How often do teams draft QBs? Less than Jets

Getty Images

It took some researching, but one positive can be drawn now as it relates to the Jets and their meager quarterback situation.

They’ve been trying.

By one measure, like no team has.

Pro Football Talk collected data over the past decade to analyze how each NFL franchise has approached the quarterback position in the draft. The Jets selected an NFL-high seven over that span, including one in each of the past four drafts. Two of those four, Geno Smith a New York Giant and Tajh Boyd out of the league, are no longer with the club.

It is, of course, tongue-in-cheek to characterize this activity as “positive”; inserting rookies into a huddle and seeing who sticks isn’t an ideal spring rite of passage. Jets GM Mike Maccagnan recently allowed the team may take another dive into the 2017 quarterback class. Josh McCown currently sits atop his depth chart.

Mark Sanchez in 2009 is the Jets’ lone first-round quarterback in the past decade.

The Broncos drafted the second-most quarterbacks with six. Two were first-rounders: Paxton Lynch in 2016 and Tim Tebow in 2010.

The Browns are one of six teams to have selected five since 2007. No organization, however, has invested more in rookie quarterbacks during this period. Each of Cleveland’s five QBs was taken during the draft’s first three rounds. Johnny Manziel, Brandon Weeden and Brady Quinn were all first-round picks.

New England seems to have a preference for when it goes quarterback.

Of the five Bill Belichick drafted in this 10-year span, four were taken in the second or third round.

No team recently has invested less in a rookie quarterback than the Chargers. Despite scouting the position heavily, they are one of five teams to have selected an NFL-few two quarterbacks the past 10 years. Brad Sorensen in 2013 and Jonathan Crompton in 2010 were seventh- and fifth-round picks, respectively. Neither remains on the roster.

Like the Chargers, the Steelers and Giants acquired a franchise quarterback during the 2004 draft. And like the Chargers, they’ve yet to make a sizable draft investment in his successor. The Steelers’ only quarterbacks taken in a decade are 2013 fourth-rounder Landry Jones and 2008 fifth-rounder Dennis Dixon. All three of the Giants’ quarterback picks came between rounds four and six.

The Texans and Bears, despite a current need, have drafted just three quarterbacks in 10 years. Tom Savage in 2014 is Houston’s only such pick the past five drafts. All three of the Bears’ selections came in the fifth and sixth rounds. San Francisco hasn’t drafted a quarterback before the sixth round in five straight years.

A franchise that drafts several quarterbacks but hits on none is not rewarded for its effort.

The Jets can attest to this.

They’ve invested in a rookie quarterback year after year, hoping at some point someone will come along to fill their vacancy for good. But when that doesn’t transpire, a year passes, and the franchise finds itself in the same situation as it did a year before.

So here they are, beside other teams, sifting through a market for what can seem a mythical good.

The search continues.

41 responses to “How often do teams draft QBs? Less than Jets

  1. yet the Jets don’t talk to Cutler, Kaep, Skins for Cousins; they settle on a 37yo perineal backup to start. Go figure.

  2. Good article. Thanks for the information Mr. Gehlkin. If you follow the draft you’ll recognize a lot of these names, but you never really think about how the tendencies are for teams (or more accurately, their management at the time) to take QBs and how they view them. Good stuff, I for one appreciate the research.

  3. So many of the names on that chart bring back painful memories and broken dreams (parlay tickets gone bad). And then there are the real laughers: Tebow and Manziel, for example. Good work.

  4. Everyone always scratched their heads about why Belichick used 2nd & 3rd round draft picks on backup QBs

    It’s just smart cap management. An experienced backup QB costs $2 mil a year, when Garoppolo’s average cap hit on his rookie contract was less than $1 mil, plus they’ll potentially reap a draft reward in the process.

    Checkers and chess

  5. The Vikings are listed with 4 but in reality, the number is 6 if you consider that they traded away a first and fourth rounder to get Sammy “checkdown” Bradford.

  6. Exactly. Like enacting VS repealing the ACA. Obama was playing three-dimensional chess when he got it enacted, and Trump was playing checkers when he tried to abolish it. Trump is certainly no Belichick.

  7. “Exactly. Like enacting VS repealing the ACA. Obama was playing three-dimensional chess when he got it enacted, and Trump was playing checkers when he tried to abolish it. Trump is certainly no Belichick.”

    Actually, what Obama had was 60 mindless stooges in the Senate.

  8. Pats have taken 5, so not much you can say about numbers game with jets. Pats just got lucky Bill is a system qb guru.

    And a cheater.

  9. Great List, Why do 90% of these guys Failed? I believe it is because QB is not a competition position. In order to succeed a QB needs 100 percent of the reps in practice, games etc

  10. huskersrock1 says:
    Mar 26, 2017 10:20 PM
    Actually, what Obama had was 60 mindless stooges in the Senate.

    60 mindless stooges > 1 “closer”

  11. All of those guys were stars in college, yet only 10% made it in the NFL as starters. Hm. Is it because their opportunities to play/have a long leash in NFL are limited…which damages a QB’s inner confidence and the ensuing domino affect takes place

  12. I’d like to know how many of the 118 QB’s on the chart above are still on an NFL roster. How many would you guess?

  13. u4iadman says:
    Mar 26, 2017 10:23 PM

    Pats have taken 5, so not much you can say about numbers game with jets.
    Yeah, the Jets and the Patriots drafting and development of QBs is about equal, and each team has had a pretty similar performance on the field (except for the Patriots 5 SBs and the Jets utter ineptitude).

  14. You really should have the Cowboys at 2, or the Patriots at 6 depending on how you look at it. The Cowboys selection of Isaiah Stanback was that of a QB in college but the intention was always to put him at WR, which is what they did. The Patriots selection of Julian Edelman would have been the same thing as he played primarily QB in college but converted to WR. I’m sure there’s more that I’m missing here

  15. Even blindfolded, if you throw enough darts at the board you will eventually hit a Bullseye.

  16. Cousins, Wentz, Bridgewater, Prescott, Flacco, Carr, Newton, Winston, Mariota, Luck, Wilson, Tannehill, Dalton, Stafford, Bortles, and Ryan are the only legit starters (so far) off this huge list.

    On this list, there are eleven first round picks who are starters, but other than Flacco, Newton, and Ryan, the rest have not had much post-season success.

    Keep in mind that there are some first and second year starters on this list who may yet flame out.

    The point is, it is really difficult to find a legit NFL QB as the numerous failures on this list attest to, even when picking “can’t miss” QBs in the first round have proven.

    So the failures by the Jets or any team who does not LUCK out as did the Patriots (Brady), Seahawks (Wilson), Raiders (Carr), and Cowboys (Prescott – one year wonder?) are typical of the eternal NFL QB crapshoot.

  17. Tebow might be a laugher to some, and I understand why, but at the same time the guy has a winning record and a playoff win (with a loss too, but he’s still .500). That is, like him or not, a lot more than most of the other QBs drafted.

  18. Christ, you figure by now they’d have gotten somebody decent purely by accident. Then again most of the Jets front office probably thinks it’s all the Patriots fault.

  19. You can always tell when it’s the off-season because the cheatbirds are chirping.

  20. Some level of failure always falls on the player, but a lot can be said about it falling on the team. NYJs have tried to create an offense around a QB instead of finding an offense and then drafting a QB that fits that offense.

    Cases in point:

    Detroit drafted Calvin before Stafford. Stafford came into a situation where it was a passing offense and he could wing it without expectations. At first, he was average, but they kept him in that format, and he began to play much much better.

    Luck came into an offense with a lot of talent and an established efficiency.

    Matt Ryan had Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez… and then his team went out and got him Julio Jones.

    As talented as these three guys are, the truth is that their careers could have gone a completely different direction as a part of a less talented team.

    The Jets had an opportunity last year to bring in a young guy with some WR talent around him last year. They instead retread Fitzmagic and fell on their faces.

    Drafting a QB might have more to do with franchise readiness than I realized before reading this article.

  21. If you really look at the list of about 100 draft, regardless of the team, only about 11 are franchise quarterbacks.

    And of that number, only 5 have started in a Super Bowl.

    Finding a franchise QB is hard (Luck, Stafford, Carr, etc.).

    Finding a winner is even harder (Ryan, Flacco, Newton, Wilson).

  22. The Jets drafted three quarterbacks in the first round in the last 40 years. All of them have started playoff games. If anything, they should take more chances with quarterbacks with higher picks rather than hoping all of these late round guys can eventually be the next Tom Brady.

  23. I would imagine more than half of those QB’s drafted would’ve had stellar, decade long career if THEIR head coach stole the defensive formations and practices for years. Then, have a ball deflater since 2007 work his magic.
    Cue the hysterical Patriot fan, GO-

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.