Throughout the process, many Bills fans have been making their voices heard as to whom the team should take at quarterback. Some want Cam Newton, some Blaine Gabbert, some say wait until next year to go hard after Andrew Luck. There have been a growing number of fans lately proposing that the Bills should take their quarterback of the future at the top of round two with pick No. 34.
A good idea, you say? Draft defensive help in the first round, then in round two go get that quarterback we need so desperately, be it Christian Ponder, Colin Kaepernick or as I saw someone suggest, Ryan Mallett. But is that the way the Bills should go? There are those, myself included, who say that the first two rounds should be spent addressing the team's obvious defensive deficiencies, then worry about other positions.
But we need a quarterback is the response I've heard.
Well, maybe we do. I'm not one of those disagreeing with the need at the position. However, after a bit of research, I've found a number of good reasons why the Bills should select anything but a quarterback in the second round. What follows is a list of the 10 quarterbacks taken in the second round since 2001.
After you peruse this list, I'd like to hear from you. Given these odds, how do you feel about selecting a quarterback in the second round? Did this change your mind, or are you still on board with the idea?
Whatever your view on the subject is now or later, this list is sure to raise some eyebrows, so let's get started!
Marques Tuiasosopo was picked in the 2nd round in 2001 by the Raiders
Marques Tuiasosopo was selected in the second round of the 2001 draft by Oakland. In eight career seasons, the perennial backup threw all of 90 passes. That's just a bit more than 11 passes a season.
Think that's a bad start? There's one more from 2001 that's even better!
Owner/coach/general manager/waterboy Jerry Jones picked Quincy Carter in the second round of the 2001 draft for the Cowboys, then proceeded to tell anyone who would listen, and some who knew better, that Carter was going to "take the Cowboys back where we belong."
Well, as far as I'm concerned, he succeeded, but then again, the mere mention of the Cowboys has always made me nauseated, so I may not be the best judge of where they belong. What I can judge however, is the fact that after 31 starts in his first three seasons, as well as a playoff appearance, Carter crashed and burned. He couldn't get along with Coach Bill Parcells and had a series of drug problems.
Since his talent never did compare with LT, Parcells wasn't having any of that and promptly replaced him in the lineup, subsequently letting him go. The Jets found out how correct Parcells judgment was in short order.
The San Diego Chargers GM John Butler made the one quarterback choice in the second round of the past decade that hit it big when he picked Drew Brees out of Purdue. Brees is a former Super Bowl MVP and has thrown for over 3,000 yards in every season of his career that he's been a full-time starter. After severely injuring his rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder at the end of the 2005 season, the Chargers opted to go with the future of the franchise, Philip Rivers, whom they traded with the Giants to get during the 2004 draft.
Brees was allowed to become a free agent, and the Saints elected to take a chance on Brees surgically repaired shoulder and signed him. A wise gamble, one would have to say.
The Vikings drafted Tavaris Jackson in the second round of the 2006 draft, believing they had found their quarterback of the future. Then, in 2009, along came Brett Favre and all that thinking changed. Jackson was exiled to the bench and has started only one game since. He saw the field often prior to that, with career stats that reflected mediocrity.
Jackson threw 24 touchdowns to 22 picks in six seasons, compiling a 58.7 completion percentage and a 76.6 career passing rating. Jackson is now a free agent and the Vikings are once again looking for a quarterback of the future.
Clemens was sent shooting up draft boards by an avalanche of pre-draft hype from TV draft analysts, but he has quickly lived down to his pre-hype evaluations as a mediocre quarterback, best suited to carry a clipboard. In his five pro seasons, Clemens has amassed a 51.8 completion percentage while managing five touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a seriously subpar 59.7 quarterback rating.
Realizing the mediocrity of Clemens, the Jets traded up in the 2010 draft to grab Mark Sanchez. How that turns out is still to be determined, but if nothing else, Sanchez has looked better than Clemens for whatever that may be worth.
The Detroit Lions picked homegrown prospect Drew Stanton out of Michigan State in the second round in 2007, but he's never really had the chance to see much action, not that he's exactly been encouraging in the opportunities he's had.
In his three career seasons, Stanton has thrown five touchdowns to nine interceptions, with a completion percentage of 55.6, to go with a quarterback rating of 63.1. Not exactly confidence inspiring numbers, which is most likely why his chances have been limited. The Lions are undoubtedly hoping Matthew Stafford can stay in one piece this season so they don't have to use Stanton.
In the 2007 draft, the Miami Dolphins selected quarterback John Beck, who started four games for the Dolphins that year as they went 1-15. Beck's contribution, if you could call it that, was one touchdown and three interceptions with a 56.1 completion percentage, and a passer rating of 62.0. Beck has not played since, manning the bench for Miami in 2008, Baltimore in 2009 and Washington in 2010. Languishing at the bottom of the depth chart. Not what you'd call a rousing success.
In 2007, Philadelphia drafted Kevin Kolb to be the eventual successor to long-time quarterback Donovan McNabb. Kolb saw McNabb traded away prior to the 2010 season, and the way was cleared for him to take the reins of the Eagles offense. Unfortunately for Kolb, that was about as good as it got in 2010.
Near the end of the second quarter in the opener against Green Bay, Clay Matthews rode Kolb into the ground face first and hard. The result was a concussion and a door opened for Mike Vick, who played so spectacularly in the two games Kolb missed that head coach Andy Reid had utterly no choice but to stay with Vick, who went on to put together the season that he was supposed to be having after being selected first overall by Atlanta in 2001, but to this point was his career season.
Vick did miss a few games due to injured ribs, with Kolb being solid, if unspectacular in relief. With four year career starts of 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, along with a completion percentage of 60.8 and a passer rating of 73.2, all Kolb may need is a new home to prove his worth.
The Eagles, to all appearances, are willing to trade him once they can, so he should get that chance.
Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne joins the parade in 2008, though some might say the jury is still out on Henne. His career numbers are not horrible, but not confidence inspiring either. In three seasons, Henne has thrown 27 touchdowns to 33 picks, completing 61.1 percent of his passes, to go with a passer rating of 75.3. Now, Henne bore no credit for the Dolphins turnaround season of 2008, playing in only three games that year.
The question seems to be, have we seen the best Henne has to offer, or can he grow from here, perhaps with a change of scenery? Time will tell, but even though the stats show it's possible, his play has seemed to be stagnant. If he does receive an opportunity with another team, it will most likely be only after the Dolphins release him, because it would be difficult to say he has much, if any, trade value at this juncture.
Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson made one of his few truly wretched picks in 2008 when he selected Brian Brohm in the second round out of Louisville. He was coached there by myriad numbers of family members, a product of a high-octane system installed there. Clearly, that was his apex. Brohm has started all of two games in three seasons and has compiled numbers that can only be called awful in that time.
Zero touchdowns, five interceptions, a completion percentage of 51.9 and a stunningly bad passer rating of 26.0 seal the deal. We can officially call Brohm the very definition of a second-round bust.
If you guessed that the theme I made reference of was the Dolphins striking out three times on second round quarterbacks in the last ten years, give yourself a "like!"
Miami drafted Pat White as a QB/wideout after debuting the "Wildcat" the year before making the playoffs. The expectation was that it was perfectly suited for White, who would be a huge success in the formation.
In 13 games in 2009, White had a mere 81 yards rushing and threw five incomplete passes. The Dolphins cut White prior to the 2010 season, putting both parties out of their misery, officially making White a bust.
Okay, I'm not going to foolishly call Clausen a bust yet. It wouldn't be fair to say the verdict is in after only one season, one spent with the worst team in the league at that. It would, however, be an honest assessment to say that neither Clausen's play or his numbers have inspired any confidence in Carolina, who is rumored to be strongly considering a quarterback with the first overall pick next month.
Clausen played in 13 games, starting 10 of them, compiling numbers that were far from impressive. He threw three touchdowns to go with nine picks, completing 52.5 percent of his passes, while achieving a passer rating of 58.4 in the process. Clausen also contributed nine fumbles, somehow losing only two. Looking at that, it may be no wonder that the Panthers may take a quarterback with the No. 1 pick overall.
After compiling this, I went back to see how many of these 12 second-round quarterbacks selected in the last 10 years could be fairly called busts.
By my count, I determined that eight of them (White, Brohm, Beck, Stanton, Clemens, Jackson, Carter, and Tuiasosopo) can fairly be called busts, three who it can be said the jury is still out on (Clausen, Henne, and Kolb,) with only one, Drew Brees, who can be called a total success. Those numbers surely don't reflect any success with second-round quarterbacks over the last decade, and while that by itself is no guarantee that the trend will continue, it may make a resoundingly loud warning: If you plan on taking a quarterback in the second round, don't reach on him, and make sure that his value really does reflect second round value.
Failing to do those things, well, let the buyer beware!
Now I want to hear from you. Did this have any effect on your thinking in terms of the Bills taking a QB in the second round, or not?
Do you think this is all just coincidence, bad luck or examples of poor drafting?
Or maybe you think I'm off base, that I've over-stated the number of busts? Whatever you think, it's your turn.
Let me hear from you!