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How do you draft a QB?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by patchick, Nov 29, 2007.

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  1. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Over the past 8 drafts (2003-2007), 20 quarterbacks have been drafted in the first round. Incredibly, only 3 of those -- Roethlisberger, Palmer and Cutler -- rank among what I'll call the "Solid 16," above-average NFL starters as judged by top-16 passer ratings.

    For perspective, the Solid 16 also includes...

    - 3 QBs drafted round 6 or below in that same time period
    - 4 QBs over age 35
    - Chad Pennington :)

    Clearly a lot of mistakes have been made in selecting QBs. What should teams be doing differently? Looking at both the successes and failures, I'm finding it devilishly hard to identify any trends in pre-draft qualities. Take Alex Smith, the overall #1 in 2005 who has done nothing to impress. Well, Smith was a good athlete, smart with good football sense, but was coming out of a shotgun offense that played against iffy competition. Maybe that should set off alarm bells? Hold on...how about Tony Romo? You could use the exact same description for him. Though Romo had better arm strength. That's a trait he shares with Derek Anderson, aha! And Anderson was also a very well-built athlete with lots of physical potential...but weak football sense and so-so work habits and competitiveness. Which makes him the precise opposite of fellow 6th-round success story Tom Brady.

    Can anybody really predict a college quarterback's success? Has any personnel team struck gold more than once? I give BB & co. a lot of credit for looking past a skinny 6th-rounder's pedigree to hand him the job, but that recognition came once he was already on the team. Remember that their highest draft pick for a QB was Rohan Davey.

    If I were the Bears, Ravens, etc. I'd be sorely tempted to target a proven quantity instead...since another 3 of the Solid 16 should be available by trade.
  2. SteelerSteve

    SteelerSteve Rookie

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    I cant remember who said this, it might have been Ron Jaworski. The wrong guys are evaluating the qb's. Imho I dont think the so called experts break down the position all that well. Pretty much, a team will take a shot in the dark when selecting a qb and hope for the next Marino.
  3. Patsmaniac

    Patsmaniac Rookie

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    Thats why I am all for continuing to draft a mid/late round QB each draft on the hope/expectation that we will hit a home run every ten years....
  4. Ishdul

    Ishdul Rookie

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    That guys like Couch, Carr and Smith are all #1 picks is pretty telling; usually a #1 pick would be someone with exceptional talent, either a ridiculous athlete or someone with outer worldly skills, and good lord could you ever not say that about Alex Smith. Guys like that are being set up to fail. It's not an issue with them not being ready or something silly like that: if a guy is a #1 pick, and he's getting a record contract as the #1 pick always does, he should have to already be good and ready to play. If any of the Brohm/Ryan/Woodson trio are the #1 pick this year then it'll just further that theory.

    Basically, I think teams just don't rate QBs on the same scale as they do any other position and are worse off because of it. Part of it is just creating artificial value: teams seem to think that big draft picks are the only way to getting franchise QBs, and that franchise QBs are the only way to win fans/SuperBowls, which leads to the vast majority of QBs being picked way too early.
  5. SteelerSteve

    SteelerSteve Rookie

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    I think too much emphasis is put on arm strength, I know it is important but its not every thing. I dont know, but it seemed like the only reason Jamarcus Russell was the number one pick was because of his amazing arm strength. I think teams need to take into account other things like football intelligence, leadership qualities and the intangibles. When I say the intangibles I mean things like, "does this kid have the fire to want to be the best" and how they perform in big games and in pressure situations. Character is a must also.
  6. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It's funny, that's what prompted this whole thread! I'd always thought the same, based in large part on the example of Brady. But then I looked up pre-draft profiles of Derek Anderson, and they seemed to boil down to this:

    PROS:
    - Arm strength
    - Athleticism
    - Did I mention arm strength?

    CONS:
    - Work habits
    - Football instincts
    - Competitiveness

    Check out these descriptions:

    "A passer with the physical skills to play at the next level, Anderson made strides as a senior, lessening the errant throws. That being the case, he still has a ways to go with his decision-making, poise under pressure and overall quarterback intangibles. Size and arm strength make him worth a second-day pick."

    "He does what he is asked, but hasn't pushed himself on the field. He’s a good worker in weight room, but they wonder about how important football really is to him."

    "The coaching staff says he has good physical toughness, but there is a question of his mental toughness. He has yet to produce under pressure with any consistency."
  7. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams pfadmins PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    By all accounts Leaf had a bigger build and stronger arm than Manning. What swayed the Colts (and yes, they admit that they had long and serious interanl discussions/debates as to who to take). I remember the Colts saying that the thing that swayed them towards Manning was when they met with the two of them:

    Leaf only talked about money, and ehat he would do with it, All Manning talked about was football.

    Nobody here will ever confuse Brady or Manning for an elite athlete! Both have the arm strength and size, but it is their collective intelligence and work ethic, and leadership that makes them great QBs. And those are just not things that are evaluated that much (by other teams) in the draft.

    It is no coincidence that both the Colts and Pats lead the league in the amount of players that are college grads.

    I posted last year, that I think the Jamarcus will be a collosal BUST in the NFL. I highly doubt he even sees the filed this year.

    I bet Dollars to doughnuts that Matt Ryan (already graduated last year) will be far and away the best Pro QB in this year's draft.
  8. RussFrancis

    RussFrancis Rookie

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    I think there are a ton of variables to consider, but Id start with the competition the QBs have faced and the system theyve run.

    Im not looking for a guy who's been throwing out of the shotgun a ton, running a spread O. Its easy to look good and get in a rhythym when youre chucking it 40 or 50 times a game. I want the guy who can still throw well and get wins with 20-25 throws. A guy can always learn to throw more. Not all guys are successful when they are forced to throw less.

    I wouldnt want someone who's been running a run-pass option O. Its nice to be able to scramble and make play once in a while, but a QB always needs to pass first, second, and third, and run when there's no other option. No running QB has ever won a Superbowl and there's a reason for that.

    I dont think Id want anyone out of the Mountain West or the Big Sky or whatever the name of those conferences are where teams average 40 points and dont play D. Give me a guy who's played in some tough weather against some big time competition under lots of pressure in front of 100,000 screaming fans ON THE ROAD facing future first day NFL defenders.

    Field vision is a major consideration. I need a guy who's operated under center most of the time. Not someone who drops back in shotgun 2/3 the time, and gets the 'cheat' on his progressions. Field vision is huge, and a QB needs to have it coming out of center after taking a normal 5-7 step drop.

    Pocket presence is a big factor. Give me a guy who's taken hits from future NFL defensive linemen, so he's not shocked by the power when he gets to the next level. Taking a hit may be the most overlooked aspect of a QB's success. Not all guys can handle it. But it will happen, and it will happen often. So, there's a toughness that you just cant predict with some guys, and about the only tell tale sign would be how they handled the big hits in college. The player's size factors in with some guys like Roethlisberger. Its rare that a player like Big Ben can just shake off would be tacklers. But how a guy stands in the pocket while its collapsing around him, slides around and accepts the hit that's about to come and still delivers the ball is something that's hard to teach. Most of them either have it or they dont. Brady slid far in the draft because he was pencil thin coming out of college and didnt have that prototypical size. But his pocket presence is something that's just hard to teach. And luckily, NE was able to grab him when they did.

    Its tough to predict success with so many of these young QBs coming into the NFL. But it seems that many fail because theyre forced to play when theyre not ready, and their Olines arent up to the task of giving them solid protection. Games are won and lost in the trenches. So these bad teams need to draft Oline help before they think about taking a guy in the top 5, giving up that huge money, and throwing them into the fire without the proper help up front. Its obviously a tall order finding a franchise QB. But youve gotta start with the big boys up front first, then go after your guy.
  9. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    As more colleges start to recruit and play guys like Tim Tebow, it will become increasingly difficult to scout the QB position.

    Whoever drafts Tim Tebow will find themselves with the latest incarnation of those early run and shoot QB's that did next to nothing in the NFL. Andre and Dave were awesome run and shoot college QB's that made terrible pros.
  10. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams pfadmins PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Tebow will be a TE in the Pros, maybe an H back, but no way anyone drafts him to be a QB.
  11. RodThePat

    RodThePat Rookie

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    Dude's breaking all kinds of records. He has over 20 TDs rushing AND passing.

    He'll be a top 5 pick as a quarterback next draft if he keeps this pace.
  12. SteelerSteve

    SteelerSteve Rookie

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    I never thought of that, interesting point though.:)
  13. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams pfadmins PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Watch a Florida game, he is an outstanding football player, don't get me wrong, a superior talent, but his "game" is not suited for the NFL. He doesn't have the speed to get out of the pocket. That run up the middle from the shotgun snap which is the staple of the Florida offense, will get him killed in the NFL. He is not a drop back passer, and he would not last as a running QB.
  14. Aqua4Ever04

    Aqua4Ever04 Banned

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    Chad Pennington is in the solid 16? News to me.
  15. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Strange but true. Quite a testament to the lack of QB talent in the league, isn't it?
  16. Aqua4Ever04

    Aqua4Ever04 Banned

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    Wait, is this by your standards or from someone else? Pennington is lucky to crack the top 32; but I do agree with you that QBing is at an all time low.
  17. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    My answer to this is that you trust your scouts, your GM and your coaches.

    If you (as a GM) and your scouts think QB x or QB y is the next Elway, Manning or Brady you have to take him and trust that you can develop him correctly. There is no value that can be placed on that player; if you think you have one you take him. Because if you think he's that good and don't take him then you are indicting either your scouts or your coaching staff, in which case they should be replaced.
  18. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My answer is unless you are picking in the top 5 and have a chance to get the next Elway, Manning, Palmer you don't draft a QB high. Find a veteran who can manage a game and focus on building a good defense and an outstanding offensive line. QBs take a long time to develop to pay good money to a QB to sit on the bench and learn the system is a poor allocation of cap money. The other option is draft a so-so QB and pay him a lot of money and then you are forced to play him, mean while your team stinks (Carr, Harrington, Alex Smith, etc.).

    Cleveland is a good example of a team that has built an offense that almost any QB could be successful in, good O Line, top WR, top TE, solid running game. now Alexander looks like to star. It is just their defense stinks so they are not a championship team.

    I mean it is a sad state when I would rather have a QB like Feeley or Huard than a lot of high first round picks.
  19. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    The one trait all of the great QBs seem to possess is the ability to process information quickly under pressure. The Arena League QB success in the NFL, the late round picks like Brady, Anderson, Hasselbeck, or the top ten guys like Manning or Roethlisberger they all have it.

    How do you scout that or test for it?

    Can a player be taught it?

    In the Americas game Tom Brady tells the story of stealing a look at the coaches notes on him and it said "needs to do everything quicker."

    He learned it but can everybody?

    If you could there would be more than two elite QBs and 6 or so great QBs in the league.

    I'm sure they try to do this in 7 on 7 drills but perhaps there's a way to modify that to see who can make the progressions quicker or teach them to make them quicker.

    Another thing I'd be willing to bet is that Brady and Manning have excellent eye sight and peripheral vision.
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