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Friday, March 27, 2009

Kiper on Stafford

ESPN's Mel Kiper held a conference call on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming draft. He was asked to compare Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford. Here's his response...

"There is no similarity with Ryan because Ryan played his senior year. If Matthew Stafford would have played his senior year then there would be no concerns. I think he would have lit it up. A.J. Green is a developing star as a wide receiver. He was a true freshman last year and he's ready to be one of the great receivers in college football. The offensive line which was so young last year with freshmen and unproven players is now a cohesive group. Granted (Knowshon) Moreno left, but there's some quality backs in the program. Had he stayed another year, he would have been off the charts. I think that's where you say, where could he be? That's going to be his year. You have to coach him and treat him like he's a senior in college. You're not going to have a guy like Matt Ryan, even a Joe Flacco who stayed for his senior year. You're not going to have a veteran coming in. You're going to have a guy who is still a junior. … You have to treat him differently. If you draft him, the first year, if you want to get him later in the season, don't expect a lot. If you think he needs to play through his mistakes, fine, but you have to coach him.

"With the talent he has, he'll be a sponge. He'll pick everything up. He'll work hard at it. His arm strength is in the rare category, rare arm strength. We always talk about above average arms, great arms. A lot of guys have good arms, but elite arms are rare and this kid has it.

"So you ask why people are all over the place. They have to determine if he's worthy of being the No.1 pick in the draft. How NFL ready is he? How much time do we have to spend with him? Do we want to commit all these dollars? They don't treat quarterbacks like they did back in the 1980's where you have three to four years to develop them. They want them to play right away. In Matthew Stafford's case that's not realistic. In Mark Sanchez's case it's not realistic."

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