Flowery Branch — A declaration: I wouldn’t have taken Matthew Stafford No. 1 overall. I say this as someone who saw his first collegiate pass (against Western Kentucky) and his last (against Michigan State) and several hundred in between. He’s a great talent, but I don’t think he’ll be a great NFL quarterback.
I thought he was a very good college quarterback, and there’s no doubt he fits the NFL prototype as well as anyone ever has — he’s smart, he’s tall and he has, as the world knows, that big right arm. My reservations have nothing to do with anything physical. My reservations regard attitude.
I see Stafford as a guy who too often tried to get by on the strength of that big arm and who threw too many killing interceptions as a consequence. (See Florida, 2008.) I see a quarterback who wasn’t so much a team leader as a solo act. More to the point, I’ve never seen in Stafford the attention to detail that you get with Peyton Manning or Tom Brady or, yes, Matt Ryan.
Not long ago