Stafford, who left school one year early, isn't expected to immediately start as a rookie.
"I'm a competitive guy," Stafford said. "I'm going to try to get ready as quick as I can. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be great anyway."
"I learned how to compete and deal with pressure at SC and in a large media market in Los Angeles," Sanchez said of stepping in for the retired Favre, "and things are only going to bigger and better. It's a very exciting time, a special time in my life, so I'm excited to get things going."
Oddly, the selections of Stafford and Sanchez drew plenty of boos and chants of "OVERRATED" to go with the many cheers.
The Lions, whose poor draft history this decade under former general manager Matt Millen eventually led to the winless season, have veteran Daunte Culpepper as their projected starting quarterback next season under new coach Jim Schwartz. That should give Stafford a chance to watch and learn.
"Now, it's up to us to develop him and get good players around him," new Lions GM Martin Mayhew said.
Sanchez started for only one season at USC, leading the Trojans to a 12-1 record and a Rose Bowl victory.
Another offensive tackle, Virginia's Eugene Monroe, went eighth overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars, one spot after the Oakland Raiders were seduced by the speed of Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. The Raiders grabbed the player who had the fast 40-yard time in workouts, even though many projected him to go far later.
Other noteworthy first-round picks included Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno ( 12th to the Denver Broncos), USC linebackers Brian Cushing (15th to the Houston Texans) and Clay Matthews (26th to the Packers, who traded up), Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman ( 17th to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Connecticut running back Donald Brown (No. 27 to the Indianapolis Colts) and wide receiver Kenny Britt (No. 30 to the Tennessee Titans.
In all, 19 offensive players and 13 on defense went in the first round, and 15 underclassmen were chosen. Eight players from the Southeastern Conference were selected. USC had the most first-round selections of any school with three.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press