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Top Georgia Quarterbacks in the NFL: Matthew Stafford is underrated no more

Ranking the top three Georgia quarterbacks currently in the NFL, as well as their most historical moments from UGA.

The Georgia Bulldogs aren’t quite known for putting college football quarterbacks in the NFL. However, one of the league’s best once called Georgia home. After a decade-plus of obscurity in Detroit, Matthew Stafford saw his fame soar once he joined the Los Angeles Rams. He’s also had a bit of a career resurgence in Hollywood. Aside from Stafford, which other former Georgia quarterbacks are currently in the NFL?

Top Georgia quarterbacks in the NFL

The Bulldogs have two current quarterbacks whose last college stop was Georgia. However, if you expand your search parameters in today’s transfer-portal era of college football, Justin Fields could also be considered a Bulldog. At least for his first season on his collegiate journey, the current Chicago Bears signal-caller was a Georgia Bulldog.

Matthew Stafford is a Hall of Famer

It’s been 12 years since Stafford was taken first overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. The Detroit Lions rode Stafford to mediocre success over 12 seasons, largely unable to build around their franchise QB. Stafford threw for at least 4,000 yards in seven straight seasons and at least 20 touchdowns in eight.

A gunslinger by reputation, Stafford was certainly not just a big-armed quarterback with boom-or-bust potential. He was a cerebral assassin with his throws at times. Stafford also had what could be considered the strongest arm in the NFL during his prime. He’s now thrown for over 50,000 yards and 300 touchdowns in his career.

Yet, during his 12 seasons in Detroit, he largely flew under the radar. Stafford is 12th on the all-time list of active passing yard leaders. He’s essentially a season behind Aaron Rodgers despite entering the league four years after the Green Bay Packers QB. Stafford is adding to his already illustrious career with a resurgence in LA. He’s led the Rams to the playoffs as the No. 4 seed.

Stafford will be firmly in the Pro Football Hall of Fame conversation when he hangs up the cleats. But this isn’t the first Hall of Fame-worthy moment of his career.

What is Britney doing?

Stafford is also famous for his career at Georgia. An underrated performer in college, Stafford threw for 7,731 passing yards and 51 touchdowns during an era of run-first SEC offenses. But it was an overtime victory against Alabama in 2007 that lives in college football folklore.

During Georgia’s matchup against the Crimson Tide on September 23, 2007, ESPN announcer Mike Patrick lost focus and wondered about the life path and career of Britney Spears.

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After Alabama took a 23-20 lead with their second possession in overtime, Patrick famously asked Todd Blackledge, “What is Britney (Spears) doing with her life?”

After a hapless exchange that lasted 28 seconds, Stafford came onto the field and delivered a 25-yard laser off of play-action to Mikey Henderson for the upset victory over Alabama. An underrated moment in an underrated player’s career. Fortunately, we can all relive this fabulous college football moment for all eternity.

The jury’s still out on Jake Fromm and Justin Fields

While the future is brighter for one of them, the expectations for Fields’ success will certainly be more immediate. After being selected with the 11th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, Fields appeared in 12 games, starting 10. He threw for 7 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2021.

A lot of his troubles were placed on the Bears’ offensive system and his now-former head coach Matt Nagy. Fields can certainly lean on his college success as a pillar of what to expect. After one year with Georgia that saw him appear on fewer than 100 snaps, he transferred to Ohio State, where he put up illustrious numbers.

The reason for Fields’ transfer, however, was Jake Fromm. Chosen in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, Fromm earned the starting role with the Bulldogs in 2019. That move forced Fields to transfer to see playing time at Ohio State. Fromm has since appeared in just three regular-season games for the Bills, all of which saw him have a mixed bag of success and failure. Fromm is likely set for a long-term backup role in the NFL.

Georgia could add to this mix if JT Daniels were to leave the program for the NFL or pull a Fields and transfer somewhere else before landing in the pros. Current Georgia QB Stetson Bennett will have quite a bit to prove before making any future NFL jump.

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. He is also the co-host of Between the Hashes, a college football and NFL draft podcast. You can find his writing here. Follow him on Twitter @CamMellor

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