Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Draft a QB at your own risk

Cowherd said on espn radio this morning that he would never select a QB first round, which piqued my curiosity, so I looked up the 1st round QB selections in the last 20 years and assigned them my own ratings: B - Bust, J - Journeyman, S - Starter (AS - Allstar). Feel free to disagree. (The number preceding their name is their pick in the first round.)

1 Troy Aikman - AS (Greatest Bruin footballer of all time. Unfortunately, he was a Cowboy but I just found out that he's a major donor to the Republican party and he finally connected back with UCLA (got his degree last spring too), so he's okay by me.

1 Jeff George - J
7 Andre Ware - B

16 Dan McGwire - B
24 Todd Marinovich - B
(Favre went 2nd round)

6 David Klingler - B
25 Tommy Maddox - J (UCLA)

1 Drew Bledsoe - S
2 Rick Mirer - B

3 Heath Shuler - J
6 Trent Dilfer - S

3 Steve McNair - AS
5 Kerry Collins - S

1996 none

26 Jim Druckenmiller - B (stupid, stupid, stupid)

1 Peyton Manning - AS
2 Ryan Leaf - B (classic QB cautionary tale. half the GMs in the NFL had Leaf rated higher than Peyton.)

1 Tim Couch - B
2 Donovan McNabb - AS
3 Akili Smith - B
11 Daunte Culpepper - S
12 Cade McNown - B (sadly)

18 Chad Pennington - S
(Tom Brady went 6th round)

1 Michael Vick - S
(Drew Brees went 2nd round)

1 David Carr - J
3 Joey Harrington - B
32 Patrick Ramsey - J

1 Carson Palmer - S
7 Byron Leftwich - J
19 Kyle Boller - J
22 Rex Grossman - J

1 Eli Manning - AS (Superbowl makes him a AS)
4 Philip Rivers - S
11 Ben Roethlisberger - AS (Superbowl makes him a AS)
22 JP Losman - J

1 Alex Smith - B
24 Aaron Rodgers - S
25 Jason Campbell - S

3 Vince Young - B
10 Matt Leinart - B
11 Jay Cutler - S

1 JaMarcus Russell - B (yeah, I know he's still starting but I already know he'll be a bust)
22 Brady Quinn - INC

3 Matt Ryan - S
18 Joe Flacco - INC (good rookie season but Boller had that too)

18 Starters (6 Allstars among them)
9 Journeymen
15 Busts


- So if you pick a QB 1st round, there's a 57% (24 out of 42) chance that your guy will end up being a bust or a unreliable journeyman. And nowadays when you're already a horrible team (or the worst team in NFL history like the Lions) and about to commit somewhere around 35 million GUARANTEED to a QB that has less than 50% chance to succeed, you could seriously set your organization back half a decade (see 49ers). I say take a Left Tackle and be done with it. (I'm not looking it up but I bet the numbers for RB are even worse than QB.)

- Of the 11 QBs taken No. 1 overall in the entire draft since 1989, there have been 6 bonafide starters (with only Aikman and Peyton as surefire Hall of Famers) and 5 busts/journeymen. (And I included Michael Vick in the "Starter" category just to be nice even though he might not ever start another game as a non wildcat formation QB.) That means that you have a 55% success rate when picking a QB first overall. Good luck if you go with Matt Stafford, Lions.

- 49ers. sigh. You know its sad when Trent Dilfer is the best ex-49er on this list. Their 1997 pick Jim Druckenmiller was supposed to be heir apparent to Montana and Young. 2005 Alex Smith was the 1st pick overall. In both cases, I'd argue the next QB taken would have been infinitely better - Jake Plummer and Aaron Rodgers (both Pac-10 guys, coincidently).