Every year the NFL Draft features at least one quarterback a bunch of teams are dying to take with their first round pick.This year is no different, with the Indianapolis Colts set to take Andrew Luck first overall , Robert Griffin III en route to the Washington Redskins at number two, and Ryan Tannehill all but penciled in for the Miami Dolphins with the eighth pick.
The new emphasis on prolific passing offenses pretty much guarantees quarterbacks will be taken early and often in many drafts to come.
But taking a quarterback in the first round basically guarantees something else: your team will have a losing record the following season.
We looked at all of the quarterbacks taken in the first round going back to 1998, when Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf went to the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers at the top of the draft, respectively.
30-nine quarterbacks have been taken in the first round since then, and except for the Ben Roethlisbergers and Matt Ryans of the world, most didn’t fare too well in their first season.
We discovered that teams that took a quarterback in the first round only averaged 6.7 wins the following season.
As a point of reference, that many wins would’ve given teams a first round pick somewhere between eighth and twelfth in 2012.
And if you look at teams over that same time period that used their first round quarterback as the primary starter the following season it’s even worse: these teams only averaged 6 wins the following year.
A few things are at play here. First, teams picking that high usually need a lot of help at nearly every position before getting back on top, so taking a quarterback won’t fix things all at once. Second, first round quarterbacks are more often than not thrown onto a team with few complementary parts. And most importantly, making the transition to the NFL can be very difficult.
No one expects Andrew Luck to single-handily turn around a severely depleted Colts team, same goes for wherever Ryan Tannehill lands, but there are some ridiculous expectations from Washington fans.
If you read any of the reports during the season and shortly afterward, the Redskins and their fans truly believe their 5-11 team was just a few spare parts away from contending for a playoff spot.
RG3 living up to even half of his hype would pay big dividends for the Redskins in 2012, but expecting a huge turnaround would be delusional.
Getting RG3 still wouldn’t solve some of the Redskins’ many problems, i.e. their porous offensive line or terrible rush defence.
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