Drafting Rookie QBs in the NFL is a Coin Flip

Drafting Rookie Quarterbacks

Drafting Rookie Quarterbacks by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles

In case you haven’t heard….The LA Rams traded the Tennessee Titans for their #1 overall selection in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft (plus #113 and #177 overall picks). In return, Tennessee acquired LA’s 2016 picks Nos. 15, 43, 45 and 76. The Titans also get the Rams’ 1st and 3rd round picks in next year’s draft. New Tenn GM Jon Robinson said he wanted a “King’s ransom” for the No. 1 pick, and that’s what he was paid. The Rams are desperate for a franchise quarterback and they clearly believe he is in this draft. Although ESPN is reporting that “LA wants 2 weeks to “debate whether to take QB Goff or QB Wentz”, this is just drama.  LA didn’t “give away the farm” on “a still undecided”. Some think that 6’5″ N Dakota State’s Carson Wentz is headed for the west coast, while ESPN and others anticipate the Rams drafting Jared Goff with their new No. 1 overall. Either way, the Ram know who they want.

The gamble for LA is a huge one. The success rate for rookie quarterbacks drafted in the 1st round is the same as a coin flip. Since 2010, 7 rookie quarterbacks have successfully transitioned into NFL as high caliber starters, while 7 others have been “busts”. I have omitted 2 QBs from these 2 lists, creating a 3rd called “Yet Determined”.

Since 2010…..

7- Successful 1st Round Rookie Quarterbacks:

2010 Sam Bradford
2011 Cam Newton
2012 Andrew Luck
2012 Ryan Tannehill
2014 Blake Bortles
2015 Jameis Winston
2015 Marcus Mariota

7- 1st Round Rookie Quarterback Busts:

2010 T Tebow
2011 Jake Locker
2011 Blaine Gabbert
2011 C Ponder
2012 Brandon Weeden
2013 EJ Manuel
2014 J Manziel

2- 1st Round Rookie Quarterbacks “Yet Determined”:

2012 Robert Griffin III
2014 Teddy Bridgewater

What’s particularly interesting about this trade by HC Jeff Fisher and the LA Rams, is that they were the beneficiaries of a lopsided, disastrous trade only 4 years ago. In that infamous trade for Robert Griffin III in 2012, Washington received the draft’s No. 2 pick from the Rams, while the then-St. Louis Rams received a haul of eight players. Mike Shanahan was the head coach of Washington in 2012 and was fired a year later. He is currently unemployed and QB RG3 now plays in Cleveland.

One of my Twitter fantasy football brethren….Dave Bettach, said it best I think, when he wrote….“Snead ( LA Rams General Manager Les Snead) looks confused and more nervous than a guy on death row…and that’s where he’ll be if this trade tanks.”  You can follow Dave on Twitter @Titansffaan