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Gambling choice: QB or not QB?

 
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Big7BenMVP


Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 93783
Location: Camarillo, CA
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:03 am    Post subject: Gambling choice: QB or not QB? Reply with quote

THE BUSTS STOP HERE!

Gambling choice: QB or not QB?

QB or not QB? The decision is made tougher by the fact that first-round quarterbacks go bust as often as they go boom. Take a look back at a decade of wasted quarterback selections. Find out what we can learn from the tragic tales of Akili Smith, Cade McNown, Rick Mirer and a few others...

1999 Akili Smith (third-overall pick by the Bengals)
Bust index: Moderate. Smith could still get a change of scenery and emerge as a starting candidate, though it gets less likely every year.
Lesson No. 1: One great college season isn't a career. Smith only really had one dominating season at Oregon. Other 1999 QBs, like Daunte Culpepper, Shaun King, Donovan McNabb, and (to be fair) the next guy on the list had all been productive at the I-A level for several years.
Lesson No. 2: Check with the offensive coordinator. Then coach Bruce Coslet preferred traditional, drop-back passers to rollout athletes like Smith, so Smith was yanked at the first sign of trouble. He was only given one fair crack at the starting job.

1999 Cade McNown (12th-overall pick by the Bears)
Bust index: High. McNown wore out his welcome in Chicago and was dropped like a plutonium rod when the team had a chance to release him.
Lesson No. 1: Interview carefully. McNown alienated teammates and acted like an immature jerk at times in Chicago. Teams have to get as good a grasp of a kid's personality as they get of his 40-time.
Lesson No. 2: Don't get cute with development. McNown was sent out to play a series or two per game in an effort to get his feet wet. He developed bad habits, the team lost confidence in him, and the whole experiment was a counterproductive distraction.

1997 Ryan Leaf (second-overall pick by the Chargers)
Bust Index: Epic. Leaf will be the answer to a trivia question 50 years from now.
Lesson No. 1: Interview carefully. Legend has it that Bobby Beathard and the Chargers had plenty of red flags about Leaf's character issues, but they chose to ignore them. Big mistake.
Lesson No. 2: Have a development plan. The only other QBa on the roster when Leaf was drafted were Craig Whelihan and Moses Moreno. Things might have been different if Leaf was allowed to ride the bench, stay out of the spotlight, and learn behind a journeyman.

1997 Jim Druckenmiller (26th-overall pick by the 49ers)
Bust Index: Moderate. Druckenmiller flamed out, but he was picked later in the round by a 49ers team looking for a developmental player, not a savior.
Lesson No. 1: Interview carefully. Druckenmiller was known as a kid with a defensive tackle's mentality. Unfortunately, he also had a defensive tackle's command of the offense, and successful QBs are usually a little more buttoned-down, especially in San Francisco.
Lesson No. 2: Check with the offensive coordinator. Druckenmiller was a big, thick, dropback passer. The 49ers run a West Coast offense. It doesn't add up.

1994 Heath Shuler (third-overall pick by the Redskins)
Bust Index: High. Shuler played 19 games for the Redskins. He lost the confidence of the franchise not long after his first shaky starts.
Lesson No. 1: Have a development plan. And stick to it. John Freisz started over Shuler in 1994 but got hurt. Shuler had a couple of rocky appearances, and Norv Turner started waffling between the two of them, throwing Gus Frerotte into the mix as well. No one benefited.
Lesson No. 2: One quarterback at a time. When Shuler was picked in the first round and Frerote in the seventh, it was almost guaranteed that Frerote would become an underdog hero. Shuler had to battle the Washington fans and media in his second season, and it was a futile exercise.

1993 Rick Mirer (second-overall pick by the Seahawks)
Bust Index: Low. Mirer started out strong and was a decent quarterback in his first two seasons. Ignoring Neil Young, he faded away instead of burning out.
Lesson No. 1: Have a development plan. Or, don't have four development plans. Mirer had a different offensive coordinator every year in Seattle. By the end, he was a confused, tentative mess who looked like he was trying to follow 30 sets of instructions at once.
Lesson No. 2: Let the kid be aggressive. Mirer wasn't that mistake prone, by the standards of young passers. But his coaches had a fetish about getting him to avoid turnovers. Mirer started out as a daring, gifted scrambler who wanted to make things happen. He ended up as a custodial guy who wouldn't leave the pocket or throw down the field for fear of making a mistake.

1992 David Klingler (sixth-overall pick by the Bengals)
Bust Index: High. Klingler is part of a grand tradition of wasted Bengals first round selections.
Lesson No. 1: One great college season isn't a career. Klingler was a record setter at Houston as a junior and had great stats as a senior (3,818 yards, 29 TDs). However, he played in a run-and-shoot offense, so those senior stats were deceptive. The Bengals drafted a guy who was only dominating for one year.
Lesson No. 2: Give the kid a chance. When Klingler got his shot in 1993, Cincinnati had no running game, and their best receivers were the inexperienced Carl Pickens and a 165-pound journeyman named Jeff Query. It's no surprise that Klingler struggled.

1992 Tommy Maddox (25th-overall pick by the Broncos)
Bust Index: Low. Maddox wasn't a big gamble at the 25th spot, and he eventually turned into a solid pro. It only took a decade.
Lesson No. 1: Have a development plan. It was really too soon to appoint an heir to John Elway. Did Dan Reeves expect to keep Maddox on the bench for five years? Well, it turns out that Maddox did ride the bench for Reeves - in two cities - for that long.
Lesson No. 2: Interview carefully. Maddox wasn't a jerk, but he wasn't ready for the pressure that was put on him in Denver and New York.

CRITERIA: To qualify as a bust, a quarterback had to be selected in the first round. Their success had to be limited, making for a few borderline cases. A "bust index" helps separate the historic flops from the mere disappointments. Recent QBs get a pass, so this list starts with the Class of 1999, which has already provided some big-time blunders...
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Link To Article: Gambling choice: QB or not QB?
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Cincinnati Kid


Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 1269
Location: Just outside the Twin Cities, MN
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that QBs in the first are obviously under a great deal of pressure and a microscope because the QB is the engine that drives the bus. There have been a number of players that have been disappointments but because they were not QBs, they don't get the bad pub of being a bust. Interesting article BigBen.

Also, that is kind to call Akili a moderate bust. I live by a certain code when it comes to drafting QBs now which includes:

1)a QB who starts less than two full years is much more likely to be a bust (Akili started part of Jr. year and all of Sr. year)

2)a QB that scores below a 20 on the Wunderlich is too stupid to be an NFL QB, since QBs and OL typically have the best scores. (Akili scored below a 16 his first time taking it; 37 on his second try after practicing)
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vike daddy


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Joined: 12 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cincinnati Kid wrote:

2)a QB that scores below a 20 on the Wunderlich is too stupid to be an NFL QB,



dan marino scored a 14.
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Cincinnati Kid


Joined: 07 Mar 2005
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Location: Just outside the Twin Cities, MN
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I stand corrected. Maybe I am just a little bitter about the whole Akili Smith fiasco. Also, and this is probably old news, found Wonderlic scores for QBs past and present:

http://www.macmirabile.com/Wonderlic/Wonderlic.htm
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