If the Arizona Cardinals had upset the Los Angeles Rams this past Monday night, the Detroit Lions would be scheduled to pick second overall plus again at no. 23 overall in April’s draft. Instead, Stafford earned his first career playoff victory.
Unfortunately, with the Rams’ victory, that second first-round selection fell to at least no. 26, and that’s even a stretch.
In order for the Detroit Lions to pick at 26th, they need Stafford and the Rams to lose on the road to Tom Brady and the reigning champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers; ok, that’s possible. In this scenario, Detroit will also need Green Bay and Kansas City to be upset by the 49ers and Buffalo Bills.
The Detroit Lions’ second first-round pick continues to free fall.
Let’s play a more realistic scenario heading into the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. If the Rams lose in Tampa Bay, but both the Chiefs and Packers win, the Detroit Lions will be slated to pick 28th overall via the Rams.
If the Rams win the Super Bowl, the Detroit Lions will be picking second, plus no. 32, and 34 overall in the upcoming NFL Draft. But if former Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford leads the Los Angeles Rams past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as he did back in Week Three of the regular season, plus the favorites all win the Detroit Lions second first-round pick drops all the way to at least 29th overall. In their first matchup of the season, the Rams edged the Bucs 34-24.
I don’t put too much blame on Detroit Lions fans for rooting for Stafford. Stafford proved to be a warrior on the field after initially being labeled injury-prone for his inability to remain healthy over his first two professional seasons. Stafford was a pro’s pro for 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions; he and his family have done a tremendous amount for the communities within and around the city of Detroit.
Sure, there is a difference between drafting 23rd or 27th overall and certainly 32nd overall, but the Detroit Lions will still be able to secure three difference-makers in the top 34 this April. So I say, go ahead root for Stafford this winter, Lions fans need something positive to cheer about, and if witnessing the former franchise quarterback succeed and potentially win a Super Bowl elsewhere brings you joy, I am all for it.
Stafford guided the Rams to a 12-5 record this past season, throwing for 4,886 yards and 41 touchdowns which tied a career-high in a single season but also totaled a league-high 17 interceptions.
In 12 years with the Lions, Stafford amassed 45,109 passing yards to go with 282 touchdowns and 144 interceptions.