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Scott Wright
08-25-2008, 09:51 AM
Hey,

Those who have been around a while probably know my theory on quarterbacks selected in the second or third round but I finally got around to writing an article explaining and examining it.

You can find it via the main page:

http://www.draftcountdown.com/

Feel free to discuss it in this thread.

rockio42
08-25-2008, 10:48 AM
Great read and some great information you put together Scott

MaxV
08-25-2008, 11:19 AM
I agree with you Scott, but there is another extreme here.

It seems that teams that are picking in the top 10 are a bit too eager to pull a trigger on a QB who is far from sure thing.

drowe
08-25-2008, 01:04 PM
thanks for writing that scott. great read on a subject i've been very interested in. some random thoughts though:

-what about the fact that a first round QB is given some luxury and resources that a 2nd or 3rd round pick just wouldn't have.
ex1) if a 2nd or 3rd rounder played the way Eli Manning played his first couple years, he probably wouldn't have lasted long enough to finally succeed.
ex2) if Kellen Clemens or John Beck were drafted in the first round, they might have gotten the keys to the offense by now instead of watching their teams trade for Favre and Pennington respectively.

it seems with the NFL draft, salary isn't the only thing that's slotted by draft position. if you're a first round pick, the team will work towards making sure you have all the knowledge and resources necessary to be successful. but, anything after round 1, and you're on your own.

also, not totally related, but i'd love to see the success rate of 1st round QBs that sit for a year compared to the rate for QBs that start in their first year.

princefielder28
08-25-2008, 01:06 PM
nice read, the stats certainly don't lie

agree with alot of what drowe posted

P-L
08-25-2008, 01:40 PM
Another thing I noticed (and this is a pretty small sample size) is that when a team trades back up into the 1st Round to select a QB or takes one at the end of the 1st Round, they don't tend to succeed. Could this simply be putting 1st Round pressure on a 2nd Round talent?

From 1992-2005, not a single QB drafted in the 1st Round, after pick #15 has gone on to be a franchise QB. There have been 10 QB's drafted in that area and 7 of them have been busts, it's still too early to tell on 2 of them (Aaron Rodgers and Jason Campbell), and the last one is Chad Pennington (who's not really a bust, but I don't consider him a franchise-type QB).

In the same time period, there have been 24 QB's drafted in the top 15 picks. 8 of those have been what I consider a franchise QB, 15 can be considered busts (at least in terms of not living up to their draft slot), and 1 of them (Philip Rivers) is still up fro debate. That means, if you draft a QB in the top 15 there is about a 33% chance you will find a franchise QB.

So not only do you want to draft your QB in the 1st Round, but you want to draft him in the top 15.

Shane P. Hallam
08-25-2008, 01:49 PM
Great read Scott, we actually discussed this in IRC a few days back.

I think what Green Bay did this season made sense too though. Take a QB in the 2nd or 3rd, then go with a flyer in the 7th as well. Though they didn't have the situation that "needed" it, it increases your odds a bit.

MaxV
08-25-2008, 01:59 PM
Coaching and system has a lot to do with it as well.

Most of these QB prospects come to NFL with basically a clean slate.

drowe
08-25-2008, 02:23 PM
Great read Scott, we actually discussed this in IRC a few days back.

I think what Green Bay did this season made sense too though. Take a QB in the 2nd or 3rd, then go with a flyer in the 7th as well. Though they didn't have the situation that "needed" it, it increases your odds a bit.

yes. i think if anything, teams need to adjust their philosophy on grooming QBs. it's NEVER a bad idea to just have a young project QB on your roster to learn the system, just in case. considering guys like Marc Bulger, Tom Brady, Derek Anderson and David Garrard were just in the right place at the right time, i think a lot of teams could learn from this. you could either fill your roster with veterans with a proven record of mediocraty, or just use that 3rd QB slot to draft a guy you like and hang on to him for a rainy day.

i enjoyed scott's entry, but i think to just pick the 2nd and 3rd round is pretty arbitrary and it's more about what teams want out of their pick than it is about the actual player.

Iamcanadian
08-25-2008, 07:58 PM
[QUOTE=drowe;1185523]thanks for writing that scott. great read on a subject i've been very interested in. some random thoughts though:

-what about the fact that a first round QB is given some luxury and resources that a 2nd or 3rd round pick just wouldn't have.
ex1) if a 2nd or 3rd rounder played the way Eli Manning played his first couple years, he probably wouldn't have lasted long enough to finally succeed.
ex2) if Kellen Clemens or John Beck were drafted in the first round, they might have gotten the keys to the offense by now instead of watching their teams trade for Favre and Pennington respectively.

it seems with the NFL draft, salary isn't the only thing that's slotted by draft position. if you're a first round pick, the team will work towards making sure you have all the knowledge and resources necessary to be successful. but, anything after round 1, and you're on your own.

---If this had any validity at all, then we wouldn't see too many QB's drafted late become starters in the league. Of course a 1st round pick is going to get 1st crack at the job. The team and HC obviously thought he was special but the fact remains that where you were drafted gets you 1st crack but if you impress the HC, especially on winning teams that have a sound Management team, It won't matter what pick you were. It didn't slow down Tom Brady one iota that he was a 6th rounder. A HC wants to win, he's not interested in where you were drafted. If he sees talent he won't hesitate to pull the trigger.
Clemens and Beck have had ample opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and before Favre and Pennington were even in the picture, the Jets and Miami HC's didn't like what they saw in both of these 2nd rounders.

also, not totally related, but I'd love to see the success rate of 1st round QBs that sit for a year compared to the rate for QBs that start in their first year.

---Here is another myth that circles around the NFL and their fans. Successful QB's in the NFL are mentally tough or they wouldn't be stars. These guy let very little bother them and just get up and keep on coming. The QB's who fail in the NFL simply lack that mental toughness to survive. Even if they are put with a successful franchise, they never approach any kind of success you thought they would.
Mental toughness is very hard to judge when assessing talent in a QB and that is why so many fail while lessor talented players move on and have real success. It also explains why so many flops at QB in the NFL are associated with some of the worst talent appraising GM's that ever ran a draft. People assume because say Harrington went #3 in the draft that every other GM would have drafted Harrington at that spot given the same conditions, but I think that is far from the case. The great talent appraisers in the NFL would likely have seen Harrington's weaknesses and passed on him no matter where they were picking. The same for Carr, Couch and Akili Smith. Their GM's simply put, stunk when drafting, piling up truly poor records of any success at the draft table, at any position. These GM's accounted for an awful lot of flops during their careers so drafting QB's that flopped should come as no surprise.
A QB has to be a leader on a team with the ability to urge lessor talents to play above their talent levels but if they lack mental toughness, nobody will play any attention to them, and that was the fate for the above mentioned flops. You put Tom Brady or a Peyton Manning on the same teams and believe me they would soon be contenders.

Scott Wright
08-25-2008, 08:05 PM
for what it's worth, the rate of "success" in the first round is about 9/34 (+/- aaron rodgers) or 26%.

I think you could make an argument to get that number up to 15 or 16 out of 34 depending on how stringent you are with your definition of "success" too.

Scott Wright
08-25-2008, 08:07 PM
Just to touch on one more thing...

There are plenty of reasons why guys fail to live up to expectations, whether they are 1st, 2nd or 3rd round picks. However, the point of the article was just to point out that, for one reason or another, the track record for 2nd and 3rd rounders is not very good at all.

D-Unit
08-25-2008, 08:44 PM
That's purposely why Washington waited until the 6th round to draft Colt Brennan.

Paranoidmoonduck
08-25-2008, 08:59 PM
I think that draft ratios of success are interesting (as are the standards set for success), but in the end, this is about individual players. It's hard to make any sort of statement about where the "safest" place to draft a position is considering that that player is the single biggest factor in their success or failure by miles.

Yes, as a general rule, the talent in the first round is both more talented and more proven than those in later rounds. And, of course, the success rate of those quarterbacks is also considerably higher than it is in any other point of the draft. Even when looking at how much higher the investment is in the first round versus later rounds, there aren't much more accepted ways to spend money in this league than on a quarterback.

Another general rule of the draft has to be that players who not just have to ability to succeed, but to excell, will invariably slip down to later spots. While passing on a quarterback early in favor of picking one up later is conventionally backwards, there are many instances of time where less than worthy players get their stock raised and teams tend to target on particular guys that they like and know they can get later on. Indeed, quarterbacks as a whole tend to bunch up in the first round (one-third of all the passers chosen in the first 5 rounds since '95 were 1st rounders) because their inherent value in the position they play gets their stock elevated.

On one hand, Scott is absolutely right. If players break down the way we think they should (more promising players go early and get less promising as the draft goes along), then debating whether to take one now or later is an easy answer. But evaluating talent and people will never be that straightforward, and so teams will continue to wonder if they really need that college superstar when there's a talented but less hyped quarterback available down the line.

ninerfan
08-26-2008, 05:28 AM
Thanks to all for their varied responses. I guess if you like a guy grab him as early as you can (though I'm not sure Alex Smith is in this catergory).

My biggest concern (am I'm an Aussie without a history of American football) is this: If I'm investing $20+M in guarenteed money for a QB shouldnt I expect a better success rate than 25% ? NFL teams have scouts all over the country, there's the draft combine and private workouts so why is the success rate so low ?

Australian rules football (AFL) has a rookie salary cap for 2 years. Granted our kids are 17 - 19 when drafted but their all on a level (and low) playing field until year 3 when a team can realistically evaluate their progress. Performers earn the good money and 'busts' are usually cast aside or resigned at a reduced rate.

How long until rookies in the NFL have their salary capped ? I'm sure that teams then would be prepared to take a fly on a promising QB.

Scott Wright
08-26-2008, 07:13 AM
My biggest concern (am I'm an Aussie without a history of American football) is this: If I'm investing $20+M in guarenteed money for a QB shouldnt I expect a better success rate than 25% ? NFL teams have scouts all over the country, there's the draft combine and private workouts so why is the success rate so low ?

Very true, you'd think it would be higher but that's just kind of the way it is.

Personally I think a big part of the problem is that a lot of these guys go into terrible situations with bad teams that are poorly run with not enough talent around them. Sure some are just busts and can't cut it but I think if you take a Top 10 quarterback prospect and put him with, say the Indianapolis Colts, the success rate would be much, much higher than 25%.

Look at Alex Smith. He is just 24-years-old and going into his fourth season in the league but he is already with his fourth different offensive coordinator and system. It's hard enough for a quarterback to develop without that sort of constant turmoil or upheaval. And now they are benching him in favor of J.T. O'Sullivan? In my opinion Smith never had a chance.

Or look at Matt Leinart. I think the way Arizona has handled him is a travesty. He has only played in a total of one seasons worth of games yet they can't wait to bench him for a 37-year-old Kurt Warner who offers a little short-term relief but absolutely no long-term upside. You invested a Top 10 pick and a ton of money on the guy and you don't even want to give him an opportunity to develop? So what if he threw 3 interceptions in a preseason game. He's a young quarterback, that is going to happen. Brett Favre literally threw as many interceptions as he did touchdowns the first two years of his career. You just need to fight through the growing pains.

Much like with real estate a lot of times for young quarterbacks it's all about location, location, location.

Iamcanadian
08-26-2008, 07:45 AM
Thanks to all for their varied responses. I guess if you like a guy grab him as early as you can (though I'm not sure Alex Smith is in this catergory).

My biggest concern (am I'm an Aussie without a history of American football) is this: If I'm investing $20+M in guarenteed money for a QB shouldnt I expect a better success rate than 25% ? NFL teams have scouts all over the country, there's the draft combine and private workouts so why is the success rate so low ?

---It's that low because there is a huge difference in the guys evaluating players. In the end, on most teams the GM makes the final decision on who to draft and their talent as appraiser's of players varies considerably. Bad GM's account for a very high percentage of all flops while the top GM's have very few flops. Teams also have a huge variance in their scouting departments as the financial resources available to each team varies considerably. Then you have owners who never remove the deadwood from their scouting departments for personal reasons. The results are clearly seen by the # of flops that certain teams continually have.

Australian rules football (AFL) has a rookie salary cap for 2 years. Granted our kids are 17 - 19 when drafted but their all on a level (and low) playing field until year 3 when a team can realistically evaluate their progress. Performers earn the good money and 'busts' are usually cast aside or resigned at a reduced rate.

How long until rookies in the NFL have their salary capped ? I'm sure that teams then would be prepared to take a fly on a promising QB.

---Does Australian Rules Football have FA. Does a Australian Rules Football teams take in billions of dollars in revenue. When they do then you can compare the 2 leagues. How long is the average career of your football players? The average career of a pro football player is about 4 and a half years so paying a rookie scraps for 2 years is totally out of the question unless the player's union is prepared to see the owners take in a very high percentage of the team revenues for themselves while a very high percentage of the players receive peanuts for playing even if they are stars.
The player's union in the NFL will absolutely never agree to a rookie salary cap given the average career length of its members. Rookie salaries are also the driving force that drives up veteran salaries as well.
Sure the owners would love to make more money by paying their players less. Fans think that extra revenue would go to the veteran players but believe me the owners have no interest in paying their veteran more, they are only interested in making more for themselves.
Another question, how many of your 17-19 year old players even start for their teams or are the stars on their teams. American pro football has a feeder system through its college system where players come into the league and start right away and even are sometimes stars right away.
I just don't think you can compare the rookie systems of the 2 leagues and compare how they pay their players.

Iamcanadian
08-26-2008, 08:11 AM
Very true, you'd think it would be higher but that's just kind of the way it is.

Personally I think a big part of the problem is that a lot of these guys go into terrible situations with bad teams that are poorly run with not enough talent around them. Sure some are just busts and can't cut it but I think if you take a Top 10 quarterback prospect and put him with, say the Indianapolis Colts, the success rate would be much, much higher than 25%.

Look at Alex Smith. He is just 24-years-old and going into his fourth season in the league but he is already with his fourth different offensive coordinator and system. It's hard enough for a quarterback to develop without that sort of constant turmoil or upheaval. And now they are benching him in favor of J.T. O'Sullivan? In my opinion Smith never had a chance.

Or look at Matt Leinart. I think the way Arizona has handled him is a travesty. He has only played in a total of one seasons worth of games yet they can't wait to bench him for a 37-year-old Kurt Warner who offers a little short-term relief but absolutely no long-term upside. You invested a Top 10 pick and a ton of money on the guy and you don't even want to give him an opportunity to develop? So what if he threw 3 interceptions in a preseason game. He's a young quarterback, that is going to happen. Brett Favre literally threw as many interceptions as he did touchdowns the first two years of his career. You just need to fight through the growing pains.

Much like with real estate a lot of times for young quarterbacks it's all about location, location, location.

While I agree that you might raise the success rate by a few percentage points if you placed some of these QB's who flopped into better organizations, I doubt you would see a substantially better rate of success. Poor organizations simply do a far worse job at evaluating talent at every position and account for a very high percentage of flops at every position even if they play a rookie right from the start.
In the end HC's really don't care where a player was drafted, they play the player they think can actually win games. You think Mike Martz cares where Smith was drafted, he is going to play the player who he thinks can develop and lead a team and he didn't see much in Smith.
I think you are overstating the case when you say location, location, location.
There are many examples of QB's going to other teams after being ignored by the team that drafted them and having a successful career. However when you look at say Carr, Harrington and Couch, you see guys go to decent organizations after flopping with their original team(who by the way all had rotten GM's with long records of drafting flops) and still remain basically flops. IMO, they simply weren't mentally tough enough to survive adversity and a pro QB MUST be mentally tough. I suspect Smith and Leinart lack that attribute as well. Nobody is ever going to mistake Nolan or the Arizona management team as great evaluators of talent. I think it is a bit naive to simply put all the blame on the organization for a player's flopping, the player has to share the responsibility. Palmer was drafted by an extremely poor organization which puts little into winning yet he isn't a flop.

ninerfan
08-26-2008, 02:58 PM
---Does Australian Rules Football have FA. Does a Australian Rules Football teams take in billions of dollars in revenue. When they do then you can compare the 2 leagues. How long is the average career of your football players? The average career of a pro football player is about 4 and a half years so paying a rookie scraps for 2 years is totally out of the question unless the player's union is prepared to see the owners take in a very high percentage of the team revenues for themselves while a very high percentage of the players receive peanuts for playing even if they are stars.
The player's union in the NFL will absolutely never agree to a rookie salary cap given the average career length of its members. Rookie salaries are also the driving force that drives up veteran salaries as well.
Sure the owners would love to make more money by paying their players less. Fans think that extra revenue would go to the veteran players but believe me the owners have no interest in paying their veteran more, they are only interested in making more for themselves.
Another question, how many of your 17-19 year old players even start for their teams or are the stars on their teams. American pro football has a feeder system through its college system where players come into the league and start right away and even are sometimes stars right away.
I just don't think you can compare the rookie systems of the 2 leagues and compare how they pay their players.

I think you mistook my point. I was simply both enquirying about the NFL and sharing my thoughts on the AFL.

It seems crazy to me to give a draftee a huge playing contract before they have even played a proffesional down. I dont blame the player for holding out etc but its not healthy for the game when an untried kid becomes one of the highest paid players before doing anything onfield. I appreciate playing careers can be short but life has no guarentees - I may live to I'm 90 or could get hit by a bus tomorrow.

The average career of an AFL player is just over 3 years. Like all sport cream rises to the top and great players can have 10+ years in the game (age 30 seems the defining age). Journeyman players may move around and tend to stick for about 5 years and quite a few players last 1 or 2 years and may never actually play a game. Its quite common for the top draft picks (ave age 17 - 19) to play half or more of their 1st season (22 games). The great kids in good situations can play all 22 and do have a meaningful impact on the teams results.

AFL is vastly different to NFL as its a continual game with some likeness (though not alot) to soccer. Players must have offensive and defensive skills (though they may specialise in 1 or the other). Player positions vary but there are no specialist players such as QB etc.

My point (and I'm not saying which is better) is that in AFL teams have an additional 2 years to evaluate talent at the pro level before the pay scale kicks up. It certainly helps to seperate the greats from the also rans.

Brent
08-26-2008, 06:48 PM
every time the Niners have played the Pats since Tom Brady became the starter, they always talk about how Tom Brady, who grew up a Niners fan, was devastated when the Niners took Gio because he knew they wouldn't draft him later in the draft and he still holds that against the organization to this day.

eaglesalltheway
09-02-2008, 07:17 AM
Thanks to all for their varied responses. I guess if you like a guy grab him as early as you can (though I'm not sure Alex Smith is in this catergory).

My biggest concern (am I'm an Aussie without a history of American football) is this: If I'm investing $20+M in guarenteed money for a QB shouldnt I expect a better success rate than 25% ? NFL teams have scouts all over the country, there's the draft combine and private workouts so why is the success rate so low ?

Australian rules football (AFL) has a rookie salary cap for 2 years. Granted our kids are 17 - 19 when drafted but their all on a level (and low) playing field until year 3 when a team can realistically evaluate their progress. Performers earn the good money and 'busts' are usually cast aside or resigned at a reduced rate.

How long until rookies in the NFL have their salary capped ? I'm sure that teams then would be prepared to take a fly on a promising QB.

You would think the success rate would be higher, but QB is the hardest posiiton to evaluate when prospects are entering th NFL. As it should be, there are the most varying aspects to evaluate for a QB on so many different levels, physiucally, mentally, leadership, etc. I too expected the success rate a little higher, but like someone said before, teams trading into the first using a pick on a QB after pcik 15 may be a case of teams taking a player too early, which may result in the ratio of success being lower. I agree with what a lot of Scott brings up, but it really does depend on so many factors for success for NFL QBs, and we sort of have to realize, just like Scott says, that no matter where you are in the draft, it is a crapshoot. There have been players that haven't lived up to expectations at every single position in every single pick #, and there are those that have exceeded expectations at every posisiton at every draft # as well. That is why I like the draft so much, it blends science with fate. PS Scott, I will be waiting for Archie's Grandkids, haha.

BBIB
09-02-2008, 03:45 PM
Most QBs fail in the NFL but yeah it seems 1st rounders have at least that 50/50 shot in recent memory of amounting to something.