FanPost

Historical success rates of drafted QBs

Due to the debates surrounding where and when the Vikings should take a quarterback, I decided to take a look at how successful teams have been taking qbs from 1990 to 2012. It is generally accepted that the draft is something of a crapshoot and this is true, but it is also pretty obvious that a team has a greater chance of taking a successful player in round 1 than round 3.

My question was how large a difference there is in selecting a franchise qb as the draft goes by. So what I did was go through every qb selected in the first 3 rounds from 1990 to 2012 and make a subjective decision as to whether that qb was a 'franchise qb' or not. This was a difficult task as many qbs don't just fit easily in the 'bust' or 'success' categories. Therefore, I have included the lists of qbs as I divided them up and my decision on their success so that others can go through the lists and come to their own conclusions and stats. After the lists I have synopsis and analysis.

EDIT: Due to many well deserved questions about my (agreeably flawed) analysis as to whether a qb became that 'franchise qb' or not, I will attempt to define the reasoning behind my decisions. Please keep in mind that my attempt has been to determine whether a qb was a 'long-term answer' for a single franchise. I feel these opinion-based decisions do have some merit, despite the controversial nature of such choices. They can offer an alternative to just the pure amount of starts that Arif graciously contributed in the comments.
A quick explanation of how I came to these decisions: a successful qb had to make the majority of starts for several seasons at a high level of play and without many serious injuries such that a franchise didn't feel it necessary to replace said qb while they were still relatively young/capable. Thus a Michael Vick was deemed a failure due to his time in prison after only 6 years (of which he had 8 or more starts in only 4) in Atlanta, Chad Pennington was deemed a failure due to the consistent injuries that plagued his 8 year career in New York (of which he only played in 8+ games for five years), and Alex Smith was rated a failure based mostly on the perception of his mediocre game-managing abilities (that ultimately got him replaced and then traded in the middle of his prime for the unproven quantity that is Colin Kaepernick). As for the young players, it is nothing more than an attempt to project how successful they will be in the future based on how successful they have been so far.
Again, I realize this is hardly scientific and I apologize, but my attempt was to just cobble together a rough success rate for qb picks over the last couple of decades without consuming too much of my time.

#1 Overall
Name Year Success?
Andrew Luck 2012 Yes
Cam Newton 2011 Yes
Sam Bradford 2010 Yes
Matt Stafford 2009 Yes
JaMarcus Russell 2007 No
Alex Smith 2005 No
Eli Manning 2004 Yes
Carson Palmer 2003 No
David Carr 2002 No
Michael Vick 2001 No
Tim Couch 1999 No
Peyton Manning 1998 Yes
Drew Bledsoe 1993 Yes
Jeff George 1990 No

#2 Overall
Name Year QB Taken Success?
Robert Griffin III 2012 2 Yes
Donovan McNabb 1999 2 Yes
Ryan Leaf 1998 2 No
Rick Mirer 1993 2 No

#s 3-5 Overall
Name Year QB Taken Success?
Mark Sanchez 2009 2 No
Matt Ryan 2008 1 Yes
Vince Young 2006 1 No
Philip Rivers 2004 2 Yes
Joey Harrington 2002 2 No
Akili Smith 1999 3 No
Steve McNair 1995 1 Yes
Kerry Collins 1995 2 No
Heath Shuler 1994 1 No

#s 6-10 Overall
Name Year QB Taken Success?
Ryan Tannehill 2012 3 ???
Jake Locker 2011 2 ???
Blaine Gabbert 2011 3 No
Matt Leinart 2006 2 No
Byron Leftwich 2003 2 No
Trent Dilfer 1994 2 No
David Klingler 1992 1 No
Andre Ware 1990 2 No

#s 11-20 Overall
Name Year QB Taken Success?
Christian Ponder 2011 4 No
Josh Freeman 2009 3 No
Joe Flacco 2008 2 Yes
Jay Cutler 2006 3 Yes
Ben Roethlisberger 2004 3 Yes
Kyle Boller 2003 3 No
Chad Pennington 2000 1 No
Daunte Culpepper 1999 4 No
Cade McNown 1999 5 No
Dan McGwire 1991 1 No

#s 21-32 Overall
Name Year QB Taken Success?
Brandon Weeden 2012 4 No
Tim Tebow 2010 2 No
Brady Quinn 2007 2 No
Aaron Rogers 2005 2 Yes
Jason Campbell 2005 3 No
J.P. Losman 2004 4 No
Rex Grossman 2003 4 No
Patrick Ramsey 2002 3 No
Jim Druckenmiller 1997 1 No
Tommy Maddox 1992 2 No
Todd Marinovich 1991 2 No

Round 2
Name Year QB Taken Success?
Brock Osweiler 2012 5 ???
Andy Dalton 2011 5 ???
Colin Kaepernick 2011 6 ???
Jimmy Clausen 2010 3 No
Pat White 2009 4 No
Brian Brohm 2008 3 No
Chad Henne 2008 4 No
Kevin Kolb 2007 3 No
John Beck 2007 4 No
Drew Stanton 2007 5 No
Kellen Clemens 2006 4 No
Tarvaris Jackson 2006 5 No
Drew Brees 2001 2 Yes
Quincy Carter 2001 3 No
Marques Tuiasosopo 2001 4 No
Shaun King 1999 6 No
Charlie Batch 1998 3 No
Jake Plummer 1997 2 No
Tony Banks 1996 1 No
Todd Collins 1995 3 No
Kordell Stewart 1995 4 No
Matt Blundin 1992 3 No
Tony Sacca 1992 4 No
Brett Farve 1991 3 Yes
Browning Nagle 1991 4 No

Round 3
Name Year QB Taken Success?
Russell Wilson 2012 6 Yes
Nick Foles 2012 7 ???
Ryan Mallett 2011 7 ???
Colt McCoy 2010 4 No
Kevin O'Connell 2008 5 No
Trent Edwards 2007 6 No
Charlie Whitehurst 2006 6 No
Brodie Croyle 2006 7 No
Charlie Frye 2005 4 No
Andrew Walter 2005 5 No
David Greene 2005 6 No
Matt Schaub 2004 5 Yes
Dave Ragone 2003 5 No
Chris Simms 2003 6 No
Josh McCown 2002 4 No
Giovanni Carmazzi 2000 2 No
Chris Redman 2000 3 No
Brock Huard 1999 7 No
Jonathan Quinn 1998 4 No
Brian Griese 1998 5 No
Bobby Hoying 1996 2 No
Stoney Case 1995 5 No
Eric Zeier 1995 6 No
Billy Joe Hobert 1993 3 No
Tom Hodson 1990 3 No
Peter Tom Willis 1990 4 No
Neil O'Donnell 1990 5 No

Now that the lists are out of the way, time for the success rates:

Number 1 overall: 7/14 = 50%
Number 2 overall: 2/4 = 50%
#s 3 - 5 overall: 3/9 = 33%
#s 6 - 10 overall: 0/6 = 0%
#s 11 - 20 overall: 3/10 = 30%
#s 21 - 32 overall: 1/11 = 9%
All of Round 2: 2/22 = 9%
All of Round 3: 2/25 = 8%

First QB taken: 9/23 = 39%
Second QB taken: 6/22 = 27%
Third QB taken: 3/19 = 15%
Fourth QB taken: 0/18 = 0%
Fifth QB taken: 1/10 = 10%
Sixth QB taken: 1/7 = 14%
Seventh QB taken: 0/3 = 0%

Obviously, the biggest thing to take from these numbers is that, at best, finding a franchise qb is a coin flip... if you take them first overall. I believe the more telling numbers are not the percentages that show where in a round a qb is selected, but what number off the board they are. If I was going to select a qb with these numbers in mind, I would want to be the first team to select a qb, because I would have the greatest historical success at lucking into a franchise qb. At the very least, I would want to take one of the top three qbs at the top of the first round.

However, it isn't necessary to apply these numbers to the 2014 draft because, in the end, historical tendencies can mean very little. Successful qbs have been taken all over the draft and it may be much more important to attempt to determine the qualities that will produce a franchise qb, than just focusing on where to take one. It's just food for thought.

Please add your own conclusions to these numbers. Or feel free to contradict my choices on whether some qbs from the lists are franchise qbs or not.

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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