“Quarterbacks-So What Would You Do?”
You’re on the clock readers. You obviously had a bad season. You run a bad football team. That’s why you are drafting at the top of the draft board come Thursday night in Dallas.
So what are you going to do.
The NFL is a quarterback driven league, and there should be 4-quarterbacks taken early in the first round. But the debate rages on.
How do you make sure you are getting the blue chip real deal and not some fool’s gold.
NFL draft history is littered with quarterback high pick failures.
You make a mistake on one, it costs you probably 40M in salary cap money, and probably sets your franchise back five years.
The Ryan Leaf saga damaged the Chargers. JaMarcus Russell virtually destroy what was left of the Raiders, that Al Davis had not destroyed.
Robert Griffin III seems to be a budding star, but the system, his injuries, his feud with coaches, wiped out his career.
We know the track record of the person and the player, Johnny Manziel.
Need we mention the disgrace Todd Marinovich became. Or the failures of high picks like Gene Smith, EJ Manuel and so many others.
The Cam Newton’s of the world are few and far between. Finding a gem like Carson Wentz doesn’t happen very often.
But good guys are out there. Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and more. There are very few Peyton Mannings and Troy Aikmans.
And so we wait for 5pm to see what Cleveland does with the first pick, and which teams trade up to try and get access to other quarterbacks at the front end of the draft.
Josh Allen had a nice two years at Wyoming, and is a stud as an athlete. But there will be a real learning curve for him, for he is not polished. But then again, Wentz came out of North Dakota State and the step up in competition didn’t bother him.
If you subscribe to the theory you want a big time player, who played at a big time program, and in big time games, then the big numbers Sam Darnold put up at USC would carry him to the top of the board. You can work on mechanics, ball protection and all that. He seems to be a born leader with lots of physical tools.
The wildcard might be UCLA’s Josh Rosen. He did crank out big passing numbers, is a strong athlete, but took lots of hits, sacks and got hurt two years in a row with the Bruins. He might be a bit of a free spirit, but that was never a problem for guys like Jim McMahon. He needs time grow and refine his strengths.
Baker Mayfield did a lot at Oklahoma, but the burning question, is he a systems quarterback? But that’s what they said about Alex Smith coming out of Utah, and he won in San Francisco and then in Kansas City. Some say his size works against him, but try telling that to Drew Brees.
The great unknown is Louisville’s amazingly productive Lamar Jackson. He was everything to the Cardinals, run and pass. A great athlete, some think he could be an elite receiver and running back. But learning the NFL game, under center, takes a lot of time. Those read option QBs take lots of hits. Just ask RGIII or Vince Young, what happened to his career when he failed to become a pocket passing QB.
The next in the pecking order would be Mason Rudolph, the one man gang at Oklahoma State, viewed as solid but not complete, more second round, compared to the good guys in the first round.
So that’s what the top of the draft board looks like. Of course we have the Tom Brady rule, that says you can find established QBs later in the draft.
That’s where guys like Kyle Lauletta-Richmond…Luke Falk-Washington State…Riley Ferguson-Memphis…Mike White-WesternKentucky might wind up.
Right guy? Right system? Right coaching support staff? All that goes into determining how good the blue-chip names at the top of the draft board become.
We might never-ever see the likes of the 1983-Elway-Marino-Kelly-Eason-O’Brien NFL draft. Four of those QBs led teams to the Super Bowl. But Thursday night’s group could turn out to be just that.
You’re on the clock. What are you going to do at the top of the draft board?