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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    1st QB taken = best QB in draft? (the answer may shock you)

    As I read more and more posts advocating the selection of Jimmy Clausen because he is regarded as the best QB prospect (or, at least, in the top 2 with Bradford, if healthy), I asked myself this question...

    How often does the first QB selected in the draft prove to be the best QB?

    To answer this, I looked at the drafts from 1997-2007 (a fairly easy task thanks to Wikipedia) to see how often the first QB selected proved to be the most effective pro (I stopped there, as it is a bit too soon to evaluate the QBs from the last two drafts).

    Here's what I found:

    Year/First QB Selected/Best Pro (round selected)

    1997 Jim Druckenmiller/Jake Delhomme (U)
    Not a very good QB year. Jake Plummer was a 2nd round pick, but I think Delhomme has had a better career. Druckenmiller never caught on.

    1998 Peyton Manning/Peyton Manning (1)
    By selecting Manning over Ryan Leaf, the Colts obtained not only the best QB in the draft, but the best in the decade.

    1999 Tim Couch/Donovan McNabb (1)
    Reverse of 1998. The best QB was the second pick, while the first one selected was a major disappointment.

    2000 Chad Pennington/Tom Brady (6)
    Pennington, a mid-first round pick, has been good, but Brady has been a true late round find.

    2001 Michael Vick/Drew Brees (2)
    Brees may not have reached his peak yet, while Vick is trying to comeback from his low point.

    2002 David Carr/David Garrard (4)
    Not a good QB draft.

    2003 Carson Palmer/Carson Palmer (1)
    Palmer lived up to his draft status. Notable, though, that the next best QB in 2003, Tony Romo, was undrafted.

    2004 Eli Manning/Ben Roethlisberger (1)
    Great QB draft. Big Ben edges Eli and Philip Rivers, but its close.

    2005 Alex Smith/Aaron Rogers (1)
    These two were evenly ranked at the end of the college season. Classic example of paralysis by analysis.

    2006 Vince Young/Jay Cutler (1)
    Still early, but right now I'd have to give the edge to Cutler over Young and certainly Matt Leinart.

    2007 Jamarcus Russell/Trent Edwards (3)
    Another bad QB draft. Edwards is no prize, but he's been better than the train wreck that is Russell.

    So... in these 11 drafts, the best QB has only been the first QB taken on two occasions!

    What does this mean for the 2010 draft? Well, let's not overstate it... each year and each player stands alone. That said, I'd be careful to boldly pronounce that Clausen (or Bradford) is CLEARLY the best QB in the draft.

    For all we know, it could end up being Colt McCoy... or Dan LeFevour... or Levi Brown... or Tony Pike... or Sean Canfield... (heck, it could even be Tim Tebow - I doubt it, but you can't rule it out!).
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -01-21-2010 at 07:34 PM.


  2. #2
    The Optimistic Lamb Guest

    Re: 1st QB taken = best QB in draft? (the answer may shock you)

    I think the intangible factor is the difference breaker between a player like Ryan Leaf and Tom Brady. Can't measure heart.

  3. #3
    AtlantaRamFan's Avatar
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    Re: 1st QB taken = best QB in draft? (the answer may shock you)

    Interesting point Avenger. I can't help but notice a lot of (1) for the best QB taken though. It makes me wish there was a Matt Schab type backup available via trade. The Rams need a young QB sooner or later, and the draft is a real crapshoot.

  4. #4
    swatter555's Avatar
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    Re: 1st QB taken = best QB in draft? (the answer may shock you)

    I agree completely. At the same time, your analysis seems to suggest that the best QBs are picked in the 1st round, with gems in later rounds being the exception. So, it doesn't matter so much who is the 1st pick as much as that pick being in the first round.

  5. #5
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: 1st QB taken = best QB in draft? (the answer may shock you)

    Well... 6 of the 11 were first rounders, but only 3 were selected in the top 10.

  6. #6
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    Re: 1st QB taken = best QB in draft? (the answer may shock you)

    Love the analysis but I have to disagree, Rivers is better than Roethlisbuger. He may have a ring but I would rather have P Riv.

  7. #7
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: 1st QB taken = best QB in draft? (the answer may shock you)

    Quote Originally Posted by Judaxi View Post
    Love the analysis but I have to disagree, Rivers is better than Roethlisbuger. He may have a ring but I would rather have P Riv.
    That wouldn't change my analysis, though, as Rivers was not the first QB selected in that draft (Eli Manning was).

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