Born and Raised:
Stafford was born in Tampa, Florida but attended Highland Park High School in Texas, where he played football and was a three-time All-State selection. In his senior year, he was named the Gatorade Player of the Year and EA Sports National Player of the Year.
Stafford attended the University of Georgia, which was also his father’s alma mater. He started 34 times for the Georgia Bulldogs, including eight starts in his freshman year. During his three seasons with the Bulldogs, he was mostly injury free and had stellar seasons as a sophomore and junior. In fact, he was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) after Georgia defeated Michigan State University in the Capital One Bowl. Stafford ultimately decided to leave college after his junior year so that he could register for the NFL draft.
2009 NFL Draft:
Stafford was rated #1 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. He ended up with a six-year, $78 million contract with the Detroit Lions. He is the highest-paid player in Lions history
Strengths and Weaknesses:
For Georgia, Stafford proved to be a typical drop-back passer with a very strong arm. He developed into a smart and durable player in that he was able to adapt his play after assessing the field, time a pass well and take a hit. Big and strong, he has all the physical tools to be a great quarterback in the NFL.
Stafford needs to work on his footwork and, given the interceptions he threw in preseason games starting for the Lions, catch up to the speed of an NFL game.
Stafford is known for being easy-going and calm with solid leadership qualities.