Acquiring Quarterbacks

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Metaphors, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    Oct 10, 2005
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    We all know this is a quarterback league, but I found it interesting how the teams in the NFL have acquired their quarterbacks. Obviously there are 4 ways to get any player:
    1) Draft them early (1st day)
    2) Draft them late (2nd day, undrafted FA)
    3) Trade/waiver from another team while young/unproven
    4) Trade/waiver from another team as a veteran

    Drafting late has the lowest risk and money invested, but is the hardest to do. When you score (Brady, Romo), you generally score big. Worst case is that you find someone who can get by until you have a permanent answer (D.Anderson, Garrard). There are no failures in this category since expectations are non-existant.

    Acquiring young talent from another team is similar, but can sometimes be costly in draft pick compensation. The extra cost results in higher expectations but still a fairly low failure rate. Favre, Hasselbeck, Bulger and Delhomme all exceeded expectations and Schaub looks to be well on his way.

    Using a high draft pick on a QB seems like an obvious thing to do, but the high investment combined with immediate pressure and expections raises the risk factor...resulting in about a 50% or so washout rate. I've heard the opinion that missing on a 1st round QB can set your team back 5 years. That may be a bit harsh but probably not by much. The current starters have the big-timers (P.Manning, Roethlisberger, Palmer, McNabb) and the breakouts (V.Young, J.Campbell), but mostly it is a grab-bag of potential and nagging questions (Losman, Cutler, A.Smith, Leinart, E.Manning, T.Jackson, Pennington).

    Acquiring a veteran QB almost never works out well. You would never be able to acquire them if there weren't some aspect of their game that will prevent your team from reaching its potential. Some will be successful to a degree (Brees, Huard, Kitna, Garcia) and might be able to catch lightning in a bottle for a year (Brad Johnson) but all that really does is stagnate your team for a year that could have been used for development. A good number are just disasters (T.Green, McNair).

    So if a team wants to compete for a championship, you better have one or more of the following:
    A) A top 10 draft pick
    B) Great scouts at the pro/college level for quarterback skills
    C) A solid program for developing quarterback skills at the pro level
  2. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson Veteran Supporter

    Sep 13, 2004
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    Personally I think c is 95% of the equation.
    Really, considering (B) almost every team has almost every player rated somewhere in the same general vicinity. It doesn't take a genius to know what is EXPECTED of a guy in the draft.
    The difference is they walk into that first mini-camp being about 3% of what they ultimately need to be. COACHING makes the difference. Without question, coaching the wrong guy is useless. But coaching the right guy poorly dooms him.

    I think Tom Brady is one of a kind. But lets say we hadn't drafted Brady, but drafted someone else. I STRONGLY believe that with the coaching that was given to Brady, that other guy (if he was capable) or another draft pick or FA thereafter, would have been coached up and we would have a 'very good' QB today. I also strongly believe that there is at least a 50/50 chance that this unknown guy is either sitting on someones bench or out of the league because he didn't get the right coaching.
  3. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    Oct 10, 2005
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    Agree to an extent, but that is why I included pro scouting as well. You think Atlanta would want Favre/Schaub back? Bulger/Delhomme in New Orleans?

    What did Green Bay/Seattle/St. Louis have that enabled them to get a francise quarterback whose rights were already owned by another team? Great pro scouting.

    As for college scouting, I think it is more important to know what NOT to draft. I agree that most everyone knew what Peyton and Carson bring to the table...but did everyone know that Ryan Leaf was a mental case or Akili Smith was a workout wonder? Obviously not.
  4. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams I'm no Mona Lisa Vito.... Supporter

    Jan 26, 2005
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    +991 / 88 / -23

    #75 Jersey

    Holmgren had Hasselbeck in Green Bay, that is how he knew about him.

    I think in the first round, you have to look a few things:
    a.) the level of competition, the QB faced in college.
    b.) the talent surrounding him in college.
    c.) the guys "will to be great"

    Nobody is going to walk into the NFL and be a great QB on talent alone. Brady/Manning are both practice/tape/scout demons who eat/sleep thier jobs. It amazes me how Manning can pull it off doing all those commericals, but you have to hand it to him, he is absolutely prepared to play every week.
  5. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson Veteran Supporter

    Sep 13, 2004
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    Favre received TREMENDOUS coaching in the WCO in his early years. Makes my point actually. If Atlanta hadn't traded him, would he have ever 'become Brett Favre"?
    Schaub? I'm not ready to call him anything special yet. His only claim to fame so far is that the Falcons acted too quickly before the Vick issue killed them.
    I think Bulger is also a product of coaching. He may have never seen the field in other systems, and struggled when he did. He was coached by Martz and throwing to great receivers. Delhomme to me is a journeyman, average QB.

    Your other points are arguable as well.
    Did GB and Seattle hit on QBs from other teams, because of Mike Holmgren? Is Hasselbeck a product of that system, and there are a half dozen other QBs Holmgren could have traded for or drafted that would have had similar results? Was St Louis with Warner and Bulger a product of having such great talent around them? Neither have done nearly as well as Warner goes elsewhere with less talent around him, and Bulgers supporting cast is declining? Bulger looks horrendous right now.

    I think the Akili smith debacle should have been seen 1000 miles away. He was a one year starter who put up big #s on a good team in a weak conference in a well conceived system. Leaf? He was drafted by a bad, poorly coached team that stayed bad for a while. Problem is that he was lazy, and a jerk, so it didnt matter who coached him, he wasn't going to absorb it. Rather than scouting, I think it was an issue of personality and character. I dont think scouts are the best judges of those things, but I guarantee you if I was going to invest what SD did in him, I would have sat him down and figured out who he was. Apparently they did not.
    I don't knock them for picking one of the few very talented QBs who turned out just to not care, because of scouting, I knock them because they failed to do thier job in the interview process.
  6. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player Supporter

    Oct 12, 2006
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    FYI, i have just cross-referenced portions of several of the above post into another thread, "Is Trent Edwards?"
  7. brown sand turf

    brown sand turf Rookie

    May 10, 2007
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    First of all this is a great study! I had some number floating around that I though might just be useful.If your looking at the value received from a player. A superstar starter has significantly more value over the course of the season than the 53rd player. I looked at the QB's level of success compared to when they are drafted. These are all last years numbers.

    **I coded 8th, 9th round picks and undrafted FAs together for simplicity sake. I also coded top 10 picks as 0's.

    Player Team Round DPAR
    18-P.Manning IND 0 175
    10-M.Bulger STL 6 108.8
    9-D.Brees NO 2 106
    9-C.Palmer CIN 0 97.2
    17-P.Rivers SD 0 85.1
    12-T.Brady NE 6 75.9
    5-D.McNabb PHI 0 57
    11-D.Huard KC 8 53.4
    10-C.Penning NYJ 1 52.2
    9-T.Romo DAL 8 51.3
    8-J.Kitna DET 8 48.1
    9-S.McNair BAL 0 47.9
    4-B.Favre GB 2 46
    7-B.Roethlis PIT 1 42.6
    8-M.Brunell WAS 5 29.7
    7-M.Leinart ARI 0 28.3
    10-E.Manning NYG 0 28
    7-J.Garcia PHI 8 27.6
    17-J.Delhom CAR 8 22.5
    7-J.Losman BUF 1 21.2
    13-T.Rattay TB 7 19.2
    10-T.Green KC 8 15.6
    17-J.Campbell WAS 1 14.8
    13-K.Warner ARI 8 12.9
    9-D.Garrard JAC 4 12.2
    8-D.Carr HOU 0 10.4
    10-V.Young TEN 0 7.7
    8-M.Hasselbeck SEA 6 7.3
    3-J.Harrington MIA 0 5.7
    16-J.Plummer DEN 2 4.5
    8-R.Grossman CHI 1 4.1
    7-B.Leftwich JAC 0 3.7
    6-J.Cutler DEN 1 3.6
    14-B.Johnson MIN 8 1.8
    11-A.Smith SF 0 1.5
    8-D.Culpepper MIA 1 1.3
    7-M.Vick ATL 0 -6.3
    11-D.Bledsoe DAL 0 -7.3
    15-S.Wallace SEA 4 -7.8
    3-D.Anderson CLE 6 -8.5
    2-C.Simms TB 3 -13
    2-A.Brooks OAK 4 -16
    9-C.Frye CLE 3 -17.5
    7-B.Gradkowski TB 6 -30.4
    16-A.Walter OAK 3 -30.6


    Using some simple regression analysis I found a .07 correlation between the round a quarterback was drafted in and the value they added to their team. (For those a little removed from their Statistics classes, a perfect correlation is either 1 or -1. 0 is no correlation at all. Anything between .4 and -.4 is usually considered noise except in the largest data set.)


    The results suggests that comparative value of picking a quarterback is equal throughout the draft. Therefore, while later round QBs are more likely to be a bust, when they do stick they are likely to be equally successful.

    If a team, like the Packers, who know they need a quarterback in the future, wants to maximize their chances of getting value from the QB position, they should stockpile later round picks and take QBs with those picks.

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