As we enter this 2012 offseason and the Andrew Luck/Robert Griffin III chatter begins many NFL GMs are shaking in their boots about who will be the future leader of their franchise. This ever-building anxiety will then force these general managers to reach on players come next year's NFL Draft. I ask you: How many first round QBs have actually amounted to anything? Let's take a look at the past first round draft picks, since the NFL implemented the salary cap (1994).
As we all know from the last two years of drafts, no matter what anyone says these teams are GOING TO draft guys higher than their worth due to the nature of the position...but the true BAP (best available player) question remains: Should first round QBs even be considered a premium position?
|Player||Team||Year||Yrs in top 8 yardage in NFL (top 1/4 of league)
|Kerry Collins||CAR||1995||(4 none w/ team that drafted him)
|J. P. Losman||BUF||2004|
So, there we have it. No Tom Brady (8) , Drew Brees (7), Matt Schaub (2), Tony Romo (4), Kurt Warner (4), or Marc Bulger (3 yrs) on that list...all either drafted outside of the first round or totally undrafted!
Heck, I'd even take Jake Plummer (2), Jeff Garcia, Jon Kitna (2), Matt Hasselbeck (2), Matt Cassel (1), Jake Delhomme (1), Gus Frerotte, Kordell Stewart, David Garrard, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kyle Orton, Chad Henne, and potentially even Matt Flynn over a good portion of these guys. Yet all of these second tier QBs cost less to their team than any of those first round picks, while doing more for their team than 75% of the above names.
While there's always an argument to be made that the above quarterbacks are a dime per dozen, none of them cost their team a first round pick or set them back years "taking a chance" on a guy. As we see from the table above 26 of the 39 first round QBs drafted since 1994 have never been in the top 8 in passing yards in any given season (66% or 2 out of every 3). Think about what would have happened if each of those 26 teams would have instead drafted a true premier position instead of the "reach" that they went with, and maybe picked up one of the "lower ranked" guys above? In the past 18 years there have only been 13 first round QBs in the top 8 in NFL passing yards.
I believe that the reach for Tim Tebow, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, and potentially Blaine Gabbert may set their respective teams back for 3-4 years. Just my take...(and I definitely believe in Gabbert, but I'm not sure if he's THE answer-only time will tell)....NFL GMs must stop reaching for QBs simply because of their position. This is the same mentality that is taken with many positions, so why not QB? If they're not THE guy and just A guy...then use that pick on someone else and pick up someone that fits that pick. That is true BAP. QB is absolutely a premium position with all things constant, but only if the athlete is premium player themselves.