If you want to just assume you're going to get a good NFL starter out of your first-round pick in the upcoming draft, try to avoid reading back over the 2009 class.
Two of the top four players taken are no longer in the league; there's really just one good QB out of this class; in almost every case, the top player drafted at each position did not become the top player in the draft. It's just another reminder: Projecting players to the NFL is hard -- and that's even before the injuries start.
As I re-draft the 2009 first round based on what has happened since, here are the things I factor in:
• Total production so far matters, but future production is a big factor, too.
• Positional value matters; premium positions are rated a little higher.
• I don't care about team fit. It's just overall value of the player.
So, here's a shot:
He's been a good QB with bouts of greatness, and while you can call modern passing stats inflated, Stafford is on a pace to eclipse 50,000 passing yards in his career. He's safely past 21,000 yards and is barely 27 years old, and my guess is his best football is in front of him. He isn't the star at his position that the No. 2 pick on this list is, but Stafford could play another 10 good years.