Looking at the best quarterback acquisitions not through the draft

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Most great quarterbacks are obtained via the draft. Plenty of greats ones haven’t been.

And that became the topic for Tuesday’s PFT Live draft — the best quarterbacks acquired by means other than the draft.

Simms and I picked three each, mentioned a couple of others, and then neglected to point out Hall of Famer Kurt Warner. Though it was difficult to crack the top six, we should have at least included his name with others who nearly missed the list.

Check out the video, chime in with your thoughts, and tune in for Tuesday’s PFT Live.

27 responses to “Looking at the best quarterback acquisitions not through the draft

  1. Payton Manning should not count. He was drafted by the Colts and had the better part of his career there. Any of these three are better than Jim Plunkett too!
    John Elway
    Eli Manning
    Fran Tarkington

  2. Absolutely no offense to Drew Brees, but passing stats have been juiced off the charts for some time. Favre put up numbers that would hold up pretty well today, before those were more commonplace numbers. He was also an all-time iron man at a time when NFL rules allowed QBs to be mangled. The passing explosion is subtly turning Favre into an underrated QB, which is interesting.

    This list seems a little biased towards recent big names who still played a long chunk of time elsewhere. Guys such as Tony Romo (UDFA), Philip Rivers (traded after drafted), and Eli Manning (ditto) would make sense as among “best” QB acquisitions given how long they played with acquiring teams, as opposed to a late-career acquisition such as Manning. Glad Johnny Unitas was mentioned – he, Favre, and Elway should be the clear top three in whatever order.

  3. Forgot Warner? LOL. In recent times (since him) prob just Brees. Peyton Manning shouldn’t count at all because the Broncos D literally carried (nay, dragged) him to his 2nd SB title.

  4. If you’re traded as part of a teams draft class, I think you are probably acquired “through the draft” Which would eliminate guys like Elway, E. Manning or Philip Rivers.

    Jim Kelly was pretty decent, who like Young started in the USFL.

  5. Steve Young’s probably the best, but he’s already been mentioned. Here are some other good ones who I haven’t seen mentioned yet.

    Joe Montana (traded to Chiefs)
    Randall Cunningham (Vikings)
    Ron Jaworski (traded to Eagles)
    Doug Flutie (Bills)

  6. redsoxu571 says:
    June 17, 2019 at 6:01 pm
    Absolutely no offense to Drew Brees, but passing stats have been juiced off the charts for some time.
    I understand your point but Brees changed the entire trajectory of that franchise and in some ways, that entire city. There’s not a lot of athletes that have done what he has.

  7. Nick Foles via FA (2nd time around) with the Eagles. Joe Theismann is a good one as well.

  8. Unitas to Colts was best signing…

    Moon was the best undrafted QB ever…

    Joe Kapp to Vikings produced an NFL championship…

    Young to 49ers, and Graham to Browns were great signings…

    Norm Van Brocklin to Eagles lifted their franchise to championship

  9. I was listening when they did this and don’t understand why John Elway would not be mentioned or count. He was drafted by the Colts. The Broncos chose perennial pro bowler OL Chris Hinton at #4. Then, days later they were traded for each other along with some more pucks to the Colts. Elway was acquired by trade, not draft.

  10. I know he wasn’t a superstar but you can’t leave out Jon Kitna. A straight up walk on that some how became a starter in the league.

  11. Peyton..Unitas..Brees..Warner…no mention of Vick? Wasted talent. He admits to being lazy and not reading defences while in Atl I mention Vick bcuz he blazed the trail for today’s QBs like Newton, Mahomes, Murray Mayfield even.

  12. Peyton won a lot of games for the Broncos before that last Super Bowl. He also threw a couple of nice TD passes to beat the Patriots on the way there.


    streetyson says:

    Peyton Manning shouldn’t count at all because the Broncos D literally carried (nay, dragged) him to his 2nd SB title.

  13. We can’t forget about the “Mad Bomber”. One of the worst trades by Buffalo ever.

  14. Joe Theissman (spelling?) was actually drafted by Miami in 1974 or so (well that time period anyway) so what does he do? Goes to Redskins, then beats Miami in the 1982 Super Bowl!

    Favre…wasn’t he drafted by Falcons? And Warner as well, who got Cards to Supe 43. And Brees of course.

  15. Jim Plunkett was the #1 overall draft pick of the Pats and was later traded to the 49ers for high draft picks but he didn’t excel until he was obtained by the Raiders from the waiver wire. Plunkett won a pair of Super Bowls with the Silver & Black.

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