Overview
After completing the first 0-16 season in NFL history, the Detroit Lions drafted QB Matthew Stafford with the first overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft. It was the second time in NFL history the Lions made the No. 1 overall selection (1980, Billy Sims). One night before the draft, the Lions came to a contract agreement with Stafford, who they selected with the first overall pick. The Lions also selected Oklahoma State TE Brandon Pettigrew in the first round, taking him with the 20th overall pick.

In 2008, the Lions finished 0-16 in the regular season, finishing in last place in the NFC North. This will be the Lions' first draft under new head coach Jim Schwartz, who was hired to replace Rod Marinelli in January.

Including Stafford and Pettigrew, the Lions have used 12 of their past 13 first-round selections on offensive players.
Transactions
- The Lions acquired the 20th pick of the 1st round, the 18th pick of the 3rd round (82nd overall) and the 19th pick of the 6th round (192nd overall) from the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for Roy Williams and the 1st pick of the 7th round (210th overall) on Oct. 14, 2008.

- The Lions acquired the 12th pick in the 3rd round (76th overall), the 15th pick in the 4th round (115th overall) and the 19th pick in the 7th round (228th overall) from the New York Jets in exchange for the 1st pick in the 3rd round (65th overall) on April 26, 2009.

- The Lions traded the 1st pick of the 4th round (101st overall) and a 2008 4th-round pick to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a 2008 3rd-round pick on April 27, 2008.

- The Lions traded the 1st pick of the 5th round (137th overall) and Cory Redding to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for Julian Peterson on March 14, 2009.

- The Lions acquired the 26th pick in the 7th round (235th overall) and a 5th round pick in 2010 from the Denver Broncos in exchange for the 1st pick in the 6th round (174th overall) on April 29, 2009.
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