Sometimes NFL teams just gotta sell out.
Written by Curt Popejoy on 03/04/2012
Teams gotta sell out, but in a good way.
Tick tock, tick tock NFL teams. The draft is approaching. And with that comes the biggest question that any all NFL teams must ask themselves. “Is my quarterback good enough to win my team a Super Bowl?” For most teams, whether they will admit it or not, the answer is no. And it’s not hard to see why. When we look at the past 2 decades of Super Bowl teams, there is a pattern that tends to emerge.
40 starting quarterbacks (not accounting for quarterbacks who appear multiple times.
Here’s how they distribute in terms of the round selected.
SB XXVII- 1st round 1st round
SB XXVIII-1st round 1st round
SB XXIX-1st round 6th round
SB XXX-1st round 3rd round
SB XXXI-2nd round 1st round
SB XXXII-2nd round 1st round
SB XXXIII-1st round 3rd round
SB XXXIV-1st round Undrafted
SB XXXV-1st round 1st round
SB XXXVI-6th round 6th round
SB XXXVII-4th round 9th round
SB XXXVIII-6th round Undrafted
SB XXXIX-6th round 1st round
SB XL-1st round 6th round
SB XLI-1st round 1st round
SB XLII-1st round 6th round
SB XLIII-Undrafted 1st round
SB XLIV-1st round 2nd round
SB XLV-1st round 1st round
21 out of 40 1st round picks. Only 53% doesn’t seem significant on paper, but when you consider over half of the quarterbacks were draft using only 14%ish of the picks it becomes much more significant. Also, in Super Bowl XLIV, one of the starting quarterbacks Drew Brees was technically selected with the 32nd pick in the draft. At this time he was the first pick of the second round, but in today’s draft he would be in the first round.
I know that every fan thinks their team will get the next Brett Favre in the 2nd, or even better the next Tom Brady in the 6th. But the reality is quarterbacks taken later in the draft can be good. They can be very good. But your chances of going to a Super Bowl goes up so significantly when you commit a first round pick to a quarterback.
And yes I realize that quarterbacks drafted in the first round are about a 50/50 proposition of not flaming out completely. But it’s a risk I think any franchise with Super Bowl aspirations has to take. So looking at this season, the discussion is once again about the top quarterbacks in the draft.
Obviously Andrew Luck is going to be the first overall pick. The Colts cannot count on Peyton Manning to be healthy, he’s a Godzilla sized cap hit if he’s on the roster, so the franchise moves forward with the closest thing to a sure thing to be in the draft since John Elway. But that leaves a couple of very important things out there.
First, with Luck off the board, Robert Griffin III(RG3) becomes the next hottest commodity in the draft and will be of great demand. The St. Louis Rams have the no. 2 pick but have already committed to their future with a first round draft pick. And that means their pick is the golden ticket. Teams like Cleveland, Washington, Miami, Buffalo, Kansas City, Seattle, and Arizona, other teams picking in the top 13 need to be selling out. Selling up to go up and draft RGIII. I don’t say this because I think that RGIII is a sure thing. But he doesn’t have to be. Stats say regardless he’s a better option by far than anyone any of these teams have on their roster, and if you run a team you have to do everything in your power to help your team win a Super Bowl. Not to make it to the playoffs. Not to win your division. You can do both those things with average quarterbacks. But as Herm Edwards said, “you play to win the game!” And in this case the game must be the Super Bowl. The Cleveland Browns for example have made the playoffs twice since 1990. How can you not do everything you can to get your team a potential franchise QB? It’s not like a free agent franchise quarterback is going to volunteer to be there.
If I am a fan of any of those teams and I don’t see my team making a serious push to move up and get RGIII, I don’t think they want to win a Super Bowl. They just want to stay competitive enough to continue to fill seats and make money.
Two caveats to this whole situation. First off, if you are going to draft a quarterback in the first round, make sure they are worth it. My entire argument of drafting one in hopes of winning a Super Bowl hinges on the fact you don’t simply reach for a quarterback. Names like Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, Tim Tebow and Josh Freeman come to mind from recent drafts. This year Ryan Tennehill is that guy.
The second caveat as it pertains to this season is Peyton Manning. If he’s healthy, and if recent video is to be believed that nerve is regenerating and his strength is coming back, Manning is the guy those teams should covet over RGIII. In fact if before March 8th, the Colts get enough info from Manning that he’s going to be well, you keep him on the roster, maybe with a little more incentive based contract, and you auction that no. 1 pick off to the highest bidder.
What should all these teams do? The clock is ticking for Indy and I’m not sure they will have an answer on Manning before the 8th. So you cut him loose, draft Luck and let those other half dozen teams for so duke it out for the 2 remaining quarterbacks worth selling out for. No matter which direction any of these teams go, there are essentially teams who are going to be happy and the rest, eh not so much.
Last Edited: 03/04/2012