Monday, January 2, 2012

Nobody Knows.

A Browns fan's reaction to knowing they could have had Champ Bailey instead of Tim Couch.

The NFL is chock full of morons.

I don't mean the players. In fact, I've said before that I'm fairly certain that NFL players are at the worst the 2nd smartest athletes of the big four sports.

No no... I'm talking about the fools in charge.

See, there's this thing that's been bothering me about the NFL for a while now. This philosophy for drafting that seems to be pervading the collective consciousness of every dumbass football executive and has been for the past 13 years. It goes like this:

If there's a top-line quarterback available, you HAVE to take him.

You know what I think? Total bullshit.

The reason I'm thinking about this today is because I'm really fucking tired of hearing about Andrew Luck.

“Will the Colts take Luck?”
“Should they trade Manning to make room?”
“If the Rams get the first pick, should they dumb Sam Bradford?”
“Should a team trade their whole draft to get him?”

It's so fucking tiring. And you know what? The answer to all of those questions is emphatically NO.

NO the Colts shouldn't take Luck or trade Manning to make room. No the Rams shouldn't dump Bradford for him. No, a team shouldn't trade their whole draft. That would be dumb.

This notion of taking a quarterback at all costs is relatively new, and it spawned from a draft that proves how dumb the whole thing is.

Remember back in 1998 when the great Peyton Manning entered the draft, and the whole world was going nuts about him just like they are now about Andrew Luck? You do? Because I don't. I remember there being big long debates about whether Manning was even the best quarterback. There was a guy named Ryan Leaf who was also considered number one material, and there were plenty of “experts” who thought the Colts made the wrong choice.

Ryan Leaf was taken 2nd by the Chargers, and he was out of the league after 2001. That's 4 seasons.

So yeah... the Colts guessed right, but nobody would have faulted them for taking Leaf, and then the Chargers would have had the Hall of Famer. My point is... despite what everyone says, nobody knows.

So anyway, after Manning turned out to be awesome, or whatever, there has been a legitimate run on # 1 quarterbacks, and despite the overwhelming evidence that they miss as often as they hit, the fad doesn't seem to be slowing down.

Let's break it down...

In the 13 years prior to 1998 (The same number of drafts we've had since) there were 4 quarterbacks taken number one.
Those were:
Vinnie Testaverde, Troy Aikman, Jeff George, and Drew Bledsoe.

You have 1 true great (Aikman... I could even argue that he was a product of overwhelming offensive line power, much like his cohort Emmitt Smith), 2 contributors who failed to live up to their full potential (Testaverde and Bledsoe) and a bust (George). So... I'll say we're at 25% True Success, and another 50% with guys who had good (sometimes great) individual seasons, but ultimately underachieved, and 25% busts. The Legends and the Busts are tied.

In the years after Manning's draft, there were 10 Quarterbacks taken #1. Out of 13.

Tim Couch, Michael Vick, David Carr, Carson Palmer, Eli Manning, Alex Smith, Jamarcus Russell, Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford, and Cam Newton.

Of those guys? ONE Super Bowl appearance.

Let's call Couch, Carr, and Russell legit busts.

Let's call Palmer, Vick, and Smith “Disappointments”

Stafford is currently in my “Bledsoe/Testaverde” group. More about the nunbers at this point... I don't think it'll be a surprise for him to surpass them, though..

Manning is, in my estimation somewhere between Bledsoe/Testaverde and Aikman. He might even be an over-achiever in some way.

So let's give them Manning and Stafford. We're at 20% unquestionable success. That seems like a really poor rate for something you “just have to do” (according to McShay and Kiper and all those other experts who don't have a fucking clue.

Who are the three best quarterbacks in the NFL this year?

Tom Brady was a 6th round pick. I don't think we need to discuss Brady much. He's possibly the greatest quarterback ever. He's got 3 Rings and 2 MVPs and he is famously the 199th pick in that draft. What quarterbacks were selected ahead of him? Chad Pennington (the only first round QB that year), Giovanni Carmazzi (who?), Chris Redman (again.. who?), Tee Martin (won a National Title at Tennesse when precious Peyton Manning couldn't... ha fucking ha), Spergon Wynn, and Marc Bulger (a pro-bowler who went... 168). Did anyone have a clue in 2000? Nope.

Drew Brees was a 2nd rounder and everyone kept comparing him to Doug Flutie simply because he's shorter than is “desirable”. Shit... he even backed up Flutie in San Diego before he finally broke though. That's a joke. Did anyone think that Drew Brees would have a FAR better career than Michael Vick? Nope. (Except for me).

At least with Aaron Rodgers there was a debate between him and Alex Smith. Only this time, Ryan Leaf was taken first, and the Niners had to wait another 6 years to compete again.

Taking a quarterback first and missing will absolutely cripple a team.

I'm not going to keep rambling on... I just wish that teams would really take a minute to evaluate their picks, and not just take the quarterback first. It's not a sure thing, no matter how “sure” all of those ridiculous experts are.

Nobody knows. Andrew Luck could throw for 40 touchdowns next year. He could throw for 25 inteceptions. Neither would shock me. Nobody fucking knows.

My favorite #1 pick of the past ten years?

Mario Williams.

The Texans were absolutely hammered for taking Mario Williams over “no doubters Reggie Bush, Vince Young, and Matt Leinart, but they took their hammering and have a game changing Defensive End who has made 3 pro-bowls. Great decision.

By the way... the best QB in that draft? Jay Cutler. The THIRD quarterback taken.

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