Obviously, everyone's long since heard: Cutler was on his way here to become a Lion, but the plane ran out of gas and had to land in Chicago. Jerry D'Angelo hopped the fence at O'Hare and commandeered one of those luggage-hauling golf carts. He swooped past the airplane stairs, snatched Cutler off his feet, and together they drove for seven hours to the airport bar. D'Angelo called up the Broncos leadership (by the way, are there any employees other than the owner and coach? Where was the GM in this whole mess?) and offered them the moon and the stars, and the deal was done.
I'm kind of confused about where this puts the Lions. They've successfully convinced everyone that they're taking Matt Stafford #1 overall. It might be a brilliant ploy to hoodwink everyone, but let's face it folks: they might well be taking Matt Stafford #1 overall. It's in their interest to create a trade market for the #1 pick, sure, but putting out the word that you're going to take the guy nobody else wants doesn't really accomplish that. It's been suggested that the Broncos could package their #12 pick and new #18 pick and get the #1 overall from the Lions, but if that's what they wanted to do they could have just done that with Cutler to begin with, and they'd have kept their #12 to boot. It doesn't look like a setup or a smokescreen or anything like that; it looks like the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one: the Lions really need a QB, and they have the #1 overall pick, and there's a half-decent QB prospect available, and that's that.
The Lions' situation at quarterback hasn't changed. They still have Duante Culpepper, who is wretched but can be propped up to the media and fans as a quasi-legitimate starter, and Drew Stanton, who's a very talented quarterback, outstanding young man, and local favorite, but is also in the doghouse for reasons no one understands. They still have the #1 pick, and there's still Matt Stafford right there. The question is, do the Lions believe in Matt Stafford? Can a private workout answer all ot the many questions surrounding Stafford and his game? Unfortunately the only people who know the answer to that aren't telling.
This brings me to an important point: we are now in the "BS Zone" for the draft: anything we hear from this point out is almost certainly leaked misinformation. With yesterday's USC Pro Day concluding the circus of private workouts, teams are now going back to their bunkers to hash out and finalize their draft boards. Once the scouts and coaches and GMs and player personnel folks have all had their say, and every team has their final grades done, and the draft board is set, nothing else can happen between then and the draft, except gamesmanship . Most of the time, the "late risers" and "late fallers" and "trade rumors" we hear about in the media are mularkey. Sometimes, yes, real info slips out, like the Vikings having Troy Williamson about a full round higher up on their draft board than most other teams. In a lot of cases, the dramatic rise and fall of certain players's stock is just that real info correcting the speculation of the fans and media. However, with the amount of disinformation, speculation, and fan hysteria going on, trying to pick out what is "real" and what is noise is so difficult that it's almost not worth trying.
It's disappointing to lose out on Cutler, of course, but the reality is that the Lions are better off with our 1.20, 3.1, 2010 1st, and whatever other value we would have had to part with to get that deal done. This team has so many holes, so many needs, and so many chances to fill them; it would be foolhardy to deal off all that value and all of that potential for just one player--one who may or may not be any more talented than the guy the Lions will probably acquire for just the 1.1 all by itself: Matt Stafford. We may yet see a dramatic move from the Lions, possibly a trade down from 1.1, or possibly a trade up or down from 1.20. But, by far, the most likely scenario is that the Lions will to the obvious thing, the boring thing, the lame thing, the thing we all don't want them to do: take a QB number one overall. Get your credit cards ready, folks, for your brand-new Stafford #7 jersey, on sale at www.detroitlions.com less than ten seconds after the pick is announced. A new hope, a new savior, another Skywalker. Let's hope this one is more Luke Stafford and less Anakin Harrington . . .