Saturday, December 17, 2011

JaMarcus and Brady Quinn, or: The Case For Tebow (pre-draft)

A slightly-expanded for 2011 (weekend prior to Tebow-v-Brady, possibly the zenith of Tebow-time) email I sent to friends prior to the 2010 draft, when dissing Tebow was a full time thing.

Screw the draft and the NFL, etc.  maybe i shouldn't be even looking at it.

But something is bothering me:  someone is going to fail to take Tim Tebow.  Probably the whole league is going to fail to put Tebow on thier team before someone does with a later pick.  Only...  how the HELL do you NOT take Tebow?  If Carson Palmer or Payton Manning was up there, maybe you'd not take Tebow, but then again maybe not.

If you even barely accidently stumble across any draft talk, here are the Big 3 QBs who "translate" to the NFL:

(click for rest of post)

  1. Bradford, Mr. First Pick, just missed a full season to a bad shoulder.  Drafting a guy who was too hurt to play until workout time makes no sense to me.  How is this not the Greg Oden/Ralph Sampson Corolary?  Do season-ending shoulder injuries ever really heal for QBs?  if so, how often do they not?  Often enough to wait a round or two if others are available, I bet.
  2. Jimmy Clausen.  The guy was the starting QB for Notre Dame and couldn't get psyched about it.  He's gonna play hard for the Rams?  Or anyone else?  He never scared anybody in college, why does he excite anyone now?
  3. Colt.  Pretty terrific guy, it seems, only not a drop back gunner and now ALSO with a wierd-o strange injury on his record.  Also, Jordan Shipley almost dragged Colt's freshman replacement to the National TItle, so how much of Colt wasn't Colt?

Not on the list is Tebow, because he doesn't "translate" or have "NFL qualities." He's listed on some 'boards' behind the guy from Cincinatti (who, I admit, was a gamer) and a guy from Central Michiagn.  I guess because all he is is a crazy action super hero who can throw the ball 7 miles from his knees and will ABSOLUTELY in the first 2 or 3 weeks of his career simply run over some unlucky 5-time Pro Bowl defender in what will instantly be a franchise-defining, fanbase-multiplying, season-ticket-evaporating All TIme Epic moment.

What he WON'T do:
  • rape strippers
  • get shot by his mistress
  • fight dogs
  • go missing
  • leave his pregnant wife/gf
  • be on facebook with fat chicks (lookin' at you, Leinart)
  • tweet anything about Yale
  • love Jesus
  • show up at 5am to watch film
  • re-boot the mojo of everyone in your locker room this side - possibly THAT side - of Randy Moss
  • adopt colorful orphans
  • fill your stadium with gorgeous women
  • and - again - put your franchise on the good side of The New Bo-Vs-Boz Moment by the end of October.
These are not "translations"  These are SURE THINGS.

Also: He is EQUALLY AS LIKELY, if not much more so, to win you a Super Bowl than any of the other QBs available.

Remember when Alex Smith would "translate?"  Remember when we were sure of the 'translation' of Eli, JP Losman, Byron Leftwich, JaMarcus Russel (he wasn't just an Al Davis fever dream - the world believed), Kyle Boller, Rex Grossman, David Carr and Joey Harrington who went No 1 and No 3 IN THE SAME DRAFT, Pennington and Tim Couch for F's SAKE!!!  Culpepper, Cabe McNown.  Can I stop?  Everyone above was a first-round pick.

In fact, going back to 03, 21 QBs have gone in the first round as first-picks for teams.  here are the only guys who have made ANY impact:

  • 03 - Carson Palmer - jury out - plus Grossman who did factually play in a SB, and you can make your own judgement on his value.
  • 04 - Big Ben, Phil Rivers and another iffy guy with a SB appearance (in fact, a win), Eli.   Banner year for the draft, even with Kyle Boller in the middle of it.  (though Boller did just fine:  I just found out he is now engaged to Carrie Prejean, the scorching hot, Gay-Bashing Ms. California)
  • 05 - Aaron Rodgers went 24th and he may end with a career (2011 update: HA!).  Jason Campbell may be sneaky-good eventually but just got released.
  • 06 - VY, Jay Cutler.  Borderline headcases with intermitten years as starters.  Not exactly flagships, and VY wasn't a 'translation' guy anyway.
  • 07 - Oh-fer  (JaMarcus and Brady Quinn.  Really, if I had to re-name this post, it would just be "JaMarcus and Brady") (2011 update:  I Did!)
  • 08 - Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco - big year 1s, decent years 2s, we'll see.
  • 09 - Stafford, Sanchize.  One Win and one non-Fail.

So bookened by the USC guys, I count maybe 9 dudes - counting both Ryan and Flacco, which is generous - who you would call a Win if the criteria is, "knowing what we know now, would the team do it again"  Or we could also say, "would changing the pick to a world-class defensive end or left tackle and bringing in a retread free agent QB have won you more games."  If that's the criteria, then Eli and Stafford drop off and suddenly the "translation"-school of drafting is 7 of 21.

So the 'translation' math worked for 7 out of 21 QBs since 2003 and utterly blew it - cataclysmically - on JaMarcus, Quinn, Leinart and Losman.  The rest come in between good-not-great and barely-making-it.

Here's the fun part:  the above sample - back to 2003 - was a GOLDEN AGE of drafting QBs compared to the previous five years.  Going back 5 more years thru 1998, here are, in order, QBs taken in the first round:

  1. David Carr
  2. Joey Harrington
  3. Patrick Ramsey
  4. Michael Vick
  5. Chad Pennington
  6. Tim Couch
  7. Donovan McNabb
  8. Akili Smith
  9. Daunte Culpepper
  10. Cade McNown
  11. Peyton Manning
  12. Ryan Leaf
Wins: Peyton, McNabb and Vick - none of which help the argument because a 3yo could have drafted Payton and both McNabb and Vick were "reaches".  Unmitigated Catastrophes:  the whole list, minus those three.

Meanwhile, among the last 20 QBs taken in the SECOND round was Favre, Jake the Snake and Drew Brees, Kordell Stewart (hey, now - that's 2 AFC title games you're snickering at) and Chad Henne (as you may have guessed from Favre cracking that list, about half as many QBs get taken in the 2nd round as first, so you have to go back further than 98 to find 20 QBs.  Favre was 19-picks ago. 20 was the immortal Browning Nagle)

Put another way (UPDATED with 2011 Super Bowl results, but excluding 2010 and 2011 draft classes), among the 33 QBs taken in the First Round since 1998:
  • 4: Super Bowl Winners - both Mannings, Big Ben (X 2), Aaron Rodgers.
  • 2: Additional Super Bowl appearances - Grossman, McNabb; Payton and Big Ben have also lost SBs.
Among the 20 QBs taken in the Second Round since 1991, ie QBs judged Not Good Enough by The System:
  • 2: Super Bowl winners
  • 3: Total Super Bowl appearances.
In percentages, then - QBs by round, Super Bowl success (all updated for 2011):
  • .1515: Percentage of First Round QBs to deliver a Super Bowl Win.
  • .18: Percentage of First Round QBs to make the Super Bowl.
  • .10 : % 2nd Round QBs to deliver a SB win.

And if we stop comparing 1st Round to 2nd Round and instead just compare 1st Rounders to Everybody else, its WAY worse: just since 1998 the Super Bowl has been won by Brad Johnson and has been lost by such immortals as Rich Gannon (4th round), Chris Chandler (4th round) and Matt Hasselback.

In fact, here ya go:
  • 5: Super Bowls Won by First-Round QBs drafted since 1998.
  • 5: Super Bowls involving QBs drafted in the 6th round (Brady x 4, Hasselback)
  • 4: Super Bowls that involved UNDRAFTED QBs.
  • 3: Super Bowls since 1998 in which BOTH QBs were First Rounders.
  • 3: Super Bowls since 1998 in which BOTH QBs were 6th round or later.
Wow - so on any given year, you have an EQUAL CHANCE of watching a Super Bowl between two QBs whose names never came up on draft day as a Super Bowl where both QBs were in the Green Room. 

So now we return our gaze to this year's Green Room and the three beaming, impossibly good looking "translation" guys: broken-ass Sam Bradford, broken-ass, fleet-footed Colt McCoy and the utterly uninspiring Jimmy Clausen.

and over here, loving Jesus and really truly in the deepest, warmest, most honest soulful part of his heart praying and hoping and wishing and BELIEVING that you - yes, you who didn't even know he knew who you are - that YOU are going to have yourself the BEST most terrific and fulfilling day you possibly can on this perfect happy blue green earth, is Tim Tebow who would LOVE to be your QB and he means Love with the kind of open, happy, Southern-born love he's been perfecting every day of his life without fail or pause cuz you only get one chance to make good things happen, and he would LOVE to inspire your team and fulfill his own dreams but only if its your dream too cuz its all about the Journey and if this isn't yours then, man, that is 100-percent awesome-cool-all-good brother, because he is gonna be just fine and find his way and pray for you -honest and truly with eyes closed which he never does at any other time of the day - that you (yes, YOU!) and your precious family have all the success and blessed love and happiness you can bear today, tomorrow and everyday from here until we all meet in the soft, warm embrace of Our Lord.  God Bless.

Data set: the full list of QBs from the first 2 rounds going back to 1990:

Round Pick Player Name Team College
1 1 1 Matthew Stafford Lions Georgia
1 5 5 Mark Sanchez Jets USC
1 17 17 Josh Freeman Buccaneers Kansas State
1 3 3 Matt Ryan Falcons Boston College
1 18 18 Joe Flacco Ravens Delaware
1 1 1 JaMarcus Russell Raiders Louisiana State
1 22 22 Brady Quinn Browns Notre Dame
1 3 3 Vince Young Titans Texas
1 10 10 Matt Leinart Cardinals USC
1 11 11 Jay Cutler Broncos Vanderbilt
1 1 1 Alex D. Smith 49ers Utah
1 24 24 Aaron Rodgers Packers California
1 25 25 Jason Campbell Redskins Auburn
1 1 1 Eli Manning Chargers Mississippi
1 4 4 Philip Rivers Giants North Carolina State
1 11 11 Ben Roethlisberger Steelers Miami (OH)
1 22 22 J.P. Losman Bills Tulane
1 1 1 Carson Palmer Bengals USC
1 7 7 Byron Leftwich Jaguars Marshall
1 19 19 Kyle Boller Ravens California
1 22 22 Rex Grossman Bears Florida
1 1 1 David Carr Texans Fresno State
1 3 3 Joey Harrington Lions Oregon
1 32 32 Patrick Ramsey Redskins Tulane
1 1 1 Michael Vick Falcons Virginia Tech
1 18 18 Chad Pennington Jets Marshall
1 1 1 Tim Couch Browns Kentucky
1 2 2 Donovan McNabb Eagles Syracuse
1 3 3 Akili Smith Bengals Oregon
1 11 11 Daunte Culpepper Vikings Central Florida
1 12 12 Cade McNown Bears UCLA
1 1 1 Peyton Manning Colts Tennessee
1 2 2 Ryan Leaf Chargers Washington State
1 26 26 Jim Druckenmiller 49ers Virginia Tech
1 3 3 Steve McNair Oilers Alcorn State
1 5 5 Kerry Collins Panthers Penn State
1 3 3 Heath Shuler Redskins Tennessee
1 6 6 Trent Dilfer Buccaneers Fresno State
1 1 1 Drew Bledsoe Patriots Washington State
1 2 2 Rick Mirer Seahawks Notre Dame
1 0 0 Dave Brown Giants Duke
1 6 6 David Klingler Bengals Houston
1 25 25 Tommy Maddox Broncos UCLA
1 16 16 Dan McGwire Seahawks San Diego State
1 24 24 Todd Marinovich Raiders USC
1 1 1 Jeff George Colts Illinois
1 7 7 Andre Ware Lions Houston
2 12 44 Pat White Dolphins West Virginia
2 25 56 Brian Brohm Packers Louisville
2 26 57 Chad Henne Dolphins Michigan
2 4 36 Kevin Kolb Eagles Houston
2 8 40 John Beck Dolphins Brigham Young
2 11 43 Drew Stanton Lions Michigan State
2 17 49 Kellen Clemens Jets Oregon
2 32 64 Tarvaris Jackson Vikings Alabama State
2 1 32 Drew Brees Chargers Purdue
2 22 53 Quincy Carter Cowboys Georgia
2 28 59 Marques Tuiasosopo Raiders Washington
2 19 50 Shaun King Buccaneers Tulane
2 30 60 Charlie Batch Lions Eastern Michigan
2 12 42 Jake Plummer Cardinals Arizona State
2 12 42 Tony Banks Rams Michigan State
2 13 45 Todd Collins Bills Michigan
2 28 60 Kordell Stewart Steelers Colorado
2 12 40 Matt Blundin Chiefs Virginia
2 18 46 Tony Sacca Cardinals Penn State
2 6 33 Brett Favre Falcons Southern Mississippi
2 7 34 Browning Nagle Jets Louisville

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