NFL Draft 2014: Quarterbacks, Round Selected, And Success Rate

The Broncos picked Brock Osweiler in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft - Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Does it really matter when a quarterback is selected that helps determine his success in the NFL? In short, yes

We all know the Vikings need a quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft.  We all hope they get a guy that's a long term answer to a problem that has plagued this franchise, for the most part, since the retirement of St. Francis of Bloomington in 1978.

The only disagreement we seem to have is (well, besides who they should take) is what round they should pick said quarterback.  We've seen a lot of great stuff done on who is going to be good and who might be a bust. I've also seen and read that where in a draft a QB is selected matters, but not any hard analysis, just anecdotal stuff.

Are there great QB's that have come out of the sixth round, besides Tom Brady? Heck, what about the other rounds besides the first? Let's find out.

First off, Chris Tomassen over at the Pioneer Press let's us know that the Vikings have a pretty good history with quarterbacks taken after the first round.  Nine of the 15 Viking QB's that have gone on to the Pro Bowl were post-first round guys, for example. And while that's all well and good, the NFL is vastly different than when guys like Brad Johnson and Fran Tarkenton were drafted, and I think success needs to be looked at through a prism that has a more recent history.

I'm going as far back as the 2006 NFL Draft, for a couple reasons.  That was the draft where the Vikings selected Tarvaris Jackson in the second round, and that's far enough back to determine success or failure with a lot of these guys. There are also A LOT of QB's that are selected, and I don't want to overwhelm you with data.  So let's break this down, year by year.

NOTE: I'm going to stop after the 2012 draft, because I feel two years worth of play is enough to at least get trends on guys, one year really isn't.

2006:

Round

Player

Team

College

1

Vince Young

Titans

Texas

1

Matt Leinart

Cardinals

USC

1

Jay Cutler

Broncos

Vanderbilt

2

Kellen Clemens

Jets

Oregon

2

Tarvaris Jackson

Vikings

Alabama State

3

Charlie Whitehurst

Chargers

Clemson

3

Brodie Croyle

Chiefs

Alabama

5

Ingle Martin

Packers

Furman

5

Omar Jacobs

Steelers

Bowling Green

6

Reggie McNeal

Bengals

Texas A&M

6

Bruce Gradkowski

Buccaneers

Toledo

7

D.J. Shockley

Falcons

Georgia

This was the draft where the Vikings grabbed Jackson, and he obviously didn't pan out.  Of the three first rounders, only Jay Cutler had any modicum of success, and Vince Young is back in the NFL after a two year hiatus.  Looking past that, the only other name that jumps out at me, besides Jackson, is former sixth rounder Gradkowski, and maybe Charlie Whitehurst.  They've been backups and spot starters, but quality starters? No, although Jackson did start a 2008 playoff game for the Vikings...after he was benched and his replacement, Gus Frerotte, was injured late in the year.

2007:

Round

Player

Team

College

1

JaMarcus Russell

Raiders

Louisiana State

1

Brady Quinn

Browns

Notre Dame

2

Kevin Kolb

Eagles

Houston

2

John Beck

Dolphins

Brigham Young

2

Drew Stanton

Lions

Michigan State

3

Trent Edwards

Bills

Stanford

4

Isaiah Stanback

Cowboys

Washington

5

Jeff Rowe

Bengals

Nevada

5

Troy Smith

Ravens

Ohio State

6

Jordan Palmer

Redskins

Texas-El Paso

7

Tyler Thigpen

Vikings

Coastal Carolina

If anything, 2007 is a cautionary tale on quarterbacks.  Both first rounders were monumental busts, and second rounder Kevin Kolb, who looked promising early on, has also been a bust. Trent Edwards was a guy a lot of people liked as a third round steal...bust.

2008:

Round

Player

Team

College

1

Matt Ryan

Falcons

Boston College

1

Joe Flacco

Ravens

Delaware

2

Brian Brohm

Packers

Louisville

2

Chad Henne

Dolphins

Michigan

3

Kevin O'Connell

Patriots

San Diego State

5

John David Booty

Vikings

USC

5

Dennis Dixon

Steelers

Oregon

5

Josh Johnson

Buccaneers

San Diego

5

Erik Ainge

Jets

Tennessee

6

Colt Brennan

Redskins

Hawaii

6

Andre' Woodson

Giants

Kentucky

7

Matt Flynn

Packers

Louisiana State

7

Alex Brink

Texans

Washington State

If '07 was a QB cautionary tale for first round QB's, '08 was the opposite. Matt Ryan has been very good for the Falcons, and Joe Flacco won the Super Bowl a couple seasons ago for the Ravens.  But after that? Chad Henne is 18-32 as a starter for Miami and Jacksonville.  That's it.  Oh, wait...MATT FLYNN RAWR RAWR RAWR.  The same Matt Flynn that's played two good games in his career, and parlayed that into a fat bank account courtesy of three teams.

2009:

Round

Player

Team

College

1

Matthew Stafford

Lions

Georgia

1

Mark Sanchez

Jets

USC

1

Josh Freeman

Buccaneers

Kansas State

2

Pat White

Dolphins

West Virginia

4

Stephen McGee

Cowboys

Texas A&M

5

Rhett Bomar

Giants

Sam Houston State

5

Nate Davis

49ers

Ball State

6

Tom Brandstater

Broncos

Fresno State

6

Mike Teel

Seahawks

Rutgers

6

Keith Null

Rams

West Texas A&M

6

Curtis Painter

Colts

Purdue

7

Julian Edelman

Patriots

Kent State

Of this class, once again the track record is spotty with first round guys, much less later rounds.  I like Matthew Stafford, although he's starting to get some flak for not winning a playoff game.  Considering Detroit's dearth of playoff appearances before he got there, even getting the Lions to the post-season is a heck of an accomplishment. Mark Sanchez rode the 'game manager with a great defense' magic carpet for a couple years, but then descended into 'Butt Fumble' status, and Josh Freeman.  Oh..Josh Freeman. One really good season, and then his career unraveled in the Meadowlands with the Vikings last year.  As for the rest of the guys, Julian Edelman has been pretty good...as a running back and wide receiver.

2010:

Round

Player

Team

College

1

Sam Bradford

Rams

Oklahoma

1

Tim Tebow

Broncos

Florida

2

Jimmy Clausen

Panthers

Notre Dame

3

Colt McCoy

Browns

Texas

4

Mike Kafka

Eagles

Northwestern

5

John Skelton

Cardinals

Fordham

5

Jonathan Crompton

Chargers

Tennessee

6

Rusty Smith

Titans

Florida Atlantic

6

Dan LeFevour

Bears

Central Michigan

6

Joe Webb

Vikings

Alabama-Birmingham

6

Tony Pike

Panthers

Cincinnati

7

Levi Brown

Bills

Troy

7

Sean Canfield

Saints

Oregon State

7

Zac Robinson

Patriots

Oklahoma State

Bradford has been okay, Tebow is out of the NFL. Jimmy Clausen, who a lot of people thought was going to be a good player, has been a monumental bust. Colt McCoy has started a bit, but is 6-15 as a starter.  Joe Webb...we've talked about plenty...but is the only guy to start a playoff game from this group other than Tebow.

2011:

Round

Player

Team

School

1

Cam Newton

Panthers

Auburn

1

Jake Locker

Titans

Washington

1

Blaine Gabbert

Jaguars

Missouri

1

Christian Ponder

Vikings

Florida State

2

Andy Dalton

Bengals

Texas Christian

2

Colin Kaepernick

49ers

Nevada

3

Ryan Mallett

Patriots

Arkansas

5

Ricky Stanzi

Chiefs

Iowa

5

T.J. Yates

Texans

North Carolina

5

Nathan Enderle

Bears

Idaho

6

Tyrod Taylor

Ravens

Virginia Tech

7

Greg McElroy

Jets

Alabama

3 (S)

Terrelle Pryor

Raiders

Ohio State

This draft, right here, is why I'm writing this post. Thanks, Ponder.  Cam Newton took the Panthers to the playoffs, and he's become one of the better QB's in the NFL.  Locker, Gabbert, and Ponder have been busts to this point, yet this draft we find some second round success with Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick.  Both guys have taken previously bad teams to the post season, and Kaep almost won a Super Bowl two seasons ago. Of all the classes we've looked at so far, this is the only one where we've seen success generated from quarterbacks drafted past the first round.

2012:

1

Andrew Luck

Colts

Stanford

1

Robert Griffin III

Redskins

Baylor

1

Ryan Tannehill

Dolphins

Texas A&M

1

Brandon Weeden

Browns

Oklahoma State

2

Brock Osweiler

Broncos

Arizona State

3

Russell Wilson

Seahawks

Wisconsin

3

Nick Foles

Eagles

Arizona

4

Kirk Cousins

Redskins

Michigan State

6

Ryan Lindley

Cardinals

San Diego State

7

B.J. Coleman

Packers

Tennessee-Chattanooga

7

Chandler Harnish

Colts

Northern Illinois

This is the draft trifecta of Luck, RG III, and Russell Wilson, and the best QB class of all the ones we've looked at.  Both Luck and Griffin took their teams to the playoffs as rookies, Wilson just won a Super Bowl, and as a result they've shifted the thought process of the entire NFL.  Brandon Weedon has been horribad, but Ryan Tannehill looks like he might pan out.  He hasn't been bad, and has gone 7-9 and 8-8 as a starter.  He needs to cut down on his interceptions, but he's still got a lot more upside than downside, and improved substantially between year one and year two.  Nick Foles took over for the Eagles and lit the NFL up and took the Eagles to the playoffs. His 27/2 TD to INT ratio is ridiculous and damn impressive, but I'd like to see if Chip Kelly's offense will be a long term thing in the NFL.  It was great last year, but I still have my doubts about it long term.

So what does this data tell us?  In short, with the exception of 2011 and 2012, the chances of a team finding a long term answer at quarterback is almost slim to none.  But why has the uptick in talent extended into the second and third rounds recently? You can make one of two arguments, I think.  One is that those classes had a lot of deep QB talent and the ones previously didn't.  You could also argue that colleges are going to more sophisticated passing offenses, or are producing dual threat QB's that NFL defenses haven't caught up with yet.

This year, most experts are saying that the 2014 Draft class has a lot of talent at quarterback, and a good one can be found in the second or even third round.

Maybe, maybe not.  All I know is what I see.  And what I see is that since 2006, 66 quarterbacks by my count have been selected after the first round.  Of those 66, six have started playoff games, and two of them were because of injury to the starter (Webb and Jackson, ironically enough).  And four of them have come in the last two classes we looked at, 2011 and 2012.  So maybe we've turned a corner in being able to get good quarterback play from guys past the first round, as real recent history suggests that might be the case, if not semi-recent history.

Only time will tell.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
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.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

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.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker