After reading the recent article pleading the case for drafting Johnny Manziel in round 1 (if he is available), I decided to look back and see what rounds the former super bowl winning QB's were drafted in. Here is what I discovered:
Joe Montana was drafted in round 3 and won 4 super bowls.
Terry Bradshaw was drafted 1st overall in round 1 and won 4 super bowls.
Troy Aikman was drafted 1st overall in round 1 and won 3 super bowls
Tom Brady was drafted in round 6 and won 3 super bowls (so far)
Eli Manning was drafted 1st overall in round 1 and won 2 super bowls (so far)
Jim Plunkett was drafted 1st overall in round 1 and won 2 superbowls
Bob Griese was drafted in round one and won 2 super bowls
Roger Staubach was drafted in round 16 (yes, there really were that many rounds back then) and won 2 super bowls
Ben Rothlisberger was drafted in round one and won two super bowls (so far)
John Elway was drafted first overall in round one and won 2 super bowls
Bart Starr was drafted in the 17th round and won the first two super bowls
Of the remaining QB's who won super bowls, and they have won only once so far, there were:
One drafted 1st overall in round one (Peyton Manning)
Eight were drafted in round one (but not with the first overall pick)
One was drafted in the first round of the supplemental draft (Steve Young, USFL)
Three were drafted in round two
Two were drafted in round three
One was drafted in round four
One was drafted in round six
Two were drafted in round nine (A great trivia question: Brad Johnson and John Unitas)
One was undrafted (Kurt Warner)
So what can we take away from this?
Certainly, first round drafted QB's, especially those chosen with the first pick overall are more likely to win super bowls. After all, that is what we are aiming to do, right? I mean making the playoffs is great, but we want the trophy!
Can we also agree that an astute pick in the second round or later can yield a super bowl win as well? Looking at the last ten super bowls, they were won by:
QB's drafted with first overall pick: three times (all by QB's with the last name of Manning)
Other QB's drafted in round one: four times
QB's drafted in round two: once
QB's drafted in round three: once
QB's drafted in round six: once
That makes over twice the likelihood of a super bowl win with a QB drafted in round one.
But, realize the difference between the first overall pick and just another first round pick. It would appear that there is some drop off in probability of super bowl success between the two. Also note that a second round pick may not be any more likely to succeed than a later round pick.
So, in my opinion, if the QB of the future is there in round one, you take him. But, if he is not, let's not reach. Let's take another position player and wait until a later round to take a QB "prospect". Sure, Johnny Manzeil could be the next Fran Tarkenton, but we didn't even come close to winning any of the three super bowls that he played in. Maybe Jimmy Garrapolo will be the next Joe Montana?
Thank you for your kind attention.