Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

14 Apr 2014

MMQB: Draft Games Begin

Just now? What have we been listening to for the last three months?

Oh, erm, I mean: PK dishes the latest draft gossip and interviews the NFLN COO.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 14 Apr 2014

12 comments, Last at 15 Apr 2014, 8:41pm by Guest789


by Guido Merkens :: Mon, 04/14/2014 - 2:08pm

29 QBs have been drafted in the 2nd-3rd rounds since 2002, and Colin Kaepernick, Nick Foles, Russell Wilson, and Matt Schaub are the only ones who are worth a shit. Good QBs are the most valuable players on the field, so if a QB falls out of the first round, it’s almost always because he sucks, not because he’s a “good value.”

If teams like the Browns and Jaguars are hoping to find a QB in those rounds, it will almost certainly be a QB who they can win in spite of, not a QB who will lead them to victory.

by Sifter :: Mon, 04/14/2014 - 4:35pm

Andy Dalton's been respectable. Kevin Kolb was worth a shit (a 2nd rounder + DRC > shit), Charlie Whitehurst got flipped for a 3rd rounder so the Chargers at least broke even on him. Chad Henne's started 50 games and was at least average until he went into the Jacksonville black hole. Oh and Drew Brees of course, but your convenient nice end points eliminate him! I do largely agree though, 2nd and 3rd round QBs probably hit 20% of the time at best. Definitely a big gamble.

Then again, 1st round QBs wouldn't hit 50% of the time either, it might even be closer to 35%, so it's not as though you are passing up a slam dunk. Since 2001 there's been 36 1st round QBs and I've got Newton, Griffin, Luck, Ryan, Rivers, Flacco, Rodgers, Big Ben, E.Manning, Palmer, Stafford, Cutler as those who have been good picks. That's 12 out of 36. Everyone else has underplayed their draft position either a little bit eg. Sam Bradford/Alex Smith types or a lot: Losman, Boller, Joey Harrington, JaMarcus, Brady Quinn etc. etc.

by BDC :: Mon, 04/14/2014 - 5:45pm

I think you proved his point. Guys like Rogers, Luck, etc (first round "hits") are guys that help you win. Guys like Chad Henne (second round "hits") are guys you can at best win in spite of. If I'm a team like the Jacksonville or Oakland or whatever, getting one of those guys from the second group doesn't do me any good. I either take a shot at a guy who will fall in the first group or, if I don't think any are available, I don't take a shot at all. Oakland "hitting" on a Chad Henne type in the second round just doesn't do them any good.

by tuluse :: Mon, 04/14/2014 - 5:50pm


I looked at 1999-2008, since FO does draft retrospectives after 6 years, and that's a ten year range.

There were 39 QBs drafted in the first or second round. I would classify 13 of them as "good", which is Chad Pennington or better as measured by career AV. I would probably put Flacco below Pennington myself, but I'd still say he was a successful first round pick. Of those 13, 12 went in the first round, 1 was in the second round (Drew Brees).

If we expand it to the 3rd round, http://pfref.com/tiny/aiGs6, Matt Schaub gets into the successful NFL QB category.

One thing that's interesting is that very few QBs are drafted after the first round. 28 were 1st round picks, 11 were 2nd round picks, and 14 were 3rd round picks. So the odds drop from ~40% in the first round of getting a QB you can be happy with for a number of years to less than 10%. That's pretty dramatic.

by Jimmy :: Mon, 04/14/2014 - 6:15pm

Good stuff Mr tuluse. I will recall that every time I read someone saying they want to pick a guy up later on in the draft. The odds suck.

by Jimmy :: Mon, 04/14/2014 - 6:15pm

Good stuff Mr tuluse. I will recall that every time I read someone saying they want to pick a guy up later on in the draft. The odds suck.

by tuluse :: Mon, 04/14/2014 - 6:35pm


There are few problems with my quick study.

There have been a number of recent 2nd and 3rd round picks that look like they'll be good. I don't know if this is because of a found inefficiency in the market that will be corrected (in general it seems like short quarterbacks might be undervalued, but that doesn't describe Foles or Dalton).

It could be due to statistical noise. Possible 99-08 is an unusually bad 10 year range to look at, or the last 6 years have been unusually good. Possibly several of the possibly good QBs will fall off a cliff (thus the 6 year cut off).

Possibly, the number of NFL quality QBs is increasing over time, and with a bigger population, some are going to be incorrectly under-valued.

by mehllageman56 :: Mon, 04/14/2014 - 4:16pm

Andy Dalton has been a solid starter, except in playoff games. You can't assume that Geno Smith or Mike Glennon suck on the basis of their rookie years, either. 2001 gave the Chargers Drew Brees, so that's 5 for your list (6 if we agree on Dalton), which is 15% of the teams in the NFL getting a quality starter in rounds 2-3 in a 13 year period, and we're not including guys like Marc Bulger or Brady. Drafting a quarterback in the second round isn't a bad idea; relying on him to turn a terrible team around immediately is. Passing on Bridgewater if Clowney or Mack aren't available also is a bad idea, in my opinion.

by andrew :: Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:22pm

He lost me at "Draft..."

by eggwasp :: Tue, 04/15/2014 - 5:33am

There is a major difference between selecting one of those QB in the 2nd round though - Its not a 1st round QB OR a 2nd round QB - those teams got a first round player at another position as well.

As a long-suffering Raiders fan, I don't want us to "reach" for a franchise guy this year with the #5 pick - we've done that too many times under the declining years of Al Davis - which in QB-terms goes back to Marc Wilson! Either Schaub rebounds somewhat this year - which with a decent O-line in front of him, I think he can do, and it was the right trade to make given what the odds of a low round draft pick contributing anything of substance are - plus we HAD to spend the money given the min salary cap rules anyway - OR he doesn't in which case we get a shot at perhaps a better class of QBs next year. In the meantime we might find someone who the organisation thinks is worth a closer look, drops to us in R2-3

I think after the draft mistakes of the last decade, Oakland needs as close as it can get to a "sure-thing" contributor, and none of the QBs represent this. I'm hoping Watkins will fall as the player most likely to make an immediate impact, but I fear that's looking unlikely now.

by Guest789 :: Tue, 04/15/2014 - 8:39pm

Wtf is Brandon Spikes going on about?


“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

by Guest789 :: Tue, 04/15/2014 - 8:41pm

Also LOL at the theory that because Jacksonville made an offer for Mack, he'll sign with them two years from now. Oh PK, where do you get this stuff?


“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”