It was common knowledge that the Lions were extremely interested in Stanton but it was believed that the team would turn their attention to defense after drafting Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson in the first round (second overall).
The Lions spent a lot of time with both Stanton and Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith but it was Stanton who seemed to be the object of offensive coordinator Mike Martz's affections at the NFL Combine. "With the 43rd pick we were able to the player we were looking at for a while and I"m excited about that obviously. He's a home-grown kid, he's athletic, he's got a big upside we're anxious to work with him, but most importantly the kid's a football player," said Detroit president and general manager Matt Millen.
That love continued when Stanton had his Pro Day in East Lansing and Martz took him aside and show him some things in his footwork and his delivery. "Mike (Martz) had a chance to work with him a little bit when we went up there (for his pro day)," said Detroit's head coach Rod Marinelli. "Part of the evaluation is watching a guy take coaching and the hunger and the look in his eye. That was impressive to all of us, he's a tough guy and a great leader."
Stanton told ESPN News "I'm so excited, I have Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams as teammates," gushed Stanton. He further said that he felt he could learn a lot from Detroit's current starter Jon Kitna and is looking forward to jumping into the fray when the team holds its post draft minicamp next week.
GSN will have more when it conducts a post draft interview with Stanton in the next few hours.