First Round QBs In The NFL Draft


While watching both Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley play last night, I decided to look back at the success rate of the QBs who were drafted in 1st round of the NFL draft over the last 10 years. The results are pretty disturbing. I split them into 2 groups, successes and busts. (I know that a binary grouping system isn’t very scientific, but it works for this since I this isn’t meant to be a scientific study.) The success rate is pretty low, too low for my taste.

Top 5: 61% success rate (8 of 13)

6-20: 57% (4 of 7)

21-32: 33% (2 of 6)

Overall: 54% (14 of 26)

Clearly, the best option is to select a in the top 5. Most of the busts in that category are players taken first overall in years when there wasn’t a real top QB. Teams with the #1 overall pick seem to push square peg QBs into the round #1 hole far too often. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your point of view, the Seahawks wont be picking in the top 5 in next year’s draft.

Recently, it seems that everyone just assumes that the Seahawks will be taking a QB in the first round of the draft next April. And while the need is definitely there, I’m not convinced that taking a QB is the best move by the team. The Seahawks have more holes that need filled besides QB, and selecting a player who has a 50% of being a bust doesn’t seem like the best path toward getting better. Even if the new QB isn’t a bust, chances are high that he will spend most, if not all, of next season on the bench. Maybe it’s just me, but spending a first round pick on a player who wont be playing doesn’t seem like good logic.

I know that it’s possible for the Seahawks to trade up into the top 5 to select a top QB, but the idea of giving up next the round 2 and 3 picks, as well as the year’s first round pick, just isn’t all that appealing. This team has too many holes to fill. It also isn’t within the realm of what we’ve been taught to expect from John Schneider. Examining his training from within the Packer organization, as well as his 2 drafts with the Seahawks, lead to the conclusion that he’s much more likely to trade down, and not up.

Overall, I think that might be the best idea for this organization. Assuming the Seahawks are picking somewhere around 15th overall, the Seahawks could easily drop down to around #27, pick up another 2nd round pick, and still select a QB like Ryan Tannehill (or Laundry Jones if recent reports of him dropping down draft boards is to be believed). Tannehill wouldn’t be any more likely to be a bust than a QB taken at 15, and the extra 2nd round pick would net the team a player who would help mitigate the loss is he does end up a bust.

Anyways, that’s my take on the matter. I’m sure it’ll be an unpopular opinion.

Here’s the list of all QB drafted in round 1, and how I classified them. The busts are in red and the successes are in green.

Pick #1: Sam Bradford – 2010

Pick #1: Matthew Stafford – 2009

Pick #1: Jamarcus Russell – 2007

Pick #1: Alex Smith – 2005

Pick #1: Eli Manning – 2004

Pick #1: Carson Palmer – 2003

Pick #1: David Carr – 2002

Pick #1: Michael Vick – 2001

Pick #3: Matt Ryan – 2008

Pick #3: Vince Young – 2006

Pick #3: Joey Harrington – 2002

Pick #4: Philip Rivers – 2004

Pick #5: Mark Sanchez – 2009

Pick #7: Byron Leftwich – 2003

Pick #10: Matt Lienart – 2006

Pick #11: Jay Cutler – 2006

Pick #11: Ben Ruthlessbanger – 2004

Pick #17: Josh Freeman – 2009

Pick #18: Joe Flacco – 2008

Pick #19: Kyle Boller – 2003

Pick #22: JP Losman – 2004

Pick #22: Rex Grossman – 2003

Pick #25: Tim Tebow – 2010

Pick #24: Aaron Rodgers – 2005

Pick #25: Jason Campbell – 2005

Pick #32: Patrick Ramsey – 2002

Obviously there’s some dispute as to which category some of the players on this list below in. Jason Campbell and Mark Sanchez could easily be in red, but I decided to relax my standards a bit for the green category. I didn’t want to be excused of fudging the numbers to make a point.

And if you’re one of those people who don’t think Tim Tebow belongs wholeheartedly in the red group, then I’m not sure what to say to you.