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After four years, Matthew Stafford’s mechanics still an issue

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 30: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions looks to throw a second quarter pass while playing the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on December 30, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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It’s been four years since the Lions selected quarterback Matthew Stafford with the first overall pick in the NFL draft. And there are still bad habits Stafford needs to break.

Although Stafford insists there’s nothing wrong with his mechanics, it would be hard for anyone who has watched him to accept that. He frequently delivers the ball sidearm, or without his feet set, and he often looks skittish in the pocket. Ron Jaworski of ESPN, who spends as much time watching tape of quarterbacks as anyone, says he likes Stafford’s arm, but not his throwing motion.

“Too many forced throws. Overall, he just threw too many passes with poor balance and bad footwork, with a tendency to fall away from the throws,” Jaworski said. “He needs more consistent mechanics to play at a higher level week in and week out.”

Jaworski ranked Stafford as the No. 16 starting quarterback in the NFL, which isn’t exactly what the Lions were hoping for when they spent the first pick in the draft on him. Fixing those mechanics may be what Stafford needs to do to become an elite passer. Whether Stafford thinks so or not.