Allen Park — Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has been in the shoes of Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold.
As teams at the top of the draft search for their franchise quarterback, those four passers are being dissected at every turn. And even though it was before the boom of social media, Stafford went through many of the same things coming out of Georgia in 2008.
Stafford’s advice to those prospects awaiting their draft fate is simple.
“I think the biggest thing you can do is just go be yourself,” he said. “Be yourself, work hard and let the chips fall as they may. If those guys do that, I think they’ll be successful. All those guys are super talented. You watch them play in college football and they do a great job with their teams. Just go out there and have fun doing it.”
Stafford pointed out each quarterback will enter a unique situation, but there will undoubtedly be additional connections made to any selected by the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are coming off the NFL’s second 0-16 season, while Stafford was selected by the Lions after the franchise became the first to accomplish the dubious feat.
Coincidentally, the hard-throwing Allen, who has been increasingly pegged to the Browns with the first overall pick, has frequently been compared to Stafford.
A self-described fan of the game, Stafford is looking forward to seeing how the first round of the draft shakes out, but doesn’t have any preference for where any of the prospects end up.
“There’s a lot that can happen on draft night,” Stafford said. “All of that trades, movement, all that kind of stuff is interesting to me. As far as who goes where, I don’t care. I just hope those guys have the best career they can have.”