Lions to Make Stafford No. 1 Draft Pick
Georgia quarterback inks record $78 million deal with Detroit
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2009 2:41 AM CDT
NFL draft prospects line up atop the marquee at Radio City Music Hall yesterday, with Matthew Stafford at the center.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
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(Newser) – The Detroit Lions have signed a deal to make Matthew Stafford the NFL's top draft pick, sources tell ESPN. The Georgia quarterback, a key part of the Lions' plans to rebuild after the worst season in NFL history, has been given a 6-year deal worth a maximum of $78 million, with $41.3 million guaranteed.

The deal is the richest in the history of the draft, topping the $72 million deal the Atlanta Falcons gave Matt Ryan. The Lions say they've done their homework and they're sure Stafford won't be a bust. "We've seen every pass he's thrown in the last 2 years, and that's where you learn about his decision-making ability," said first-year coach Jim Schwartz.