3. Matthew Stafford
Stafford potentially would be higher on the list had he not endured the misfortune of having his season ended by a neck injury.
He had previously started 136 consecutive games for the Lions and was enjoying an encouraging 2019 for the Lions when he was sidelined.
In his eight games, Stafford threw 19 touchdowns to just five interceptions. He was a top-10 quarterback by Football Outsiders‘ defense-adjusted yards above replacement and defense-adjusted value over average metrics, as well ESPN’s Total QBR. That the Lions went 3-4-1 during his time on the field was little fault of Stafford.
Blessed with one of the best arms in the NFL, Stafford arguably has as big of an upside as any quarterback in the division.
When healthy, Stafford has the talent to elevate the Lions to contention in the North, though the past two seasons have indicated his efforts will be hamstrung by head coach Matt Patricia, who has provided little reason to have confidence in his ability to lead the franchise to success.
Between a receiving corps headlined by Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola, an intriguing tight end in T.J. Hockenson and two talented young running backs in Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift, Stafford has the supporting cast to keep the Lions competitive in 2020.
He is one of more underrated quarterbacks in the NFL and, should he avoid injury in the upcoming season, look for Stafford to prove his quality in emphatic fashion in 2020.