Monday, September 28, 2009

Quick look at QBs

Interestingly, Peyton's one of the few QBs in the NFL that was anointed from the beginning. His father was an NFL QB, he played at powerhouse Tennessee (where he was robbed of the Heisman), then picked number 1 overall in the draft. I wonder where starting NFL QBs are from and their draft position? And how many other players are from big time programs, are picked as the franchise cornerstone and have been successful?

(Listed within each category by my personal rankings)

1st or 2nd round pick, Big time school - 12
Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Kerry Collins, Mark Sanchez, Matt Stafford, Jason Campbell, Brady Quinn, JaMarcus Russell

1st or 2nd round pick, small school - 9
Ben Roethlisburger, Donovan McNabb, Philip Rivers, Brett Favre, Joe Flacco, Jay Cutler, Trent Edwards, Chad Pennington, Byron Leftwich

Low pick or undrafted/Big time school - 5
Tom Brady, Matt Schaub, Matt Hasselbeck, Kyle Orton, Matt Cassel

Low pick or undrafted/small school - 6
Kurt Warner, Tony Romo, Shaun Hill, David Garrard, Marc Bulger, Jake Delhomme

Carson Palmer qualifies but is just mildly successful. Drew Brees from Purdue was picked 2nd round but the Chargers gave up hope on him. Eli Manning perhaps, if you consider Ole Miss a big time school. Brady Quinn, Mark Sanchez, Matt Stafford are too new to qualify as successes, no matter what the NY media and ESPN is trying to sell us right now. JaMarcus is a huge bust. Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan come from borderline bigtime programs and the jury is still out on them. And Tom Brady went to Michigan but only started 1 year, in a time share with Drew Henson if I remember correctly, and ended up a 7th round pick.

So basically, it is really tough to make it as a successful NFL QB. It takes nearly all of the following: immense talent, superior intelligence, concentrated hard work, excellence under pressure, effective coaching, a healthy and productive franchise/environment, good teammates and chance/opportunity. The highly touted QB recruit that goes to Notre Dame, Florida or Oklahoma does not necessarily have a leg up on QBs from smaller colleges. Even undrafted prospects can claw their way to the top. Considering this, Peyton Manning's continued success is even more amazing.

The top 10 QBs in my perspective are (in order):

Peyton, Brady, Brees, Warner, Eli, Roethlisberger, McNabb, Romo, Rivers, Palmer

4 were picked high from big programs, 3 were picked high from no namers, 2 were undrafted from no name schools and only 1 was picked low from a big program.

Another observation:
Only 5 starting QBs are black. Of the five - Russell, Campbell, Leftwich, Garrard and McNabb, only McNabb can be considered a true star. 3 of the others them may not even have starting jobs next year and I'm counting Garrard as the incumbent that should keep his. (9/29 Edit: Leftwich just lost his starting job but he has made way for another black QB, Josh Johnson. Johnson is actually just warming the seat for Josh Freeman, Bucs QB of the future, who's also black.)

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