Quarterbacks drafted first overall: No. 7

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will likely draft Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota with the No. 1 overall pick. So how does this type of thing usually work out? We continue our countdown of the 18 quarterbacks who were drafted with the top selection over the past 40 years.

Matthew Stafford 2009, Detroit Lions

Stafford’s career got off to a very slow start as he dealt with injuries as a rookie and in 2010. But he took a giant stride forward in 2011, throwing for 5,036 yards and becoming only the fourth quarterback in history to throw for 5,000 yards. He also led the Lions to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth.

That season raised the bar for Stafford, and Detroit fans have place unusually high expectations upon him. Stafford might not be considered an elite quarterback yet, but his career is off to a very good start. Stafford set NFL records for most completions and passing yards by a quarterback in his first 50 games.

Of course, Stafford has the luxury of throwing to Calvin Johnson and that’s bound to help any quarterback. Stafford has thrown for over 4,200 yards in each of the past four seasons while throwing 112 touchdowns and 64 interceptions.

With the arrival of coach Jim Caldwell last season, Stafford’s career took an upturn. He led the Lions to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth. Stafford also was selected to the Pro Bowl and ended up being honored as the game’s offensive Most Valuable Player.

Entering his seventh season, Stafford appears to be a quarterback very much on the rise.

Final analysis: Good pick.