2012 serves as a reminder of the unpredictability of the draft

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The 2012 NFL draft was supposed to be a good year for the quarterback position. NFL teams liked the quarterback class so much that they took four passers first and second overall, with two more quarterbacks later in the first round, one in the second round, two in the third round and one in the fourth round.

The 2017 performance of those eight quarterbacks is a good reminder of the unpredictability of the draft.

The four first-round quarterbacks in 2012 selected threw a combined total of zero passes in 2017. Andrew Luck, who went first overall to Indianapolis, missed the whole season with a shoulder injury. Robert Griffin III, who went second overall to Washington, is out of the NFL. Ryan Tannehill, who went eighth overall to Miami, missed the whole season with a knee injury. Brandon Weeden, who went 22nd overall to Cleveland, is a third-stringer for the Titans.

The quarterback selected in the second round in 2012, Brock Osweiler, is so bad that his primary contribution in 2017 was being part of one of the strangest trades in NFL history: The Texans traded a second-round pick to the Browns just to get them go take Osweiler and his expensive contract off their hands. After absorbing Osweiler’s cap hit and watching him in the preseason, the Browns cut him. He ended up back with the Broncos, the team that initially drafted him, and did not play well in 2017.

And then there were the next three quarterbacks drafted: Russell Wilson, who went 75th overall to Seattle, has won a Super Bowl and was an MVP candidate last season. Nick Foles, who went 88th overall to Philadelphia, just won the Super Bowl MVP award. And Kirk Cousins, who went 102nd overall to Washington, may sign the biggest contract in NFL history when he hits free agency next month.

So as we head toward a 2018 NFL draft that is viewed as similarly deep at the quarterback position, remember that we don’t have much of an idea which quarterbacks will be leading their teams to the Super Bowl five years from now.

57 responses to “2012 serves as a reminder of the unpredictability of the draft

  1. Personnel evaluators in the NFL aren’t much better at this than the average Joe Schmo armchair quarterback..

  2. Until teams understand that they can’t mortgage their future for quarterbacks, they’re not going to win consistently. Unless they take team-friendly deals (and then the team follows through and surrounds them with talent with that money), most of these teams will continue to be plagued by holes created by the top heavy rosters. Maybe the answer for the league, which is suffering from this disproportionate money going to QBs in the league looking worse on competitive balance, is to create a separate QB cap or something tied to a percentage of the cap so it never loads franchises down, which in turn makes the whole league suffer because no one can keep a team together past a QB’s rookie deal. I don’t know. However, I know this current system is unsustainable and has eroded its quality.

  3. Two of those pick results are the direct consequence of the owners. Luck has never had a decent O-Line and Irsay is in love with the flashy players. RGIII was picked by Washington’s owner, the coaching staff was so non-enthused by RGIII that they drafted Cousins the same year.

    When fans draft, the team suffers. Leave roster building to the pros. Both of these owners (among others) are too involved with the technical details like drafts.

    A correct owner interaction: When they were going to draft Cam Newton first overall, the owner asked, “Do you have any tattoos?” Newton: “No.” “Then please don’t you are going to be the face of my franchise for the next decade.”

    An unusual but reasonable request from the owner who was signing a 20 something to 50M+ contract. He wasn’t involved in the technical, but still was able to put in a business oriented input.

  4. Nice article. A lot of people act like it’s impossible to find a good QB if you don’t have the number one pick. You can count on some decent QB’s slipping to the third or fourth round this year too.

  5. “The 2012 NFL draft was supposed to be a good year for the quarterback position” – Michael David Smith

    If you look at the number of starters at the QB position 2012 WAS a good year for the QB position. The fact that 2 starters missed the past season has little bearing on this but is just an attempt at a spin job by the author. Enlighten us Mr. Smith as to what kind of year 2018 will be for the QB position.

  6. Of course it was John Elway who made the worst choice in that draft. Where would that guy be if Manning had picked the Texans over the Broncos?

  7. Where the player is drafted has a lot to do with it as well. Luck and Tannehill have had terrible circumstances. Bad roster and bad coaching have slowed the talent that those guys had while players like Wilson goes to one of the best rosters in the league and one of the best defense in the past decade and rides them to a championship. But of course Seattle no longer has that roster and Wilson is finding it harder to win now. Only difference is the media says it’s Tannehill and luck’s fault their teams haven’t won while they keep blaming the o-line, lack of playmakers, injuries and coaches as to why Wilson isn’t winning as much….. Of course those were never the problems in Miami and Indy….

  8. So if that draft were repicked knowing what we know now, what would the order be? I’d still say Luck #1, but the rest would be interesting.

    Luck
    Wilson
    Foles
    Cousins
    Tannehill
    Osweiler
    Weeden
    RG3

  9. I’d certainly prefer to take a chance on guys like Jackson, Litton & Lee, rather than betting the house on Rosen or Darnold. And although I’m not a Browns fan, for the sake of the franchise and the people of Cleveland, I hope the Browns have the sense to sign a FA QB and use their #1 on Barkley. With all the other pieces they have in place, it would make them very competitive.

  10. The 2012 QB prospects were considered special at the top (a rare one-two punch of projected likely franchise QBs), but it was not especially highly regarded after that. As with every draft, there were a number of passers with a combination of promise and flaws…so let’s not pretend this class had the acclaim that this year’s crop is getting. It did not. Also, back off on judging a class on the basis of one year that included two BIG injuries…that’s just silly. Andrew Luck was and, if healthy, will continue to be an elite QB, so all is well there. Griffin was an excellent QB out of the gate and likely would have stayed there if his health had held up. That’s happened plenty of times before. Weeden had a rocket arm but had his pocket instincts ruined by the awful supporting cast around him in Cleveland, Wilson should have gone in the second half of the first round or early second round but teams overreacted to his lack of height, and there you have it. I’d say that class was a fairly strong one and has, outside of injuries, ended up BETTER than projected.

  11. Life isn’t predetermined. Nobody knows what is going to happen in the future. There are no guarantees. Plenty of guys flame out that had the talent to be successful in the NFL. So the talent scouts, many times, are not the issue. Many times the issues arise when a kid gets paid and stops working at a professional level. So many guys mindsets change once they get that big pay day. They never had million dollars before, let alone 100 million. So that drive/hunger gets significantly curbed. Plus money can make people less receptive to criticism. “I don’t have to stand here and listen to this.” Then they storm off to their Mansion and lick their wounds. Plenty of guys had plenty of talent but talent alone is not enough. Self accountability to me is the greatest factor in a successful or failed NFL career. Not coaches or GM’s or talent scouts.

  12. You’d think with literally hundreds of people and hours of examination that these experts would be able to draft players that would be successful in the NFL. At the end of the day throwing darts at a board is about the same thing…..

  13. Cherry-picking results. You also left out Ryan Lindley, BJ Coleman and Chandler Harnish…

    Here’s 2011 in draft order: Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, Ryan Mallett, Ricky Stanzi, TJ Yates, Nathan Enderle, Tyrod Taylor, Greg McElroy

    Here’s 2013 in draft order: EJ Manuel, Geno Smith, Mike Glennon, Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib, Tyler Wilson, Landry Jones, Brad Sorensen, Zac Dysert, BJ Daniels, Sean Renfree

  14. Allen is a %5o accuracy guy. I wouldn’t think he should be drafted in the first round.

    Rosen is always hurt

    Darnold is an enigma. No one knows. Classic 50-50 boom/bust player.

    Mayfield might be a glorified Keenum. Right system guy (which is true for most QB’s, outside of the greats and some near greats).

    Jackson: Raw but great athlete. So are a lot of failed QB’s

    Rudolph: His first check was usually wide open. If not he scrambled a bit and threw to option 2 (whether open or not or ran. Tough guy, though. Needs pocket/footwork, work.

    I’d take Darnold/Mayfield/Rudolf but wouldn’t touch Rosen or Allen. Hurt guys and
    %50 throwers don’t change. I was injury prone. Stil am 40 years later. Just the way it is.

    I’d consider Jackson later as a project but scrambler/runners don’t survive in today’s NFL. Watson won’t last either, unless he changes his ways.

    PS: I couldn’t believe how long Cousins or Foles lasted in that draft. Especially Cousins. Kind of proves the Redskins were drafting BPA (that draft) because he was drafted one round too late and was screaming BPA for about 25 or so picks.

  15. I think people are too quick to blame the NFL personnel men for drafting the wrong guys. What they fail to take into account is how those players fit into the organization, and what the team does to support those players, are equally as important.

    I honestly believe that if Tom Brady was selected 1st overall in his draft he would have gone on to be a bust in the NFL.

    So yah, some later round guys can work out in the end, but often it’s a matter of the perfect guy ending up on the perfect team at the perfect time.

  16. The draft features a lot of QB grade inflation because franchises use those picks to sell hope and season tickets to their fans. Most knowledgable NFL scouts didn’t really love Weeden, Tannehill, or even RGIII, but the front offices of certain desperate teams needed to deliver for their fans, so they flew off the board. This is why draft day now resembles a 1970s game show.

  17. mrbigass says:

    February 13, 2018 at 10:55 am

    You’d think with literally hundreds of people and hours of examination that these experts would be able to draft players that would be successful in the NFL. At the end of the day throwing darts at a board is about the same thing…..
    **********************************************
    You’re right. If hundreds of people spent hundreds of hours examining the players, they would get them right. But they don’t do that. Everyone compares notes, and very little scouting is actually being done. Then they waste all that time measuring hand size, and arm strength, etc.

  18. That’s pretty amazing that 4 guys were selected in 2 spots.

    “NFL teams liked the quarterback class so much that they took four passers first and second overall,”

  19. NFL QBs in particular are discussed as though they exist in a vacuum, as though their success or failure rests ENTIRELY on their talent. This is completely false.

    How a QB performs depends on development (which the NFL is terrible at), coaching, talent around him (including O-line protection), system/scheme fit, the guy’s abilities & the work he puts in. The team side of this equation is much larger than the player’s – the TEAM needs to do more than just throw a young QB to the lions and see if he survives.

    A completely inexperienced QB can’t overcome the entirety of a terrible organization, or bad receivers, or a mediocre O-line, or an OC who wants to shoehorn a QB into his system with no regard for whether the QB is a good fit or not, or a defense that gives up 30 points a game.

    RGIII is an example of how a player gets labeled as a “bust” – but the TEAM deserves all of the blame there. They played him when he was clearly and obviously hurt and his knee was very unstable. He destroyed his knee playing in that playoff game. Washington threw away his future for one playoff appearance. That’s not HIS fault.

    So – beyond pre-draft evaluations, teams need to do a better job of developing these guys. First rounders shouldn’t be started right away – but because they’re first rounders teams (probably dumb owners) insist that they get played right away.

    We hear all the time how complicated playing QB in the NFL is. Right – I believe it! So develop these guys and have some patience – really develop them. It drives me crazy because the teams are at fault here, not the players. I’m not saying that every QB will make it – of course they won’t – but this year Foles and Keenum proved that guys who are not seen as “starters” can do very well if teams stay within the QB’s limitations with what they ask of him.

  20. People are dead on right when they say that the coaching and development plays a massive part in the success or failure of a QB. If Jeff Fisher was still coaching the Rams, Goff would be out of the league by now. The success of three of his protegees outside of his terrible influence speaks volumes.

  21. Well it’s not that Luck was a bad draft pick, it’s that the team’s poor management decided to let him get pummeled into irrelevance. It’s kind of like buying a Ferrari and then using it on the Baja 500 race across rough desert terrain. Technically you can do it, but it’s only going to last a quarter of the race at best.

    RG3 was probably always going to get injured, but Mike Shanahan is definitely culpable for recklessly insisting that Griffin play with duct tape holding his ankle together.

  22. There’s really very little difference in that draft from any other.

    Not more than 50% of draft picks last long in the NFL, and it may be more like 35%.

    There are plenty of undrafted FAs that end up being starters or very good backups. Its a crap shoot and often times the people rolling the dice don’t even seem to know what number they’re rolling for.

  23. The ONLY QB’s who are ready to play right away are the ones who are playing in a system they mastered in college. All the “pro-style QB’s are NOT able to play at a high level out the gate. So, they take away the first read progressions after they throw a lot of picks in the NFL and flip the script and make them check down Charles where they play a lot of scripted plays with two step drops and pass quickly to a TE. They go to the middle next and last and few in between they go downfield. If you want to see one of the few QB’s who make the NFL reads see Ben Roethlesberger, he holds on to the ball to allow the downfield play to develop.

    The NFL has turned the guys into West Coast gimmick check down, dink and dunk Charlies, so sad. And then they overpay them for that.

  24. Very well said! Scouting QBs is what separates the adults from the children. No reason to move up — give up important picks — just develop what you get.

  25. Getting a great QB through the draft is a gamble, always has been. A few of my favorites:

    QB’s taken before Unitas (9th round pick): Ralph Guglielmi, George Shaw, Dave Leggett

    QB’s taken before Staubach (10th round pick): Pete Beathard; Bill Munson; Jack Cannon; and SIX others you never heard of!

    Montana (3rd round) was passed over for the likes of Jack Thompson and Steve Fuller.

    Brady (6th round)- basically six failures (maybe Chad Pennington reached “serviceable”) were deemed worthy before he was picked.

    Drafting a great – or even a good – QB is both the most important job and the hardest job a team has – and they’re all inevitably judged in hindsight. It’s the sports equivalent of buying a lottery ticket.

  26. It’s amazing how many people still blame Washington for Bob the 3rd being a failure. Yeah it was a bonehead move to let him keep playing through that injury, just as it was a bonehead move for him to think he was giving his team the best chance to win by hobbling out on one leg. I suspect that after he’d already left games due to injury several times prior to that in the season and watched Cousins come in and play the position better than he did, he didn’t want to see that happen again the playoffs. Both sides were at fault there.

    But outside that, the organization gave him every chance to be the man. It’s not their fault he felt like coaches reviewing his mistakes on film was disrespectful to him. It’s not their fault he threw teammates under the bus after bad losses in which HE botched play after play like “it’s hard to be great when your teammates aren’t”. It’s not their fault he assumed everything he did at Baylor automatically made him a star in the NFL. It’s not their fault he was impervious to coaching and didn’t feel it was necessary to elevate his game when the league caught up to his couple little gimmicks.

    At Baylor, he kept his Dad around to help fight his battles and get his way. He was above the team, above the coaching staff, and when he tried to play that same deal in the NFL he quickly lost the respect of his teammates. He wouldn’t learn from his mistakes, he’d just blame everyone else for them.

    Bob the 3rd NEVER had what it took to succeed at this level. Washington didn’t wreck him, Bob wrecked himself because he never checked himself. He never put the work in to grow his game because he didn’t think he needed to, he was “already the greatest and just had to prove it”. Would constantly hold the ball and look for big plays downfield while bypassing the wide open underneath options, took big hits unnecessarily because he didn’t know how to make reads within the confines of a play design, even his first game with the Browns he literally launched himself chest first into an Eagles defender on the sideline instead of just stepping out of bounds when he was still 12 yards short of a 1st on 3rd down. He was clueless. He had no awareness for anything on or off the field. Nobody respected him, nobody wanted to play for him, nobody wanted to waste breath trying to coach someone who didn’t think they needed coaching.

    Bob the 3rd was a joke all on his own.

  27. akira554 says:

    February 13, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Cherry-picking results. You also left out Ryan Lindley, BJ Coleman and Chandler Harnish…

    Here’s 2011 in draft order: Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, Ryan Mallett, Ricky Stanzi, TJ Yates, Nathan Enderle, Tyrod Taylor, Greg McElroy

    Here’s 2013 in draft order: EJ Manuel, Geno Smith, Mike Glennon, Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib, Tyler Wilson, Landry Jones, Brad Sorensen, Zac Dysert, BJ Daniels, Sean Renfree
    //////////////
    That tells me to draft other positions in 1st and 2nd round, and wait on the crapshoot that is a franchise QB. Or, sign one in free agency that has proven himself.

  28. IMO, this shows that the evaluation criteria teams use on QBs are poor. Teams give too much weight to things like height or arm strength as opposed to things like leadership and mental processing.

    The only reason why Russel Wilson – and Drew Bree’s and Aaron Donald – dropped in the draft because they were determined to be too short.

    One of the things that the Cowboys loved about Dak Prescott is how quickly he understood plays drawn on the chalkboard, yet they tried hard to get Paxton Lynch and the Michigan State QB before they had to ” settle” for their third option.

    One more factor is that both Wilson and Prescott were 5th year seniors which teams also look down upon than value.

  29. @rideforjesus: Nobody cares.

    The patsies passed on the GOAT five times before taking him in the sixth round.

    Enough already, the patsies got lucky he landed in their lap.

    Also, Jesus was just a carpenter and the “book” is no better than Aesop’s fables.

    Carry on.

  30. Despite winning* (* for defensive holding gate), Russell Wilson wasn’t the MVP. The Denver receivers were mugged at the line of scrimmage so badly that they couldn’t get down field for passes longer than about 5 yards. OLB Malcolm Smith, who is now a 49er, was the MVP.

    In contrast, Nick Foles was the MVP in the SB because he played so well and he beat Tom Brady. Foles should be regarded the best QB drafted that season. Andrew Luck held that honor until he got injured. If Luck had the Seattle defense in Indianapolis, he would have won more than 1 SB.

  31. Most of the contributing factors of how well a qb, or any player for that matter, will turn out have nothing to do with combine measurables or college stats. System, coaching, surrounding talent, mental ability and maturity play much bigger roles than arm strength or hand size in an development. Talent is important but we’ve seen a ton of talented athletes flame out very early on in careers.

  32. thelastwordyaheard says:
    February 13, 2018 at 10:34 am
    Personnel evaluators in the NFL aren’t much better at this than the average Joe Schmo armchair quarterback..

    —————

    For QB that is totally true. I wouldn’t say that about most other positions though.

    The NFL needs to completely change how they evaluate and develop QBs because it isn’t working at all.

  33. One of the reasons I think contributed heavily to the Patriots’ sustained success is the way Belichick works a draft. He’s certainly had his whiffs like anyone else. But it’s the way he plays other teams’ overexcitement to trade draft picks for more known quantities that impresses me. Picks are bargaining chips that he gets people to overpay for, maybe not in a Mike Ditka-esque “everything for Ricky Williams” type of haul, but some of those mid- and late-rounders that ultimately turn out to be reliable contributors. AND, it saves you from crippling your salary cap, whether the player pans out or not, when you pick later (also a product of the success, naturally) in the first round or out of it altogether. Every year I geek out and watch the combine and look at tape of prospects and play armchair GM, and every year, I get stuck on a few a guys. One of my favorite things is looking back at draft classes, 4+ years later, as was done here. Those first round success rates are IFFY. Top 5 is about as hit or miss as it gets, and like I said, the cap is crippled either way. It’s like 5 outright busts, 5 pro bowlers, and then like 22 guys where you say “ok, this kid can play, but he went a little high relative to his actual production.” Belichick is famous for trading out of the first round altogether, probably more often than not. The roster has been mostly built around 2nd-6th rounders. PLUS Belichick is getting something extra back in trading down, and there’s no hole left in the roster, generally. Has he been perfect? Of course not. But show me someone whose been better, for this long. I’ll wait…..

  34. What people, draft pundits, never take into account is the players around the QB while in college. Take Sam Darnold, he’s surrounded by NFL caliber talent. so, to ensure he has success at the next level, wouldn’t you want to surround him with NFL caliber talent? Now, look at a guy like Wentz. He lit up lesser competition, but he also didn’t have the talent around him. That’s why I like Josh Allen, he doesn’t have a roster full of NFL caliber talent, so he is the cog of that offense. Put a couple game breakers around him and he can grow into a great QB. Why has Cleveland been so bad at the QB position? They haven’t had a true threat at WR/TE since Braylon Edwards, and, shocker, look what he allowed Derek Anderson to do in ‘07.

  35. u4iadman says:
    February 13, 2018 at 12:04 pm
    Brady is no goat. System qb only

    —-

    Wait, you forgot to type the rest of the items left in this list…

    The world isn’t round, it’s flat.
    With a couple of breaks, I could have played pro ball.
    I think that stripper really liked me.

  36. Chad Pennington would have at least been in a Super Bowl if he had been the QB instead of Sanchez. Yes, he had a 2 to 1 TD/INT ratio but the Jets were always behind and it’s easy to play D when play action pass is out of the equation.

    The Jets 2009 D almost got them there on their own. All they needed was a QB.

  37. Oh 2012 when Flacco got his big contract all these guys were SOOOO much better than him. Check the record books and he’s not done yet.

  38. Cousins will also win a Super Bowl in his career and that will make the three “dogs” from that draft as the ones who ended up being top dogs while the overhyped ones did zilch.

  39. People mostly draft QBs based on the physical skills. So the observation that bust rates mostly lie with team development is spot on. Now, some of these guys just won’t get it or can’t process the information when they get on the field, but it’s not as bad as the league makes it unnecessarily by not surrounding the players to succeed. The leap from college to the NFL is massive,and players need that much more support to succeed from the coaching staff to the teammates that make them look good, and that goes back to the problem the league has and will continue to have as long as teams keep overpaying QBs and shorting the rest of the roster.

  40. “Here’s 2013 in draft order: EJ Manuel, Geno Smith, Mike Glennon, Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib, Tyler Wilson, Landry Jones, Brad Sorensen, Zac Dysert, BJ Daniels, Sean Renfree”

    Omg thats horrible. I’m a Bills fan so I seen the horrors of E.J. Manuel up close and personal, but I didn’t know the whole lot was this bad, the NFL would be out of business with a couple more QB drafts like that.

    But I also forgot that the Bills that year tried to address QB and drafted the first QB of the draft, but everyone knew that class was suspect, evidenced by the fact the Bills took the first QB off the board @ pick # 16.

  41. “texansfan82 says:
    February 13, 2018 at 10:59 am
    I think people are too quick to blame the NFL personnel men for drafting the wrong guys. What they fail to take into account is how those players fit into the organization, and what the team does to support those players, are equally as important.

    I honestly believe that if Tom Brady was selected 1st overall in his draft he would have gone on to be a bust in the NFL.

    So yah, some later round guys can work out in the end, but often it’s a matter of the perfect guy ending up on the perfect team at the perfect time.

    42 6 Rate This”

    It’s comments exactly like this one AND the 7:1 ratio of people who agree with it that will keep Brady slinging it into his mid/late 40’s. Just can’t admit that Brady is psychotic in his body and mental preparation….it’s always Belichick and his “system”….If I was BB, I’d cut Brady and Hoyer as they both make much more than the league minimum. Grab some undrafted scrub for next to nothing and insert him into a season that will end up 15-4 with a trip to the SB. Why waste all that money, Brady is clearly just a lucky byproduct of Belichick’s mastery.

    After all Belichick’s record with Brady is 223-65(.774 %)
    And his record without Brady is 52-63(.452 %).

    That’s no small sample size either. 115 games without is over 7 full seasons of games. Belichick took a 2007 stacked team that went 18-1 all the way to a non-Brady record of 10-5 the very next year…with a solid backup that had known their system for 4 years. A drop of 8 victories! If it’s all BB and not TB, why didn’t they go 18-1 again?!?!

  42. I disagree with dartmouthstevens that Luck’s problems stem from his O-Line. Yes, he has a poor O-Line. But while Luck’s injuries may have a lot to do with that, other QBs have had horrible O-Lines and haven’t made the decisions he has made on the field. Russell Wilson is one of those. Manning also suffered from deficits during his career, albeit not as much or as consistently. He is just a pedestrian QB who was thought to be the top of the class, and he isn’t translating that to the NFL. Brady isn’t always surrounded by top talent but he seems to win. Even Cousins, whose team really isn’t all that good around him, may command top $$. At some point we have to stop blaming the Colts and start looking at the player.

  43. I remember watching that draft. Just before the Seahawks’ third-round pick, they went through some highlights and talking points about Wilson.

    Gruden gushed, saying how great Wilson was at his QB camp, this is the perfect value/pick spot for a QB like Wilson, Seahawks should take him, he’s going to have a great career, etc.

    Mel Kiper’s Hair strenuously objected: fourth round would be too high for Wilson, he’s too short, Seahawks had just signed a big-money deal for a QB, Wilson will be nothing more than a backup/journeyman QB for his entire career, etc.

    Good times.

  44. Also, Jesus was just a carpenter and the “book” is no better than Aesop’s fables

    You got some details right, but your mistake is that you think you’re off the hook.

    Just wait. You’re gonna love it.

  45. At first glance, that draft seems awful. But if you compare it to other drafts, it wasn’t really that bad. Andrew Luck has a few successful seasons under his belt and a couple of playoff wins, so he’s obviously the best of the early picks. That’s more than you get from the majority of QBs you end up selecting, and if he went to a better team, he’d likely have been to a SB by now. There’s still a good chance that he starts at least two more seasons with the Colts, and getting quality starts is harder than you think.

    RGIII was pretty bad, but he does have a playoff win, so there’s that going for him. Still, pretty bad. And I feel like most of us knew. Or should have known.

    Tannehill is actually a decent QB. He’s had some success after a slow start, and is expected to be a starter in Miami for at least the next couple of years. I think we all see him as being the starter next year, at least. He hasn’t had the postseason success we all would like for a franchise QB, but he’s fairly young and has a good shot to at least get a postseason win under his belt in his career.

    Wheeden played one okay year in Cleveland before falling into nothingness, but it’s hard to say if he’s been more or less successful than any Browns QB (barring Hoyer) since. The last time Cleveland resembled a professional football team was, ironically enough, when they had Wheeden under center.

    Osweiler is a backup. He’s a career backup. Nothing more to that. He actually plays well in relief, as evidenced when he took over for Manning that Superbowl year. When he is the actual starter…not so much. We all know what happened with the Texans (which, to be fair, is the case for every Bill O’Brien QB not named Deshaun Watson), but the games he started with the Broncos are the ones where he played badly. The games where he came in relief? He actually played well, if you bothered to watch. A backup QB in the second round is not that bad a value.

    Not much needs to be said for the other guys, but Foles had a pretty bad few years during his hiatus from Philly. Who’s to say that these other guys aren’t doing the same? Wheeden, it’s safe to say, is probably done, even if that’s not entirely of his own doing. But Tannehill and Luck are probably still starters for their teams next year. Osweiler will likely end up on a team needing a backup. But it seems to be that the quality of the team making the pick matters most when it comes to predicting the QB’s success, if you’re just going by this draft. Certain years teams get blessed, like 2004 or 1983, but for the most part, 2012 was pretty run of the mill, or even above average. A lot of teams would love to have Luck, or even Tannehill on their roster this year, even with Cousins, Wilson, and Foles in the league.

  46. But when teams draft a QB early and he turns out to be the real deal, then everyone says of course. Or a guy like Drew Brees goes in the second round because someone needed Freddie Mitchell instead, or there’s a debate over Leaf or Manning or Jimmy Johnson favoring Steve Walsh over Troy Aikman. You just never know.

  47. You can’t start with a QB – you start with the offensive line that can protect him. The Browns have #1 & #4 this year and IMO they should trade down and get some offensive linemen – you don’t know what you have at QB if you can’t protect him.

    Remember #199.

  48. Remember Montana – 3rd round. Unitas – 9th round, cut by the Steelers, did a year of sandlot ball until the Colts picked him up. Remember Brady – 6th round, #199. Remember Bart Starr – 20th round.

    Between them – 12 rings – more than 20%.

    What did they all have in common? A good offensive line

  49. Look at the first round misses in most years and you realize that most teams either draft the QB position poorly or are QB killers.

    It shouldn’t be surprising that three Patriots draft picks, that they nurtured, are starting for three teams. One was the MVP, another is now the highest paid QB, and the third performed well above expectations. Maybe, just maybe, QB’s need to be developed and play with talent and not just be thrown to the wolves to save a franchise.

    Garoppolo was acquired for a second rounder and Brissett for a high draft choice who had under performed. Too many GMs and owners were afraid of paying the Patriots a higher price and looking bad.

  50. In five years, the best QB from the 2018 draft will be Mason Rudolph. He’ll go to some team like Green Bay or New Orleans, where he can sit for 2 years and learn how to play the right way.

    Then everyone will be shocked in 2021 when he’s leading a playoff team and we’ll get to read the same article as this one, but with different names. Oh, boy.

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