View Full Version : It's very hard to evaluate QB's

01-24-2009, 11:14 PM
check out this scouting report from the 1999 draft on QB's:

Quarterback: Couch, a third year junior, is an exceptional talent who, at this time, is the clear consensus favorite to be the #1 pick overall in the 1999 draft should he make himself available; Couch has a fine combination of size (6-5, 223) and arm strength and shows excellent presence in the pocket; and while he doesn't have great speed, he moves around the pocket nicely, can throw on the run, and take of when he has to. So far this season Couch has completed over 70% of the 50+ passes a game he throws for the Wildcats and at this point looks like a better prospect than Peyton Manning was last year.

As good as Couch is, we feel that Culpepper may ultimately be the superior prospect. Culpepper has size (6-4, 240), 4.6 speed, and a cannon of an arm, and while he still needs to develop some of the finer QB skills, these are mostly teachable. Indeed, we feel that if Culpepper played with one of the big Florida schools he might be considered one of the best QB prospects ever. Couch and Culpepper, however, could be joined by at as many as four other quality QBs with first round credentials, making this the best QB class since 1983 when 6 - including John Elway, Dan Marino, and Jim Kelly - were taken in the first round.

Washington's Brock Huard, another underclassmen, is a lefty with size (6-5, 220) and a great arm who entered the season as a legitimate top 10 prospect; however, he has struggled a little in 1998 and is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury.

UCLA's Cade McNown, an early Heisman favorite, is more from the Joe Montana-Jake Plummer mold; he's just 6-1, 215, but is very mobile with a knack for making big plays; despite the Bruins lofty ranking, however, McNown has also struggled in 1998, completing just 54% of his passes with 3 interceptions in just 4 games.

The wild cards in this year's QB class are Syracuse's Donovan McNabb and Oregon's Akili Smith, who have both rocketed up the draft charts this fall. McNabb (6-2, 222) entered the season regarded as a fine athlete who played QB; while he had great mobility and a strong arm, he was an inconsistent passer from the pocket. This year, however, McNabb has done it all, completeing close to 70% of his passes and looking absolutely scary when he starts to move around the pocket. Smith may be an even better story. A former JUCO star, he shared starting duties with the Ducks last year, but this year has won the job outright and currently leads the NCAA pass efficiency ratings. Like Culpepper, he has size(6-4, 220) and a very strong arm, though at a reported 4.88 he is not real fast.

After these guys there are a number of other very good prospects who'll get a look in later rounds including Michael Bishop (Kansas), Ted White (Howard), Oscar Davenport (UNC), Jason Maas (Oregon), Brian Kuklich (Wake Forest), and Shaun King (Tulane). There are also a number of other fine underclassmen, less likely to come out in 1999, but who could make the 2000 draft class very interesting, particularly Chris Redmon (Louisville), Chad Pennington (Marshall), Tim Rattay (Louisiana Tech) and Travis Brown (Northern Arizona).

And, of course, the the 1999 QB class would have even been better, but Stanford's Chad Hutchinson, a potential mid-first round pick, signed with baseball's St. Louis Cardinals; it is still possible, however, that some team will invest a late round pick on Hutchinson, but unlike some others who have chosen baseball over football, Hutchinson has done very well in his early baseball career, making the possibility that he would return to football even less likely.

Ultra Peanut
01-24-2009, 11:19 PM
the Joe Montana-Jake Plummer moldThe fuck.

Thig Lyfe
01-24-2009, 11:21 PM
Wow. Almost everything predictive about that report turned out wrong.

01-24-2009, 11:47 PM
I was trying to find a draft preview of the 2000 draft so I could see what they thought of Tom Brady, but he was so low on everyone's list he wasn't even mentioned. Here's what I could find:

In fact, at this time of year the draft starts to come into focus, as, at least in a general sense, who will likely go where becomes clearer. This year, however, that is simply not happening. In fact, trying to predict what is going to happen in the upcoming draft is a little like herding cats. Indeed, we have gamely started several mock drafts, but gave up in frustration because just too many things could happen to make one anything more than one big guess.

The problem is, on the hand, that instead of firming up, the rankings of the players at the top of the draft board continue to fluctuate wildly.

At RB, for example, Virginia's Thomas Jones was once thought to be a lock to be the top back chosen, but there are hints that he is being challenged by Alabama's Shaun Alexander; meanwhile its also possible that some team picking in the top 10 will take a flyer on the enormous potential of Tennessee's explosive Jamel Lewis. Lewis entered the season as a potential top 10 pick, but dropped after a second straight injury marred season; in pre-draft workouts, however, Lewis has been running like his old self and will have teams wondering if they might have themselves a real steal.

At the same time, there are conflicting reports that top 10 prospects like WR Plaxico Burress and TE Bubba Franks are rising, or falling, depending on who one is listening to at that particular moment.

The problem is compounded by the fact that relatively clear demarcations between players also just aren't emerging. Even at the very top of the board, where WR Peter Warrick, LB Lavar Arrington, and DE Courtney Brown constitute a consensus top three, there is no agreement at all on how they rank within that group, such that each could quite literally go first overall, but that each, especially Warrick and Brown, could also slip as low as #4.

There is much the same story in the 5-15 range where some players, should they slip by a particular team, could see themselves fall another 5-10 spots. Meanwhile, the next grouping has numerous players that could go anywhere from mid-to late first round to early third.

At the same time, almost every team from the Browns on down through the end of the first round could quite legitimately go in any of several different directions in terms of positions and actually have a choice of players at that position. Even the top of the draft, which was once thought to be a lock with Warrick going to Cleveland, Arrington going to Washington and Brown going to someone at the third spot has been thrown into turmoil as the Browns wrestle with what kind of impact player they want to take. Indeed, Cleveland could really mess up the Redskins- or at least make them squirm - if they decide to target Arrington themselves or threaten to trade the pick to someone else who wants the Penn State All-America LB. That just might force the Redskins into a bidding war to move up one more spot to ensure they get Arrington.

And it gets more complicated after that. Both Cincinnati at #4, and Baltimore at #5, have done little to hide the fact that they want out of those slots and with teams like the Jets, Tampa Bay, and Seattle with multiple first round picks, oner or both may end up trading down.

Philadelphia at #6 is actually about the easiest pick in the whole draft; the Eagles could very well grab DT Corey Simon, that is, if they don't become enamored with TE Franks as a potential target for QB Donovan McNabb. Arizona is projected to take a RB, but with their defensive line in chaos, Simon might be too good to pass up, while a LB like Brian Urlacher might also be tempting.

Unlike their Pennsylvania neighbors, Pittsburgh may be the hardest team to predict. Certainly any team that brings in a Kent Graham to compete for their starting quarterback job would have to look at Chad Pennington, the only elite QB in this year's draft; the Steelers, however, could also draft another WR, a RB to replace Jerome Bettis if he is not resigned, or they could look to rebuild a defense that has been decimated by free agent losses in recent year.

The Bears, on the other hand, have done a nice job plugging holes via free agency this winter and now are in a position that they may be able to take the best player available at LB, WR, RB, or even the offensive line and there will be good prospects at all those positions when the Bears draft.

Denver rounds out the top 10 and are in a similar situation to Pittsburgh; change the name Kent Graham to Gus Frerotte and it would be tough to pass on Pennington if he is still there. The Broncos, however, also want to increase their speed at the skill positions and could look at one of several WRs or Franks to replace Shannon Sharpe if Philadelphia passes on him. And so it goes....

What this all means is that we are probably in for one of the more unpredictable drafts in memory. It also means that people shouldn't be putting a whole lot of stock in the myriad of mock drafts currently out there. fact is that no one, not even some of the more established names in the business have a clue what is actually going to transpire come April 15.

That doesn't mean that mock drafts aren't fun; they also serve the useful function by giving at least some idea what players might be available when a particular team drafts. Nobody, however, should be losing any sleep at all because some mock draft has their team taking a player they aren't overly enchanted with. Meanwhile, see you in New York in a month!

The 2000 draft is still two months, but the draft boards of teams around the NFL are slowly starting to take shape.

Unfortunately, however, for draft watchers this year's crop of future NFL stars looks like it will be, at best, an average group, and may, in fact, end up being a slightly below average contingent. Indeed, right now it looks like there is a solid group of 10-15 quality prospects, but after that it appears to be kind of a mish-mash, with 30-40 players who could go anywhere from the middle of the first round to the beginning of the third.

The 2000 draft, for example, was supposed to be the "Year of the Running Back", but a combination of off-years, injuries and other factors have diluted the talent at RB such that Virginia's Thomas Jones is probably the only consensus top 10 prospect at the position, though, Wisconsin's Ron Dayne and Shaun Alexander of Alexander won't have to wait that along on draft day to hear their names called. The depth at RB, however, is very good, such there'll be decent RB prospects still on the board well into the second day of the draft.

There is much the same story at QB, where there are only two first-round quality QBs - Louisville's Chris Redman and Marshall's Chad Pennington - however, there are a number of good prospects from smaller schools such as Giovanni Carmazzi (Hofstra), Leon Murray (Tennessee State), Phil Stambaugh (Lehigh), Mark Washington (Jackson State), Norris Brown (Northern Arizona), and James Perry (Brown) who may need some time to develop but are going to be good value in the mid and later rounds.

At the same time, there are also a number of good QB prospects from big-time college programs, such as Tennessee's Tee Martin and Stanford's Todd Husak, who are mid-round prosepcts who will also need a little time to develop, but who might eventually turn into fine pro QBs.

Perhaps the strongest position in this year's draft will be the WRs. This group features a solid contingent of seniors, led by Florida State's Peter Warrick, who currently projects to be the first player chosen this April, along with Jackson State's Sylvester Morris, Arkansas' Anthony Lucas, and Arizona's Dennis Northcutt, who all have first-round credentials. They are joined by a dynamic group of underclassmen including Michigan State's Plaxico Burress, Dez White of Georgia Tech, Travis Taylor of Florida, and Kwame Cavill of Texas to make this the most talented group in the draft.

Burress, in particular, could be a real story by draft day; at 6-6 he has the size offensive co-ordinators drool over and more than one team may be plotting ways to grab him...

There is also decent talent at OT, with Alabama's Chris Samuels, one of the better LT prospects to come along in a while, projected as a top 5 prospect, if a balky knee checks out. Meanwhile, Wisconsin's Chris McIntosh, who cleared the way for Ron Dayne, and Oklahoma's mammouth Stockar McDougle are solid RT prosepects, who should go between picks 10 and 20, while Mississippi's Todd Wade, another RT candidate, could also slip into the latter part of the first round.

It is a down year, however, for the interior OL positions. In fact, Tennessee junior OG Cosey Coleman is the only OG or C rated a chance to go in the first round, and even Coleman is regarded as a very raw product. Teams looking for depth at C will probably be able to wait into the middle rounds, where several industrious C prospects such as California's John Romero should still be available.

Many so-called draft gurus (including this one) have Penn State DE Courtney Brown rated as the #1 prospect in the draft rankings. After Brown, however, it is something of a down year for defensive linemen. Florida State's Corey Simon may also eventually go in the top 10, but Simon, who isn't very big and has had a history of injuries is no sure thing.

Same for DEs such as Kansas State's Darren Howard and Tennessee's Shaun Ellis, who have some pass rush skills and could be chosen close to the top 10 by teams desperate to upgrade their pass rush, but neither is a potentially dominating player.

By far, the deepest position on the defensive side of the ball are the LBs. The other half of Penn State's dynamic defensive duo, Lavar Arrington, will almost assuredly be the #2 pick in this April's draft, and there are as many as a half dozen LBs who could be chosen later in the first round. The best of the rest of the LBs are New Mexico's Brian Urlacher, who comes in at over 250 pounds, but who had the speed to play FS in college, Syracuse's Keith Bulluck, another former DB, Michigan State's Julian Peterson, who can double as a speed pass rusher, and Tennesse's Raynoch Thompson.

What sets these players apart is speed. Meanwhile, BYUs Rob Morris, who suffered through an injury plagued 1999 season, but could be a real steal this April, and Penn State's Brandon Short, who lacks pure speed, but gets to the ball nonetheless, are classic MLB types.

At one point it had appeared that 2000 would be a great year for CBs, but that has changed radically, such that it is likely that this critical position may not have a first rounder this year. There is good depth at the position, though, with players like Cal's Deltha O'Neal, Ohio State's Ahmad Plummer, Pitt's Hank Poteat, Dwayne Goodrich of Tennessee and Jackson State's Rashard Anderson, who are all decent if not great prospects.

There is much the same story at the safety spots, where only Tennessee junior FS Deon Grant is considered to be a sure bet first rounder. Again, however, there are quite a number of DBs who will attract interest in the second and subsequent rounds including Gary Berry of Ohio State, Kanoy Kennedy of Arkansas, Rogers Beckett of Marshall, and Arturo Freeman of South Carolina among others.
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01-24-2009, 11:53 PM
Here is a mention of Tom.


01-25-2009, 12:02 AM
Tim Couch in some peoples view was ruined by his college coach who had him throwing 60 time a game and really put a taxing on his arm as he developed arm problems.

01-25-2009, 08:36 AM
We should not draft a QB in the first. No way. Huge mistake if we do. DE or OT

Hammock Parties
01-25-2009, 09:08 AM
Ted White, yo!

01-25-2009, 12:00 PM
I think Couch is a perfect example of how any QB can be ruined if he's put in a bad situation.

01-25-2009, 01:39 PM
We should not draft a QB in the first. No way. Huge mistake if we do. DE or OT


01-25-2009, 03:28 PM
We should not draft a QB in the first. No way. Huge mistake if we do. DE or OT

Please explain

01-25-2009, 03:45 PM
I think Couch is a perfect example of how any QB can be ruined if he's put in a bad situation.

From everything I read about his situation (not a ton), that seems to be the case. They kept losing and he started trying too hard and throwing stupid shit, got down on himself, the team got down on him (instead of themselves), the coach too, then the city as a whole... too much for his psyche.

01-25-2009, 03:46 PM
Please explain

He has no balls and is unwilling to take a high risk/high reward type of player.

01-25-2009, 04:30 PM
Interesting comparison of Manning vs Leaf by Peter King:


01-25-2009, 04:43 PM
Drafting a Quarterback the Biggest Gamble of All
by Michael Langston Moore (%20moore@thefootballexpert.com)

The NFL Draft is less than a week away, and attempting to wade through the thick smoke screens emanating from teams across the league is difficult to say the least. With general managers lying, coaches misspeaking, and false rumors being spread around the NFL, it’s hard to say with certainty what will happen come April 26.
For teams in desperate need for a quarterback, however, one thing is certain. Scouts and coaches better do their homework. And pray. Lots of praying. Why? Because selecting a quarterback in the NFL Draft is one of the most difficult things to do. Hard to project, and almost impossible to perfect, selecting a quarterback is without a doubt an inexact science.
Flashback to 1999. Pundits were calling this the best quarterback draft since 1983, where the league saw the likes of John Elway, Dan Marino, and Jim Kelly prepare to enter the NFL. In 1999, the prospects were Donovan McNabb, Daunte Culpepper, Cade McNown, Tim Couch, and Akili Smith. On draft day, the “expansion” Cleveland Browns held the No. 1 overall pick. In Peter King’s Sports Illustrated article, he discussed how the Browns were torn between two players: Tim Couch and Akili Smith. Two players who had careers mired in mediocrity, it is no consolation to Cleveland that they chose the former over the latter. Couch struggled on a talent-less team and was released after five demoralizing seasons.
The career for Akili Smith was far worse. Selected third overall, Smith started just seventeen games in four years, and was promptly released by the Cincinnati Bengals.
It gets worse. Remember Andre Ware? You’re not alone. Ware was the first African-American quarterback to win the Heisman in 1989. In 1990, he was drafted seventh overall by the Detroit Lions, and many people expected special things out of Ware. Over the course of four years, Ware played just fourteen games, and started a paltry six.

<O:P>Worst of all, though, was Washington State quarterback Ryan Leaf. In 1998, the Colts selected Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning with the number one overall pick. It is often forgotten, but the Chargers traded two 1st round picks, a 2nd round pick, Eric Metcalf, and Patrick Sapp to move up just one spot to grab Leaf. He was a monumental bust--a player that not only couldn’t cut it on the field, but even wilted under pressure off it. It’s hard to imagine that Leaf’s infant-like maturity went unnoticed during the intense NFL evaluation process.
Hindsight is 20/20, but in 1998, the Colts were unsure of which quarterback they would select. In a 1998 New York Times article, writer Mike Freeman described how the Colts brass agonized over the pick, stating, “Indeed, Colts General Manager Bill Polian and Coach Jim Mora had not decided who they were going to take. The two men went back and forth for much of the night. Manning or Leaf, Leaf or Manning? They were using a point system, and it was so close that the decision was not made until later yesterday morning, the day of the draft.”
This is what makes the NFL Draft fun for the fans, but tough for the teams. In an age in which a top quarterback will command 30 plus million dollars in a signing bonus alone, teams literally cannot afford to be wrong. Having a top five pick, regardless of how poor the team performed previously, has become more of a curse than a blessing. Unlike in the 1980’s and 1990’s, it’s hard to let a top quarterback sit and learn on the bench for two years. In this age of instant results, and quick coaching turnover, a young quarterback is more likely to be thrown to the wolves early--regardless of his surrounding talent.
One cannot be blind to the quarterback successes in the NFL, however. For every Tim Couch and Akili Smith, there is an Eli Manning or Ben Roethlisberger. For every Andre Ware and David Klinger, there is a Phillip Rivers or Carson Palmer. But, one has to wonder if selecting college quarterbacks in the top ten of the draft is worth the risk. Are the San Francisco 49ers happy they selected Alex Smith with the No. 1 overall pick in 2005, or do they wish they had saved millions of dollars and selected a quarterback in the 2nd round or even a late round prospect? Remember, in that same draft, quarterback Derek Anderson was selected in the sixth round. He is now a Pro Bowl player and was recently rewarded with a long-term contract.
It cannot be forgotten that quarterbacks in later rounds do indeed succeed in the NFL. With less money on the line, signal callers selected later in the draft get a chance to truly develop and learn, all the while perfecting their craft. Whether it’s Tom Brady, Marc Bulger, or Matt Hasselbeck, teams do indeed find success in later rounds if they correctly do their due diligence. This is also not a new phenomenon, either. Brett Favre was found in round two. Joe Montana was selected in round three. Roger Staubach was selected in the now extinct round ten. There is a history of finding quality quarterbacks past round one.
On April 26<SUP>th</SUP>, someone will indeed select Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan. He will be a top ten pick, and depending on where he goes, he could command upwards to thirty million dollars in signing bonus. A team will invest their future in him, and regardless of his quality of play, his salary will force the team into keeping him for half a decade. No one knows for certain how he will adjust to the NFL.

One thing is for sure, though: the team that selects him better hope that Joe Flacco, Brian Brohm, or John David Booty do not have better careers.


01-25-2009, 04:45 PM
Perhaps the strongest position in this year's draft will be the WRs. This group features a solid contingent of seniors, led by Florida State's Peter Warrick, who currently projects to be the first player chosen this April, along with Jackson State's Sylvester Morris, Arkansas' Anthony Lucas, and Arizona's Dennis Northcutt, who all have first-round credentials. They are joined by a dynamic group of underclassmen including Michigan State's Plaxico Burress, Dez White of Georgia Tech, Travis Taylor of Florida, and Kwame Cavill of Texas to make this the most talented group in the draft.

Yeesh. Looks like it was pretty hard to evaluate WR's in that draft too. For the "strongest position", only one turned into a consistent starter and he shot himself in the foot.

Mr. Laz
01-25-2009, 06:08 PM
they reason i think it's so hard is because of the intangibles and because of how a Quarterback is handled AFTER the draft is so crucial.

quarterback is a very mental/emotion position .... how a guy learns and matures is literally make or break.

what kind of offense he starts the nfl in and how he is coach can just kill a quarterback imo.

many a head coach can kill a young quarterback in just a couple of seasons.

01-26-2009, 05:45 PM
Draft preview: Classy QB class still firmly in pocket
by Pete Prisco

They said the pool was drying up. Those teams thirsting for the pocket passers would surely get parched because the new run-around quarterbacks were taking over as must-haves for every team.

But a couple of months after Michael Vick (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/235253) became the rage of the NFL by leading the Atlanta Falcons to the playoffs in 2002, the draft that followed that season produced three pocket passers taken in the first round, including top pick Carson Palmer (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/396173).

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=215 align=left><TBODY><TR><TD width=200>http://images.sportsline.com/u/photos/football/college/img6469936.jpg</TD><TD width=15></TD></TR><TR><TD width=200>Ben Roethlisberger is one of three QBs who may be drafted in the top 10 picks.(Getty Images)</TD><TD width=15></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>The upcoming draft later this month will have three, and maybe four, pocket passers go in the first round.

So much for the trend to the run-around quarterbacks.

"It's so much safer to stay in the pocket," one NFC personnel director said. "Look what happened to Vick last year. The pocket passer isn't going anywhere."
This year's draft class is loaded with them, especially at the top.

Mississippi's Eli Manning, Miami of Ohio's Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers of North Carolina State are considered the best of the class, although Tulane's J.P. Losman could also go in the first round. What all four have in common is they do their best work inside the pocket. They all have spent time playing in up-tempo, shotgun offenses that allowed them freedom at the line of scrimmage that should translate well in the NFL.

"Just from what I've seen, this is an impressive group," Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick said.

He isn't in the market for a quarterback, having drafted Kyle Boller (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/396152) a year ago. Boller, Cincinnati's Palmer and Jacksonville's Byron Leftwich (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/396167) all went in the first round in 2003. Leftwich and Boller started as rookies, while Palmer is penciled in as this year's starter for the Bengals.

The 2004 quarterback class might be even better.

San Diego has the top pick in this year's draft, and with uncertainty at the quarterback spot, the Chargers might use the first pick on Manning. Or they could trade down and take Roethlisberger or Rivers, depending on how far down they go.

The Chargers have spent time with all three of the top passers, traveling two weeks ago to work each of them out individually and spending time with them away from football.

"The thing I find unique is that every one of those guys is different," said Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer. "Ben Roethlisberger is a giant of a guy, a terrific athlete, reminds me of a (Daunte) Culpepper or a (Steve) McNair. He just has a rocket of an arm and had a terrific workout. Eli is very cerebral, and in my mind has a very natural, fluid motion. Philip Rivers, who we coached in the Senior Bowl, has a demeanor about him, a presence."

Most teams have Manning atop their quarterback boards. As the brother of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/12531), he has many of the same qualities. He watches loads of film, understands the passing game and has a stronger arm than his brother. Eli proved that last summer when he threw a ball further than his brother on the beach during a vacation.

"Yeah, he got me," Peyton Manning admitted.

Eli, however, does not have Peyton's makeup. He studies loads of film, but Peyton memorizes opposing players and details about them. Eli is all business, but not as stringent as his brother.

"He's going to be very good," one AFC scout said. "But to get to his brother's level will take a little more dedication. Peyton is a rarity."

Said Schottenheimer: "He's very bright. He's been around the sport for basically forever. Notwithstanding the fact that he's not a real outgoing, gregarious type, I think he's got some very good leadership ability."

At 6-4½, 221 pounds, Manning is plenty big enough to be the pocket passer teams prefer. He isn't as thick as his brother, but that could come with age.

Roethlisberger is the physical beast of this year's quarterback class. A former wide receiver, he measured 6-4½ and 241 pounds at the combine and showed off a cannon during his workouts.

The level of competition has been mentioned as a concern because he played in the Mid-American Conference, but so did Chad Pennington (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/187395) of the New York Jets and Leftwich, and they're both NFL starters now.

"The measurables are there and he's good," said Seattle coach Mike Holmgren. "Now, how much better could he be? I think a little bit of that comes into where he comes from." Some teams have reservations about Roethlisberger's ability to move outside the pocket. Like Manning, neither would be considered great athletes. But neither are Peyton Manning or Tom Brady (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/187741).

Roethlisberger has been compared to Ryan Leaf, the former San Diego quarterback, who was taken one pick behind top choice Peyton Manning in the 1998 draft. Leaf busted out in large part because of attitude problems, while Peyton Manning is now the best in the NFL. Roethlisberger does not have the off-the-field baggage that Leaf brought with him, but the comparison is based on the big, powerful arm and build each had.

"I remember the whole thing with Peyton and Ryan Leaf, the argument of who would be 1 and 2," Eli Manning said. "It's kind of weird to think about it because now here I am in the same situation."

As we get closer to the April 24-25 draft, it appears Manning is separating from the other two, and there is even some steam building that Rivers could go before Roethlisberger.

Of the three, Rivers looks less the part. He has an awkward throwing motion and he doesn't have the arm the other two have. But he knows where to go with the football and he has a keen knack for making plays in the passing game. He completed 72 percent of his passes last year. That's amazing on any level.

He is slow of foot, but how many races would Dan Marino have won in his day? How about Peyton Manning?

Rivers is also the son of a coach, which makes him a student of the game, much like the Manning's, who learned from their father.

"He's a coach's son," Holmgren said. "I think those guys come with a little bit of that in the genes."

Rivers' sidearm throwing motion had some teams concerned earlier in the evaluation process, but he's quieted much of that talk and his stock is soaring. He could be a top 10 pick.

All three could be, in fact. That would make this a special quarterback class. If Tulane's Losman makes it four in the first round, we could be really talking this one up in a few years.

As we know, drafting quarterbacks in the first round is an inexact science. For every Manning, we have a Leaf. For every Culpepper, we have an Akili Smith (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/133415).

"History and statistics tell you they can't all be really good players in this league," Schottenheimer said. "But this may be like the draft of '83 where I think the three guys can be."

That class gave us John Elway, Dan Marino and Jim Kelly, three of the best to play the game. If this one can come close to that, it will be special, and it will once again provide more fodder that pocket passers will never become extinct in the NFL.

<TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=2 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR class=bg0 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=6>Prisco's No. 1 Quarterback </TD></TR><TR class=bg1 vAlign=top><TD class=bg2 rowSpan=4><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=60 align=center><TBODY><TR><TD class=bg2 width=60>http://images.sportsline.com/images/football/nfl/players/60x80/486193.jpg </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD><TD>Player </TD><TD>School </TD><TD>Ht </TD><TD>Wt </TD><TD>Class </TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD>Eli Manning (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/draft/486193)</TD><TD>Mississippi </TD><TD>6-4½ </TD><TD>221 </TD><TD>Senior </TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Does all the things his brother does with a little stronger arm. Might not be as good as Peyton, but will be close. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
<TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=2 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR class=bg1 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Best of the rest </TD></TR><TR class=bg4 vAlign=top><TD>Player </TD><TD>School </TD><TD>Ht </TD><TD>Wt </TD><TD>Class </TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD>2. Philip Rivers (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/draft/486239)</TD><TD>N.C. State </TD><TD>6-5 </TD><TD>229 </TD><TD>Senior </TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Doesn't have a great arm, but knows where to go with the football and has a quick release. Love this kid.

</TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD>3. Ben Roethlisberger (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/draft/486240)</TD><TD>Miami (Ohio) </TD><TD>6-4½ </TD><TD>241 </TD><TD>Junior </TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>A big, strong-armed passer who has the tools to be an effective NFL starter. Like the first two, he will be a productive NFL quarterback.

</TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD>4. J.P. Losman (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/draft/486189)</TD><TD>Tulane </TD><TD>6-2 </TD><TD>224 </TD><TD>Senior </TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Has a powerful arm and played in a spread offense that should have him prepared for the NFL. Teams love his cocky attitude.

</TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD>5. Matt Schaub (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/draft/486247)</TD><TD>Virginia </TD><TD>6-5 </TD><TD>243 </TD><TD>Senior </TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Has risen on many team's boards the past month after close study. He has good size and a good arm.

</TD></TR><TR class=bg1 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Player on the rise </TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Rivers. He has soared to the top end of the first round.

</TD></TR><TR class=bg1 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Player on the decline </TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Roethlisberger. He isn't falling too far, but he might go behind Rivers.

</TD></TR><TR class=bg1 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Overrated </TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Cody Pickett (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/draft/486221), Washington. He had an awful senior season, something the scouts shouldn't forget.

</TD></TR><TR class=bg1 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Underrated </TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Schaub. He has improved greatly the past two years. There is more upside coming.

</TD></TR><TR class=bg1 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Sleeper </TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Jared Lorenzen (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/draft/490374), Kentucky. So he's overweight? Big deal. He has a cannon for an arm and he's played in a Pro Style offense his entire career. The right team will get him in shape.

</TD></TR><TR class=bg1 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Biggest risk </TD></TR><TR class=bg2 vAlign=top><TD colSpan=5>Losman. Was he a product of the Tulane spread offense? Why couldn't he start at UCLA? </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

01-26-2009, 06:05 PM
BigBlueInteractive.com 2004 NFL Draft Preview
by Eric from BigBlueInteractive.com

As I state each year, I am hardly a draft expert. I don’t watch all that many college football games and I certainly do not spend as much time as I used to reading scouting reports on available prospects. But each year I like to put together a list of players who have caught my eye for one reason or another. This is not a comprehensive list…not even close. You won’t find many late-round gems here; I leave that up to the real experts.

You also may not see some prominent names listed here as I will think they are overrated.

This will be an interesting draft to watch. Not only do the Giants have a new coaching staff, but Chris Mara is now firmly entrenched as the Vice President of Player Evaluation. How much say will Mara have? What about Coughlin? Has Accorsi’s influence waned? What about Jerry Reese (Director of Player Personnel)?

This is the most important draft the Giants have had as long as I have been watching the team. If they screw this up, they will have a hard time competing with the rest of the division in 2004 and beyond.


It would appear that the Giants are strongly considering replacing Kerry Collins with one of the top prospects in the draft. If that doesn’t happen, the Giants still need to add a prospect at some point to compete with Jesse Palmer and groom behind Collins.

Eli Manning (6-5, 220lbs, 4.90, Mississippi): Son of Archie Manning and brother of Peyton. Tall quarterback who needs to fill out more in the weight room. Probably the most ready of any college quarterback to play in recent memory. Excellent intangibles. Mature and poised - doesn’t let negative plays rattle him. A leader who works hard and studies film. Given his level of experience, reads defenses well and makes good decisions. Excellent throwing mechanics with a quick release. Very good footwork. Has good (but not great) arm strength. Can make all the different kinds of throws. Accurate passer, especially in short- to medium-range. Athletic, but not a scrambler. Good pocket presence and moves around the pocket well. Can throw in the move.
Ben Roethlisberger, 6-5, 241lbs, 4.85, Miami (Ohio): Junior entry. Big, tall, athletic quarterback. Has a strong arm and good mechanics. Poised and usually makes good decisions. Has improved his ability to read defenses and see the field, but still needs a lot of work there. Accurate passer. Not really a scrambler, but he has decent mobility to escape the rush and he can throw on the move. A leader. Tough. Works hard.
Philip Rivers (6-5, 226lbs, 5.10, North Carolina State): Big, tall quarterback with excellent intangibles. Should be ready to play earlier than most young quarterbacks.
Mature, patient, and smart. See the field well and makes good decisions. Lacks good mechanics but he is an accurate passer. Quick release. Pocket passer with good pocket presence. Tough, will stand in the pocket and take the hit. Lack of arm strength is somewhat disconcerting – makes him somewhat of a risky selection as his pro potential may be limited. Works hard both on and off the field.
Matt Schaub (6-6, 240lbs, 5.01, Virginia): Big, tall pocket passer. Poised – has good pocket presence and stands tough in the pocket. Smart and sees the field well. Makes good decisions, but needs work reading defenses (like almost all young quarterbacks). Accurate passer, especially in the short-passing game. Good, but not great arm.
Luke McCown (6-4, 210lbs, 4.7, Louisiana Tech): Tall but thin quarterback who needs to add more mass. Very good intangibles – tough, a leader, works hard in the film room. Played in a passing offense. Has a strong arm and shows the ability to throw with timing and touch. Needs to improve his overall accuracy and consistency. Better technique and coaching will help him. Needs to not bird-dog as much. Good athlete.
Josh Harris (6-2, 238lbs, 4.90, Bowling Green): Lacks ideal height, but is a big quarterback with a strong arm and excellent athletic-ability. Very raw – will need a lot of technique work and improvement in reading defenses. Used in shotgun system in college and needs to learn how to drop back properly from center. Improving accuracy but needs work in that department, as well as not bird-dogging receivers. Good intangibles – smart, hard-working, a leader. Mobile and can hurt defenses with his feet. Has a big upside, but will need patient coaching.
Do NFL teams overvalue high draft picks?

Do NFL teams irrationally overvalue draft choices? A 2004 study by Cade Massey and Richard Thaler argues, emphatically, that they do.

The study is called "The Loser's Curse: Overconfidence vs. Market Efficiency in the National Football League Draft. (http://tinyurl.com/yea7ox)" (The title is a play on "The Winner's Curse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winner)," which refers to the tendency for the winner of an auction to have overpaid. It is also the title of an excellent book (http://www.amazon.com/Winners-Curse-Richard-H-Thaler/dp/0691019347/sr=8-1/qid=1165378846/ref=sr_1_1/102-6848172-7049704?ie=UTF8&s=books) by Thaler that discusses ways in which markets appear to be inefficient.)

The study is quite readable, and you can safely ignore the more complex-looking math (as I did).

Massey and Thaler (M&T) start by identifying the market value of a draft choice. Their method is ingenious – they just look at all cases where teams traded draft choices for other draft choices. They find that draft choice values are very consistent; indeed, teams have internalized these rules, to the extent that they develop charts of their relative values.

Each team has almost the same chart, and so when M&T superimpose actual trades on their theoretical curve, they fit almost perfectly. That is, all thirty teams in the league have independently reached the same conclusions about what draft choices are worth – or at least act as if they have.

It turns out, for instance, that teams think the first pick is worth the 10th and 11th picks combined, or the sum of the last four picks of the first round.

But M&T conclude that all thirty teams are wrong.

Here's what they did. They divided all drafted players into one of five groups, based on their status for a given season: (1) not on the roster; (2) on the roster but did not start any games; (3) started between 1 and 8 games; (4) started more than 8 games but didn’t make the Pro Bowl; and (5) made the Pro Bowl.

Then, they ran a regression on free agent salaries, to predict what a player in each group at each position should earn. Just for fun, here are the values for quarterbacks:

$0 ........... not on the roster
$1,039,870 ... on the roster but didn't start
$1,129,260 ... started between 1 and 8 games
$4,525,227 ... started more than 8 games
$9,208,248 ... made the Pro Bowl

Then, for each draft position, they computed the average free-agent value for the player, and compared it to the salary he was actually paid. So, a Pro Bowl quarterback draftee who made only $4 million would have earned the team a surplus of $5,208,248.

As it turns out, for their first five seasons in the league (free agency begins in year six), drafted players produced an average surplus of about $470,000 per year. The surprise is that you'd expect the early picks to be the most valuable. But they're not. The surplus is highest roughly between picks 25 and 75 (about $700,000). It's lower for the first few picks. In fact, the number one pick in the draft produces a surplus of only about $500,000.

That's because there's a rookie salary scale that's based on draft position, and it's very steep – first picks make a lot more than, say, tenth picks. And so, although first picks turn out to be better players than later picks, they are also paid much more. The pay difference is higher than the ability difference, and so first picks don't turn out to be such big bargains after all.

And this is why M&T argue that teams are irrational.

To get a single first pick overall, teams are willing to give up a 27th pick, plus a 28th pick, plus a 29th pick, plus a 30th pick. Any one of those four later picks is worth more than the number one pick. To trade four more valuable picks for one less valuable pick, the authors say, is clearly irrational – caused by "non-regressive predictions, overconfidence, the winner's curse, and false consensus."

I'm somewhat convinced, but not completely.

My problem with the analysis is that the authors (admittedly) use "crude performance measures" in their salary regression. Their five performance categories are extremely rough. Specifically, the fourth category, starters who don't make the Pro Bowl, contains players of extremely different capabilities.

If you treat them the same, then you are likely to find that (say) the 20th pick is not much different from the 30th pick – both will give you roughly the same shot as a regular. It may turn out that the 20th pick will give you a significantly *better* regular, but the M&T methodology can't distinguish the players unless one of them makes the Pro Bowl.

(For readers who (like me) don't know football players very well, consider a baseball analogy. Suppose AL shortstops Derek Jeter and Carlos Guillen go to the All-Star game. A study like this would then consider Miguel Tejada equal to Angel Berroa, since each started half their team's games, and neither was an All-Star. Of course, Tejada is really much, much better than Berroa.)

In fact, the study does note the difference in quality, but ignores it. The salary regression includes a term for where players were picked in the draft. They found that keeping all things equal, including the player's category, players drafted early make more money than players drafted late. Part of that, no doubt, is that players drafted early can negotiate better first-year contracts. But, presumably, for years 2-5, players are paid on performance, so if early draftees make more than late draftees in the same category, that does suggest that players drafted earlier are better.

But M&T don't consider this factor. Why? Because the regression coefficient doesn't come out statistically significant. For their largest sample, the coefficient is only 1.7 standard deviations above the mean, short of the 2 SDs or so required for significance. And so, they ignore it entirely.

This may be standard procedure for studies of this sort, but I don't agree with it. First, there's a very strong reason to believe that there is a positive relationship between the variables (draft choice and performance). Second, a significant positive relationship was found between draft choice and performance in another part of their study (draft choice vs. category). Third, it could be that the coefficient is strongly positive in a football sense (I can't tell from the study -- they don't say what the draft variable is denominated in). Fourth, the coefficient was close to statistical significance. Fifth (and perhaps this is the same as the first point), ignoring the coefficient assumes that all non-Pro-Bowl starters are the same, which is not realistic. And, finally, and most importantly, using the coefficient, instead of rejecting it and using zero instead, might significantly affect the conclusions of the study.

What the authors have shown is that if you consider Miguel Tejada equal to Angel Berroa, draft choice doesn't matter much. That's true, but not all that relevant.

</SPAN>There's a second reason for skepticism, too. The author's draft-choice trade curve is based on trades that actually happened. Most of those trades involve a team moving up only a few positions in the draft – maybe half a round. But a team won't make that kind of trade just for speculation; they'll make it because there's a specific player they're interested in.

It's quite possible that a first pick is worth four later picks only in those cases when the first pick is particularly good. By evaluating trades as exchanges of average picks for average picks, the authors might be missing that possibility.

It wouldn't be hard to check – just find all those trades, see the players that were actually drafted in the positions traded, and see how the actual surpluses worked out. It could be that there's no significant difference between random trades and real trades – but shouldn't you check to be sure?

M&T do give one real-life example.

In the 2004 draft, the Giants had the fourth pick (expected to be Philip Rivers). They could trade up for the first pick (Eli Manning), or they could trade down for the seventh pick (Ben Roethlisberger).

Which trade, if any, should they have made?

According to the historical trends the authors found, they should have traded down – a seventh pick is actually worth more than a fourth, and the Giants would have even received an extra second round pick as a bonus!

But, in this specific case, the Giants would have to consider the relative talents of the actual three players involved.

The authors assume that the Manning, Rivers and Roethlisberger are exactly as talented as the average first, fourth, and seventh picks.

But not every draft is the same, not every team is equal in their player evaluations, and, most importantly, you can't assume that untraded draft choices are the same as traded draft choices.

So I'm not completely convinced by this study. But I'm not completely unconvinced either. I think there's enough evidence to show that high draft picks aren't all they're cracked up to be.

But, because the authors' talent evaluations are so rough precisely where they're most important, I think there's a possibility their actual numbers may be off by quite a bit.

01-26-2009, 06:26 PM
Matt Ryan, Brian Brohm, and the right to choose (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=474)

Posted by JKL on Monday, March 3, 2008

Matt Ryan is the consensus first quarterback who will be selected in the NFL draft. For example, this site (http://walterfootball.com/draftdata.php) has links to numerous mock drafts on the internet. Ryan is the first quarterback projected in virtually all of the mock drafts linked. However, there is less consensus on where he will go, with some placing him at the first overall, others somewhere in the top five, and the majority having him in the 8th slot to Baltimore. This is similar to what we see from the national draft pundits.

Almost universally, then, Matt Ryan is accepted as the top prospect. The next prospect on most draft boards is Brian Brohm. Chad Henne and Andre Woodson also appear in the majority of top 50 selections in mock drafts.

Joe Flacco of Delaware rounds out the top 5 and is placed in the top 50 in about half of the mock drafts. There is almost uniform consensus that those are the top five quarterbacks available, as I did not see any others in anyone’s top 50.

So, what is the likelihood that Matt Ryan will actually be better than Brian Brohm, the only other one who is unanimously somewhere in the top 50?

In their NFL Draft study, which Doug has previously discussed in detail here (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=284), here (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=280), and here (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=281), Massey and Thaler discuss some concepts that bear upon the issue of teams selecting quarterbacks in the first round.

One is what they refer to as “non-regressive predictions”, which I would paraphrase as the failure to regress player predictions based on past information and history. And as Massey-Thaler point out, “[i]ndeed, to be regressive is to admit to a limited ability to differentiate the good from the great, and it is this skill that has secured NFL scouts and general managers their jobs.” I would add “year round draft gurus” to that list.

The other issue is overconfidence (and thus overvaluing the right to choose). According to Massey-Thaler, as teams gain more information on a player (i.e., the Senior Bowl, the combine, individual workouts), they may gain in confidence about their ability to select players, without making significant gains in their true ability to actually differentiate.

I’ll try to regress player predictions by actually looking at history, and examining cases where at least two quarterbacks were selected in the top 60 picks in a draft, to see how quarterbacks selected in the first round do head to head with those players selected in close proximity thereafter.

Here is a list of all drafts where two or more quarterbacks were drafted in the top 60 selections, going all the way back to the first AFL-NFL common draft in 1967. If you have time, you can reminisce about the amazing 1972 draft. If you just want to get to the results, feel free to skip on down.

1967 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1967.htm): Steve Spurrier (3), Bob Griese (4), Don Horn (25), Bob Davis (30)
1968 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1968.htm): Greg Landry (11), Gary Beban (30), Mike Livingston (48), Ken Stabler (52), Gary Davis (56)
1969 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1969.htm): Greg Cook (5) (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=348), Marty Domres (9), Terry Hanratty (30), Bobby Douglass (41), Al Woodall (52)
1970 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1970.htm): Terry Bradshaw (1), Mike Phipps (3), Dennis Shaw (30), Bill Cappleman (51)
1971 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1971.htm): Jim Plunkett (1), Archie Manning (2) vs. Dan Pastorini (3), Lynn Dickey (56), Leo Hart (59)
1972 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1972.htm): Jerry Tagge (11), John Reaves (14), Pat Sullivan (40)
1973 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1973.htm): Bert Jones (2), Gary Huff (33), Ron Jaworski (37), Gary Keithley (45), Joe Ferguson (57)
1975 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1975.htm): Steve Bartkowski (1), Mike Franckowiak (54)
1976 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1976.htm): Richard Todd (6), Mike Kruczek (47), Jeb Blount (50)
1977 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1977.htm): Steve Pisarkiewicz (19), Tommy Kramer (27), Glenn Carano (54)
1978 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1978.htm): Doug Williams (17), Matt Cavanaugh (50), Guy Benjamin (51)
1979 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1979.htm): Jack Thompson (3), Phil Simms (7), Steve Fuller (23)
1980 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1980.htm): Marc Wilson (15), Mark Malone (28), Gene Bradley (37)
1981 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1981.htm): Rich Campbell (6), Neil Lomax (33)
1982 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1982.htm): Art Schlicter (4), Jim McMahon (5), Oliver Luck (44), Matt Kofler (48)
1983 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1983.htm): John Elway (1), Todd Blackledge (7), Jim Kelly (14), Tony Eason (15), Ken O'Brien (24), Dan Marino (27)
1984 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1984.htm): Boomer Esiason (38), Jeff Hostetler (59)
1985 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1985.htm): Randall Cunningham (37), Frank Reich (57)
1986 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1986.htm): Jim Everett (3), Chuck Long (12), Jack Trudeau (47)
1987 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1987.htm): Vinny Testaverde (1), Kelly Stouffer (6), Chris Miller (13), Jim Harbaugh (26)
1989 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1989.htm): Troy Aikman (1), Mike Elkins (32), Billy Joe Tolliver (51)
1990 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1990.htm): Jeff George (1), Andre Ware (7), Tommy Hodson (59)
1991 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1991.htm): Dan McGwire (16), Todd Marinovich (24), Brett Favre (33), Browning Nagle (34)
1992 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1992.htm): David Klingler (6), Tommy Maddox (25), Matt Blundin (40), Tony Sacca (46)
1993 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1993.htm): Drew Bledsoe (1), Rick Mirer (2), Billy Joe Hobert (58)
1994 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1994.htm): Heath Shuler (3), Trent Dilfer (6)
1995 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1995.htm): Steve McNair (3), Kerry Collins (5), Todd Collins (45), Kordell Stewart (60)
1997 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1997.htm): Jim Druckenmiller (26), Jake Plummer (42)
1998 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1998.htm): Peyton Manning (1), Ryan Leaf (2), Charlie Batch (60)
1999 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/1999.htm): Tim Couch (1), Donovan McNabb (2), Akili Smith (3), Daunte Culpepper (11), Cade McNown (12), Shaun King (50)
2001 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/2001.htm): Michael Vick (1), Drew Brees (32), Quincy Carter (53), Marques Tuiasasopo (59)
2002 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/2002.htm): David Carr (1), Joey Harrington (3), Patrick Ramsey (32)
2003 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/2003.htm): Carson Palmer (1), Byron Leftwich (7), Kyle Boller (19), Rex Grossman (22)
2004 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/2004.htm): Eli Manning (1) vs. Philip Rivers (4), Ben Roethlisberger (11), J.P. Losman (22)
2005 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/2005.htm): Alex Smith (1), Aaron Rodgers (24), Jason Campbell (25)
2006 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/2006.htm): Vince Young (3), Matt Leinart (10), Jay Cutler (11), Kellen Clemens (49)
2007 (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/2007.htm): JaMarcus Russell (1), Brady Quinn (22), Kevin Kolb (36), John Beck (40), Drew Stanton (43)

Now, what I did was put each quarterback in a head to head competition with all others selected in the top 60. As an aside, one of the cool new features of p-f-r’s draft lists (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/draft/) is that you can sort them by any of the header rows, so if you want to know who threw for the fifth most career passing yards from the class of 1971, you can find that rather quickly.

In my head to head competition, I used two different standards. In one, I gave a win if a quarterback threw for 3,000 or more career yards than another, and a tie if they were within 3,000 yards. In the other, I used 10,000 as the benchmark for needing a “win”. Here are the head to head results, sorted by draft position within the top 60, for the draft classes through 2003. Now, is career passing yards the best indicator, no, but its simple and easy to sort, and for the most part does a good enough job with what we are looking at here, namely, comparing players from the same draft class. For example, in looking at the 1999 draft class, Donovan McNabb gets 4 wins (Couch, Akili Smith, McNown, and Shaun King) and 1 tie (Culpepper) in both groups, while Tim Couch gets 3 wins and 2 losses in the 3,000 yard group, but 0 wins, 2 losses, and 3 ties in the 10,000 yards group.

The First Overall Picks (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=75) fare pretty well head to head against their peers, and the picks between 41 and 60 generally do not. However, in between, the right to choose between pick #2 and pick #40 generally is not worth much, especially considering the dramatic increase in salary that the difference in those picks requires. This bears some resemblance to the Massey-Thaler values, with some notable exceptions.
Most importantly, when it comes in years when a top “likely not to miss” quarterback is entering the draft, having the first overall selection is not a bad thing, as these quarterbacks who are worthy of the first overall selection are typically better than their peers. It is the picks that follow, in the top 10, that are worth less. Massey-Thaler estimated the most valuable pick in the draft to be #43. For the quarterback position, I would estimate that most valuable pick (besides the first overall) to be more in the 30-35 pick range, and the value to begin to decrease rapidly at around pick 40. Historically, the guys selected late in the first round, and early in the second round, can more than hold their own against the early first round picks, led by guys like Favre, Marino, Esiason, Cunningham, Jaworski, Lomax, and Brees.

Lest you think that the relatively poor showing of the top 10 is due to head to head losses to the first overall picks, here are results, just looking at the players drafted within 30 selections thereafter, to see how valuable the right to choose is.

It appears that three different tiers of quarterbacks exist for drafting purposes: the first overall picks, everyone else in the first round and early to mid-second round, and then, everyone else, from late second round picks to undrafted free agents (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=347).

Removing the drafts prior to 1980, back when the draft did not draw as much attention, and the level of information may not have been what it is today, has not improved teams’ abilities to differentiate within a tier group of players.

What does appear to have happened since the 1980 is that the range for the second tier has tightened down to early to mid-second round range. In the 1970’s, numerous top quarterbacks emerged from between picks 50 and 100, including Lynn Dickey, Ken Anderson, Joe Theismann, Joe Ferguson, Dan Fouts, Danny White, Vince Ferragamo, and Joe Montana.

Since then, the best that we have seen from this range has been guys like Chris Chandler, Steve Beuerlein, Jeff Hostetler, Jay Schroeder, and Neil O’Donnell.

So, turning back to the five top quarterback prospects, Henne, Woodson and Flacco all are projecting right now at the cutoff between the first round tier, and the “all other quarterbacks” tier. Personally (which means about nothing), I like Chad Henne.

When I wasn’t hearing him discussed among the top prospects, I had him down as a later round success possibility based on my earlier research. Now, if a team wants to employ the no scouting philosophy, as has been suggested (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=295), it can trade down into the early second round, sign Henne for a fraction of Ryan’s cost, add another player, and rely on the wisdom of the crowds to determine that Henne is, in fact, an early second round prospect.

Joe Flacco of Delaware is probably the most intriguing. In my earlier post on later round quarterbacks (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=347) I pointed out that since 1983, only 4 out the 49 non-Division IA prospects who were drafted outside the top 50 even threw 150+ pass attempts in one NFL season–Rich Gannon, John Friesz, Josh McCown, and Craig Whelihan (we can now add Tarvaris Jackson to the list).

In contrast, here is a list of all the non-division IA quarterbacks drafted in the top 40 selections in the last 30 years:

Steve McNair-Alcorn State
Ken O’Brien-California-Davis
Neil Lomax-Portland State
Phil Simms-Morehead State
Doug Williams-Grambling

And you could arguably add Chad Pennington and Daunte Culpepper, who played the majority of their careers in Division I-AA before their schools transitioned at the end of their careers. There are no busts on that short list, and it would be my guess that most of these guys were significantly undervalued in the draft considering the regression that Chase came up with in his recent post on black quarterbacks. (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=491)

The dichotomy is interesting when looking at the small school quarterbacks. Early in a draft, when teams are likely to be more conservative with the “high profile” first round and early second round picks, these guys have represented great value, as teams may have been risk-avoidant of guys that had not played the highest level of competition, but had first round tools. Later in the draft, when teams may be looking to make a splash, the small school guys have been poor value, while the solid (i.e., boring) pocket passer known commodities from big name schools have actually represented good later round value over the last 25 years.

Turning back to the original title, I wouldn’t have much confidence that Matt Ryan is in line to be a substantially better pro than Brian Brohm. He may be, he may not be. I’m not predicting that Matt Ryan will be a bust, and I have nothing against him. What I do know is that, if he is not the first overall selection, history does not favor him strongly over the guys taken soon thereafter. I would say that it is maybe slightly better than 50% in favor of Ryan over Brohm.

So, if you want to express an opinion that Brohm should be drafted first, you would be in a small minority at this point. However, the reality is teams have not been all that good at distinguishing between early, non-first overall quarterbacks, and late first, early second quarterbacks. Unless all this overload of information and paralysis by analysis actually allows people to make better decisions at such a fine level, I don’t have much confidence it will change.

<!-- END ENTRY -->

01-26-2009, 07:23 PM
<CENTER>Pro Football Weekly

</CENTER><TABLE cellSpacing=2 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width="100%"><CENTER>The 2004 QB Draft Class </CENTER><CENTER>By: Jeff Fedotin; Associate Editor </CENTER>

INDIANAPOLIS — With Miami (Ohio) QB Ben Roethlisberger, North Carolina State QB Philip Rivers and Mississippi QB Eli Manning leading the pack, this year's class may not rival the 1983 draft that included Todd Blackledge, Tony Eason, John Elway, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, and Ken O'Brien, but several prospects stand out at the game's most important position.

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=nb-storydetails-bodycopy>"I think it's a really good class," Falcons vice president of football operations Ron Hill said. "You got some numbers there. Four or five could go in the first round, early second round. If a team doesn't have one, they've got to try and maneuver to get one. That's what we did with Mike Vick."

If teams want to trade up for that franchise quarterback, they need look no further than Roethlisberger, who completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 4,486 yards, 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2003. He not only has the arm strength you would expect from a 6-5, 240-pound quarterback but displays the mobility that enabled him to excel at baseball and basketball, his first love, in high school.

The major knock on Roethlisberger is that he played at a mid-major school. With a name long enough to form a semicircle on the back of a jersey and having played football at the "other Miami," one might think of him as a diamond in the rough. Roethlisberger's case involves misguided nepotism.

Instead of starting the player who would become a future franchise NFL quarterback, Findlay (Ohio) High School head coach Cliff Hite played his son Ryan, moving Roethlisberger to wide receiver. During his senior year, Roethlisberger, a year younger than Ryan, finally got the opportunity to start at quarterback and responded by setting state records with 4,041 passing yards. Big Ten schools including Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State began recruiting Roethlisberger halfway through that record-setting senior year, but he showed loyalty to Miami, the first school to recruit him. The time spent at wide receiver had its advantages.

"As a quarterback, you see defenses from the front. As a receiver, you can see it from the back," Roethlisberger said. "It was an opportunity for me to see defense from both sides, kind of see holes and see how a receiver sees the play and how he sees the ball coming at him."

Because of his WR background, Roethlisberger has played only four years at quarterback, and that raw potential intrigues NFL scouts.

"A lot of people talked about quarterbacks that have played their whole life," said Roethlisberger, who threw for 7,919 yards in his three years of college. "I'm just starting to get going. So I still have a lot of development I can do. I still believe I can get a lot better."

If he develops quickly enough before the draft, it could give him an edge.

Either Roethlisberger or Manning will be the first quarterback selected, but which one?

"Right now we have them neck and neck, a 1A and 1B type of thing," one NFL personnel man said.

Roethlisberger has said that many mispronounce and misspell his name, but Manning comes from a family of great quarterbacks and has no such problems. His father, Archie, starred with the Saints, and his brother Peyton earned NFL co-MVP honors in 2003 with the Colts. With similar size, sound mechanics and pocket-QB style, Eli often gets compared to Peyton. Five years younger, he can remember Peyton going through a QB duel leading up to the 1998 draft similar to his situation with Roethlisberger.

"I remember the whole thing with (him) and Ryan Leaf: the argument about who'd be No. 1 and 2," said Eli, who finished third in this year's Heisman voting. "You know, it's weird to think about because here (I am) now in the same situation."

Eli put up Peyton-like numbers (10,119 passing yards, 81 touchdowns and 35 interceptions) throughout college, but they differ in their approach to the game. While Peyton runs up and down the line of scrimmage, barking out real audibles and fake ones and feverishly pointing out where his teammates should line up, Eli has a more laid-back demeanor. At Isadore Newman High School in New Orleans, Eli's football team had a game scheduled atypically on one Thursday night. With "must-see TV" on the mind instead of that night's opponent, he angered his father by calling him at 4:30 p.m. before the game, asking him to tape that night's "Seinfeld" episode.

Manning is not the only quarterback in the draft with an established name. Colorado State QB Bradlee Van Pelt's father, Brad, made the Pro Bowl five times as a linebacker for the Giants. Unlike his father, an athletic player who could have played quarterback, Bradlee insists on lining up behind center. He enrolled at Michigan State, his father's alma mater, but transferred when asked to move to defense. He will maintain that intransigence in the NFL.

"I'm not my father," said the brash Bradlee, who threw for 2,845 yards, 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions this year. "And I also think that I offer more than my dad at the time. I'm more of a stubborn kid. I have the will to play quarterback. You can't look back and say that my dad did anything wrong, but my dad also tells me, 'I wonder what if I had stayed (at quarterback).' He was 6-5 and could throw the ball. I'm never gonna say, 'What if?' "

Most likely, a team will select Van Pelt no earlier than in the fourth round, but several NFL executives have pointed out that at least one quarterback will emerge as a quality starter from the middle rounds. In this copy-cat league, teams will model their offseason after the success of the Patriots, who drafted QB Tom Brady, 6-0 in the playoffs and the youngest quarterback with two Super Bowl rings, in the sixth round of the 2000 draft. One offensive coordinator highlighted Van Pelt's name as a potential sleeper in this year's draft.

In a league with Vick, Eagles QB Donovan McNabb and Titans QB Steve McNair among its best quarterbacks, Van Pelt's mobility is an asset. He churned out 2,274 yards in his career, displaying the kind of skills Michigan State had hoped to employ on the defensive side. Although NFL bird-dogs like his moxie, Van Pelt will have to play smarter and alter his aggressive, yardage-at-all-costs approach.

"I embody the style of a true football player, and I pride myself on my toughness," Van Pelt said. "I have to change my game a little bit, but my tough-man attitude is not going to fly in the NFL. I have to watch myself. It's about longevity now."

After the Manning-Roethlisberger derby unravels and before Van Pelt goes, an NFL team will likely select N.C. State's Philip Rivers in the first round as the third quarterback taken. The mature Rivers, who has been married for three years and threw for 13,484 yards with 95 touchdowns and 34 interceptions in his career, has two flaws that have raised eyebrows around the NFL. First, he took about 20 percent of snaps from the shotgun his freshman year, but that number jumped to more than 50 percent by his senior year. Although Rivers, who completed 72 percent of his passes in 2003, saw the field from several yards back opposed to operating under center, other quarterbacks like Jaguars QB Byron Leftwich have successfully made the transition.

But his low, almost-sidearm delivery is of greater concern. Rivers does not know the origins of his unorthodox throwing motion, but he and his father, his high school coach, have a theory. Since 3 or 4 years old, Rivers was always around the football field, tossing a regulation-sized football. Lacking the strength at that age to throw overhand, he may have grown accustomed to the motion.

"If the guy is open five yards in front of you, you get it to him as quick as you can," said Rivers, whose quick release has been compared to that of former Dolphins QB Dan Marino and current Texans QB David Carr. "There's no reason to make it look good, as long as you get it to where it needs to be."

If his delivery causes problems on the next level with balls getting batted down, the four-year starter is amenable to change. However, just like his father and coach decided not to change his mechanics, most NFL scouts view that mentality as the best strategy.

"I wouldn't change it," said one personnel man, who made an analogy to baseball. "You talk about hitter with a hitch in their swing that they didn't hit as well after they fixed it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Even though the 2004 QB class looks well-stocked, particularly up top, there are no guarantees. Drafting quarterbacks has become a roll of the dice. No position presents as many challenges in the evaluation process.

"I think it's difficult because it's such a judgment job. You have to manage the game. You've got so much to do out there in addition to performing," said a high-ranking personnel executive, who outlined what he looks for in a quarterback. "So you've just got to do your homework on how they carry themselves, because the intangibles area is so critical for that position. You look for a lot of things. Some guys you have to trade off.

You trade arm strength for accuracy, trade off this for that."

Those trade offs are not always easy to make for such a high-profile position.

"It's probably the hardest position to do in a lot of ways," the executive said. "It's critical because every flaw is magnified. It shows, and everyone in the stands knows the answer."

I went to the Senior Bowl looking for reasons N.C. State QB Philip Rivers couldn't play in the NFL.

I didn't find any.

I still would be looking if my heart were in it, but it isn't. I just don't think there are any reasons out there. And why waste time deconstructing someone who gets taken apart so regularly?

Rivers is one of the most prolific college passers of our time, but he slings the ball sidearm. Some scouts will never get over this.

But I have.

Of the six quarterbacks invited to the Senior Bowl, Rivers was the only one who rose to the occasion. The other five had bouts with inaccuracy and struggled with mechanics, but Rivers took to the NFL eyes set upon him like a hound takes to table scraps.

Mississippi's Eli Manning and Miami's Ben Roethlisberger are all but assured of being the first two quarterbacks selected in the draft, likely in the first three picks. The 22-year-old Rivers should be the next to come off the board, and he's just as worthy of being a first-rounder as Manning or Roethlisberger.

It was hard to say the same with confidence entering Senior Bowl week. Rivers' statistics are gaudy — 13,484 passing yards, 95 touch-downs — but they were accumulated in a pass-first offense against collegiate defenses. Scouts were eager to see how Rivers fared against a strong North secondary.

Rivers' unorthodox throwing motion drew the most scrutiny in Mobile. Rivers, the son of a coach, says his family has a theory how it developed. He picked up the technique as a child, when he played catch with a regulation football too big for his small hand and had to use all of his might to muster a throw. Some 15 years later, the technique is still there, but the body has matured into a 6-47/8, 220-pound man who bench-presses 400 pounds.

The primary worry with Rivers' release is that it could make him more susceptible to having balls batted down. But Rivers didn't have such troubles during the week. About the only obstacle Rivers had to deal with, it seemed, were drops by his South teammates.

"I think if you go look at a pretty good NFL quarterback — Drew Bledsoe — very similar delivery," said Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer, who coached the South. "When a guy's 6-foot-5, I don't think it's an issue."

You're not going to find a step-by-step diagram of Rivers' release in any football how-to book. But rarely will you see a quicker release.

This skill was on display in the Senior Bowl, where Rivers earned game MVP honors after completing 12-of-19 passes for 213 yards in the South's 28-10 win. The play that left all observers abuzz was his 21-yard, first-quarter TD strike to Virginia Tech WR Ernest Wilford on a skinny post.

Wilford hadn't even finished making his break when the ball zipped out of Rivers' hand. The ball, on time and on target, hit Wilford in the chest.

The throw highlighted Rivers' anticipation skills and arm strength.

Rivers' next throw took a strong arm and touch. On 1st-and-10 from the South 16, LSU WR Devery Henderson sprinted past Penn State CB Rich Gardner on a vertical route. Rivers hit him in stride. The result: a 67-yard pass play that left no doubt who was the best quarterback in Mobile.

Rivers downplayed his Senior Bowl performance, saying, "One game shouldn't answer any questions. I mean, I played in so many games."

But none may have been bigger than the Senior Bowl, when seemingly the only excitement came when Rivers was taking the snaps. Rivers led all four of the South's TD drives and was the only quarterback in consistent rhythm with his wideouts.

Rivers was very much in command of the South offense. Tulane's J.P. Losman and Virginia's Matt Schaub, on the other hand, could not get on track.

The brash Losman, considered a first-round prospect, completed 5-of-11 passes for 53 yards. Losman's skill set is enviable — Schottenheimer praised him for his arm and foot speed — but he didn't deliver like Rivers did. What's more, scouts continue to question his attitude. Schaub isn't as highly regarded as Rivers or Losman, but he garnered high marks from one NFC scout for his smarts. A potential first-day pick, Schaub completed 3-of-7 passes for 30 yards in the Senior Bowl.

The North's quarterbacks — Bowling Green's Josh Harris, Michigan's John Navarre and Washing-ton's Cody Pickett — did not have impressive Senior Bowl weeks. Harris is the best prospect of the group, but he must adjust to taking snaps under center, not just in the shotgun.

In all, the latest class of quarterbacks to come through Mobile wasn't as impressive as last season's, which featured No. 1 pick Carson Palmer and first-rounder Kyle Boller.

But give Rivers credit for stepping up his play.

Rivers deserves to go in the first round, but he could slip right out of the first 32 picks. A team in need of a young quarterback very well could trade its first-round pick for former Michigan QB Drew Henson, currently an unsigned sixth-round pick of the Texans. With so many teams needing defensive help — and so many good prospects on that side of the ball — a Henson trade could push other quarterbacks down the board. Also, Losman's potential likely gives him an edge on some draft boards.

Rivers isn't without flaws. His lack of mobility is a problem. He rarely will be as dominant as he was in the Senior Bowl, when he beat up a North secondary missing three key players. And his delivery still isn't for everyone.

But look past those things. Rivers isn't pretty.

He just wins.

"It really doesn't matter (about) your release, this or that," Schaub said of his friend and South team-mate. "You just want to go out and win games, you know?"

I went to the Senior Bowl to take apart Philip Rivers.

I couldn't do it.

No need to break something that's put together pretty well.


01-26-2009, 07:23 PM
Originally Posted by theorangelion
We should not draft a QB in the first. No way. Huge mistake if we do. DE or OT

Please explain

History tells us that the percentages are greatly against us drafting QB that will be a franchise player in the first round.

01-26-2009, 07:24 PM
History tells us that the percentages are greatly against us drafting QB that will be a franchise player in the first round.

Oh so basically we should never want a QB because after the 1st round the percentages get significantly worse, stop wishing for a 90s Chiefs team that never won anything.

01-26-2009, 07:24 PM
History tells us that the percentages are greatly against us drafting QB that will be a franchise player in the first round.

No they dont. Go look up all the top 5 Qbs drafted since the merger.

01-26-2009, 07:25 PM
Nothing is funnier than people who think unless the guy is a can't miss lock you can't draft him when frankly no one is can't miss, anyone from the draft can bust.

01-26-2009, 07:31 PM
For the QB is too risky folks, here is the stats:

01-26-2009, 09:44 PM
QB's taken with the 3rd pick since 1967:

Steve Spurrier
Mike Phipps
Dan Pastorini
Jack Thompson
Jim Everett
Heath Shuler
Steve McNair
Akili Smith
Joey Harrington
Vince Young
Matt Ryan

Now that's some real talent right there!ROFL

Not saying we shouldn't take a QB with the 3rd pick but it's no sure thing they'll be any good.

Ultra Peanut
01-27-2009, 05:00 PM
You're right. #3 is cursed. The Falcons made the right choice when they passed over Matt Ryan at #3.

'Hamas' Jenkins
01-27-2009, 05:21 PM
The draft, like poker, is best played with paralyzing fear.

01-27-2009, 05:27 PM
Nothing is funnier than people who think unless the guy is a can't miss lock you can't draft him when frankly no one is can't miss, anyone from the draft can bust.


'Hamas' Jenkins
01-27-2009, 05:29 PM

He wasn't a bust, because the Raiders could move him to guard, which as we all know, is just as important as QB. Just look at all the rings Will Shields has.

01-27-2009, 05:31 PM
He wasn't a bust, because the Raiders could move him to guard, which as we all know, is just as important as QB. Just look at all the rings Will Shields has.

Albert is our LGoTF!!!1!1!!!!!111

01-27-2009, 06:10 PM
That is funny reading seeing dumbass Prisco actually get one right with the Big Ben, Eli and Rivers article. That may very well be the first rationale thought I have ever read from him.

02-06-2009, 09:54 PM
That is funny reading seeing dumbass Prisco actually get one right with the Big Ben, Eli and Rivers article. That may very well be the first rationale thought I have ever read from him.

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile.:)