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Page last updated at 10:34 GMT, Saturday, 25 April 2009 11:34 UK

Detroit make Stafford top draft

Top pick Stafford 'excited' by Lions chance

By Tim Love
BBC Sport in New York City

The Detroit Lions have made Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford the top pick of the 2009 NFL Draft.

Stafford, 21, secured a six-year deal worth $78m (£53m) - with $41.7m (£28.4m) of it guaranteed.

The St Louis Rams selected Jason Smith, the Baylor offensive tackle, with the second pick of the draft.

Kansas City then selected defensive end Tyson Jackson, Seattle took highly rated linebacker Aaron Curry and QB Matt Sanchez went to the New York Jets.

The draft, featuring the best college football players, is the primary way NFL teams are stocked with talent as clubs pick in inverse order of the standings to promote parity.

606: DEBATE

The Lions became the worst team in NFL history with a 0-16 record in 2008, but that mark gave them the first choice in the two-day NFL college draft in New York.

Stafford became the seventh quarterback in the last 10 years to be taken with the first selection of the draft.

He played 38 games at the University of Georgia, throwing for 48 touchdowns and 7,481 yards.

The seven-round draft, in which 256 collegiate players are selected, is held over two days at the Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan.



see also
What's the NFL draft all about?
23 Apr 09 |  American Football
Steelers clinch sixth Super Bowl
02 Feb 09 |  American Football
Dolphins draft Long as first pick
26 Apr 08 |  American Football
Manning gets Giants move
24 Apr 04 |  US Sport
NFL fixtures
05 Jan 08 |  American Football
NFL results
26 Oct 07 |  American Football
NFL standings
26 Oct 07 |  American Football
NFL in a nutshell
19 Oct 05 |  American Football
American Football on the BBC
05 Feb 08 |  American Football


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