QB position being devalued?

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QB position being devalued?
Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:32 pm
  • Remember the days when Sam Bradford went #1 overall? When Joe Flacco was a mid-first round pick? When Tim Tebow and Christian Ponder, and Rex Grossman were 1st round picks?
    It used to be, if a guy had a glimmer of hope as a viable starting QB, he'd go first round, or at worst early 2nd.

    And it's not just 1st round guys who were overdrafted: Here's the full list of QBs drafted in the 2nd round over a 5 draft period from 2006 to 2010:

    Jimmy Clausen (Panthers), 2010
    Pat White (Dolphins), 2009
    Brian Brohm (Packers), 2008
    Chad Henne (Dolphins), 2008
    Kevin Kolb (Eagles), 2007
    John Beck (Dolphins), 2007
    Drew Stanton (Lions), 2007
    Kellen Clemens (Jets), 2006
    Tarvaris Jackson (Vikings), 2006

    However, starting in 2011, teams started getting better at developing QBs. The 2011 draft hyped guys like Gabbert and Locker, and saw one Tebow-esque reach in Christian Ponder, but it was still a draft that produced Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick (2nd round), and Andy Dalton (2nd round).

    The 2012 draft is of course already legendary, producing starter caliber QBs in rounds 1, 3, 4, and possibly UDFA (Keenum).

    The 2013 draft seemed like a reaction to 2012. Geno Smith could be a good QB for a team like Philly, but sent to New Jersey where QBs go to die. Barkley gets buried in Philly on a team that doesn't really fit his skillset. Nassib gets drafted to backup Eli. All of those guys were better prospects than Mike Glennon, who was actually given a half-decent opportunity and has looked pretty decent for Tampa. Manuel actually looked okay in Buffalo (a surprise for me) but hasn't been able to stay healthy. UDFA Matt McGloin was on pace for a Sam Bradford rookie season over 211 pass attempts.

    At the time, I figured the massive undervaluing of the 2013 QB group was due to GMs eyeballing the 2014 group. Fair enough, the 2014 group is better than 2013 was. But now I am hearing a lot of talk that the 2014 QBs are going to sink like a rock on draft day. Seriously? At the very least, both Bridgewater and Manziel are top 10 picks, and Bortles could justify a high pick if you put him in a simple offense like SF. Bortles is far superior to EJ Manuel, who went mid-first last year.

    If these QBs do sink, my theory is that it is a function of supply and demand, not a question of their quality as prospects.

    Right now, Andrew Luck is statistically just below the NFL median for efficiency. Andrew Luck may be the NFL's most over-rated player, but he's not a bad QB. And right now, he defines what a "median level" QB looks like in this league (Andy Dalton works pretty well too). The median level for QB performance has never been higher, and it has never been easier to find a median level performer. You can even find superstar performers in very unlikely places these days, just look at Nick Foles and Josh McCown. Long story short, there just aren't as many teams as there used to be who have glaring needs at QB.

    Where does Mettenberger or Garappolo get drafted if you plop them into the 2009 draft? Probably higher than the 2nd round. The few teams that actually do need QB help urgently can pass on QB in round 1 knowing that there will still be excellent options in rounds 2 and beyond knowing that quality options that shouldn't be there will in fact be there.

    Anyway, it's kind of interesting how these days a guy has to be a generational talent to be considered a 1st round lock. Unfortunately, this will trick the less enlightened into thinking QBs aren't as good as they used to be because fewer are getting drafted early, when in fact the truth is the opposite.

    That's kind of sucky for us, because we already have our QB. The Rams need to upgrade over Sam Bradford, and though it seems they won't do it this year, when Les Snead eventually snaps out of his stupor he'll likely have no shortage of quality options the way the QB market has been trending.
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:00 pm
  • Manziel concerns is that he will be knocked out of games and lack of some fundamentals means not as accurate

    Was it bridge water / bottles that had a bad pro day. Doesn't matter if you can't throw in shorts and t-shirt you can't throw in pads..

    I think teams have realized that it is worse to reach and get the wrong guy - see Ponder as example - than it is to build everything else and hope to get a decent qb.

    If people thought there were three definite starters out there they would move up for them. I think one of them will be really good but nobody knows who.....

    Rodgers dropped on draft day - oops. Many went before RW etc. Inexact science will always have swings
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:05 am
  • I don't think the QB position is being devalued. I think teams look at the last few Super Bowls and realize, they don't need a high draft pick QB to make it to the super bowl and even win it. Teams have (over)reached for QBs in drafts and have been burned. Jacksonville and Blaine Gabbert is one. Vikings and Christian Ponder is another one.
    On the other hand, other teams have drafted QBs in the late rounds, then have built teams around the strengths of that QB and have succeeded. Russell Wilson is one. Colin Kapaernick is another example. Flacco wasn't a top 10 QB. Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers or even Tom Brady weren't high draft picks. Also guys like Nick Foles or Andrew Dalton weren't high picks, but have been good players in the league.
    The Seahawks destruction of the Broncos this past Super Bowl has shown that relying on a single great player (Manning) to win against a team full of talented guys is not always going to work.
    The Seahawks blue print for success is going to be a model for lots of teams going forward: Draft excellent players first regardless of position. If you find a Corner or a Linebacker that grades better on your board than any QB, don't overreach for the QB. Pick the better player first, then pick a QB later or sign one through free agency.
    We will see how that works ...
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:59 am
  • I think the new rookie salary cap has something to do with it. It allows a more rational approach to high draft picks, and evaluations based on actual skills and value rather than the whole 'fantasy' approach, where high impact skill position players have to be picked early so other teams don't grab them. Risking the future of the team on a single pick on draft day was never a good idea, but people seemed to think that if you're going to mortgage your future, you better do with a QB.

    So I don't necessarily buy that QBs are now being 'undervalued' so much as they were previously over-valued and now things are a bit more rational.

    Just my :twocents: .
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:16 am
  • I think its just a cycle of available talent and teams that need QBs.If Peyton Manning,Luck,or Rg were available in this draft they would be the 1st pick without a doubt.The fact that the QBs that are coming out being discussed as top 5 picks shows you they are still valued.
    The game hasnt changed you still need a great player at QB IMO to win consistently.
    Take Luck off the Colts and they are still a 3 or 4 win team.
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:10 am
  • QBs are more talented coming out if college nowadays, not pro ready always, but great clay to work with at the very least. There is a pretty reasonable supply of this cheap talent (available in mid rounds even) that could win you 8 games. Winning 8 games has a good chance at making the playoffs (when the playoffs expand).

    Couple this with success of teams with cheap qb contracts, maybe we start seeing the position being recycled more like others? That might be hard to imagine for 'the most important position in football', but I could see it happening to some extent soon.
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:34 am
  • Teams are not be so over aggressive on QB's in the draft, less home run swings and more common sense. When you get a Wilson, Kaep, Cousins, Foles etc coming out with good talent and the seperation is competitive spirit versus just ability. A robot isn't getting you as far as a player like Wilson.
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:14 am
  • I think GM's are hesitant to commit to a guy in the 1st Round because their career is forever tied to that QB. I also think that teams have certain bias when it comes to a QB in the first round. I think every first round QB following the 2012 draft is, and will be, compared to Andrew Luck. League average or not, Luck is a media hero, pulling a talent-less and destitute Colts team to the playoffs 2 years in a row and pulling off one the greatest comebacks ever to get his first (and only) playoff win. Luck has the size, the arm, the history in a pro style offense and fits the mold of the "tried and true" pocket QB. And for as much as the NFL likes to pretend otherwise, I truly believe they suffer from a lot of the same bias that fans do. The "He's a winner" bias or "He's too small" bias.

    Teddy Bridgewater is a good QB, worthy of being drafted in the top of the first, but he might fall because he "looks different". Same with Johnny Manziel (I mean if Wilson won a SB and can't get love, what hope does Johnny Football have). This is why I generally disagree with a guy like Jaws or Polian, because they have pretty rigid preconceptions of what a QB should look like and that, in my eyes, is why they can be so wrong about a QB. In my eyes, I think good organizations see the value in later rounds and the potential and I even think bad teams are willing to take a player that goes against their preconceptions when their fan base won't be yelling for the team to start a rookie. Even so, I don't think there is a QB in this draft that looks like an Andrew Luck, or is a truly freak athlete like Cam and RGIII. So we see the lack of hype around the position.

    I also think the couple years before 2012, showed teams that getting "your guy" does not equal success. Seattle and Cincy and to a lesser degree Carolina, proved that growing with a QB can equal even greater success than drafting an Andrew Luck and putting him in the drivers seat. More so, I think the NFL is gradually getting away from the "finesse" model. While it may just be a temporary trend, I think teams are realizing what a physical D and running game can do to a great QB. The memory of Seattle crushing Den, of SF continued dominance over Aaron Rodgers I think is getting some teams thinking about how they build their teams. I don't think it is a permanent trend, but I do think it's the current trend.

    So, I guess to answer the original question, I would say: yes, at the moment. Teams are willing to be more patient when looking for the guy and more willing to throw late round guys into the fire (low risk/high reward) to bridge the gap. I think the successes of the NFCs more physical teams has scared GM's away from the QB throwing 50 times a game model. I also think teams are seeing the value of developing a player, like Harbaugh did with Kaep and how Carolina did with Cam and understanding that they don't need a complete package. They just need someone with potential. And when you change your perspective to "give me someone with potential" suddenly you see a lot more possible QB options.

    I do expect the trend to swing back sooner rather than later tho.
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:05 pm
  • Last year was a weak year in QBs. It's arguable that Derek Carr is a better QB prospect than EJ Manuel or Geno Smith were last year.

    Peyton Manning
    Tom Brady
    Drew Brees
    Russell Wilson
    Phillip Rivers
    Andrew Luck
    Cam Newton
    Colin Kaepernick

    Those are the QB's of all the teams that made it to the Divisional Round of the playoffs this past year. GM's know you NEED a great QB to win in this league and so teams will inevitably reach. You can draft/stockpile talent elsewhere but it won't matter if you don't have a QB (i.e., Rams).
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:09 pm
  • seahawks51usc wrote:Last year was a weak year in QBs. It's arguable that Derek Carr is a better QB prospect than EJ Manuel or Geno Smith were last year.

    Peyton Manning
    Tom Brady
    Drew Brees
    Russell Wilson
    Phillip Rivers
    Andrew Luck
    Cam Newton
    Colin Kaepernick

    Those are the QB's of all the teams that made it to the Divisional Round of the playoffs this past year. GM's know you NEED a great QB to win in this league and so teams will inevitably reach. You can draft/stockpile talent elsewhere but it won't matter if you don't have a QB (i.e., Rams).

    Gotta agree with this.
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:24 pm
  • And how many of those QBs were high draft picks?
    Manning, Luck and Newton were #1 picks. Rivers was first round as well.
    But the rest were second or below rounders.
    You don't need to select a QB high in the first round to lead you to a SB. You can find one later ... who can lead you to a SB.
    seahawks51usc wrote:Last year was a weak year in QBs. It's arguable that Derek Carr is a better QB prospect than EJ Manuel or Geno Smith were last year.

    Peyton Manning
    Tom Brady
    Drew Brees
    Russell Wilson
    Phillip Rivers
    Andrew Luck
    Cam Newton
    Colin Kaepernick

    Those are the QB's of all the teams that made it to the Divisional Round of the playoffs this past year. GM's know you NEED a great QB to win in this league and so teams will inevitably reach. You can draft/stockpile talent elsewhere but it won't matter if you don't have a QB (i.e., Rams).
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:12 am
  • joeseahawks wrote:And how many of those QBs were high draft picks?
    Manning, Luck and Newton were #1 picks. Rivers was first round as well.
    But the rest were second or below rounders.
    You don't need to select a QB high in the first round to lead you to a SB. You can find one later ... who can lead you to a SB.
    seahawks51usc wrote:Last year was a weak year in QBs. It's arguable that Derek Carr is a better QB prospect than EJ Manuel or Geno Smith were last year.

    Peyton Manning
    Tom Brady
    Drew Brees
    Russell Wilson
    Phillip Rivers
    Andrew Luck
    Cam Newton
    Colin Kaepernick

    Those are the QB's of all the teams that made it to the Divisional Round of the playoffs this past year. GM's know you NEED a great QB to win in this league and so teams will inevitably reach. You can draft/stockpile talent elsewhere but it won't matter if you don't have a QB (i.e., Rams).


    And if anyone of those teams knew those QBs would be that good they would not have waited to pick them.
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:17 pm
  • Could it be that more/most teams now understand, it usually works better with perhaps a limited Qb and a complete good roster?
    Unless you're Qb is Brady, Manning etc., who elevate everyone around them. Somehow Stafford, Bradford, Gabbert, Ponder etc. just do not compute considering what they are getting paid. (Stafford is my fave! Higher paid Grossman)
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:21 pm
  • sutz wrote:I think the new rookie salary cap has something to do with it. It allows a more rational approach to high draft picks, and evaluations based on actual skills and value rather than the whole 'fantasy' approach, where high impact skill position players have to be picked early so other teams don't grab them. Risking the future of the team on a single pick on draft day was never a good idea, but people seemed to think that if you're going to mortgage your future, you better do with a QB.

    So I don't necessarily buy that QBs are now being 'undervalued' so much as they were previously over-valued and now things are a bit more rational.

    Just my :twocents: .


    Good point, I do think that salary changes are a lesser factor. That said, you still had three QBs go top 12 in each of 2012 and 2011 drafts under that post-CBA pay scale.

    I think another factor might be that we've seen a lot of QBs peak a year early in terms of their draft stock. If Bridgewater were available in 2013 he would have gone #1 overall. If Boyd was in that draft he probably would have gone 1st round. Tyler Wilson might have gone 1st round in 2012 had he declared that year. Jake Locker probably would have gone #1 overall in 2010, and Matt Barkley probably would have gone top 10 in 2012.

    It seems like the longer we keep the spotlight on players, the better scouts get at nitpicking them to death and making mountains out of molehills.

    I think mostly though, it really is a supply and demand thing. There are more "viable" QBs than ever in the league right now, and more franchise QBs than ever too, this is why scoring and yardage records keep getting broken every year. If this was the NFL of 2001 when Brady and Manning were basically it at QB across the league, you wouldn't see guys like Matt Barkley lasting til the 4th round.
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:22 pm
  • QBs have traditionally been overvalued. The fact that the 2014 class is a weak group won't keep teams from wasting 1st round picks on these guys. How many teams over the last 20 years wish they hadn't wasted first round picks on QBs? A lot.
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:28 pm
  • Last year's QB class was terrible. I pity the Jets and Bills for having to grab Manuel and Smith. 2012 with Luck, RG3, Wilson, Foles, and Tannehill will likely go down to rival the 1983 class of Elway, Marino, and Kelly.
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:58 pm
  • This draft does not promise to have any stellar QBs. They all have serious flaws. I can't think if one that's NFL ready
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Re: QB position being devalued?
Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:10 pm
  • kearly wrote:
    I think mostly though, it really is a supply and demand thing. There are more "viable" QBs than ever in the league right now, and more franchise QBs than ever too, this is why scoring and yardage records keep getting broken every year. If this was the NFL of 2001 when Brady and Manning were basically it at QB across the league, you wouldn't see guys like Matt Barkley lasting til the 4th round.


    This is very much true. QBs at the junior/high school levels are just much more advanced now. I see teams using spread offenses even at the elementary school level. Kids are throwing a lot more. You see a lot of ex pro/college coaching even before high school levels now. Reading defenses and throwing principles are being taught at a very early age.

    The quality of QB coaching is just light years ahead of where it was in the 80s/90s. The kids coming into college now have been schooled in the QB arts for over a decade of their lives now.

    It's also worth noting, that it coincides with the general decline in the quality of running backs over this time. High school used to be so dominated by the running game. And certainly there are teams that still abide by that. But there are so many programs that have opted to develop their programs with an emphasis on the pass that the supply of rushers has been on the decline as teams have made the switch.
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