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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
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    QB needy teams should beware of bargain hunting

    Players like Tom Brady and Kurt Warner have created the false sense that drafting a QB in the first round is not necessary. However, in the aggregate, a different picture emerges.

    Of the 12 playoff teams this year, 8 (66.6%) had starting QBs drafted in the first round (and a 9th, New Orleans, have one who was the first pick in the second round - Drew Brees).

    Of the 8 playoff teams to make it to the divisional round, 6 (75%) had starting QBs drafted in the first round.

    And...

    Of the final 4 teams, 4 (100%) have starting QBs who were drafted in the first round.

    So, if you are the GM for Arizona, Seattle, San Francisco, Minnesota, Buffalo, Carolina or another team with an unsettled QB situation, can you afford to pass on a first round prospect?

    This question could be even more difficult if the FA period is delayed by the labor talks. If FA starts on time, many teams will seek a veteran (Donovan McNabb, Vince Young, Marc Bulger, Kyle Orton, Kevin Kolb) in the FA or trade market. But, if FA is delayed, these teams will have to make their draft decision BEFORE they know if that strategy will bear fruit.

    Just one more reason to be happy that the Rams have Sam Bradford.


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: QB needy teams should beware of bargain hunting

    Very good points. There is definitely something to be said about finding the best possible prospect for the quarterback position, and how it benefits a team for years to come. It's certainly no coincidence that first round QBs are among the most successful in the league, year in and year out. That being said, it's a fine line to walk, because you can't simply use this data to justify a first round quarterback. It has to be the right first round quarterback.

    Interestingly enough, more than a few of the teams you mention have spent first round picks on quarterbacks in the last decade or so - Leinart to the Cardinals, Alex Smith to the *****, Losman to the Bills, Culpepper to Minnesota (or a second round pick on Jackson, as a more recent example).

    Like any position, you've got to be thorough in your evaluations and stick to that analysis when making your decisions. Ignoring red flags to take a first round quarterback simply because he's a first round guy could be more hazardous to an organization than not taking one at all. But if you're confident in the prospect's skills and intangibles, and have a need at the position, then a first round quarterback absolutely becomes a viable option due to the rewards he might bring to the organization.

  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: QB needy teams should beware of bargain hunting

    This could be a very tough year for scouting QBs. With Andrew Luck out of the picture, I view the crop as consisting with a bunch of guys with a lot of potential, but nearly as many question marks.

    Ryan Mallett and Jake Locker have impressive physical tools, but their performances on Saturday often didn't match that potential.

    Cameron Newton (or "Kim," as Al Davis calls him) has off-the-chart abilities, but you have to wonder whether he will ever become a pass-first QB.

    Blaine Gabbert looks like the complete package, but is he truly an elite prospect? Opinions differ.

    As Nick said, taking a QB in Round 1 can make or break a team, and its far from an exact science.

  4. #4
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    Re: QB needy teams should beware of bargain hunting

    Last year when we were thinking about drafting Bradford, I posted some numbers on the rate which 1st, 2nd and later round QBs go on to be successful starting QBs in the NFL. I forget what I based it on, it might have been games started or something. What I found was that 1st round QBs had far away the highest success rate. 2nd round QBs dropped to "very very little success" and after 2nd round dropped to close to 0% success, guys like Brady and Warner being the very definition of exceptions to the rule.

    What I concluded from this wasn't that 1st round = success. It was that teams are better at identifying what it takes to be a successful QB than we think they are, and that if they identify such a QB they will draft them in the 1st round rather than wait and see what they can get later. QB is so important you don't wait around to draft a guy if you think he has the ability to start in the NFL.

    So it is indeed far from an exact science, but teams aren't exactly blindly picking QBs either. The success rate of 1st round QBs vs. all other rounds shows it is more exact than we think, even if it is still a long way from being precise.

    By the way, I only extended my analysis back to P. Manning's draft because that seemed the most relevant for the modern period. Draft trends and scouting change too much over time to extend back 25 years or anything like that, it wouldn't represent modern trends very well.

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