Once again our good friend at WDW Okielou brings us his take on the quarterbacks taken in the 1st round since 1994. This is the last installment of his four part series, you can view parts one, two and three by clicking on the links.
It’s been a long series. With free agency in the news and the draft coming up it has been hard to fit this article in. Hope all my numbers came out right. They are running through my head pretty good about now. Thanks for reading.
There were fourteen quarterbacks drafted in 2010 – Two in the first round.
1. Sam Bradford: Oklahoma – Bradford was taken by the St. Louis Rams number one overall. Injuries upon injuries pretty much describes Bradford’s NFL career. He can never stay on the field long enough to get into a rhythm with the offense. Still has great potential, but if his body continues to act like it is made of glass it will be very difficult for him to make it as an NFL Quarterback. Being a true Sooner fan it is very hard for me to put this grade on him. But so far Grade ~ Bust <>Since I started this article Bradford has been traded to the Eagles for Foles. I wish him well
2. Tim Tebow: Florida – Tebow was taken by the Denver Broncos number 25 overall. Not only did the Broncos draft Tebow in the First round, they traded their 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks to be able to draft him. The pick pretty much dismayed everyone that follows NFL football. No denying Tebow is a great Athlete and if he would be willing to change to a different position, such as TE he would probably be playing in the NFL today. Grade ~ Bust
There were twelve quarterbacks drafted in 2011 – Four in the first round.
1. Cam Newton: Auburn – Newton was taken by the Carolina Panthers number 1 overall. Newton has proven to be a pretty tough QB. With his style of play he puts himself in a position for injuries. He takes a lot of hits with his running style of play but he has only missed two games in his four-year career. With his running ability he gives defenses that extra element they have to be aware of. He is not that bad of a passer, not great but with him being able to run allows his receiver to have better chance of getting open. He has taken the Panthers to two Division titles in four years. He will remain a good QB for a long time. BARRING major injury. Grade ~ Good
2. Jake Locker: Washington – Locker was taken by the Tennessee Titans number 8 overall
3. Blane Gabbert: Missouri – Gabbert was taken by the Jacksonville Jaguars number 10 overall
4. Christian Ponder: Florida St. – Ponder was taken by the Minnesota Vikings number 12 overall
These three quarterbacks pretty much followed the same path as far as their NFL careers have gone. They have never been able to get off the ground. Hard to say what the main problem could be. Bad teams, not as good as some thought, injuries or a combination of everything. To this date it seems they had more promise than action. Grade ~ Bust for all three.
There were eleven quarterbacks drafted in 2012 – Three in the first round
1. Andrew Luck: Stanford – Luck was taken by the Indianapolis Colts number 1 overall. How does a team “LUCK” out and get a QB of Andrew Luck talent after losing a QB like Peyton Manning, this could be a story within itself. Luck has already established himself where he is already in conversations comparing him to Manning. He is a QB I have to write about a little more than others.
He has played in every NFL regular season game since he was drafted, plus 6 playoff games.
Some records he holds.
1. Most passing yards in a single game by a rookie ~ 433 yards
2. Most passing yards by a rookie in a single season ~ 4374 yards
3. Most 300+ yards passing games by a rookie ~ 6
4. Most pass attempts by a rookie in a single season ~ 627
5. Most wins by a number 1 pick QB in his rookie year ~ 11
This is only five of 12 records he holds by himself. There are several more he is either tied with or right behind other quarterbacks.
Now some of the so-called analyst or sport correspondents claim a QB can’t be called Elite until he wins a Superbowl. Well I’ll throw that out the window right now. Grade ~ ELITE
2. Robert Griffin III: Baylor – Griffin was taken by the Washington Redskins number 2 overall. Griffin first year was his best year. He was able to keep himself healthy until the last game of the season. He suffered a pretty severe leg injury and had to come out. I don’t know if he convinced the head coach (Mike Shanahan) that he was okay or if the Coach and the doctor decided that the injury was not that severe. As it turned out the injury was severe enough that it messed RGIII up for the next two seasons. Hopefully he has had a chance to completely heal and get his career going again. He has the potential to be one of the very good QB’s. Grade ~ Bust
3. Ryan Tannehill: Texas A&M – Tannehill was taken by the Miami Dolphins number 8 overall. Even though he has gotten a lot of attention because of his wife, Tannehill is a pretty good QB. He has shown improvement every season since he was drafted. His best year was 2014 he threw for 4,045 yards with a QB rating 92.8. If he continues this rate of improvement, he is going to be mentioned all the good ones. Grade ~ good
There were eleven quarterbacks drafted in 2013 – One in the First Round
1. E. J. Manuel: Florida St. – Manuel was taken by the Buffalo Bills number 16 overall. To this date Manuel has not shown first round pick quality as an NFL QB. Grade ~ Bust
There were thirteen quarterbacks drafted in 2014 – Three in the First Round.
These 3 young players will take more time to get a true reading on them. The teams they were drafted by are not very good and it would be unfair to try to give them a true grade. The same might be said for E.J. Manuel as well.
So what have we learned about taking a quarterback in the first round?
- 252 quarterbacks Have been drafted since 1994.
- 52 QB’s have been drafted in the first round
- 18 QB’s have been considered as living up to being a first round pick
- 7 have turned out to be Good
- 6 have turned out to be Very Good
- 5 have turned out to be Elite
- 33 QB’s have fallen below the standard for being selected in the first round
- Besides the 18 I mentioned there are 7 that are still on Rosters, plus the 3 drafted in 2014.
So that is 25 QB’s out of 52 QB’s drafted in the last 20 years that have either earned their first round pick or are still around to try to prove themselves. Remember these grades are based on them being picked in the first round. I have not done the percentage of QB’s that have made it out of the 252 QB’s that have been drafted in the last 20 years. That will take a lot more time and maybe another story.
I also might add that Drew Brees was taken 32nd in 2001 the same year Michael Vick was taken number 1 overall. There were only 31 teams in 2001, but being taken 32 could almost qualify him being a first round pick.
It pretty much shows that drafting a quarterback in the first round is a pretty high risk pick especially when it is the highest profile position on a team. The odds are not that great 35% (34.6) if you count the 18 that have proved themselves; 48% if you add in the 7 that are still on rosters trying to make it. That would make it a little better if they weren’t still trying to make it, I’m not too sure how this compares to other positions. I did not include the 3 picked in 2014. Moving up to pick a QB may not be a wise choice. I think the Redskins are having some regretful thoughts about now with Griffin.
I would like to thank the ones that responded and particular to Mean Mark and Bootscallhan that pointed out errors or missing information that I had missed. Believe me it really made the article more exact. I tried to put in as much info on players that had stats worth mentioning. A series like this is long enough and in trying to keep it with in reason I tried to condense the article down a little bit and in doing so I may have left out info that some may have thought was important, that was not my intent.
I would also like thank my editor. Though I did most of the digging on the article and wrote the base of the article, his editing made the story a little better. It has surprised me how just changing a word here or adding a word there can add flare to a story. It has been a lot of fun and very educational to say the least. Thanks Pat.
WDW would like to thank Okielou for this series and his hard work. Thanks also to Pat for editing.