The Myth of the Drafted QB

It's about 8:00 on a Saturday morning and really cold outside, so i decided i'd write a fanpost. There has been all kinds of talk regarding going all in for a QB this year. I'm prefacing this post stating that i think MN should go after a QB. The one i want is Johnny Manziel. I think the kid is going to be a super star in the NFL, and i would be completely OK w/ MN trading up to get him (as long as we don't mortgage our future on it). I think Rick Speilman will create a situation where we can nab Manziel and only really sell out the 2014 draft. Several of you are thinking, but filbert, we need defense. I really don't think our defense is that bad. Yes, we have some major issues, Corner and Nose Tackle being two primary ones, and linebacker right there behind it. I've stated this several times after watching the A&M/Duke game: good QB play will bring everyone else up. case in point; 2012, our defense consisting of many of the same guys (minus a starting CB and MLB) played a helluva lot better than the 2013 team ... why might you ask? Adrian Peterson. I firmly believe that Adrian Peterson having his almost record setting year caused everyone else to want to succeed for him. I think Johnny Manziel brings the same type of passion to his team mates. Hell, even Tim Tebow brought his team up to win a playoff game. The QB position is important, don't misinterpret anything i'm going to say as to why we don't need to get a QB.

The big question you need to ask yourself is HOW do we get a QB. the most common answer as to how to get a QB is to draft one. seems simple right? the higher you select a QB, the better your chance to get the best QB. but is it really that simple? I also want to start my hypothesis in saying i don't think HOW you get your QB matters nearly as much as finding the RIGHT QB for the job. that is my hypothesis. I'm going to post several bits of data to see if i'm right or not.

I don't want to steer my data in one direction or another so i'm going to lay out some ground rules regarding my "draft" or not draft" classifications. If the team did not draft the QB, i consider it no draft. I'm going to explain a bit further because i found 4 instances in my data (this is a two part story) where you could argue.
# John Elway - He was drafted by the Baltimore Colts, but said he wouldn't play for them leading him to Denver
# Eli Manning - He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers, but we all know how that went down w/ the draft day trade, either way, he was not drafted by the Giants, therefore he does not count as drafted
# Philip Rivers - see above
# Terrelle Pryor (he comes in later, but i wanted to specify early). he was chosen in the supplemental draft by the Oakland Raiders, therefore i count him as drafted

There, that cleans that up ... Ok, now i'm going to go through the Peyton Manning era ... i chose the Peyton Manning Era because he's the oldest active starting QB (thank you for retiring Brett Favre so i didn't have to go back even farther). Here is a chart of the Super Bowl winners/losers, winning and losing QBs (who started the game) and whether they were drafted by their team. (this is in alphabetical order, not by year. I don't want to have my data swayed by "it's a QB driven league now", etc ... which we know is accurate, but i'd venture to guess since 1998 things haven't change TOO drastically

Team Super Bowl Losses Super Bowl Wins QB in Super Bowl Loss Was QB Drafted Draft Position Super Bowl winning QB Was QB Drafted Draft Position
Arizona 1 Kurt Warner no
Atlanta 1 Scott Chandler no
Baltimore 2 Trent Dilfer/Joe Flacco no/yes NA/1-18
Carolina 1 Jake Delhomme no
Chicago 1 Rex Grossman yes 1-22
Denver 1 John Elway no
Green Bay 1 Aaron Rodgers yes 1-24
Indianapolis 1 1 Peyton Manning yes 1-1 Peyton Manning yes 1-1
New England 2 3 Tom Brady yes 6-199 Tom Brady yes 6-199
New Orleans 1 Drew Brees no
New York Giants 1 2 Kerry Collins no Eli Manning no
Oakland 1 Rich Gannon no
Philadelphia 1 Donovan McNabb yes 1-2
Pittsburgh 1 2 Ben Roethlisberger yes 1-11 Ben Roethlisberger yes 1-11
San Francisco 1 Colin Kaepernick yes 2-36
Seattle 1 Matt Hasslebeck no
St Louis 1 1 Kurt Warner no Kurt Warner no
Tampa Bay 1 Brad Johnson no
Tennessee 1 Steve McNair yes 1-3

Interesting stuff don't you think? In the lat 15 years there have been 19 Super Bowl Participants, with 6 teams going more than once. What's even more interesting is that the QBs drafted by their teams have won 8 super bowls and lost 7, while the QBs acquired elsewhere have won 7 and lost 8. that's a 50/50 split if i've ever seen one. So, you could say that in the last 15 years, you had just as much of a chance in making the super bowl if you drafted your QB as you did if you didn't. Obviously there are more factors than that, but it's interesting to say the least.

Now, i know what you're thinking ... It's unfair to say Eli Manning wasn't drafted, b/c of the whole draft day shenanigans that happened in 2004. but i already specified. Say i switch it (i'm not going to) it moves the winner side to 10-5 or 11-4 if you count Elway as well.

My next list is a list of all the teams starting a QB who they drafted (i went w/ presumptive starters throughout the year, there may be debate on starters for each team, but this is my fanpost and i'll do what i want. (oh and to explain the parenthesis i listed what round the QB was taken in, and which number QB they were (if they were the 1st, 2nd, 5th QB taken etc...)

Team 2013 Starter Drafted Round (QB taken)
Atlanta Matt Ryan yes 1 (1)
Baltimore Joe Flacco yes 1 (2)
Buffalo EJ Manuel yes 1 (1)
Carolina Cam Newton yes 1 (1)
Cincinnati Andy Dalton yes 2 (5)
Cleveland Brandon Weeden yes 1 (4)
Detroit Matt Stafford yes 1 (1)
Green Bay Aaron Rodgers yes 1 (2)
Indianapolis Andrew Luck yes 1 (1)
Miami Ryan Tannehill yes 1 (3)
Minnesota Christian Ponder yes 1 (4)
New England Tom Brady yes 6 (7)
New York Jets Geno Smith yes 1 (2)
Oakland Terrelle Pryor yes 3 (supplemental)
Philadelphia Nick Foles yes 3 (7)
Pittsburgh Ben Roethlisberger yes 1 (3)
San Francisco Colin Kaepernick yes 2 (6)
Seattle Russell Wilson yes 3 (6)
St Louis Sam Bradford yes 1 (1)
Tampa Bay Mike Glennon yes 3 (3)
Tennessee Jake Locker yes 1 (2)
Washington Robert Griffen III yes 1 (2)

my my count, i counted 22 teams that started a QB they drafted this year. of those 22 teams, 15 were taken in the first round, two in the 2nd, four in the 3rd, and one in the 6th. Based off that information, it really doesn't jump out at me as the draft is a "surefire way" to get a successful QB. all it really tells me is that the draft is the number one way to get any QB.

Anticipating questions, let's look at the teams that didn't draft their current QB, and where each of those QBs was drafted.

Team 2013 Starter Drafted by Current team Round (QB taken)
Arizona Carson Palmer no 1 (1)
Chicago Jay Cutler no 1 (3)
Dallas Tony Romo no undrafted
Denver Peyton Manning no 1 (1)
Houston Case Keenum no undrafted
Jacksonville Chad Henne no 2 (4)
Kansas City Alex Smith no 1 (1)
New Orleans Drew Brees no 2 (2)
New York Giants Eli Manning no 1 (1)
San Diego Philip Rivers no 1 (2)

so if my count is correct, 30 of the 32 presumptive starters were drafted by a team. of those 30 QBs, 20 were drafted in the first round, 4 in the second round, 4 in the third, 1 in the 6th. What i find even more interesting is how many of the QBs taken were the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd QB taken in the draft. 21 teams started a QB that was taken 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. So the draft argument "you get the best choice, the earlier you draft" doesn't really hold up to me. just because the QB was the top rated QB, doesn't necessarily mean he was the best option for the team.

One more argument regarding drafting a QB and then i'll wrap up, i promise. The argument of: selecting a QB in every draft until you get it right. using the same timeframe (98-13 drafts), here is how many QBs each team has drafted.

Team 1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round Rounds 4-7 Total
Arizona 1 0 1 4 6
Atlanta 2 0 1 3 6
Baltimore 2 0 1 5 8
Buffalo 1 0 1 1 4
Carolina 1 1 0 4 6
Chicago 2 0 0 5 7
Cincinnati 2 1 0 4 7
Cleveland 3 0 2 2 7
Dallas 0 1 0 2 3
Denver 2 1 1 5 9
Detroit 2 2 0 2 6
Green Bay 1 1 0 6 8
Houston 1 0 1 4 6
Indianapolis 2 0 0 3 5
Jacksonville 2 0 1 1 4
Kansas City 0 0 1 2 3
Miami 1 3 0 2 6
Minnesota 2 1 0 2 5
New England 0 0 2 6 8
New Orleans 0 0 0 4 4
New York Giants 1 0 0 4 5
New York Jets 2 2 0 4 8
Oakland 1 1 2 1 5
Philadelphia 1 1 1 4 7
Pittsburgh 1 0 0 5 6
San Diego 2 1 1 4 8
San Francisco 1 1 1 6 9
Seattle 0 0 3 4 7
St Louis 1 0 0 5 6
Tampa Bay 1 1 2 3 7
Tennessee 2 0 0 2 4
Washington 3 0 0 6 9

so there you have it. there have been 199 total QBs taken. 43 in the first round. Teams have taken an average of 6.21 QBs in the draft (or supplemental draft) since 1998.

After looking at all that information, my conclusion is this: getting a QB is important. getting the RIGHT QB is far more important. There's no set way to get a QB, if there was, everyone would have one. What i think is most important is getting the right QB to go w/ the right coach. Finding a head coach and system that fits the QB is far more important than the QB. These guys are (or were) all professional athletes. they all have talent. If they didn't have talent, they would have never made it to the pros. Alex Smith was considered a bust up until the right coach came in. We might be saying that about Christian Ponder in 5 or so years (i doubt it).

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.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Daily Norseman

You must be a member of Daily Norseman to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Daily Norseman. You should read them.

Join Daily Norseman

You must be a member of Daily Norseman to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Daily Norseman. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.