To start, lets examine the teams at the top of the playoff chase this season, and see where their QB was selected in their respective drafts.
Patriots - 6th round
Jets - 1st round, traded up using almost all of their picks to select their QB 5th overall
Steelers - 1st round
Ravens - 1st round
Colts - 1st round
Chargers - (yea the Chargers. We all know they are doing their usual and winning down the stretch to capture that weak divisions title) 1st round
Eagles - 1st round
Giants - 1st round
Packers - 1st round
Falcons - 1st round
Saints - 2nd round
Someone will win the NFC West, but are any of those teams a contender for anything? The best QB in that division, is a rookie who was of course taken 1st overall last year by the Rams. Look for them to win that division regularly over the next few seasons.
So what do we notice? 9 of the 11 teams with a legitimate shot to win the Super Bowl, have QBs who were drafted in the first round. One team, the Pats, got lucky and hit a legend on a 6th round pick. Another team, the Saints have a QB who was a 2nd round pick. Note however he was casted off from his original team for a top 5 overall selection at QB who is definately a better player. Brees has been tremendous in his own right the last few years though.
But, what we notice is almost every one of those teams got their QB from not only the 1st round, but most of them in the top few selection. Only a few of them were mid first round selections.
And of those teams, look at the ones who have been perinial contenders over the last few seasons. The ones who are in the mix EVERY YEAR. With the exception of Brady, they are teams with QBs who went early in the first round.
This should SCREAM to any FO in the NFL, that if you want to put a team together, the first and foremost thing you need to do is get yourself a talented QB. It screams if you have the first overall selection and you dont have a QB, you probably want to consider that before selecting a lineman.
And thats obviously what this franchise needs to do. Of course we are likely not going to be in position to draft a guy near the top of the draft this season. But, I think its clear, if we are going to draft a QB, and its clear we need to btw, that we shouldnt continue to WASTE our time and WASTE our selections in the 2nd and middle rounds on a QB. Either get the real deal or dont get one at all.
I say this because I hear a lot of rumblings for going other needs in the first round and drafting a QB later. My point is WHY? If you arent going to draft a QB in the first round, please dont bother. Im tired of these hopefulls with 2nd round picks when there are tons of talented players at skill positions we desperately need available in rounds 2 and 3. And I think I have made it more than clear that their just arent good QBs left in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
I think its pretty clear what we need to do. If there is any way possible for us to package enough picks, even with the void of a 2nd rounder, we need to trade up to get our QB. Only then can we actually start to build this team.
Hell, we may not need that much building if we get our QB. Look at what the Jets did in 09. They traded all but their 3rd round pick and moved up to #5 overall in the first round to get their guy. All they did was wind up in the AFC title game. They had a decent team already, they just needed a QB. I think we are in a similar position. We compete pretty well with good teams and beat almost all the bad teams we play. We do this despite horrible QB play. If we can just get a QB, we could catapult quickly.
Not only that, this isnt 1991 anymore, where teams would draft a QB and they would almost automatically be figured to sit a year or two and watch some veteran play mediocre at the position while the team struggles. Guys are coming in, starting right away, and doing a pretty nice job. This has been a trend over the last 5 or 6 years. There have been a lot fewer busts it seems over this span at the position as well.
Whats tough, is personally the only QB Im truly sold on that could be in this draft is Andrew Luck. If he comes out, he will likely go 1st overall. The problem with that is there is a strong chance Buffalo will have that selection. They wont be trading it. I also highly doubt they draft a LT if they find themselves in that spot either. That could be a shame for Luck, because if he does go to Buffalo, I could see him busting as a result. Buffalo is where QB careers go to die.
So I suggest if we cant get Luck, it might be wise to pass on a QB altogether and struggle for one more season with some FA vet or Thigpen if he plays well down the stretch. Hell, it isnt impossible Thigpen turns out to be our guy and this is mute, but Im not betting on that. Mallett is interesting and Locker could be as well. I just know I dont want to spend more valuable picks in the 2nd and mid rounds on a QB.
Here's my theory on the drafting. 1st round is specifically for QBs, playmakers on D(pass rush specialists especially) and the occasional WR or DB.
The 2nd and 3rd rounds are where you load up on skill position guys. You can find great talent at RB, WR, TE, and defensive playmakers in these rounds. Yet almost any QB you take in these rounds will likely bust. Thats why you dont use these picks on QBs. These are the most valuable picks a team has. The contracts are much friendlier to the cap system as well.
The later rounds are where you get your cornfed linemen. You can get great linemen in these rounds if you take the right ones. And the line is about cohesiveness and unity anyway. Its not about individual players so much. You need a solid group that plays well together.
You can also find the occasional gem at other positions in these rounds. A lot of good RBs can come from these rounds. RB is the most easily filled position in the league as it is. As long as a guy has talent, if the line blocks well for him, he will produce big numbers.
I look at these rounds 5-7 as flyers. You want to take guys that you think you can hit a aquaun with and dont worry about them being complete whiffs. This is where you may take a QB on occasion just to try and get lucky. But, if you need a QB, get a 1st rounder. If you have an older QB, then take a shot every year in these late rounds at one and see if you can develope a project. If you didnt get lucky by the time your older QB needs to go, then you get a 1st rounder.
So please, no more of these band aids at QB. No more projects. We need a top level QB and we need one NOW. Whoever is in charge of this team on draft day, get us what we need. Anything we select without getting the QB we need is a waste anyway because this team isnt going anywhere until the QB void that was left over 10 years ago gets filled. If you have to trade top picks in next years draft in order to get in position to get our QB, then do it. It simply dosent matter how many other "holes" we need to fill until we fill this one. So just ****ing do it already and put an end to the misery this fanbase has had to endure.