Stafford was a highly sought after recruit that worked his way into action early on as a freshman. He started eight games in 2006, earning SEC All Freshman honors in the process. He threw for 1,749 yards while completing just under 53% of his passes for seven touchdowns and 13 interceptions. That experience was a great learning tool for the following year. Stafford threw for 2,523 yards and 19 touchdowns, while cutting his interceptions to just ten and improving his completion percentage to just a tick below 56. As a junior, Stafford continued to improve. He had career highs in every category, throwing for 3,209 yards while completing 61% of his passes for 22 touchdowns while throwing just nine interceptions.
Stafford has all the tools to be a franchise level quarterback. He has good size, showing the strength and toughness to take hits in the pocket and get back up for the next snap. Stafford’s arm is amazing, and can make every throw with ease. When he unleashes the football, you can tell his arm is NFL caliber. He is also a surprising athlete for a pocket passer, and is able to elude the rush and can scramble a little bit when things break down. There is a lot of upside left in Stafford’s game. He has shown improvements every year, and there is no reason to expect his growth to slow down now.
Despite his talent and improvements, Stafford has not had the production to justify the hype. He can be erratic at times with his throws, and still forces the ball into coverage at times. He will need more time to develop, and probably will not be ready as a rookie this year.
Stafford has all the tools to be a star in the NFL. He may need a little work since he has declared after just his junior season but he has a bright future ahead. He is a very safe bet to be the first quarterback selected in April after the post season, where he impressed everyone with the zip on his throws and put the ball where it needed to be. His 4.81 40 at the combine was the second fastest time for the true quarterbacks(Pat White’s 4.55 the fastest, but he may be a WR), so he showed that he isn’t just a guy who has to stand in the pocket. Stafford is one of a couple guys who have a shot to be taken first overall, but even if he isn’t, he should go in the top five.