Matthew Stafford

ESPNDB Research | Created: Friday, March 13, 2009 | Updated: January 4, 11:14 AM ET
TeamDetroit Lions
Birth DateFebruary 7, 1988 (age 27)
HometownDallas, TX
Weight232 lbs.
College CoachMark Richt
High SchoolHighland Park
Dallas, TX, USA
DraftedDET, 1st Round, 1st Overall
John Matthew Stafford is the starting quarterback for the Detroit Lions, who selected him with the first overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Stafford was a three-year starter at Georgia who chose to forgo his final year of eligibility to enter the draft. Matthew Stafford, born in 1988 in Tampa, is 6-feet, 3-inches tall and weighs 237 pounds.
Prep Career
Matthew Stafford was an All-America quarterback at Highland Park High School in Dallas -- the alma mater of Pro Football Hall of Famers Doak Walker and Bobby Layne. Stafford was a three-time All-State selection. He threw for 2,945 yards and 36 TD as a sophomore, and followed that up by throwing for 1,748 yards and 18 TD as a junior. In his senior season, he threw for 4,018 yards and 38 TD, leading his team to its first championship since 1957. Stafford was the No. 1-ranked quarterback in the class of 2006 according to ESPN's Scouts Inc, and considered Michigan and Texas before deciding on Georgia. Stafford graduated high school a semester early to enroll at Georgia.
College Career
In 2006, Matthew Stafford became the first true freshman to start for the Bulldogs since Quincy Carter in 1999. Stafford finished the season 6-2 as a starter, appearing in 13 games. He totaled 1,749 passing yards and seven touchdowns, leading Georgia to wins over three ranked opponents (Auburn, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech). Stafford was named the Offensive MVP of Georgia's Chick-fil-A Bowl win over Virginia Tech. Stafford started all 13 games as a sophomore, throwing for 2,523 yards and 19 touchdowns to lead Georgia to a berth in the Sugar Bowl. Stafford threw for 175 yards and a touchdown in the 2008 Sugar Bowl against previously unbeaten Hawaii, the Bulldogs' first win in a BCS Game since the 2003 Sugar Bowl. Heading into his junior season, Stafford was on most watch lists for the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's top quarterback. He ended up earning semifinalist honors, throwing for a career-high 3,459 yards and 25 touchdowns. His standout individual performance came in the Bulldogs' regular season finale, in which he threw for a career-high 407 yards and a school-record-tying five TD in a loss to Georgia Tech. Stafford finished his Georgia career with 7,731 passing yards, which ranks third on the school's all-time list behind David Greene and Eric Zeier.
NFL Career
Matthew Stafford was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Stafford's agents negotiated with the Detroit Lions, who held the No. 1 overall pick, in the week leading up to the draft. The two sides came to an agreement on April 24, just 17 hours before the draft was scheduled to begin. Stafford is the first Georgia player selected No. 1 overall in the common draft era (1967). Stafford's contract -- the largest ever for an NFL draft pick -- is for six years and virtually guarantees him $41.7 million. The contract could pay him up to $78 million. ESPN's John Clayton reported that to get to the $78 million maximum, Stafford would have to make the Pro Bowl each year. He has a chance to make $72 million if he doesn't reach the Pro Bowl each season. To receive the full $41.7 million in guarantees, Stafford would need to play 35 percent of the team's downs as a rookie or 45 percent in later years. On Sept. 7, 2009, following the 2009 preseason, Stafford was named the Lions starting quarterback, beating out Daunte Culpepper for the job. Stafford threw for 205 yards and three interceptions in a Week 1 loss to the Saints, Detroit's 18th consecutive loss. Stafford did run for a touchdown in the game. After another loss in Week 2, Stafford led the Lions to a win over the Redskins, snapping the team's 19-game losing streak. The next week, Stafford suffered a subluxation of his right knee in a loss to the Chicago Bears. He sat out the next two games, both Lions losses. Stafford returned to the Lions lineup, but the team continued to struggle. In Week 11 against the Browns, Stafford set career highs with 422 yards and five touchdowns, leading Detroit to its second win of the season. Despite a separated non-throwing shoulder, Stafford was able to complete the Lions comeback with a touchdown pass on the final play of the game. He started the next two games, but sat out in Week 14 against the Ravens. He was put on injured reserve before Week 16, ending his rookie season.
Stafford is the son of John and Margaret Stafford. His sister, Page, currently attends the University of Georgia. During his time at Georgia, Stafford majored in speech communication.
Research Notes
FROM BRADSHAW TO STAFFORD&.THE STREAK CONTINUES " Matthew Stafford was placed on the Lions' injured-reserve list on Thursday ending his season. Stafford, the first player chosen in the 2009 draft, had a 2-8 record as a starter for Detroit, preserving a streak that's spanned four decades. Since 1967, the first year of the common draft, no quarterback selected with the first overall pick has had a winning record as a starter during his rookie season. The streak began with Terry Bradshaw, who was taken with the first choice of the 1970 draft.
The Elias Sports Bureau | 12/24/2009
Stafford Sets Rookie Marks
FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Matthew Stafford, the 21-year-old rookie, threw for 422 yards and five touchdown passes, the last yard and score coming with no time remaining in the Lions' 38-37 win over the Browns. That's an NFL record for most passing yards by a rookie; he broke the mark of 405 yards by Matt Leinart, set in a loss to the Vikings three years ago. Stafford tied the NFL's single-game record for touchdown passes by a rookie; that record was set by 22-year-old Ray (Buzz) Buivid for the Bears, in a 42-28 win over the Chicago Cardinals at Wrigley Field in the final game of the 1937 season.
Stafford Youngest to Throw 5 TD
Youngest to Throw 5+ Pass TD
Single Game, NFL History
Player Yrs-Days Team
'09 Matthew Stafford 21-288 Lions
'37 Ray Buivid 22-112 Bears
'84 Dan Marino 22-353 Dolphins
'66 Joe Namath 23-110 Jets
Stafford Among Worst for Rookie QB
The Lions' Matthew Stafford had by far the worst outing of any rookie quarterback starting his team's opener since 2002 when the league expanded to 32 teams.
Rookie Quarterbacks
Starting Team's Opener, Since 2002
Player TD-Int Passer Rtg Result
Matthew Stafford 0-3 27.4 L
Mark Sanchez 1-1 84.3 W
Matt Ryan 1-0 137.0 W
Joe Flacco 0-0 63.7 W
Kyle Orton 0-1 52.8 L
Kyle Boller 1-1 57.5 L
David Carr 2-1 78.8 W
Stafford Adds to SEC Total
Most Number 1 Overall Picks by Conference
Common Draft Era
Pac-10 11
Big Ten 8
SEC 6<<
Independent 5
>>Including 2009 (Matthew Stafford, Georgia)
Lions All-Time No. 1 Picks
Detroit Lions
First Overall Selections in NFL Draft
Year Player Pos School
2009 Matthew Stafford QB Georgia
1980 Billy Sims RB Oklahoma
1950 Leon Hart DE Notre Dame
1943 Frank Sinkwich RB Georgia
Lions Draft Picks from SEC
Lions 1st Round Picks from Current SEC Schools
Common Draft Era
Year Player Pos School
2009 Matthew Stafford QB Georgia
1998 Terry Fair CB Tennessee
1985 Lomas Brown OT Florida
1983 James Jones RB Florida
No Surprise - QB No. 1 Again
Position Selected Most Often With No. 1 Pick
Common Draft Era (Since 1967)
Pos Picks Last
QB 16>> '07 JaMarcus Russell
DE 9 '06 Mario Williams
RB 7 '95 Ki-Jana Carter
DT 3 '94 Dan Wilkinson
0T 3 '08 Jake Long
WR 2 '96 Keyshawn Johnson
LB 2 '88 Aundray Bruce
>>Matthew Stafford will become No. 17 on Saturday
No. 1 QB Going to Bad Team
Obviously the circumstances were different, but the last time a team drafted a quarterback No. 1 overall after a season in which they played and failed to win a game was 1983. The Colts, coming off an 0-8-1 strike-shortened season, drafted John Elway, who turned out to be pretty good (though not for the Colts).
QB Drafted No. 1 Overall
By Team with 0 or 1 Wins, Common Draft Era
Player Team Super Bowl Titles
'09 Matthew Stafford Lions ?
'83 John Elway Colts 2
'70 Terry Bradshaw Steelers 4
>>Not including expansion teams
A Lot to Learn for No. 1 Overall QB
So what should Lions fans expect from Matthew Stafford? Well not much the first year. The last five quarterbacks taken No. 1 overall have not done much in their first season, each throwing more interceptions than touchdowns, with the exception of Carson Palmer who held a clipboard his entire rookie year.
Last 5 Quarterbacks Selected No. 1 Overall
In First Season
Player Team TD-Int
'07 JaMarcus Russell Raiders 2-4
'05 Alex Smith 49ers 1-11
'04 Eli Manning Chargers<< 6-9
'03 Carson Palmer Bengals DNP
'02 David Carr Texans 9-15
>> Traded to Giants on Draft Day
Big Money for Top Picks
Matthew Stafford has agreed to a 6-year deal with the Lions that will pay him $41.7 million guaranteed and could be worth up to $78 million -- easily the largest contract ever for a No. 1 overall pick.
Maximum Contract Value of No. 1 Overall Pick
Since 2004
Year Player Team Contract
2009 QB Matthew Stafford Lions 6-yr/$78M
2008 OT Jake Long Dolphins 5-yr/$57.8M
2007 QB JaMarcus Russell Raiders 6-yr/$68.0M
2006 DE Mario Williams Texans 6-yr/$62.1M
2005 QB Alex Smith 49ers 6-yr/49.5M
2004 QB Eli Manning Giants<< 6-yr/$54.0M
>>Originally drafted by Chargers
Stafford Would be Georgia's Highest Pick Since '67
Highest Player Drafted
From University of Georgia
Player Team Pick
'93 Garrison Hearst ARI 3rd
'06 Johnathan Sullivan NO 6th
'01 Richard Seymour NE 6th
'99 Champ Bailey WSH 7th
'89 Tim Worley PIT 7th
< Common draft era (since 1967)
Should Stafford Sign Before Draft?
Last 4 No. 1 Overall Picks
Signed Before NFL Draft
Year Player, Team Date
2008 Jake Long, MIA April 21
2006 Mario Williams, HOU April 28
2003 Carson Palmer, CIN April 25
2002 David Carr, HOU April 19
Stafford Good When Behind
One of the reasons Matthew Stafford is a desirable NFL prospect, is his ability to perform under pressure. Over the past three seasons, he ranked 4th in passing efficiency rating among BCS conference quarterbacks when trailing in the second half.
Highest Passer Efficiency Rating, Last 3 Seasons
When Trailing in 2nd Half, BCS Conference Quarterbacks
Player, School Pass Effic
Graham Harrell, TTU 141.3
Chase Daniel, MIZZ 139.4
Andre' Woodson, UK 136.9
Matthew Stafford, UGA 132.9
Willie Tuitama, ARI 132.5
>>min. 200 attempts
Did You Know?
The only other Georgia quarterback selected in the 1st round was Johnny Rauch, who was the 2nd overall pick of the Lions in 1949.
SEC QBs are Hit-Or-Miss
Quarterbacks from the SEC have been hit-or-miss in recent years.
Quarterbacks Drafted in 1st Round
From SEC, Since 2000
2007 JaMarcus Russell LSU Raiders
2006 Jay Cutler Vanderbilt Broncos
2005 Jason Campbell Auburn Redskins
2004 Eli Manning Ole Miss Chargers
2003 Rex Grossman Florida Bears
Georgia Quarterbacks Drafted
It's been a long time since a Georgia quarterback has made an impact in the NFL. The only Georgia quarterback to make a Pro Bowl appearance was Fran Tarkenton. Stafford will be just the 7th quarterback from Georgia drafted in the common draft era.
Georgia Quarterbacks in NFL Draft
Since 1990
Year Player Picked By Round
2006 D.J. Shockley Falcons 6th
2005 David Greene Seahawks 3rd
2001 Quincy Carter Cowboys 2nd
1995 Eric Zeier Browns 3rd
First-Round 'Dawgs
Recent 1st-round picks from Georgia have been underwhelming, to say the least.
Georgia 1st Round Picks
Since 2003
2005 David Pollack DE Bengals
2005 Thomas Davis LB Panthers
2004 Ben Watson TE Patriots
2003 George Foster OT Broncos
2003 Johnathan Sullivan DT Saints
Georgia's Standout Freshman Rusher
Last season, Georgia had a much-heralded freshman in QB Matthew Stafford. This season, another freshman is leading the way for the Bulldogs in RB Knowshon Moreno. Moreno is currently 2nd in the SEC in rushing (110.4 rush YPG), and is among the best freshman RBs ever in school history. Moreno's YPG is 2nd best by a freshman in the nation (Pittsburgh LeSean McCoy, 118.3)
Most Rush Yards by a Freshman
Georgia History
'80 Herschel Walker 1,616
'07 Knowshon Moreno 1,104
'87 Rodney Hampton 890
'04 Thomas Brown 875
Top 10 Recruits in Class of 2006
Top 10 Recruits
From Insider 150 Rankings
Player Position State School
1. Myron Rolle S NJ Florida State
2. Percy Harvin WR VA Florida
3. Vidal Hazelton WR VA USC
4. Andre Smith T AL Undeclared
5. Mitch Mustain QB AR Arkansas
6. DeMarco Murray RB NV Oklahoma
7. Sergio Kindle LB TX Texas
8. Taylor Mays S WA USC
9. Matthew Stafford QB TX Georgia
10. Micah Johnson LB KY Kentucky
Top 2006 Recruiting Classes
Top Ten Recruiting Classes
Tom Luginbill, Scouts Inc.
School Key Recruits
1. Florida QB Tim Tebow, WR Percy Havin
2. USC WR Vidal Hazelton, S Taylor Mays
3. Texas LB Sergio Kindle
4. Georgia QB Matthew Stafford
5. Notre Dame T Sam Young
6. LSU DT Al Woods
7. Penn State DE Maurice Evans
8. Ohio State RB Chris Wells
9. Oklahoma RB DeMarco Murray
10.Auburn QB Neil Caudle
A Look Back at 2006's Top Recruits
2006 Class
Player School Career
1. DB Myron Rolle FSU 23 straight starts, 144 tackles
2. WR Percy Harvin FLA 2,477 yds from scrimmage, 15 TD
3. WR Vidal Hazelton USC 51 rec., 548 yds, 4 TD
4. OL Andre Smith ALA 2-time All-SEC
5. QB Matthew Stafford UGA 17-4 as a starter
Georgia Goes Deep, Bama Doesn't
Have the Tide intentionally been playing it conservatively to this point, or is Matthew Stafford just that much better than John Parker Wilson?
Pass Plays for 30+ Yds This Season
School Plays NCAA rank
Georgia 10 T-3rd
Alabama 1 T-116th
Stafford Climbing Georgia Lists
Georgia's junior quarterback Matthew Stafford has been climbing up the career lists for passing yards and passing touchdowns:
Most Career Passing Yards, Georgia History
David Greene 2001-04 11,528
Eric Zeier 1991-94 11,153
Quincy Carter 1998-00 6,447
Mike Bobo 1994-97 6,334
Matthew Stafford 2006-pres 6,218
Most Career TD Passes, Georgia History
David Greene 2001-04 72
Eric Zeier 1991-94 67
Mike Bobo 1994-97 38
Matthew Stafford 2006-pres 38
Stafford Heating Up
Georgia QB Matthew Stafford has put up some impressive numbers in his last three games.
Matthew Stafford in Last 3 Games
Comp-Att 56-90
Comp Pct 62.2
Yards PG 332.7
TD-Int 10-1
Stafford needs 317 yards to establish a new school record for passing yards in a season.
Stafford Bounces Back in Second Half
Matthew Stafford In Capital One Bowl vs MSU
Category 1st Half 2nd Half
Comp-Att 6-14 14-17
Pass yards 71 179
TD-Int 0-1 3-0
Score Trailed 6-3 Won 24-12
Most Passing Yards at Georgia
Most Single Season Passing Yds, Georgia History
'93 Eric Zeier 3,525
'08 Matthew Stafford 3,459
'94 Eric Zeier 3,396
'03 David Greene 3,307
Georgia's Young Quarterback
Last week, freshman QB Matthew Stafford became the first UGA quarterback this season to play from start to finish. Now the fun begins. Stafford is trying to become the first true freshman QB to lead Georgia past Florida since Johnny Rauch did it in 1945. Two others tried, and didn't end pretty. Eric Zeier lost 45-13 in 1991 and Quincy Carter lost 38-7 in 1998. For the first time since 1995, Georgia has started three different QBs in the same season (Mike Bobo, Hines Ward, Brian Smith). The trio of Stafford, Joe Tereshinski and Joe Cox has combined for 8 TD and 10 INT.
Stafford's Winning Touch
After losing 2 of his first 5 career starts, Georgia QB Matthew Stafford has gone 12-2 under center.
Is Stafford NFL Ready?
There's no doubting his cannon arm and NFL potential, but it's worth pointing out that UGA junior QB Matthew Stafford has one career game with more than 2 TD passes and no games with more than 275 pass yds. In 29 career games (24 starts), he has 30 TD and 23 Int.