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Stafford’s advice to top QB draft prospects: ‘Have fun’

Allen Park — Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has been in the shoes of Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold.

As teams at the top of the draft search for their franchise quarterback, those four passers are being dissected at every turn. And even though it was before the boom of social media, Stafford went through many of the same things coming out of Georgia in 2008.

Coincidentally, the hard-throwing Allen, who has been increasingly pegged to the Browns with the first overall pick, has frequently been compared to Stafford.

A self-described fan of the game, Stafford is looking forward to seeing how the first round of the draft shakes out, but doesn’t have any preference for where any of the prospects end up.

There’s a lot that can happen on draft night, Stafford said. All of that trades, movement, all that kind of stuff is interesting to me. As far as who goes where, I don’t care. I just hope those guys have the best career they can have.

I expect us to be the best duo in the NFL, Hopkins told reporters Tuesday. That’s my goal. I’m pretty sure that’s his goal. And if we have all these goals for ourselves, that’s going to help the team get what we get to.

Watson burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2017. After backing up Tom Savage in Houston’s first game, Watson started the Texans’ next six contests and went on a torrid touchdown pace. The rookie out of Clemson threw for 1,699 yards and 19 scores in seven games until he suffered a season-ending knee injury. Extrapolated over a full 16-game slate, Watson was on pace to throw for 3,883 yards and 43 touchdowns, the latter of which would have shattered the rookie QB record (26: Peyton Manning, 1998; Russell Wilson, 2012).

Hopkins was the main beneficiary of Watson’s historic debut. In the first seven games of the 2017 season, the receiver reeled in seven touchdowns; with Savage and T.J. Yates under center for the remaining nine games, Hopkins caught just six scores.

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