I have been seeing a few mock drafts that have the bills taking a QB with their #9 pick. Having just read an interesting article about the difficulty in picking a successful QB I wondered what the facts were. Do QBs drafted high do better than ones taken later? Success might be defined by entering the Hall of Fame, winning (or even playing) in a Superbowl, or playing in the Probowl. As information on the first two was easiest to find I started there. I used DraftHistory.com to find information on HOF QBs, Superbowl QBs, and QBs drafted every year. The graphic below shows the average round and overall position a SB or HOF QB was drafted at, and a by round percentage.
Given some of the comments I thought I would tease out a bit more information from this data. So I looked at all QBs drafted and compared that to how many made the SB or HOF. The lead time required to enter the HOF (an average of 23 years) means that HOF caliber players playing recently are not included, so I bracketed my sample population to at 1989, the last draft year of a HOF inducted QB. Likewise, I limited my SB sample population to 1955, the first year a SB QB was drafted.
Having said that, the data does indicate that there is a strong correlation between a successful QB and being picked in the first round. Interestingly, the stats jump in the third round as well.
|# of QBs drafted (pre-1989)||Avg Player #||# in HOF||% in HOF|
|7 and below||333||257||5||2%|
Finally, I looked at the idea that QBs drafted in the top 50 picks (regardless of rounds) were the most successful. The results indicate that just over 1 in 10 of top 50 QBs make it to the HOF, and 1 in 3 make it to a SB. However, some QBs went to the SB multiple times. In terms of players, only 17% of Top 50 QBs make it to the SB.
And because I can't let a job go half done, I also calculated how many QBs were selected before a Superbowl playing QB was drafted. This averages out to 2.8 for Superbowl winners and 3.1 for Superbowl losers, higher than for HOF QBs. This makes sense, as you do not have to have the best QB to play in the Superbowl, but a good QB alone is not enough to guarantee a spot. Add to that the fact that QBs tend to go faster in the earlier rounds, it means that poor teams are likely to pick up good QBs as they select first. Finally, you would some of the qualities of a future HOFer to be more apparent. However the fact remains that HOF QBs have an average of 2 QBs selected before them. This indicates that our judgement of what indicates a HOF QB are poor.
And with that, I think I am done editing this post! Sorry for the gaps, the program gets angry when you try to put new spreadsheets on top of the old and you can't delete the space!