Pros: Has an excellent arm, as great as any I've ever seen. Can zip it throwing across his body, and every throw is 98 mph and on a frozen rope. Has good touch and placement with his deep throws. Shows nice mechanics and polished pocket skills. Can evade rushers and throws well on the run. Shows nice mobility and because of his size not a guy you want to see in the open ﬁeld as a defender. Shows nice accuracy. Does a nice job audibling at the line, showing his ability and potential to read defenses.
Cons: Will make some poor decisions as he trusts his arm too much. Will lock onto receivers and not consistently go through progressions. Throws too much off his back foot which leads to a lot of mistakes. His pocket presence can suffer when he's hit in the mouth too much and he starts to key on the rush rather than keeping his eyes downﬁeld. Doesn't show anything beyond adequate leadership.
Overview: Stafford needed another year in school to really polish up his skills, particularly in terms of his leadership and consistency. But he has almost every trait you look for in a young quarterback. Physically is reminiscent of John Elway, but really is more like Jay Cutler. At times it seemed like it was he who was holding Georgia back from reaching greatness due to his inconsistency. As a starter, he completed 57.4% of his passes, had a 49:28 TD-INT ratio, and a 27-7 record.
NFL Forecast: If Stafford sits a year much like Carson Palmer, then I think he can be ﬁne as a starter. I don't think he'll ever be an elite NFL quarterback, but I think he's more than capable down the road of leading a team far into the playoffs. Put premium talent around him, and that team is going to be dangerous. If he plays as a rookie, I think he'll struggle. He doesn't show the leadership nor ability to respond to adversity to really see him blossom early on as a starter early on. I don't expect Stafford to have a great start to his career, but I think with some good coaching, he'll be ﬁne. He's just one of those players that you are going to need to handle very carefully as a coach, much like Holmgren did with Favre in Green Bay. Ideally for him, the best situation is one where the head coach is the offensive coordinator and/or QB coach, where he can get a lot of one-on-one management by the guy in charge. I think he'll be a good pro, but I don't think he'll be a great pro QB.
ATL Forecast: Stafford would be a nice developmental option in Atlanta since he'd likely have the time to sit and watch from a pro like Ryan. But he's not going to be a Falcon, and the only reason he would be is if they drafted him to turn him into ﬁrst round picks down the road. But Stafford would do well in Atlanta if he wasn't asked to play right away.
Value: Stafford is definitely worth a Top 10 pick, and while I’d be reluctant to take him No. 1 overall, I don't think it would be reach to see him go No. 2 or No. 3 in a draft. I wouldn't call him a franchise QB.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
ARM STRENGTH: 5.0
DECISION MAKING: 3.0
POCKET AWARENESS: 4.0
Scouting Reports of quarterbacks in the 2009 NFL draft.
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