 5 to the Jets) is the second-best option in the top five, you know a) the Lions made the right pick and b) yikes. (The other three choices were Jason Smith, Tyson Jackson and Aaron Curry, so, yeah.)