Photo: Getty Images/Bob Levey
The NFL has been changing its rules the last few years to provide greater protection for quarterbacks.From a purely business standpoint this makes A TON of sense.
Freeing up offenses results in more scoring, which fans love and will pay more to see.
The other effect it’s had on the league is not so positive: teams now overvalue quarterbacks (We’re not arguing that the QB position isn’t important. We’re just stating that the league’s greater emphasis on the position has led to some poor decisions by scouts, coaches, and executives.)
Specifically, overvaluing quarterbacks in the draft.
It’s happening once again with this year’s draft as everyone is going head over heels for Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Tannehill has seen his stock skyrocket so much recently that teams are looking to trade up to the third overall pick to get him. Taking him that high would result in three quarterbacks making up the first three picks of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Before these teams pull the trigger on Tannehill they should check out this list of first round quarterbacks taken between 1999 and 2009 that never amounted to much:
- Tim Couch
- Akili Smith
- Cade McNown
- Chad Pennington
- David Carr
- Patrick Ramsey
- Byron Leftwich
- Kyle Boller
- Rex Grossman
- J.P. Losman
- Jason Campbell
- Vince Young
- Matt Leinart
- Jamarcus Russell
- Brady Quinn
So 15 of the 30 quarterbacks taken in the first round between 1999 and 2009 didn’t live up to their top pick billing.
And the jury is still out there for Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Freeman.
In other words, NFL talent evaluators have REALLY missed on QBs lately. Yes, you never know how any player regardless of position will do, but the over-emphasis on offence is clear.
Teams are desperately reaching for talent that isn’t there just to have a slim chance at landing a franchise quarterback.
But who’s to say Tannehill will NOT be any good?
Well, we have no clue. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III have been projected top 10 picks for months by everyone imaginable, but Tannehill’s stock began to rise as soon as teams found out they were out of the running for Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn.
Tannehill may turn out to be a great draft choice. Unlike the two guys who will go before him, though, if he fails the team that took him will get the brunt of the blame, NOT Tannehill.
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