With a month left before this year's draft will begin to shift our focus to what the Seattle Seahawks will do with their 10 draft picks in April. A lot has been said about the need for a future replacement for Matt Hasselbeck. Seahawks team president and general manager Tim Ruskell has said that Seattle is "in the zone" to pick a quarterback to develop for the future.
And there seems to be some question whether or not Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford will be available when Seattle picks at No. 4. The short answer, at least in my opinion, is Stafford will not be available and Detroit will select him with the No. 1 overall pick.
New Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz talked about the possibility of selecting a quarterback during the NFL owners meeting in California this week. Here's an excerpt of what he said.
We need to find a quarterback," Schwartz said. "I've been on the record saying quarterback is the most important position on the team, but there are a lot of different ways to get that quarterback.
"We need to be long-term at that position, we need to have a guy that's 'that' guy. When I went up to Detroit the first time, they asked me the same question and I said, 'It's about time we found a replacement for Bobby Layne.' And it was a little bit tongue-in-cheek but it also sort of played into what (the media has said) -- You need to find that."
The article, written by Detroit Lions beat writer Tom Kowalski goes on to say Schwartz's comments are not an admission the Lions will pick at quarterback at No. 1, and that the organization has been tight-lipped as to who they will select with any of their picks. And Detroit likes both linebacker Aaron Curry and offensive tackle Jason Smith.
But I think the Lions know they have to take a quarterback, and they most likely will take Stafford at No. 1. Even though he's not as safe of a pick as Curry or Smith, he probably has the most upside in terms of his potential. They can let him sit for a year or two and learn the offense while Daunte Culpepper starts at quarterback and takes all of the big hits behind a suspect offensive line. And Stafford becomes the face of a franchise looking for an identity.
Both ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have Detroit selecting Matthew Stafford, as does NFLdraftscout.com's Rob Rang. Scout.com likes Mark Sanchez, and has Stafford falling all the way to No. 8 going to Jacksonville.
Watch Kiper and McShay go at it, debating the signability of Stafford here.
It will be interesting to see if Seattle has a chance to select Stafford, but I don't think he'll be around. And I believe the Seahawks will look to take a quarterback in the later rounds, and will ultimately choose between offensive tackle Eugene Monroe or Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree with the No. 4 overall pick.