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So You Want a Quarterback in the 2nd or 3rd Round?


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Scott Wright

President, Draft Countdown

You will often hear NFL fans and draftniks say they hope their team waits until the second or third round to draft a quarterback because taking one in the first round is just too risky. There is no denying that selecting a quarterback early in the draft is a dangerous proposition and with the way contracts for top ten picks have been spiraling out of control the financial ramifications just make it all that more daunting. However, with great risk also comes great reward. The first round waters are treacherous when it comes to signal callers but history has shown that waiting to address the game's most crucial position probably isn’t such a good idea either.

Below you will find a list of every quarterback taken in either the second or third round of the NFL Draft for fifteen years, from 1992-2006. I chose not to include the seven signal callers taken in that same range the past two years because it is still too early to make a judgment about most of their careers one way or another.

NFL Draft | Quarterbacks

92-06-qbchart.jpg

As you can see there were a total of 31 quarterbacks taken in either the second or third round from 1992-2006. There were some who started quite a few games and had varying degrees of success (i.e. Kordell Stewart, Jake Plummer, Brian Griese) while others have managed to bounce around the league for a long time (i.e. Todd Collins, Charlie Batch, Josh McCown) but overall the group leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, Drew Brees is the only one who developed into a great quarterback for the team that drafted him and he was the 32nd overall pick, which would be a first rounder today. Also, Brees was so disappointing his first few years that the Chargers moved on and used a Top 5 on Philip Rivers before he hit his stride.

That is 1 out of 31, which equates to about a 3% success rate.

Drew Brees | Quincy Carter | Giovanni Carmazzi Granted the jury is still out on Matt Schaub but his first year in Houston was a disappointment and let’s just say that the odds aren’t in his favor.

Sure for every Peyton Manning or Carson Palmer there are probably three or four Ryan Leaf’s, Tim Couch’s or David Carr’s but wouldn’t you rather at least roll the dice on the 20% chance that you’ll get an elite, franchise signal caller you can build a team around instead of someone who in a best-case scenario might only be Jake Plummer?

Some might say the best course of action is to wait until the mid or late rounds to select a passer and one could cite plenty of examples to support that theory since almost a dozen of the league’s current starting quarterbacks were chosen beyond the third round, or in some cases not even drafted at all. However, only a few of those guys are actually playing for the team that originally drafted or signed them so while it’s true you may be able to find a future starting quarterback late in the draft it will most likely be for someone else. Guys like Tom Brady and Tony Romo are the extremely rare exceptions, certainly not the rule.

Perhaps Kevin Kolb, Trent Edwards, Brian Brohm or Chad Henne will buck the odds and become above average starting quarterbacks in the NFL over the next few years but even if that happens the success rate for signal callers selected in the second or third round is still going to be abysmal. The bottom line is that it’s a crapshoot to take a quarterback in the first round but recent history has shown us that it doesn’t get any easier to find one later on and if you do opt to wait chances are you’ll get what you pay for. Sure you might waste a high draft pick and a ton of money on the next Akili Smith but at least the potential for finding the next Donovan McNabb is there as well. That just isn’t the case in round two or three.

There are no sure things when it comes to the NFL Draft and that is especially true when it comes to first round quarterbacks, at least until the next generation of Manning’s come along. However, you have to be in it to win it and simply avoiding the top quarterback prospects because you’re afraid to make a mistake is no way to run a team either. There will always be a high degree of risk associated with first round signal callers but if you want a stud passer the best course of action is to just take the plunge and hope you wind up with Ben Roethlisberger and not Alex Smith.

Or you could just wait a couple of decades for Archie Manning’s grandkids…

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Scott Wright

President, Draft Countdown

You will often hear NFL fans and draftniks say they hope their team waits until the second or third round to draft a quarterback because taking one in the first round is just too risky. There is no denying that selecting a quarterback early in the draft is a dangerous proposition and with the way contracts for top ten picks have been spiraling out of control the financial ramifications just make it all that more daunting. However, with great risk also comes great reward. The first round waters are treacherous when it comes to signal callers but history has shown that waiting to address the game's most crucial position probably isn’t such a good idea either.

Below you will find a list of every quarterback taken in either the second or third round of the NFL Draft for fifteen years, from 1992-2006. I chose not to include the seven signal callers taken in that same range the past two years because it is still too early to make a judgment about most of their careers one way or another.

NFL Draft | Quarterbacks

92-06-qbchart.jpg

As you can see there were a total of 31 quarterbacks taken in either the second or third round from 1992-2006. There were some who started quite a few games and had varying degrees of success (i.e. Kordell Stewart, Jake Plummer, Brian Griese) while others have managed to bounce around the league for a long time (i.e. Todd Collins, Charlie Batch, Josh McCown) but overall the group leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, Drew Brees is the only one who developed into a great quarterback for the team that drafted him and he was the 32nd overall pick, which would be a first rounder today. Also, Brees was so disappointing his first few years that the Chargers moved on and used a Top 5 on Philip Rivers before he hit his stride.

That is 1 out of 31, which equates to about a 3% success rate.

Drew Brees | Quincy Carter | Giovanni Carmazzi Granted the jury is still out on Matt Schaub but his first year in Houston was a disappointment and let’s just say that the odds aren’t in his favor.

Sure for every Peyton Manning or Carson Palmer there are probably three or four Ryan Leaf’s, Tim Couch’s or David Carr’s but wouldn’t you rather at least roll the dice on the 20% chance that you’ll get an elite, franchise signal caller you can build a team around instead of someone who in a best-case scenario might only be Jake Plummer?

Some might say the best course of action is to wait until the mid or late rounds to select a passer and one could cite plenty of examples to support that theory since almost a dozen of the league’s current starting quarterbacks were chosen beyond the third round, or in some cases not even drafted at all. However, only a few of those guys are actually playing for the team that originally drafted or signed them so while it’s true you may be able to find a future starting quarterback late in the draft it will most likely be for someone else. Guys like Tom Brady and Tony Romo are the extremely rare exceptions, certainly not the rule.

Perhaps Kevin Kolb, Trent Edwards, Brian Brohm or Chad Henne will buck the odds and become above average starting quarterbacks in the NFL over the next few years but even if that happens the success rate for signal callers selected in the second or third round is still going to be abysmal. The bottom line is that it’s a crapshoot to take a quarterback in the first round but recent history has shown us that it doesn’t get any easier to find one later on and if you do opt to wait chances are you’ll get what you pay for. Sure you might waste a high draft pick and a ton of money on the next Akili Smith but at least the potential for finding the next Donovan McNabb is there as well. That just isn’t the case in round two or three.

There are no sure things when it comes to the NFL Draft and that is especially true when it comes to first round quarterbacks, at least until the next generation of Manning’s come along. However, you have to be in it to win it and simply avoiding the top quarterback prospects because you’re afraid to make a mistake is no way to run a team either. There will always be a high degree of risk associated with first round signal callers but if you want a stud passer the best course of action is to just take the plunge and hope you wind up with Ben Roethlisberger and not Alex Smith.

Or you could just wait a couple of decades for Archie Manning’s grandkids…

Hey i got a idea lets draft Matt Ryan <_<

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This doesn't change my opinion at all. I really don't get the post at all really. Yea, we got Matt Ryan... he is good... move along.

Calm down....... I just posted it because dude did his research..... I thought 2nd and 3rd round QBs has had greater success then the history shows...... its not a big deal..... its just a interesting fact

This article has nothing to do with matt ryan or how good he is

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Calm down....... I just posted it because dude did his research..... I thought 2nd and 3rd round QBs has had greater success then the history shows...... its not a big deal..... its just a interesting fact

This article has nothing to do with matt ryan or how good he is

I'm not saying Ryan is bad. I'm just saying that drafts are unpredictable so you never know if you could find a Peyton Manning in the 2nd round. That's why I find these articles kinda pointless. That is all.

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Calm down....... I just posted it because dude did his research..... I thought 2nd and 3rd round QBs has had greater success then the history shows...... its not a big deal..... its just a interesting fact

This article has nothing to do with matt ryan or how good he is

This is exactly the reason I changed my mind from Dorsey to Ryan. Taking a QB in the first is risky but the probability of success shrinks to next to nothing after that. Why take a 2nd or 3rd best QB in a supposedly OK QB class especially when it was such an important and immediate need. Look at all of the teams flailing around year after year with their 2nd rate QB carousel. In 3 years we will have a better idea of if it was the right choice as compared to the rest available.

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This is what a lot of us on the draft forum have been saying for years. From sheer numbers, it's still much better to take the shot on the 1st round QB if you need a QB. The longer you wait to draft your QB, the lower the odd are that you will find an elite level QB. Sure you could find a Manning in the 2nd round, but nobody's found that guy yet over the last 15 - 20 years, chances are you won't either.

The late round guys and UDFA's that do make it, get a lot of headlines because of it. But the percentage of guys that do make it after going later than round 3 are so incredibly small that there is no way to justify trying to upgrade the position by drafting that late.

A 20% shot at a 1st round QB is much greater than the 3% shot at a 2nd/3rd rounder, or probably .001% shot at a later round or UDFA guy.

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This is exactly the reason I changed my mind from Dorsey to Ryan. Taking a QB in the first is risky but the probability of success shrinks to next to nothing after that. Why take a 2nd or 3rd best QB in a supposedly OK QB class especially when it was such an important and immediate need. Look at all of the teams flailing around year after year with their 2nd rate QB carousel. In 3 years we will have a better idea of if it was the right choice as compared to the rest available.

I agree.....I wanted and like Glenn Dorsey but you can find good DT all thru the draft(Shaun Rogers:2nd round....Albert Haynesworth:2nd round....Darnell Dockett:3rd round......Kris Jenkins:2nd round)........ That franchise type QB is very hard to find and this chart shows you your chances............

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Well how many first round wr`s become elite in the first year? You could base this argument on every position not just qb. Every year there is gonna be draft busts. Eli got all kinds of heat, then when he helped to knock out the unbeatable pats everyone jumped on his jock. Stats like these also dont accoutn for injuries the players may have suffered also doesnt account for how good the team or the coaching staff is.

Will the jets win the super bowl because they got favre? probably not just like the packers didnt last year. Now i think Schuab was over rated anyways but to be fair to him he was banged up last season and so was his number 1 target.

facts like these are very one sided. Its like saying why a cb sucks and not look at the pressure the d line gets.

Ryan is only gonna be as good as the other falcons around him. Basic football.

ol open running lanes

rb control the clock and open up the passing game

ol gives qb time to pass

wr catchs passes and qb gets credit for yards after catch

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