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Assuming similar production, would you rather take a third-round (or fifth-round) quarterback or an eighth-round quarterback?
The third-rounder is Michael Vick. The fifth-rounder is Tony Romo.
The eighth-rounder is Jay Cutler.
In Vick's sensational 2010 season, he had a 22.0 FPPG average.
In Vick's disappointing 2011 season, he had a—wait for it—20.1 FPPG average.
To Vick's credit, he did finish strong in Weeks 15 and 16 as he re-discovered tight end Brent Celek. But Vick is a health risk, not playing all 16 games for the Eagles in any of his three seasons with the team so far.
Furthermore, the Eagles return essentially the same offense as 2011. The only significant addition is sixth-round rookie receiver Marvin McNutt, who shows both potential and questions. And who knows which DeSean Jackson will show up.
Romo likewise lost a very valuable piece of the offense when receiver Laurent Robinson signed with Jacksonville. Recall Week 14, when Robinson outshined fellow receivers Miles Austin and Dez Bryant.
Last season, Romo averaged 21.2 FPPG with three talented receivers. This season, he is down to two.
Meanwhile, Cutler averaged 16.2 FPPG in 2011 with skank at receiver (the one-trick pony Johnny Knox and overrated Devin Hester). His best weapon was possession receiver Earl Bennett.
This year, Cutler has Pro Bowl receiver (and former teammate) Brandon Marshall along with a couple new talents in second-round draft pick Alshon Jeffery and fourth-round tight end Evan Rodriguez.
In addition, offensive coordinator Mike Tice will be calling plays. As the former offensive line coach, he will know how to minimize the offensive line's weaknesses and has led productive offenses with the Vikings.
What's more, Tice will have input from quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates, who called the plays when Cutler and Marshall led the league's second-most productive offense in 2008.
Expect Cutler to hit above 20 FPPG this season, which means if you miss out on the top-five quarterbacks, you can hold off until around the eighth round and still get solid QB1 production.