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1st Round QBS last 20 Years: Does Landing Spot Matter?


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For quite some time, I've hypothesized that landing spot(as in the quality of team a young QB winds up with) is just as much a factor of his development as anything.  I've been wanting to do a dive into that and see if stats backed it up.  Well I finally set aside some time this morning to do the research.  People can make their own conclusions, but this is going to be a long post to begin with as the spreadsheet contains 56 QBS.  All drafted in the first RD since 2000.  Obviously that will leave out a few notable names like Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and Tony Romo.  I may go back and add them later, but for now just sticking with first Rounders.  The below list is sorted by highest team winning percentage the year before the player was drafted.  I'll be making another post where the list is sorted by winning percentage for the 3 years leading into their draft.  Then I'll probably make another post with just my general thoughts.  Obviously this doesn't 100% prove or disprove anything either way, but I think it's interesting.

Player Team Draft Year   Prior YearWins Prior Win % 3 Year Prior Wins  3 Year Win %
Jay Cutler Broncos 2006   13 0.8125 33 0.6875
Paxton Lynch Broncos 2016   12 0.75 37 0.770833333
Patrick Mahomes Chiefs 2017   12 0.75 32 0.666666667
Aaron Rodgers Packers 2005   10 0.625 32 0.666666667
Jason Campbell Redskins 2006   10 0.625 21 0.4375
DeShaun Watson Texans 2017   9 0.5625 27 0.5625
Josh Allen Bills  2018   9 0.5625 24 0.5
Mark Sanchez Jets 2009   9 0.5625 23 0.479166667
Lamar Jackson Ravens 2018   9 0.5625 22 0.458333333
Chad Pennington Jets 2000   8 0.5 29 0.604166667
Josh Rosen Cardinals 2018   8 0.5 28 0.583333333
Patrick Ramsey Redskins 2002   8 0.5 26 0.541666667
Tim Tebow Broncos 2010   8 0.5 23 0.479166667
Josh Freeman Bucs 2009   8 0.5 22 0.458333333
Blaine Gabbert Jaguars 2011   8 0.5 20 0.416666667
Kyle Boller Ravens 2003   7 0.4375 29 0.604166667
Carson Wentz Eagles 2016   7 0.4375 27 0.5625
Dwayne Haskins Redskins 2019   7 0.4375 22 0.458333333
Jared Goff Rams 2016   7 0.4375 20 0.416666667
Ben Roethlesberger Steelers 2004   6 0.375 29 0.604166667
Christian Ponder Vikings 2011   6 0.375 28 0.583333333
Jake Locker Titans 2011   6 0.375 27 0.5625
Ryan Tannehill Dolphins 2012   6 0.375 20 0.416666667
Byron Leftwich Jaguars 2003   6 0.375 19 0.395833333
JP Losman Bills 2004   6 0.375 17 0.354166667
EJ Manuel Bills 2013   6 0.375 16 0.333333333
Matt Leinart Cardinals 2006   6 0.375 15 0.3125
Joe Flacco Ravens 2008   5 0.3125 24 0.5
Sam Darnold Jets 2018   5 0.3125 20 0.416666667
Daniel Jones Giants 2019   5 0.3125 19 0.395833333
Teddy Bridgewater Vikings 2014   5 0.3125 18 0.375
Robert Griffin Redskins 2012   5 0.3125 15 0.3125
Michael Vick Falcons 2001   4 0.25 23 0.479166667
Rex Grossman Bears  2003   4 0.25 22 0.458333333
Vince Young Titans 2006   4 0.25 21 0.4375
Eli Manning Giants 2004   4 0.25 21 0.4375
Matt Ryan Falcons 2008   4 0.25 19 0.395833333
Phillip Rivers Chargers 2004   4 0.25 17 0.354166667
Brady Quinn  Browns 2007   4 0.25 14 0.291666667
Brandon Weeden Browns 2012   4 0.25 14 0.291666667
Johnny Manziel Browns 2014   4 0.25 13 0.270833333
Blake Bortles Jaguars 2014   4 0.25 11 0.229166667
Mitch Trubisky Bears  2017   3 0.1875 14 0.291666667
Kyler Murray Cardinals 2019   3 0.1875 11 0.229166667
Andrew Luck Colts 2012   2 0.125 26 0.541666667
Cam Newton Panthers 2011   2 0.125 22 0.458333333
Joey Harrington Lions 2002   2 0.125 19 0.395833333
Alex Smith Niners 2005   2 0.125 19 0.395833333
Marcus Mariota Titans 2015   2 0.125 15 0.3125
Jameis Winston Bucs 2015   2 0.125 13 0.270833333
Carson Palmer Bengals 2003   2 0.125 12 0.25
Jamarcus Russell Raiders 2007   2 0.125 11 0.229166667
Sam Bradford Rams 2010   1 0.0625 5 0.104166667
Matthew Stafford Lions 2009   0 0 10 0.208333333
Baker Mayfield Browns 2018   0 0 4 0.083333333
David Carr Texans 2002     0   0
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Here is the List sorted by winning percentage over the 3 years proceeding the player being drafted.

Player Team Draft Year   Prior YearWins Prior Win % 3 Year Prior Wins  3 Year Win %
Paxton Lynch Broncos 2016   12 0.75 37 0.770833333
Jay Cutler Broncos 2006   13 0.8125 33 0.6875
Patrick Mahomes Chiefs 2017   12 0.75 32 0.666666667
Aaron Rodgers Packers 2005   10 0.625 32 0.666666667
Chad Pennington Jets 2000   8 0.5 29 0.604166667
Kyle Boller Ravens 2003   7 0.4375 29 0.604166667
Ben Roethlesberger Steelers 2004   6 0.375 29 0.604166667
Josh Rosen Cardinals 2018   8 0.5 28 0.583333333
Christian Ponder Vikings 2011   6 0.375 28 0.583333333
DeShaun Watson Texans 2017   9 0.5625 27 0.5625
Carson Wentz Eagles 2016   7 0.4375 27 0.5625
Jake Locker Titans 2011   6 0.375 27 0.5625
Patrick Ramsey Redskins 2002   8 0.5 26 0.541666667
Andrew Luck Colts 2012   2 0.125 26 0.541666667
Josh Allen Bills  2018   9 0.5625 24 0.5
Joe Flacco Ravens 2008   5 0.3125 24 0.5
Mark Sanchez Jets 2009   9 0.5625 23 0.479166667
Tim Tebow Broncos 2010   8 0.5 23 0.479166667
Michael Vick Falcons 2001   4 0.25 23 0.479166667
Lamar Jackson Ravens 2018   9 0.5625 22 0.458333333
Josh Freeman Bucs 2009   8 0.5 22 0.458333333
Dwayne Haskins Redskins 2019   7 0.4375 22 0.458333333
Rex Grossman Bears  2003   4 0.25 22 0.458333333
Cam Newton Panthers 2011   2 0.125 22 0.458333333
Jason Campbell Redskins 2006   10 0.625 21 0.4375
Vince Young Titans 2006   4 0.25 21 0.4375
Eli Manning Giants 2004   4 0.25 21 0.4375
Blaine Gabbert Jaguars 2011   8 0.5 20 0.416666667
Jared Goff Rams 2016   7 0.4375 20 0.416666667
Ryan Tannehill Dolphins 2012   6 0.375 20 0.416666667
Sam Darnold Jets 2018   5 0.3125 20 0.416666667
Byron Leftwich Jaguars 2003   6 0.375 19 0.395833333
Daniel Jones Giants 2019   5 0.3125 19 0.395833333
Matt Ryan Falcons 2008   4 0.25 19 0.395833333
Joey Harrington Lions 2002   2 0.125 19 0.395833333
Alex Smith Niners 2005   2 0.125 19 0.395833333
Teddy Bridgewater Vikings 2014   5 0.3125 18 0.375
JP Losman Bills 2004   6 0.375 17 0.354166667
Phillip Rivers Chargers 2004   4 0.25 17 0.354166667
EJ Manuel Bills 2013   6 0.375 16 0.333333333
Matt Leinart Cardinals 2006   6 0.375 15 0.3125
Robert Griffin Redskins 2012   5 0.3125 15 0.3125
Marcus Mariota Titans 2015   2 0.125 15 0.3125
Brady Quinn  Browns 2007   4 0.25 14 0.291666667
Brandon Weeden Browns 2012   4 0.25 14 0.291666667
Mitch Trubisky Bears  2017   3 0.1875 14 0.291666667
Johnny Manziel Browns 2014   4 0.25 13 0.270833333
Jameis Winston Bucs 2015   2 0.125 13 0.270833333
Carson Palmer Bengals 2003   2 0.125 12 0.25
Blake Bortles Jaguars 2014   4 0.25 11 0.229166667
Kyler Murray Cardinals 2019   3 0.1875 11 0.229166667
Jamarcus Russell Raiders 2007   2 0.125 11 0.229166667
Matthew Stafford Lions 2009   0 0 10 0.208333333
Sam Bradford Rams 2010   1 0.0625 5 0.104166667
Baker Mayfield Browns 2018   0 0 4 0.083333333
David Carr Texans 2002     0   0
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I haven't had a ton of time to review the list and see what the trends are, if any, but it certainly does appear that some of the bigger names at the position have often went to pretty good teams to begin with, either were good the year before they got their, the 3 years before they got their, or both.  

There are also a lot of QBs who flopped who went into favorable spots.  

I think more than anything it shows though, is that generally speaking, most QBs who go to bad situations haven't flourished.  There are a few examples, Matt Ryan and Matt Stafford, who went to bad situations and turned out to be very good QBs.  Newton went to a team that was bad the previous year, but respectable the 2 seasons prior to that.  Mayfield went into the worst situation(based on records) of any QB of the last 20 years and has at least kept his head above water.  I don't think anyone would consider him a top level QB though.

Anyway, like I said in my first post, this doesn't necessarily mean or prove anything.  I just think it's interesting.  So while we may miss out on Trevor Lawrence and he may go on to be great, it appears he'd be bucking a trend doing so.

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16 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

One could also argue that the teams that were already good destinations were already run by GM's very good at talent evaluation.  Hence, they were probably more capable of finding a quality QB prospect, even when picking later in the draft.

Take the Chiefs and Andy Reid, for instance.  Alex Smith was coming off a career year.  Yet Andy Reid decided to trade up to acquire Mahomes.  Yes, it was a perfect situation for a young QB to come to.  But Reid obviously felt VERY highly of Mahomes to make a move like that.  He had a decent idea that he was getting someone special.  

Meanwhile, Mike Maccagnan takes Christian Hackenberg, and the Box Safety over Mahomes/Watson.  Because that's what bad organizations do:  They don't evaluate talent properly.

This is a good point, Mahommes walked into a great situation, but really you gotta give it to Reid there, he traded up for A player that wasn’t gonna play for them that year, even though they were competing for the playoffs, that’s how much he liked him 

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2 hours ago, Jetsfan80 said:

One could also argue that the teams that were already good destinations were already run by GM's very good at talent evaluation.  Hence, they were probably more capable of finding a quality QB prospect, even when picking later in the draft.

Take the Chiefs and Andy Reid, for instance.  Alex Smith was coming off a career year.  Yet Andy Reid decided to trade up to acquire Mahomes.  Yes, it was a perfect situation for a young QB to come to.  But Reid obviously felt VERY highly of Mahomes to make a move like that.  He had a decent idea that he was getting someone special.  

Meanwhile, Mike Maccagnan takes Christian Hackenberg, and the Box Safety over Mahomes/Watson.  Because that's what bad organizations do:  They don't evaluate talent properly.

 

By this logic IF we finally have a good talent evaluator at GM then even without Lawrence on the Board we'd have to trust the Jets could pick the right needle out of the Fields, Zack Wilson, Mac Jones, Kyle Trask, Trey Lance haystack.  By law of averages I'd have to guess that at least one (probably two) of those QBs will become quality NFL starters at some point.  The challenge, as you suggest, is whether the Jets are now an organization that can evaluate talent properly?  If we had the current scouting department in place in 2018 how would they have stacked Darnold, Allen, Lamar?

 

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2 hours ago, QB1 said:

I just watched a YouTube video of Mahommes putting up 820 yards in one game at Texas Tech- how this kid wasn’t #1 overall is beyond me.

You answered your own question. 

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13 hours ago, Jetsfan80 said:

One could also argue that the teams that were already good destinations were already run by GM's very good at talent evaluation.  Hence, they were probably more capable of finding a quality QB prospect, even when picking later in the draft.

Take the Chiefs and Andy Reid, for instance.  Alex Smith was coming off a career year.  Yet Andy Reid decided to trade up to acquire Mahomes.  Yes, it was a perfect situation for a young QB to come to.  But Reid obviously felt VERY highly of Mahomes to make a move like that.  He had a decent idea that he was getting someone special.  

Meanwhile, Mike Maccagnan takes Christian Hackenberg, and the Box Safety over Mahomes/Watson.  Because that's what bad organizations do:  They don't evaluate talent properly.

And jd took a guy named James morgan over countless late rounders actually contributing to their current team...

it’s happens man

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1 minute ago, jgb said:

Only one of these QBs was materially better on his second team than his first (Tannehill) and I’d argue the improvement wasn’t as huge as some think. So no, landing spot doesn’t matter much.

Did you see Tannehill last week?  He’s a totally different player without Gase.  He actually throws downfield and plays with confidence 

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12 minutes ago, kevinc855 said:

And jd took a guy named James morgan over countless late rounders actually contributing to their current team...

it’s happens man

JD’s record is mixed at best.  But he did nail the Becton and Mims picks and got a nice package for Adams

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4 minutes ago, Philc1 said:

Did you see Tannehill last week?  He’s a totally different player without Gase.  He actually throws downfield and plays with confidence 

I watch him every week he’s my favorite player. But even granting that he’s better (he is, but I still believe the signs where there in Miami, after all I predicted a pro bowl turn around) that’s one guy on the list who became a different guy on his second team. If landing spot matters so much, where are the others?

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13 hours ago, jetstream23 said:

 

By this logic IF we finally have a good talent evaluator at GM then even without Lawrence on the Board we'd have to trust the Jets could pick the right needle out of the Fields, Zack Wilson, Mac Jones, Kyle Trask, Trey Lance haystack.  By law of averages I'd have to guess that at least one (probably two) of those QBs will become quality NFL starters at some point.  The challenge, as you suggest, is whether the Jets are now an organization that can evaluate talent properly?  If we had the current scouting department in place in 2018 how would they have stacked Darnold, Allen, Lamar?

GM is so important, the way the Bills, Browns, and Ravens have supported their young QBs is brilliant. I think stable coaching staff is important as well.

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16 hours ago, Jetsfan80 said:

One could also argue that the teams that were already good destinations were already run by GM's very good at talent evaluation.  Hence, they were probably more capable of finding a quality QB prospect, even when picking later in the draft.

Take the Chiefs and Andy Reid, for instance.  Alex Smith was coming off a career year.  Yet Andy Reid decided to trade up to acquire Mahomes.  Yes, it was a perfect situation for a young QB to come to.  But Reid obviously felt VERY highly of Mahomes to make a move like that.  He had a decent idea that he was getting someone special.  

Meanwhile, Mike Maccagnan takes Christian Hackenberg, and the Box Safety over Mahomes/Watson.  Because that's what bad organizations do:  They don't evaluate talent properly.

Interesting point but I think the good situation point still stands. Are a lot of these QBs surviving here under 2 years of Gase and 1 year of Macc? 
 

I know we think Sam sucks but I’d think he has better success if he was in say, SF from the jump.

 I think Mayfields situation is a perfect example. Started with a 0-16 HC, looked OK, expected to take a jump year 2 but had just as bad a HC in Kitchens and has a meh year. Enter a good coach and surprise, he takes a jump and team enters playoffs.  

 

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21 hours ago, Jetsfan80 said:

Meanwhile, Mike Maccagnan takes Christian Hackenberg, and the Box Safety over Mahomes/Watson.  Because that's what bad organizations do:  They don't evaluate talent properly.

punto

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On 12/27/2020 at 9:53 AM, Samtorobby47 said:

Interesting point but I think the good situation point still stands. Are a lot of these QBs surviving here under 2 years of Gase and 1 year of Macc? 
 

I know we think Sam sucks but I’d think he has better success if he was in say, SF from the jump.

 I think Mayfields situation is a perfect example. Started with a 0-16 HC, looked OK, expected to take a jump year 2 but had just as bad a HC in Kitchens and has a meh year. Enter a good coach and surprise, he takes a jump and team enters playoffs.  

 

Put it this way.  If Andy Reid had drafted Sam Darnold, he'd have been looking for his replacement in 1-2 seasons.  Then again, Reid probably would have never been dumb enough to take a flawed prospect like Darnold in the first place.

Destination and organization can help make a good QB great.  It can't make a bad QB good.  No one can do that.  Sam Darnold in Kansas City would just be a bad QB with great coaching and weapons.

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