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Flawed - Discarded High Round QB Draft Choices


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There are infinite variables which ultimately makes drafting QBs a crapshoot. The reason certain guys get drafted high is because either their measurables stand out significantly or they look good on tape and come from programs that prepare them well for pro style football. I don't think there will ever be a way to rethink the approach to scouting that will drastically improve the likelihood of drafting a successful QB.. I think it will always be a crapshoot in terms of drafting but in terms of development, yeah there is plenty of room for improvement.

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How about all the guys that had those red flags, that actually ended up sucking?

It's a crap shoot - so you draft high the guys with the most upside and do your best to build a team around him and coach him properly.

The more naturally gifted (i.e. speed, power, arm strength, accuracy) you are the higher you'll be drafted - But there are just so many variables that it doesn't mean people with less natural talent can't be successful.

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5 minutes ago, FidelioJet said:

How about all the guys that had those red flags, that actually ended up sucking?

It's a crap shoot - so you draft high the guys with the most upside and do your best to build a team around him and coach him properly.

The more naturally gifted (i.e. speed, power, arm strength, accuracy) you are the higher you'll be drafted - But there are just so many variables that it doesn't mean people with less natural talent can't be successful.

Agreed, for every brady there is a laundry list of 6th and 7th round guys who get picked and never throw a pass.

It's a crap shoot and it will always be that way.

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19 minutes ago, Warfish said:

But since many an NFL front office believe in the "can only win if we hit gold on a franchise QB on their rookie contract" theory, and fans always demand (loudly) that shiny new picks play ASAP, it just doesn't happen.

Part of that is the fact that if you want to keep a quarterback past his rookie contract today you have to pay him 20-25% of your team's salary cap. That drives a lot of the teams to start a rookie day 1.

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23 minutes ago, THE BARON said:

I think NFL teams need to rethink tir entire approach to scouting, drafting and developing franchise QB's.  I am sure there is very good talent to be had and nurtured in every draft beyond the QB's prospects that are expected to go in the first round. 

As @Warfish stated, it is an investment.  Look, both the Patriots and Jets' will have to decide on the 5th year option for their respective QBs.   Outside of Lawrence, I doubt any of the other four teams are dying to pick-up a 30 million dollar option.  

I agree the NFL does need to rethink their approach.  If you do not have a top tier QB (e.g. Mahomes, Allen, Burrow, etc.), draft a QB every year.  I agree with the point of drafting a QB every year.  

What does an AFC team have to lose?  You are probably not getting by the Top 5 QBs anyways.  Take a calculated chance.

 

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19 minutes ago, FidelioJet said:

How about all the guys that had those red flags, that actually ended up sucking?

It's a crap shoot - so you draft high the guys with the most upside and do your best to build a team around him and coach him properly.

The more naturally gifted (i.e. speed, power, arm strength, accuracy) you are the higher you'll be drafted - But there are just so many variables that it doesn't mean people with less natural talent can't be successful.

There should be provisions for the NFL to have more spots on the practice squad or totally revamp the idea of what a practice squad is.  Look at how many pitchers that a minor league baseball team carries.  Given that pitchers are so important, those minor league rosters are packed with pitchers.

The NFL teams should have a lot more room on practice squads and they should be actual practice/developmental squads and not just an afterthought.  

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5 minutes ago, Flightattendant said:

Let me start my reply by revealing a bit about myself.  I'm Canadian and still live in Canada. I love football but I live for hockey. 

I think most of the player development in the NFL is flawed. I don't really believe there's any system in place for a player to grow if I'm being honest. There's only 17 games in a season, meaning every game is crucial. Teams can't afford to have players in the field that make mistakes.

News flash... Young players make mistakes. So in turn when a young player makes mistakes they ride the pine. You don't get better at a sport by sitting on the side line. You grow by learning from said mistakes. 

Sure these players get reps in practice and are expected to develop in that setting, but let's be honest with ourselves, practice isn't even close to an actual game in terms of intensity.

So in short, if a player doesn't show they're ready for the bigs in 1-2 years, teams tend to move on. Even if that player is lucky enough to land on another team, now they're learning an entirely new system in an entirely new environment with the same cut throat performance based playing time. 

Now let's look at the NHL. Most players, regardless of draft pedigree or position, don't see the NHL for 2+ years after their draft. Now that doesn't mean they're just getting practice reps. They can cook in the CHL, USHL, AHL, NCAA and even euro leagues. These contracts and player rights usually slide for 3 years before a team can decide if they're ready to even touch NHL ice. Even then they're eligible to be sent to the minors to tune their game if it falls off during the regular season. 

 

If you're looking for proof of this development look no further than your own rangers. 

 

Panarin was 24 in his first NHL season.

Schneider cooked for 2 years in the CHL and AHL before becoming a full time nhler

The senators gave up on zibanejad because they didn't let him cook long enough

As a first overall pick Lafreniere has struggled in the NHL up until now, I feel like he's blossoming right before our eyes. 

Most of these players would have already wasted their "chance" in the NFL. 

 

 

In short. The NFL needs a true developmental league with NFL owned affiliates like the NHL/AHL. Teams need to be more patient with young players.

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting parallel and the adage that NFL teams can't afford to make a high draft pick sit, is illogical. They can't afford to NOT sit them if it's a particular football position that requires maturation and if the rookie comes from a background of limited college experience.

Geno Smith's maturity level and dedication was always the big issue. He matured slowly as a leader making lots of questionable decisions before a mid-career confluence of circumstances allowed his late blooming in Seattle. He is a very good QB; has he the potential of a super bowl QB? 

Daniel Jones is a very good qb; has he Super Bowl potential?

Most fans and franchises want a qb that will at least give them a chance to get them there.

Smith and Jones do that. They could possibly, if the stars allign on a full moon, win a Super bowl. Each qb require incredible patience. I would not love either as my qb, both qb's have a great coach and a stable franchise.

College experience, size, weight, injury history are all crucial factors that should compete  with  "wow"  Pro Day throws and talent obvious on film. 

Too much emphasis is based on raw talent and not enough on maturity, college experience, size/weight and injury history. These other factors loom large in whether a qb sticks.

Zach Willson had the eye catching raw talent  on film. What  became obvious long after he was drafted was that he was immature in the face of adversity. More importantly what was obvious at that time of the draft was that he was lacking sufficient college game experience (partly due to the C19 effect on the college football season). Plus he lacked a robust size/weight combined with a noteworthy college injury history.

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4 minutes ago, Gangrene said:

Too much emphasis is based on raw talent and not enough on maturity, college experience, size/weight and injury history. These other factors loom large in whether a qb sticks.

Zach Willson had the eye catching raw talent  on film. What  became obvious long after he was drafted was that he was immature in the face of adversity. More importantly what was obvious at that time of the draft was that he was lacking sufficient college game experience (partly due to the C19 effect on the college football season). Plus he lacked a robust size/weight combined with a noteworthy college injury history.

yes, Yes and YES.  Egg-Zactly

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I've always thought it was insanity to draft a 21-22 year old in late April and expect him to be ready to lead the team at the most complex position in all of sports by early September.  That's 4 months of preparation. In what other industry is a kid that age given the keys to the car and expected to lead an organization successfully.  That doesn't even take into account the added pressure of dubious teammates who are asked to sacrifice valuable time of their career (not to mention squandered earnings potential playing with a newbie) all in the cause of long term growth for a team which he may not even be part of.  I'd argue that spending the first year watching and learning from experienced pros and getting coached up would be infinitely more valuable than the 16 games of missed starter's reps.  And if he looks like he's ready to go by late in the season get him into a game or two if it is not meaningful to the standings to get his feet wet and give him a feel of the experience in preparation for the following year.  There is no doubt there are more young QBs ruined than developed, it's not all bad drafting.      

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2 hours ago, THE BARON said:

Been pondering...

I'm beginning  to think that there are many more QB's to be had in the draft beyond the top few that are always spoken about any given year.

Perhaps there is a systemic problem with the way NFL teams approach the acquisition and training of a QB prospect.  

It seems as if "go fever" may be the problem.  Back in the 70's and 80's, we were all resigned to having a QB prospect sit on the bench and learn for a few seasons before they took the field.  It was a matter or course, even for prospects drafted very high in the first round.

Then, comes the pass happy NFL with new rules that have turned the game into a track and field event.  And the pro offenses are now much closer to what is done in college.  Spread sets, air raid, shotgun, pistol and so on.  

So... We all figure now that your newly drafted QB is good to start day one.  And if he does not pan out, we identify a critical flaw.  This guy simply cant play the pro game.  End of story, and of NFL career.

Consider this:

I. I was SURE and so were many others that Josh Allen would never be a good pro.  Too erratic. Not accurate.  NO QB ever improves on accuracy from college to pro.  Enter Dabol, and then evaluate Josh Allen.

2. I was SURE Daniel Jones would never make a good pro.  ZERO pocket sense.  You can count on him burping up the ball every time a rusher comes from around the corner.  Enter Dabol. and Jones had a solid performance despite not having good pass catchers.

3. Geno Smith.  Can NOT see the whole field.  Does not go through his progression.  Runs right and only sees the right side of the field.  He cant play.  After a few years under proper coaching, now he can play the pro game.

4.  Mr. Irrelevant. Brock Purdy.  His scouting report looked like a report card from one of the Sweathogs.  He can NOT play the pro game all figured,  And now ???

I think NFL teams need to rethink their entire approach to scouting, drafting and developing franchise QB's.  I am sure there is very good talent to be had and nurtured in every draft beyond the QB's prospects that are expected to go in the first round. 

Good evidence that QBs are a function of the development they get from the team. Zach is broken, but LaFleur and the pitiful way they handled the QB position is why he was broken. LaFleur is the worst OC we have ever had and we have had some serious clunkers

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2 hours ago, FidelioJet said:

How about all the guys that had those red flags, that actually ended up sucking?

It's a crap shoot - so you draft high the guys with the most upside and do your best to build a team around him and coach him properly.

The more naturally gifted (i.e. speed, power, arm strength, accuracy) you are the higher you'll be drafted - But there are just so many variables that it doesn't mean people with less natural talent can't be successful.

Its not as much of a crap shoot as people want to make it out to be. Very few if any QB's ever come out flawless, most have flaws. Good coaches know how to fix those flaws, and coach to their QB's strenghts. Bad coaches try to fit the QB to their system. There are a lot of really bad coaches. This is why when good coaches become avaialble, you have to do everything in your power to get them

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2 hours ago, Warfish said:

The problem is that QB's are not well-trained in college, and then are rushed to start right away due to the investment cost at the Pro level.

This is made even more problematic for smaller-school QB's who play against 2nd or 3rd tier competition in college, because the disparity in competition talent is just massive.

I believe many QB prospects would be better served, and their teams better served, by a year or two of sitting, watching, and leaning and practice reps under pro-level coaches.

But since many an NFL front office believe in the "can only win if we hit gold on a franchise QB on their rookie contract" theory, and fans always demand (loudly) that shiny new picks play ASAP, it just doesn't happen.

This x 1000. I would also add that in the last 10-15 years the college systems are so much different than the NFL systems. It used to be that many colleges were running NFL light offenses, not any more. This is partly what leads to the not being well trained. They are focussing the training on the aspects that are more needed for the college offense, not the NFL offense, and with the differences, those gaps are really dangerous.

QB's confidence is critical. You don't get to the NFL if you can't complete a 10 yard swing pass, or a 10 yard simple out. The reason these guys struggle with simple things in the NFL is because they lose their confidence and don't know what they are looking, because they are not ready to start from day 1 in most cases.

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I think others have stated the problems pretty well. The qb position is the one where a guy coming out of college has to make the  greatest leap to make it in the nfl or any other position.  The offenses have gotten pretty complicated as have the defenses so the rookie QBs frequently have no idea where they are supposed to go. And given the short duration of the rookie contract prevents teams from sitting a rookie for a full season. Maybe the solution is to add a year to rookie qb contracts so teams have an incentive to train him more.

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While I agree with most of what has been said, without a good offensive line (that can both pass protect and establish a running game), you are basically asking any rookie QB to learn on the job while running for his life on every play. Then because of our OL's inability to control the line scrimmage we have poor pass blocking and little to no blocking for the running game . . . which results in our rookie QB's getting hurt. I am not a Zach fan and would like to not see him be our starting QB, but we give almost any QB we bring in here very little chance for success without a much improved OL.

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42 minutes ago, HighPitch said:

in the end, no matter how its spun and taking away a few exceptions to the rule, the higher a qb is drafted the more successful they are in the nfl

That is at least partially a result of the GM and HC having pride of authorship in their high round draft choice.  They will flog a dead horse to prove they are smart, and would never expend the same effort on a later round draft pick that could potentially work out with the proper nurturing, 

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Coaching matters far more than people think as many of us have said. Developing players matters. Calling plays is easy when you have a finished product or special talent running things on the field. The great/good coaches are the ones that make players better. Whereas if you've played Madden chances are you can call a game from the sidelines too. This has been a problem for the jets particularly on O for some time.

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It isn't the change in the game that makes teams rush QBs.  It is the change in the contract system.  You HAVE to know what you have by the start of year 4.  How are you going to do that if you let a kid sit for 2-3 years?  

I don't think these QBs that you missed thoughts on are anything new.  Plunkett was a bust.  Brees was too short.  Testaverde and Young were horrors in Tampa.  Russell Wilson going in the 3rd.  QB has always been a crapshoot and it is generally too important to putz around with, so teams are not in love with taking a shot on other teams failures..  

I always thought Allen had a pretty good shot because he is a physical beast.  That is the one thing you can't really develop.  Same reason I have not written Lance off yet.  I don't think Geno was as bad as we treated him, but he isn't as good as people are thinking now.  The offensive coaching he developed under was. . . Brian Schottenheimer?   Joking, but I think he is the one that brought Geno in.

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On 3/9/2023 at 12:56 PM, johnnysd said:

Good evidence that QBs are a function of the development they get from the team. Zach is broken, but LaFleur and the pitiful way they handled the QB position is why he was broken. LaFleur is the worst OC we have ever had and we have had some serious clunkers

Zach Wilson is “broken” because he started getting hit for the first time in his life and decided he’s more of a pickleball guy. 

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9 minutes ago, #27TheDominator said:

It isn't the change in the game that makes teams rush QBs.  It is the change in the contract system.  You HAVE to know what you have by the start of year 4.  How are you going to do that if you let a kid sit for 2-3 years?  

I don't think these QBs that you missed thoughts on are anything new.  Plunkett was a bust.  Brees was too short.  Testaverde and Young were horrors in Tampa.  Russell Wilson going in the 3rd.  QB has always been a crapshoot and it is generally too important to putz around with, so teams are not in love with taking a shot on other teams failures..  

I always thought Allen had a pretty good shot because he is a physical beast.  That is the one thing you can't really develop.  Same reason I have not written Lance off yet.  I don't think Geno was as bad as we treated him, but he isn't as good as people are thinking now.  The offensive coaching he developed under was. . . Brian Schottenheimer?   Joking, but I think he is the one that brought Geno in.

I heard a good interview with a former scout. He said the biggest change in scouting QBs has come from analytics playing too big a role in assessing these kids, especially the big program guys who play with a bunch of five stars. Of course their pure passing numbers are going to look amazing. But, in the pros, you don’t get as many pure pass sets because the pass rushes are so much better. In the olden days, every college QB got beat to sh*t. Nowadays, many of them can play on Saturdays wearing a tuxedo, so there’s not as much tape of these guys dealing with that adversity

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2 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

I heard a good interview with a former scout. He said the biggest change in scouting QBs has come from analytics playing too big a role in assessing these kids, especially the big program guys who play with a bunch of five stars. Of course their pure passing numbers are going to look amazing. But, in the pros, you don’t get as many pure pass sets because the pass rushes are so much better. In the olden days, every college QB got beat to sh*t. Nowadays, many of them can play on Saturdays wearing a tuxedo, so there’s not as much tape of these guys dealing with that adversity

Some are now using the S2 test to evaluate recognition skills.  Wonder what/if ZW got.

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On 3/9/2023 at 7:57 AM, Flightattendant said:

Let me start my reply by revealing a bit about myself.  I'm Canadian and still live in Canada. I love football but I live for hockey. 

I think most of the player development in the NFL is flawed. I don't really believe there's any system in place for a player to grow if I'm being honest. There's only 17 games in a season, meaning every game is crucial. Teams can't afford to have players in the field that make mistakes.

News flash... Young players make mistakes. So in turn when a young player makes mistakes they ride the pine. You don't get better at a sport by sitting on the side line. You grow by learning from said mistakes. 

Sure these players get reps in practice and are expected to develop in that setting, but let's be honest with ourselves, practice isn't even close to an actual game in terms of intensity.

So in short, if a player doesn't show they're ready for the bigs in 1-2 years, teams tend to move on. Even if that player is lucky enough to land on another team, now they're learning an entirely new system in an entirely new environment with the same cut throat performance based playing time. 

Now let's look at the NHL. Most players, regardless of draft pedigree or position, don't see the NHL for 2+ years after their draft. Now that doesn't mean they're just getting practice reps. They can cook in the CHL, USHL, AHL, NCAA and even euro leagues. These contracts and player rights usually slide for 3 years before a team can decide if they're ready to even touch NHL ice. Even then they're eligible to be sent to the minors to tune their game if it falls off during the regular season. 

 

If you're looking for proof of this development look no further than your own rangers. 

 

Panarin was 24 in his first NHL season.

Schneider cooked for 2 years in the CHL and AHL before becoming a full time nhler

The senators gave up on zibanejad because they didn't let him cook long enough

As a first overall pick Lafreniere has struggled in the NHL up until now, I feel like he's blossoming right before our eyes. 

Most of these players would have already wasted their "chance" in the NFL.

In short. The NFL needs a true developmental league with NFL owned affiliates like the NHL/AHL. Teams need to be more patient with young players.

Quality post.

The Packers model seems to work just fine.

Draft or trade for late 1st round QB.  Sit him for 3 years and let him develop.

Even Mahomes sat a year.

But it is what it is.  The lack of a minor leagues and practice time and CBA-limited access to these guys is why coaching is paramount in the NFL.  A guy like Andy Reid is worth his weight in gold.  You need talent maximizers.

The Jets messed up by rolling with ZW uncontested as a rookie.

I don't think ZW has the mental makeup to succeed regardless though.   The raw physical talent is there, but everything else with him is a dumpster fire.

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On 3/9/2023 at 9:42 AM, Warfish said:

The problem is that QB's are not well-trained in college, and then are rushed to start right away due to the investment cost at the Pro level.

This is made even more problematic for smaller-school QB's who play against 2nd or 3rd tier competition in college, because the disparity in competition talent is just massive.

I believe many QB prospects would be better served, and their teams better served, by a year or two of sitting, watching, and leaning and practice reps under pro-level coaches.

But since many an NFL front office believe in the "can only win if we hit gold on a franchise QB on their rookie contract" theory, and fans always demand (loudly) that shiny new picks play ASAP, it just doesn't happen.

Add to that how many QBs come out early in the draft.   20 years ago, it was not uncommon to draft a 22, 23 year old QB.   Now, guys are coming out barely 21.  There is a physical and mental maturity that goes on in that extra 1-2 years.

Further, by staying in college, they had more field reps.  Peyton Manning had 40+ starts in college,  Zach had half that.  It was one of the reasons Lawrence was so exceptional, even though he came out early, he had 40 games played with over 1100 pass attempts.

Justin Fields had 618 pass attempts in college, Zach had 800.

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