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View Full Version : Topic Revisited: When to draft a QB?


Shane P. Hallam
11-18-2009, 03:01 PM
Something that has been discussed almost every year is when a team in need of a QB should draft one. Scott created an excellent thesis about drafting players in the 2nd or 3rd round, and the failure rate: http://www.draftcountdown.com/features/23qb/23qbs.php


So, it seems like taking a player in the 1st round would be the best bet, but still risky.

Today on Twitter, a former Appalachian State QB and former NFL scout for the Ravens (as well as other teams,) Daniel Jeremiah is presenting another argument. Sign a veteran and draft a QB in the 4th-6th rounds. Here are some tweets from in debating the issue. I wanted to get your feelings:

@MoveTheSticks: I like the Ron Wolff philosophy of drafting a QB late in the draft each year... you hit on 1 of 4, you are set and they come cheap..

@MoveTheSticks: RT @ATL_Todd: What QBs did Ron Wolff hit on with that strategy?>> Brunell, Hasselback and Brooks

@MoveTheSticks: Long story short.. In a new situation, I would only take a QB in rd 1 if I felt STRONGLY about him.. go vet and draft one in later rds

@MoveTheSticks: RT @prosb4hos: Also Majkowski was a 10th rounder. And if you cant draft one, sign undrafted free agent QBs. Pack signed Kurt Warner too.

@MoveTheSticks: pick up a guy like Sage Rosenfels and then draft a QB in the 4th-6th round 2-3 yrs in a row... odds just about as good and a lot cheaper

@MoveTheSticks: Obviously, when you have a Carson Palmer/Peyton Manning type player, you have to pull the trigger... Some years are the top crop is muddier

@MoveTheSticks: @ShanePHallam 6th round has been a pretty good QB round...

@MoveTheSticks: RT @Sarxos: Problem is teams always feel strongly about the QBs they take in Round 1.>> not true, pressure to take one forces bad decisions

CC.SD
11-18-2009, 03:08 PM
"@MoveTheSticks: RT @ATL_Todd: What QBs did Ron Wolff hit on with that strategy?>> Brunell, Hasselback and Brooks"

This guy got owned pretty hard.

I actually like this strategy, or would if I didn't go to sleep with a picture of Rivers under my pillow every night. The cost of straight up missing on a 1st round QB is years from your franchise...develop some passers from later in the draft and spend your premium picks giving them tools to work with and you can have a lot of success.

Although generally this might be a better strategy to employ as a middling team, not picking high enough to potentially snag the Hall of Fame QBs that come along every now and again.

I guess the downside of pickign a late round QB every year is that you are not really giving any of these guys a chance to develop...you would need a really stellar coaching squad to pinpoint which of the picks has the best chance of success.

Paranoidmoonduck
11-18-2009, 03:11 PM
not true, pressure to take one forces bad decisions

This is something I absolutely agree with. There's no doubt that the large percentage of top notch quarterbacks are going to come in the first round. Those guys don't tend to be late bloomers or obscure college players. However, the desire of all the NFL teams to have a guy of that caliber drives up the stock of a lot of guys who have little business going that high.

If you're a developing team, I actually do think that if a good vet is out there, signing him and then finding a quarterback you actually really like in the later rounds is the safer choice. Of course you'd be better off if you draft the next Peyton Manning, but the chances of that are incredibly slim.

WMD
11-18-2009, 03:14 PM
@MoveTheSticks: pick up a guy like Sage Rosenfels and then draft a QB in the 4th-6th round 2-3 yrs in a row... odds just about as good and a lot cheaper
Sounds like a recipe for delicious success. Everyone knows damn well that Sage would get benched by Week 4 and then you're stuck playing your 5th Round project QB, who does nothing.. and then you earn the #1 Pick, which you decide to spend on that Franchise QB because bums don't win games!

P-L
11-18-2009, 03:16 PM
Sounds like a recipe for delicious success. Everyone knows damn well that Sage would get benched by Week 4 and then you're stuck playing your 5th Round project QB, who does nothing.. and then you earn the #1 Pick, which you decide to spend on that Franchise QB because bums don't win games!
Yeah, signing a vet only works if that vet is better than Sage Rosenfels.

DiG
11-18-2009, 03:19 PM
i like the idea of drafting a qb when you dont have 2 good ones on your team and theres one at the top of your draft board when its your turn to pick.

SenorGato
11-18-2009, 03:19 PM
QB is a weird position. I either go balls in and take a guy I really like early, OR I draft a guy in the 4-6 round every year and hope one separates himself from the others.

Actually I'll put it another way...if I have no O-line and marginal talent around them, I build that up first. THEN if there's a QB I really like I take him in the first round.

Until the offense is built, I'd do the 4-6 round thing.

diabsoule
11-18-2009, 03:50 PM
First and foremost, I have to ascertain what type of system I am running on offense. What type of quarterback would fit in with that system? Then it comes down to what position I am in the draft and the QB FA market.

If I'm drafting in the top 5-10, then I would be more willing to draft a top notch QB. However, if I'm in the teens or later I would rather draft a position player, especially a left tackle for instance, to help who my QB will be in the upcoming year.

I'm a very big proponent of sitting a rookie quarterback in their first year in the league, no matter who they are. I want to get them acclimated to the NFL, to the system, and to the offense. I also want a veteran QB, whether starting or not, to help tutor them. I think one of the best recent examples was Carson Palmer in Cincinnati. He sat behind Jon Kitna for a year learning the system. He took over the next year with a good grasp on the system.

In essence, I'd rather go veteran QB, build up my OL, and draft QB in the later rounds and have them sit their first year so they can learn the system and learn from the veteran and give them a full year to develop.

BigBanger
11-18-2009, 04:04 PM
This is a load of crap.

Only a certain percentage of teams can sit there and draft QBs year in and year out in middle to late rounds hoping they get lucky. You take the Detroit Lions, a team picking in the top 10 every year, and you see how far that gets ya. Pick up a veteran FA? Culpepper? Okay, you gonna do anything with him? Yeah, you're gonna be picking in the top 10 next year again. Next year rolls around, you gonna pick up another vet? Yeah, we'll take some first round bust like Joey Harrington. Okay, now what have I done? Yup, another losing season with Harrington and Culpepper starting every other week. Picking in the top 10 again. Now I take that 5th round draft pick that I took two years ago, and now he takes some starts, but guess what? He ******* sucks. Yup, still got these two ******* douche bags name Daunte Culpepper and Joey ******* Harrington as my ******* ******** QBs. Guess what? Picking first overall. Not taking a QB since it's less money. Draft another in late rounds. That ************ that I took in round 4 doesn't make the ******* roster. Now, I'm stuck with Pep and Joey as my two ******* QBs... again. Top 10 again. Let's give Mike Vick a shot? Why not. Yeah, he still sucks. We're in the top 5 again.

Oh, we hit it big this off season. We got big ******* Sage Rosenfels during free agency. Holy ****!!! Look out for this team. Guess what? Top ******* 10 again. Now where the **** do we go?

Paranoidmoonduck
11-18-2009, 04:11 PM
You also have to look at it from a larger perspective than just "find a quarterback". This conundrum generally regards teams that are perpetually down and out. They are the teams that have top 10 picks every year. Sure, there are teams that have a few down years, pick up a first round QB, and then spring back in playoff contention (I'm looking at you Baltimore), but a lot of these teams have huge problems with an attitude of institutionalized losing. While all teams want to build a championship squad, a lot of these cellar dwellers need a few seasons of .500 or close to .500 ball to change the general environment of their team, to become more attractive to potential free agents, and to build confidence in their fan base.

When it comes to quarterbacks, a veteran mentality and experience is usually going to help that happen quicker than it will with a rookie. Again, there are exceptions, as some rookies are supremely well suited to the demands of an NFL quarterback, but these guys are exceedingly rare. Not to implicate that a good veteran is an easy find either. That said, introducing a rookie quarterback to a team in a state of perpetual losing rarely ever goes the way you hope it would.

RaiderNation
11-18-2009, 05:35 PM
Id draft a QB once I know I have a reliable LT on the team. Then Id want to know if the top QB's fit my type of offence. If so I go after him, if not Id look in F/A or trade

goodlookin
11-18-2009, 06:25 PM
Definitely want to get the pieces in place before I go ahead and try to win with one high priced asset. A quarterbacks play is usually indicative of the overall talent level of the rest of the team, for example Roethlisberger is by no means a top 5 QB talent in the league but he is a top 5 producer at the QB position because of the overall talent level of the steelers. This being said, I'd rather have a competitive team in place by drafting high for non QB positions for a few years and take gambles on late round fits and then after preferably three drafts spring a 1st round talent.

Don Vito
11-19-2009, 04:24 AM
Obviously a lot goes into evaluating a QB, but as RaiderNation said you want him to have a good line and some weapons around him so he has something to work with. How many times have we seen top QB prospects thrown into the fire with no line and nothing to work with and they get destroyed? Their confidence gets shattered and that is the hardest thing to get back, all the blame goes to the QB and when the team is down he'll be labeled a bust.

I still think a team's franchise pick at QB needs to sit until he can walk into a situation where he can use his abilities. Sure there have been rookie QB's who have done well, but it rarely works when he has no time to throw and players he knows will get the job done to get the ball to.

Either that and just wait until pick #199, that could work too.

wordofi
11-19-2009, 10:33 AM
The bottom line is that you draft a quarterback in the 1st round. That gives a team the best chance of finding a franchise quarterback.

Halsey
11-19-2009, 10:52 AM
People have distorted views of drafting QB's because they are so high profile and everyone remembers 'busts' for years afterwards. If you mention drafting a QB high you will get 1,000 people making comparisons to Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell, etc. When you mention drafting another position high, say DT or DE, people don't remember Courtney Brown, Steve Emtman, Aundrey Bruce, Dan Wilkinson, Gerrard Warren, Gaines Adams, etc. There's this idea that QB's are super risky and all other postions are safe. Perception is not always reality when it comes to the Draft.

Shane P. Hallam
11-19-2009, 11:10 AM
The bottom line is that you draft a quarterback in the 1st round. That gives a team the best chance of finding a franchise quarterback.

Not saying that I agree, but I think the argument is risk vs. reward. If you have a veteran QB (take the Seahawks, Panthers, Colts, Rams, Patriots) the argument is to take a 6th round QB every year. If you hit on one of them in 4 or 5 years, then you have your new franchise QB and won't be in the situation a team like the Rams are in now, where their vet QB has run out of gas and they may be scrambling for a new franchise QB. This way, you won't have to deal with taking that big risk on a Top 5 QB down the line.

Even look at the case with Aaron Brooks. Drafted in the 4th round by the Packers, he was soon traded for a 3rd round pick after showing flashes as the third string QB. It is basically taking an investment and trying to make something out of it.

SchizophrenicBatman
11-19-2009, 01:18 PM
Sounds like a recipe for delicious success. Everyone knows damn well that Sage would get benched by Week 4 and then you're stuck playing your 5th Round project QB, who does nothing.. and then you earn the #1 Pick, which you decide to spend on that Franchise QB because bums don't win games!

as opposed to taking a guy with the #1 pick and him sucking and having no 5th rounder to go?

the Lions have a good amount of history with that

TheGM
11-19-2009, 06:16 PM
I think this is a good strategy for small market teams but to make it work you have to have a couple of elements.
one, you have to stack the offensive side of the ball with talent. if you are going to gamble with the QB position you have to make sure you draft solid position players in round 1 that fit the team's (not just the coaches) system
Two, a long term plan and a stable personnel department. Teams like the lions are perennial losers because they draft like they threw darts at a list of prospects.
Three, No one gets big money until they put together two great years under center.

LonghornsLegend
11-19-2009, 08:24 PM
I still like the idea of taking a QB in the 1st round, but why can't you have the best of both worlds? Take a QB in the 1st, then also sign a veteran QB that can be a bus driver, sit your rookie for 2 years and let him really learn the ropes. Maybe he doesn't need 2 years to sit and learn, but it's certainly not going to hurt him any.


If the guy you took is smart, has the mental side down, those 2 years will only help because he'll take advantage of the clip board holding time. I think alot of mistakes/bust come when you draft a QB in the 1st then throw him out there before he's ready. I don't think Matt Stafford should of been playing this year either, he's done OK, but they should of let him learn then took one of the highly rated LT's in 2010 and some middle round Guards before expecting him to do much.


Nobody has any patience anymore with their guy, but I think the success rate would be alot higher if 1st rounders were given that type of time to learn the ropes, which is essentially what you'd give those late round QB's time to do.

Iamcanadian
11-19-2009, 09:57 PM
[QUOTE=CC.SD;1884348]"@MoveTheSticks: RT @ATL_Todd: What QBs did Ron Wolff hit on with that strategy?>> Brunell, Hasselback and Brooks"

This guy got owned pretty hard.

I actually like this strategy, or would if I didn't go to sleep with a picture of Rivers under my pillow every night. The cost of straight up missing on a 1st round QB is years from your franchise...develop some passers from later in the draft and spend your premium picks giving them tools to work with and you can have a lot of success.

Right on, it absolutely killed INDY(Jeff George), Cincy(Akili Smith), San Diego(Leaf), Baltimore(Boller), Atlanta(Vick) etc. These franchises have suffered for years for the flops they drafted at QB. My franchise should suffer as much.
H...mmm around 50% of all the starting QB's in the NFL were 1st rounders, around 6% had success as 2nd rounders and the odds drop off considerably from there.
Theory makes a lot of sense = zero because at those odds you could be waiting 50 years to strike it rich, a thought every Owner and GM could live with, I'm sure. Yes, there has been a # of flops with QB's drafted in round 1 but by comparison, hundreds of QB's have been drafted in round 2-7 over the last 20 years and been flops.

MichaelJordanEberle (sabf)
11-19-2009, 10:17 PM
Atlanta suffered for... two years? One, the year where Vick was out for the first 12 games and then the other one where he was suspended/imprisoned.

Iamcanadian
11-19-2009, 10:17 PM
NFL GM's follow the golden rule almost to a man. 'If you don't have a franchise QB and you believe there is a QB in this draft who has the potential, you draft him no matter what, if he is available when it's your pick. Just look at how many QB have been the #1 overall pick even after numerous flops.
There is no guarantee that the QB you pick in round 1 will be successful but there is the fact that around 50% of the starting QB in the NFL are former
1st rounders.
People talk like Peyton was some kind of sure thing, that's just hindsight talking, he had plenty of doubters when he was drafted, but since he turned out great people assume he was a sure thing.
The only thing that you do is keep drafting potential franchise QB's till you get it right. Indy(George), Cincy(Akili Smith), San Diego(Leaf) ETC.
You simply cannot be a consistent winner in the NFL without a franchise QB and even they take 3 years to reach their potential.

Halsey
11-19-2009, 10:28 PM
Look at most of the top organizations in the NFL over the last decade and where they drafted their QB's: Colts, Steelers, Eagles, Giants, Ravens, Chargers, Titans. I'll take their word over fans who are afraid to take risks and mistakenly think other positions aren't risks too.

Oh, and let me go ahead and get this outta the way: "but, but the Patriots didn't Draft their QB in the first round!"

That's because they already had former #1 overall pick Drew Bledsoe entrenched at QB before they found out Tom Brady was so good. The Patriots weren't looking for a starter when they drafted Brady.

JT Jag
11-19-2009, 10:57 PM
This is a perfect strategy when you already have a franchise quarterback who is on the downslope of his career.

If you're the Patriots, Colts, Eagles, or Saints you know your guy will give you two or three more quality years. Beyond that, though, who knows?

So you draft upside guys in the 3rd-6th rounds, grooming them so that SOMEONE is ready when that guy leaves. I call this the "Kevin Kolb gambit". Usually, these young quarterbacks have the advantage of being installed into successful, savvy veteran teams.

Putting in an inexperienced QB in this situation often causes that team's window to close, which results in the vicious rebuilding cycle, which is blamed on that old franchise QB leaving. This is best averted by having guys ready to pick up the slack and at least be capable caretakers until you can bring up the REAL franchise, or if you're lucky one of them emerges in their own right.

But if you're the Lions, Rams, Redskins or Chiefs? Yeah, you gotta get that Franchise guy in ASAP.

scar988
11-20-2009, 07:37 AM
BRunell Hasselbeck and Brooks?

I'd rather take a chance and get a guy like the Mannings, Rivers, Roethlisberger, Ryan, Flacco... the list of better QB's and better potential QB's go on.

Bengalsrocket
11-20-2009, 01:35 PM
This is a perfect strategy when you already have a franchise quarterback who is on the downslope of his career.

If you're the Patriots, Colts, Eagles, or Saints you know your guy will give you two or three more quality years. Beyond that, though, who knows?
.

Brees is only 30 lol, I hope he has more than two or three years.

MichaelJordanEberle (sabf)
11-20-2009, 02:53 PM
If you look at the teams at or above .500 this year(playoff contenders at this point)

Saints- 2nd round, 32nd overall
Colts- 1st round
Vikings-2nd round, but years and years ago
Packers- 1st round
Eagles- 1st round
Giants- 1st round
Cowboys- 4th round?
Falcons- 1st round
Cardinals- ??? I don't know, but late if at all
Patriots- 6th round
Dolphins- 1st, 2nd round
Bengals- 1st round
Steelers- 1st round
Ravens- 1st round
Jags- late round
Texans- late round
Broncos- 4th round

So of the 17 teams with records at or above .500, 8.5(counting Penny as .5, Henne as .5) have first round QBs. More than that if you include Brees, who as the 32nd overall pick fits into the first round now. So it seems to me that statistically, your best chance is to find that guy early. Sure, you might get the next Ryan Leaf or Jamarcus Russell. But you might get the next Peyton Manning.

My viewpoint with QBs is they either have it, or they don't. I don't subscribe to the nurture over nature theory that some people have with them. I think that being a QB is something these players have that can't really be taught. Most of those guys go early in the draft, but some slip through the cracks.

Saints-Tigers
11-20-2009, 06:13 PM
Draft a top notch guy that you feel is the real deal, or draft someone late that you think you can develop. Not a fan of taking what you feel is the second or third best QB on the board in the late first and early second, just because you think you NEED to take a QB.

LonghornsLegend
11-20-2009, 07:26 PM
If you look at the teams at or above .500 this year(playoff contenders at this point)

Saints- 2nd round, 32nd overall
Colts- 1st round
Vikings-2nd round, but years and years ago
Packers- 1st round
Eagles- 1st round
Giants- 1st round
Cowboys- 4th round?
Falcons- 1st round
Cardinals- ??? I don't know, but late if at all
Patriots- 6th round
Dolphins- 1st, 2nd round
Bengals- 1st round
Steelers- 1st round
Ravens- 1st round
Jags- late round
Texans- late round
Broncos- 4th round

So of the 17 teams with records at or above .500, 8.5(counting Penny as .5, Henne as .5) have first round QBs. More than that if you include Brees, who as the 32nd overall pick fits into the first round now. So it seems to me that statistically, your best chance is to find that guy early. Sure, you might get the next Ryan Leaf or Jamarcus Russell. But you might get the next Peyton Manning.

My viewpoint with QBs is they either have it, or they don't. I don't subscribe to the nurture over nature theory that some people have with them. I think that being a QB is something these players have that can't really be taught. Most of those guys go early in the draft, but some slip through the cracks.



Are you just counting starters, or everyone on the depth chart? Because if it's starters Romo was an UDFA not 4th round, and if it's everyone on the depth chart at QB then the Cardinals have a 1st rounder too with Leinart.

MichaelJordanEberle (sabf)
11-22-2009, 09:33 PM
Are you just counting starters, or everyone on the depth chart? Because if it's starters Romo was an UDFA not 4th round, and if it's everyone on the depth chart at QB then the Cardinals have a 1st rounder too with Leinart.

My bad, I thought Romo was 4th round for some reason. And it's only starters, I just messed up with Romo and probably some of the other late round guys. My point remains the same though.

WCH
11-22-2009, 10:02 PM
Here's the thing, about Wolf, that people always forget:

In 1991, when he was with the Jets, Wolf regarded Favre as the top player in the draft, and would have taken him if the Jets hadn't used their first round pick in the previous supplemental draft. Favre was taken by Atlanta in the 2nd round and basically looked horrible. His stock would never be lower than it was after that year in Atlanta.

In 1992, Wolf became GM of the Packers and promptly traded a first round pick for Brett Favre. The Board thought that Wolf was insane, but he believed in his guy, and was willing to use a first round pick to get him.

I have a theory that, in a typical draft, there are about 12 QBs who are judged to be "NFL prospects." Most years, there are 12 QBs drafted (plus or minus two). In addition to these guys, you'll have guys like Romo who fall through the cracks and catch on as UDFA.

As a hard and fast rule, I think that these top-dozen all have the ability to be starting QBs in the NFL, but they all have some limitations which could prevent that. Some guys have questionable mechanics and can never get past that; other guys work with their QB coach and turn into Philip Rivers, Pro Bowler. Some guys don't know what a nickel-back is, but learn to read defenses as well as anybody in the league. Tom Brady ran something like a 5.4 and looked a bit flabby at the combine, and he had seen a sports psychologist while he was at UofM; but none of this prevented him from turning into the second-coming of Joe Cool.

A guy like Wolf is good at diagnosing how much a player will be handicapped his weaknesses. Where he drafted his guys was a reflection of this analysis (Brett Favre can overcome not knowing what a nickle-back is, so he's worth a first; Ty Detmer can't overcome being a short, scrawny, noodle-arm, so he's a 9th rounder); but the real magic was in his ability to scout the players, and not in some mystical strategy of drafting mid round QBs.

WCH
11-22-2009, 10:30 PM
So of the 17 teams with records at or above .500, 8.5(counting Penny as .5, Henne as .5) have first round QBs. More than that if you include Brees, who as the 32nd overall pick fits into the first round now. So it seems to me that statistically, your best chance is to find that guy early. Sure, you might get the next Ryan Leaf or Jamarcus Russell. But you might get the next Peyton Manning.


The thing is, the teams at the bottom have just as many first round guys

Bears -- 1st
Panthers -- UDFA
Jets -- 1st
49ers --1st
Titans --1st (both of their guys are former first round picks)
Bills -- 3rd
Chiefs -- 7th
Raiders -- 1st (just benched in favor of a seventh round guy)
Seahawks -- 6th
Redskins -- 1st
Lions -- 1st
Browns -- 1 & 6 (Anderson is a sixth rounder, Quinn is a first)
Buccaneers -- (they have more QBs than God, and I'm not even sure how to look at them).

First of all, we've seen flashes from young guys like Stafford, Freeman, Sanchez, and even Young; so blaming them for their teams sucking isn't fair. But then, judging wins/losses is a pretty crappy way to judge a QB, to begin with.

I suspect that the high salaries paid to first round picks has caused GMs to do some cost-benefit analysis and determine that a LB usually isn't worth first-round wages, so they go with the QB. I think that we're at a weird point in NFL history where QBs are being taken in the first when they would have been 2nd/3rd round guys 15 years ago; and thus, most starters are first round picks. That doesn't make them good or wise selections in the first round, however.