Stafford talks 2008... and the NFL

ATHENS – Some people may be thinking about the future, but Matthew Stafford is not.

Georgia's soon-to-be junior quarterback is "living day-to-day," he said in an interview with Dawg Post contributor Josh Kendall and not worried about what might happen at the end of this season. Stafford will be eligible to enter the NFL Draft next year if he decides to forego his senior season at Georgia, and it's looking like he will be a hot commodity if he does that.

A mock draft for the 2009 season released this week by ESPN.com and Scout Inc. analyst Todd McShay predicts Stafford would be the No. 3 overall selection if he enters next year's draft.

"If the supremely talented Stafford continues to progress as he did last fall, he could easily emerge as a top-five pick next April," McShay wrote.

McShay's mock draft considered all players would could make themselves eligible for next year's draft, and that includes sophomore running back Knowshon Moreno, who redshirted as a true freshman and thus will be eligible to enter the draft next year. Moreno is listed as the No. 10 overall pick next year by McShay.

Stafford said that he has thought about the fact that he'll be draft-eligible next season.

"How could you not?" he said.

However, that doesn't mean he's made any plans.

"There is so much time between now and then," he said. "So many things can happen. I have never set my mind on being anything. I'm kind of one of those guys that takes it as it comes, and whatever happens, happens. I'm doing the best I can right now, living day-to-day."

Thinking about the future might distract Stafford from the 2008 season, which is something he very much wants to avoid, he said.

"Right now I really am just concentrating on giving this school and this team everything I have, trying to lead by example and however else I need to leading, just do what I can to get this team where it needs to be because we've got talent," he said. "We've got players. We can do something pretty special around here I think."

Stafford has thrown for 4,097 yards and 26 touchdowns in his collegiate career.

"Sometimes I feel like I've been here forever," he said. "At the same time, I'm pinching myself saying, ‘Man, I'm already a junior.'"

Moreno, who rushed for 1,334 yards last year. could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

McShay's 2009 mock draft has a very familiar feeling for Georgia and its fans. Five of the top seven players on it on the rosters of the Bulldogs' 2008 opponents – Georgia Tech defensive end Michael Johnson (No. 2), LSU defensive tackle Al Wood (No. 4), Auburn defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks (No. 5), Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith (No. 6) and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow (No. 7). Overall, 13 players in McShay's 32-team mock draft play in the Southeastern Conference.


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