NEWS

Stafford Pleased with Detroit's First-Round Picks

Posted May 3, 2010

Quarterback Matthew Stafford is very excited about this year’s draft class, particularly when it comes to Detroit’s two first-round picks: Ndamukong Suh and Jahvid Best.

“I texted both of them that night and told them to have fun,” said Stafford, who made sure to watch the first round.

“It’s a fun night for those guys. I got to do it last year. We were excited to have them. I was really excited and really pleased with the draft.”

Both players will impact Stafford’s game significantly, even though Suh is a defensive player.

One thing Stafford was forced to do a lot of last year was try to convert third-and-long plays because the Lions were constantly behind on the scoreboard.

The Lions are hoping improvements on both sides of the ball will affect the scoreboard early, making it possible for Stafford to play more conservatively. That should hopefully result in fewer turnovers.

“A quarterback’s best friend is a good defense,” said Stafford. “Being able to get off the field on third down and keep the other team from scoring. He’s a big part of it. He was a great player in college and you expect the same out of him at this level.”

Best comes in as yet another weapon for Stafford to take advantage of moving into this season.

The Lions had already made offseason moves to help in that area, picking up players like Nate Burleson and Tony Scheffler.

“I’m really happy,” said Stafford. “We brought a guy in to compete on the offensive line at guard in (Rob) Sims and Nate was big catch for us, getting him. I was not expecting the Scheffler trade and when that happened, it was obviously a lot of fun for me to get another guy like that that can run and catch the ball like he can.

“Then coming out of the draft with a couple guys that are potential weapons too. I’m excited about it and I think they did a great job this offseason.”

Best adds another dimension to the Lions’ running game as a speed back that can catch the ball out of the backfield.

He has “home run ability” and should be a good complement to Kevin Smith and Maurice Morris, who are more physical backs.

“He’s another guy that can come in and do some things for us, catching the ball and running it,” said Stafford. “Somebody that’s pretty multi-dimensional. It’ll be good for us.”

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