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Drafting a QB, a different perspective.


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I have in general been a fan of Ryan.  I never felt he was elite outside of a few years but overall above average QB play should be enough.  Outside of 2015 this is the first time I am torn on drafting his replacement.  Reasons include having a top pick, his age, and the QB prospects this year.  On the other hand we have seen recently QB's play well into their 40's and his contract creates problems moving on from him.  A few weeks ago I started doing research on the history of top 10 QB picks to help me come to a conclusion on the issue.

 

I initially started collecting data just since he was drafted.  Note this and other data will not include players drafted before or possible SB wins for recently drafted players.  There is no way to factor in the former and if I could predict the latter I would be the owner.

From 2008-2020 there were 26 QB's taken in the top 10.  Combined they have played in 4 SB's with only Mahomes winning(Goff/Ryan/Newton lost).

Technically Wentz has a ring but he was on IR.  I felt this was a bit cherry picked though since I know Eli had 2 and was drafted #1.  I also knew Peyton was the same and 6 years before Eli.  Starting at 1998 would be cherry picking the other way so I went back further.  1990 sounded good because that is half of the modern era and would cover every QB that also played in the Ryan era, specifically Favre.  Before I finished I double checked 1989 and of course I was leaving out Aikman and his 3 SB's.  So I stopped there.  No way stopping at a 3 SB winner would be biased for keeping Ryan over drafting a QB in the top 10.  I will get to that data shortly but first a modified stat.

Number of QB's drafted from 1989-2019 with the 2nd-9th pick who played in and won a SB with the team that drafted them = 0

Wait what?  That can't be right.  But it is correct.  Granted it has a lot of qualifiers so I will remove them one by one.

Played in - Wentz went on IR halfway through the season.  He helped them get the first seed but didn't play in the playoffs.

Team that drafted them - Dilfer won with the Ravens but was drafted by Tampa.

10th pick - Only Mahomes.

1st pick - Aikman(3), Mannings(4).

With the qualifiers removed we get:

From 1989-2019 48 QB's were drafted in the top 10, 6 QB's won a total of 10 SB's.

 

10 out of 30 is decent.  Let's look a little close at those SB's.  Outside of Wentz since he didn't play.

SB XXVII - Cowboys 52, Bills 17

SB XXVIII - Cowboys 30, Bills 13

SB XXX - Cowboys 27, Steelers 17

SB XXXV - Ravens 34, Giants 7

SB XLI - Colts 29, Bears 17

SB XLII - Giants 17, Patriots 14

SB XLVI - Giants 21, Patriots 17

SB 50 - Broncos 24, Panthers 10

SB LIV - Chiefs 24, 49ers 20

Every single one of these 9 SB's the other team didn't reach 21 points.  Many of these teams were top offenses in the league.  This is a simple reminder of one important fact...Defense wins Championships.

 

Back to the QB's mentioned above.  Admittedly this section will be biased.

The Cowboys dynasty wasn't due to Aikman so much as it was from the lopsided Herschel Walker trade they did with the Vikings.  The NFL probably should have blocked it.  We are not in this situation.

None of the QB prospects are part of the Manning bloodline.

We don't have a historical defense(Ravens).

We don't have an experienced HoF Coach who also is a top Offensive Mind and QB guru who has a perennial play off team that trades up for a QB.  Mahomes went to a great situation that we can't replicate.

 

Here are some other things to consider looking at the Elite QB's of the last decade.

Rodgers has never made it to a SB except with the #2 Defense.

Wilson has never made it to a SB except with the #1 Defense.  And the 1 he won the Seattle D/ST outscored the Broncos.

Brees has been once which is heavily based on Bountygate.

Brady beat us with the #1 defense, also held the Rams to 3 points.

 

What did I learn from all of this:

With all things considered this is not the year to draft a QB.  We roll with Ryan at least one more year and improve the Coaching.  History shows building up the team works better for both old QB's and new ones.  Unless you are drafting #1 then drafting a QB 10th or higher in the first round is better because they are in a better situation.  Improve the lines, the Pass Rush, the Secondary, and for the love of KOG get a real RB.  Of course having a better QB gives you a higher chance to win but you need a good team overall.  Or the short version: Teams win, not QB's.

 

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this logic is flawed on several levels. 

1. a QB alone doesn't win you a superbowl but having a good one helps

2. the Patriots dynasty really ****s over the talent pool that could have emerged from the AFC to populate your stats.

 

A correct approach would be to look at AFC/NFC championship game berths. This will give you a wider net of 4 teams each year instead of "insert NFC QB here" and Tom Brady/Peyton Manning for **** near 1/2 of your 'history'.

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The misconception of those not wanting to draft a QB at 4 vs those of us who do, is we hate Matt Ryan. News flash, we dont hate Matt Ryan. Most of us love him in fact.

It's not about next year.....its not about Matt Ryan. 

Its about the next 13 years, and its about the Atlanta Falcons. I want what's best for the team, and imo, that's taking a QB.

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Most teams that draft in the top 5 are dumpster fire organizations that even a talented young rookie can’t overcome.  
 

Mahomes and Rogers were drafted by top 10 organizations who traded up for their QB.  Despite our record, the Falcons are a very solid organization with the pieces in place to allow a young QB to transition and thrive while doing so.  

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I get why people want to draft a QB. Normally I would be in this mold myself. The problem is, I dont feel like I'm looking at a 10-15year QB in this draft. Maybe I'm wrong, but I personally dont feel that way. It doesnt mean my word is law, it means that I cant really get behind it. Personally. It bugs me. Wilson bugs me. I like Fields, but if the Jets are taking QB, we aren't getting Fields. So since it's the QBs, not football science, my thinking is focus on the run and defense. Dont just claw at a QB because we are in the top five. 

Now, if we do this. I wont be happy. I'll be upset. Annoyed. That doesnt mean no one else can be happy about it, it means I dont like this. 

It's one of the few years I'm saying trade down.

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Thanks for taking the time to do this research. But unless comparative research is done on "drafting a CB in the top 10" or "drafting a LB in the top 10" I'm not sure you've done much other than prove the somewhat intuitive point that teams who draft in the top 10 are not usually well-run franchises and therefore unlikely to win SBs. 

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Trading down would seem astute this year.  With a top heavy draft of QBs, there is a lure for trade ups.  So, this could be the one chance we have to stockpile some picks, for this year and perhaps a few years to come.  Many of our drafts over the last few years have seen us a bit hamstrung, missing picks as we tended to move around.  Trading down gives us flexibility.

If we take a QB, we take a QB.  I don't really care.  I'd just like us to be able to effect our own destiny a bit, to be in the driver's seat for a change.

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19 minutes ago, Knight of God said:

I get why people want to draft a QB. Normally I would be in this mold myself. The problem is, I dont feel like I'm looking at a 10-15year QB in this draft. Maybe I'm wrong, but I personally dont feel that way. It doesnt mean my word is law, it means that I cant really get behind it. Personally. It bugs me. Wilson bugs me. I like Fields, but if the Jets are taking QB, we aren't getting Fields. So since it's the QBs, not football science, my thinking is focus on the run and defense. Dont just claw at a QB because we are in the top five. 

Now, if we do this. I wont be happy. I'll be upset. Annoyed. That doesnt mean no one else can be happy about it, it means I dont like this. 

It's one of the few years I'm saying trade down.

This is my thought also. Plus Matt isn’t the issue. Now if we get someone like Rick Smith who bangs the table for a QB like he did for D Watson I’d would see how it went.

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6 hours ago, Xyfiel said:

Every single one of these 9 SB's the other team didn't reach 21 points.  Many of these teams were top offenses in the league.  This is a simple reminder of one important fact...Defense wins Championships.

I like the way you laid out the data story and supported your hypothesis.  I have always theorized that when it comes to the super bowl in particular, defense and ST score at a much higher rate than even in the regular season for both winning and losing team, but I have never bothered to research it.

There are many who are saying that if you have a top 5 pick you take QB in this draft if you want a championship. You offered a different perspective as promised in the title, the research and presentation are much appreciated.

Edited by RetroRoq
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5 hours ago, Romfal said:

this logic is flawed on several levels. 

1. a QB alone doesn't win you a superbowl but having a good one helps

2. the Patriots dynasty really ****s over the talent pool that could have emerged from the AFC to populate your stats.

 

A correct approach would be to look at AFC/NFC championship game berths. This will give you a wider net of 4 teams each year instead of "insert NFC QB here" and Tom Brady/Peyton Manning for **** near 1/2 of your 'history'.

I dont know, I just went and took a glance at the AFC/NFC Championship games since 1989 and the only real significant adds were McNabb, Ryan and Newton based on the criteria he laid out.

Elway and McNair won 3 championship games as well, but they were drafted prior to his 1989 start date.  (I may have missed someone along the way)

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In the end, we are all saying the same thing, but approaching it from different angles.  We are aging, top heavy, cap issues, defense has issues, we lack a real offensive game plan, general average to poor coaching, reactionary decision making, and overall seem to lack a vision of where we are and where we need to be.  We each favor our own remedies (understandable as we are all different.). 

Taking a QB makes sense, if you are absolutely convinced he is your franchise guy moving forward.  This draft is unique for us as we are drafting high.  We have serious options, with a new front office and coaching staff.  We can do a great deal of good in this draft.  There is a bigger picture, and we don't see all of the thoughts.  Our field of vision might tend to be more narrow in respect.  

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39 minutes ago, RetroRoq said:

I like the way you laid out the data story and supported your hypothesis.  I have always theorized that when it comes to the super bowl in particular, defense and ST score at a much higher rate than even in the regular season for both winning and losing team, but I have never bothered to research it.

There are many who are saying that if you have a top 5 pick you take QB in this draft if you want a championship. You offered a different perspective as promised in the title, the research and presentation are much appreciated.

The Superbowl always feels like the best offense in the regular season is facing the best defense.  

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5 hours ago, Romfal said:

this logic is flawed on several levels. 

1. a QB alone doesn't win you a superbowl but having a good one helps

2. the Patriots dynasty really ****s over the talent pool that could have emerged from the AFC to populate your stats.

A correct approach would be to look at AFC/NFC championship game berths. This will give you a wider net of 4 teams each year instead of "insert NFC QB here" and Tom Brady/Peyton Manning for **** near 1/2 of your 'history'.

Great point. While winning the Super Bowl is the ultimate goal, only one team wins it and sometimes weird things happen so it is hard to draw conclusions about what to do and what not to do. What you want to be is good enough to win a Super Bowl, of which there are usually 2-5 teams good enough, and hope you get the right breaks. 

5 hours ago, FalconsIn2012 said:

Most teams that draft in the top 5 are dumpster fire organizations that even a talented young rookie can’t overcome.  

Mahomes and Rogers were drafted by top 10 organizations who traded up for their QB.  Despite our record, the Falcons are a very solid organization with the pieces in place to allow a young QB to transition and thrive while doing so.  

Another great point. Good teams win the Super Bowl. Good teams don't pick in the top 10. Thus a lot of top QB picks get stuck on lesser teams that never get to be top contenders very often. It doesn't necessarily mean QBs picked outside the top 10 are better. 

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6 hours ago, Xyfiel said:

I have in general been a fan of Ryan.  I never felt he was elite outside of a few years but overall above average QB play should be enough.  Outside of 2015 this is the first time I am torn on drafting his replacement.  Reasons include having a top pick, his age, and the QB prospects this year.  On the other hand we have seen recently QB's play well into their 40's and his contract creates problems moving on from him.  A few weeks ago I started doing research on the history of top 10 QB picks to help me come to a conclusion on the issue.

 

I initially started collecting data just since he was drafted.  Note this and other data will not include players drafted before or possible SB wins for recently drafted players.  There is no way to factor in the former and if I could predict the latter I would be the owner.

From 2008-2020 there were 26 QB's taken in the top 10.  Combined they have played in 4 SB's with only Mahomes winning(Goff/Ryan/Newton lost).

Technically Wentz has a ring but he was on IR.  I felt this was a bit cherry picked though since I know Eli had 2 and was drafted #1.  I also knew Peyton was the same and 6 years before Eli.  Starting at 1998 would be cherry picking the other way so I went back further.  1990 sounded good because that is half of the modern era and would cover every QB that also played in the Ryan era, specifically Favre.  Before I finished I double checked 1989 and of course I was leaving out Aikman and his 3 SB's.  So I stopped there.  No way stopping at a 3 SB winner would be biased for keeping Ryan over drafting a QB in the top 10.  I will get to that data shortly but first a modified stat.

Number of QB's drafted from 1989-2019 with the 2nd-9th pick who played in and won a SB with the team that drafted them = 0

Wait what?  That can't be right.  But it is correct.  Granted it has a lot of qualifiers so I will remove them one by one.

Played in - Wentz went on IR halfway through the season.  He helped them get the first seed but didn't play in the playoffs.

Team that drafted them - Dilfer won with the Ravens but was drafted by Tampa.

10th pick - Only Mahomes.

1st pick - Aikman(3), Mannings(4).

With the qualifiers removed we get:

From 1989-2019 48 QB's were drafted in the top 10, 6 QB's won a total of 10 SB's.

 

10 out of 30 is decent.  Let's look a little close at those SB's.  Outside of Wentz since he didn't play.

SB XXVII - Cowboys 52, Bills 17

SB XXVIII - Cowboys 30, Bills 13

SB XXX - Cowboys 27, Steelers 17

SB XXXV - Ravens 34, Giants 7

SB XLI - Colts 29, Bears 17

SB XLII - Giants 17, Patriots 14

SB XLVI - Giants 21, Patriots 17

SB 50 - Broncos 24, Panthers 10

SB LIV - Chiefs 24, 49ers 20

Every single one of these 9 SB's the other team didn't reach 21 points.  Many of these teams were top offenses in the league.  This is a simple reminder of one important fact...Defense wins Championships.

 

Back to the QB's mentioned above.  Admittedly this section will be biased.

The Cowboys dynasty wasn't due to Aikman so much as it was from the lopsided Herschel Walker trade they did with the Vikings.  The NFL probably should have blocked it.  We are not in this situation.

None of the QB prospects are part of the Manning bloodline.

We don't have a historical defense(Ravens).

We don't have an experienced HoF Coach who also is a top Offensive Mind and QB guru who has a perennial play off team that trades up for a QB.  Mahomes went to a great situation that we can't replicate.

 

Here are some other things to consider looking at the Elite QB's of the last decade.

Rodgers has never made it to a SB except with the #2 Defense.

Wilson has never made it to a SB except with the #1 Defense.  And the 1 he won the Seattle D/ST outscored the Broncos.

Brees has been once which is heavily based on Bountygate.

Brady beat us with the #1 defense, also held the Rams to 3 points.

 

What did I learn from all of this:

With all things considered this is not the year to draft a QB.  We roll with Ryan at least one more year and improve the Coaching.  History shows building up the team works better for both old QB's and new ones.  Unless you are drafting #1 then drafting a QB 10th or higher in the first round is better because they are in a better situation.  Improve the lines, the Pass Rush, the Secondary, and for the love of KOG get a real RB.  Of course having a better QB gives you a higher chance to win but you need a good team overall.  Or the short version: Teams win, not QB's.

 

Please tell me how you sell this team and its aging qb to a quality coach/GM with no plan for the future? Two years of Ryan gets you to what... 8-8 if you're lucky...  Fast forward two years. What is the plan for this team with no franchise qb? 

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6 hours ago, Romfal said:

this logic is flawed on several levels. 

1. a QB alone doesn't win you a superbowl but having a good one helps

2. the Patriots dynasty really ****s over the talent pool that could have emerged from the AFC to populate your stats.

 

A correct approach would be to look at AFC/NFC championship game berths. This will give you a wider net of 4 teams each year instead of "insert NFC QB here" and Tom Brady/Peyton Manning for **** near 1/2 of your 'history'.

Are good QB's drafted or are they born out good coaching and being in the right situation? 

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Either way, even if we draft a QB no chance he plays in 21. 
But I hope we take a long look at Ehlinger if Fields isn’t available. He’s going to turn some heads in the combine. I wouldn’t show him 1st but I’d stack him before Z Wilson because similar passing stats but add speed and 300+ rushing per season against much higher competition and expectation than BYU sees.   

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2 hours ago, Knight of God said:

I get why people want to draft a QB. Normally I would be in this mold myself. The problem is, I dont feel like I'm looking at a 10-15year QB in this draft. Maybe I'm wrong, but I personally dont feel that way. It doesnt mean my word is law, it means that I cant really get behind it. Personally. It bugs me. Wilson bugs me. I like Fields, but if the Jets are taking QB, we aren't getting Fields. So since it's the QBs, not football science, my thinking is focus on the run and defense. Dont just claw at a QB because we are in the top five. 

Now, if we do this. I wont be happy. I'll be upset. Annoyed. That doesnt mean no one else can be happy about it, it means I dont like this. 

It's one of the few years I'm saying trade down.

Also is there a QB you would trade back up for late first, or pick one in round 2 or 3? What about the kid from Alabama or Florida?

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11 minutes ago, Knight of God said:

That's a tough one. I would probably let the draft come to me unless I trade down. 

Yeah I really don't want to lose picks. Curious if we could trade down just a few spots at most, take a good defensive player. Then add a running back and QB with the picks we get and already have along with other needs and talent available. 

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