Skip to content

John Elway: NFL’s not better at finding QBs, QBs are better

John Elway AP

Last year’s draft class of quarterbacks was a unique one, with eight rookies starting at some point in the season, and more than half of them playing well.

But according to Broncos executive John Elway, the rising tide of young quarterbacks is a function of improved play, rather than improved scouting.

Asked if the improved batting average on picking quarterbacks was because the league had learned something, Elway replied simply: “I think quarterbacks are getting better. . . . We’re getting guys that are much better prepared.”

With the proliferation of 7-on-7 leagues at the high school level (and younger), to the individual instruction most draftable quarterbacks are getting now, there’s a higher level of training that passers are getting, which is raising the bar.

That doesn’t mean teams aren’t going to miss with this year’s crop, especially in a class where many personnel types are talking about the holes in their games, but the floor has been raised.

Of course, Elway still wants to see the intangibles in any passer he’s considering. He offered input to the league on the new personality test that was created to supplement the Wonderlic.

He said he was asked what he wanted to see measured, and he told the test-makers he’d wanted to see if they could gauge competitiveness.

Granted, he hasn’t seen the test to see how that manifested itself, and it seems no one has.

But as years pass, that too will be taught to the quarterbacks coming in, extending the cycle of preparedness.

Permalink 17 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Denver Broncos, Home, Rumor Mill
17 Responses to “John Elway: NFL’s not better at finding QBs, QBs are better”
  1. obnoxiousDCfan says: Feb 22, 2013 12:24 PM

    They’re not necessarily better. Put any of these kids behind the line in the 70′s and 80′s and they would get eaten alive. The rule changes that protect QB’s and anybody who’s even THINKING of getting the ball make them Seem better.

  2. damnsureis says: Feb 22, 2013 12:38 PM

    @obnoxiousDCfan True, but they would also be handing the ball off on every play and not throwing 40 times a game in the 70′s and 80′s.

  3. blacknole08 says: Feb 22, 2013 12:39 PM

    I don’t think it has much to do with improved play or scouting, but rather maturity and intelligence.

    Luck could’ve been the #1 pick in 2011 but opted instead to return to college for his Senior year. RG3 finished school in 3 years. Russell Wilson literally took advantage of the NCAA eligibility rules and he has a Masters now.

    Even Ponder finished school early and got his MBA in like 4 years tops.

    Finishing college definitely has helped these guys in the long run.

  4. phillylawhopeful says: Feb 22, 2013 12:58 PM

    It’s a combination of:

    1) More passing friendly league
    2) More access to high school and college athletes via the internet (you can see Joe Smith in Nowhere, Idaho toss 40 TDs, and subsequently go evaluate him, because videos of him pop up everywhere…not true even 10 years ago)
    3) Better training, including the stuff Elway mentioned

    The league wants QBs to do well, technology shrinks the world of HS and college sports allowing more kids from smaller schools to get a shot, and training continues to improve.

    I disagree that “kids today” would be “eaten alive” 30-40 years ago. Kids today are bigger, stronger, and better trained than those back then. They’d adapt and dominate, just like any pool of athletes today compared to those from decades ago.

  5. raideralex99 says: Feb 22, 2013 1:12 PM

    So according to Elway … no team should have a bad QB now. The college QBs are better and well prepare now so why are the Broncos paying $20 million a season for a FA QB?
    Face it … if a QB has a good OL, RB and WRs basically any QB can success. Look at the 49ers … same team 2 different QBs in 2 years and both times they came within a play or 2 of winning the SB or getting to the SB.

  6. micknangold says: Feb 22, 2013 1:26 PM

    In the 70s and 80s these QBs today would be bigger than most of the other guys on the field.

  7. bossbertozzi says: Feb 22, 2013 1:31 PM

    And yet the cardinals still can’t find one

  8. tonyugoh says: Feb 22, 2013 1:35 PM

    I think coaching these days is also more fine tuned to let young quarterbacks be comfortable going in. Look at all the read option stuff that took over the league this year, a few years ago, all the coaches would’ve been too stubborn to ever try that stuff but not you see them with much more open minds than ever before.

  9. anonymouslyanonymouscommentor says: Feb 22, 2013 1:42 PM

    Luck could’ve been the #1 pick in 2011 but opted instead to return to college for his Senior year. RG3 finished school in 3 years. Russell Wilson literally took advantage of the NCAA eligibility rules and he has a Masters now.

    Even Ponder finished school early and got his MBA in like 4 years tops.

    Finishing college definitely has helped these guys in the long run.
    ——————————

    Did finishing college help them mature/grow or did their maturity/intelligence/personality lead them to decide to finish college (and enable them to finish quickly)? You can try and have guys like Jamarcus Russell or Vince Young get a PhD before they go to the NFL if you want but I don’t think that’s going to change who they are.

  10. chris6523 says: Feb 22, 2013 2:14 PM

    Elway is dead right on this and the answer to why is easy. There are a ton of college programs that are pass happy that used to be predominantly running teams.

  11. hartdaddy says: Feb 22, 2013 2:29 PM

    It’s because you can’t touch WRs anymore, Refs let WRs get away with all kinds of shoving & pushing. If your QB can simply throw the ball in their directions they can put up numbers. WRs are getting better not only QBs.

  12. fuglyflorio says: Feb 22, 2013 2:30 PM

    Dumbing down the offenses helps too. We’re not dealing with a bunch of Einsteins here.

  13. edithpiaf51 says: Feb 22, 2013 2:49 PM

    I believe that in the 70s and 80s the QBs were tougher due to different laws. However, in either decaden then or now, as a professor, I believe that education is always going to help QBs improve as it helps anyone improve in intelligence and maturity. Finishing college teaches critical thinking and problem solving which are intellectual skills that QBs need.

  14. jdillydawg says: Feb 22, 2013 3:47 PM

    The whole idea of comparing players today to players from previous years is kinda ridiculous, isn’t it?

    I mean, wouldn’t 98% of today’s human race be devoured by saber tooth tigers if we had to live in cave man days?

    Knowing that doesn’t make me want to learn how to throw a spear, hunt, and run faster.

  15. rkid727 says: Feb 22, 2013 4:12 PM

    Am I the only one who understood exactly what Elway was saying? The amount of stupidity amongst fans is eye opening.

  16. keeroc15 says: Feb 22, 2013 4:47 PM

    Elway is clueless when it comes to the draft. Last years joke should serve as justification for the statement.

  17. blacknole08 says: Feb 22, 2013 5:18 PM

    @anonymouslyanonymouscommentor,

    Did finishing college help them mature/grow or did their maturity/intelligence/personality lead them to decide to finish college (and enable them to finish quickly)?

    ——————————————-

    A little of both, but deciding to stay in college and finish what they started helped those guys mature. They also listened to the right people.

    Guys like Young and Russell left early and chased money and weren’t ready to lead franchises. And they both had one good year college. Sanchez falls in this category too.

    Russell was even given the opportunity to be mentored by Tom Martinez (Brady’s mentor). Had he done so he would not be chasing a dream he was living at one point.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!