Another piece of the QB puzzle

After reading Der Jeager’s post ,

I wanted to see in what years the current starting QBs were taken,  and how long they sat before being named the starting QB.  I decided to list them by the year they were drafted, team who drafted them, round taken in the draft, and put the number of years they sat before being named the starter, which I put in parenthesis.  I also included a few pertinent tid bits about each QB.


Atl: Farve, 2nd – (1 year).  Traded in 1992 to Packers and started by mid season.



Panthers: Collins, 1st – (0 years).  Started as rookie



Ind: Manning, 1st - Started as a rookie (0 years)

Packers: Hasselbeck, 6th – Sat behind Farve and Dilfer.  Named starter in 2003(5 years)



Philly: McNabb, 1st - Started as rookie (0 years)



New England: Brady, 6th Round - Sat for a full year and only got to play do to Bledsoe's injury (1.5 years)



Atl: Vick, 1st – Named starter in 2002.  (1 year)

Chargers: Brees, 2nd – Sat behind Flutie as rookie.  Won starting job in 2002, lost it in 2003, traded in 2005 to Saints. (3 years)



Jax: Garrard, 4th - Didn't start until 2007 (5 years)



Cin: Palmer, 1st - Sat behind Kitna for a year.  Won starting job in 2004 (1 year)

Dal: Romo, Undrafted - Named starter in 2006 (2 years)



Pitt: Roethlisberger, 1st - Named starter in 1st season (0 years)

Atl: Schaub, 3rd - Named starter in 2007 (3 years)

SD: Rivers, 1st - Sat behind Brees.  Named starter in 2006 (2 years)

NYG: Manning, 1st - Sat behind Warner.  Named starter in 2005 (1 year)



SF: Smith, 1st – started nine games as a rookie. Had 5 OC is 5 years and has won and lost the starting job several times. (.5 years)

Rams: Fitzpatrick, 7th Round - Played one game for Rams.  Didn't play again until 2007 due to Palmer's injury. Named starter in 2010 due to craptastic play of Edwards. (5 years)

Bears: Orton, 5th - Won starting job for Bears in 2008.  Traded in 2009 to start for Denver.  2010 Lost job to Tebow.  (3 years)

Was: Campbell, 1st - Named starter in 2006.  Traded in 2010 to Raiders and benched by game two. (1 year)

Pats: Cassel, 7th - Started in 2008 due to injury to Brady. (3 years)

Ravens: Anderson,  6th – Sat behind Dilfer and Frye.  Named starter in 2007, traded to AZ in 2010, won, lost, won starting job before getting injured. (2 years)

GB: Rodgers, 1st – Sat behind Farve.  Started in 2008 (3 years)



Tenn:  Young , 1st - Started in 2006.  Lost starting job in 2008.  Cut by Titians in 2010 (0 years)

Min: Jackson, 2nd – Started in 2007 after sitting behind Brad Johnson. (1 year)

Denver: Cutler, 1st – Started in late Nov of his rookie year.  Traded in 2009 to start for Bears (.5 years)



Phil: Kolb, 2nd – Sat behind McNabb.  Named started in 2010.  Lost job to Vick (3 years)



Atl: Ryan, 1st – named starter as a rookie (0 years)

Bal: Flacco, 1st - Was not expected to start as rookie, but did due to injuries to Boller and Smith. (0 years)

Miami: Henne, 2nd Round - played one game as a rookie due to injury of Pennington.  Took over starting job in 2009 do to injury to Chad P.  2010 - Lost starting job to Chad P before getting it back to do injury to Chad P. (1 year)



NYJ: Sanchez, 1st - named starter as a rookie (0 years)

Det: Stafford, 1st -  started as a rookie (0 years)

TB: Freeman, 1st – started as a rookie by early Nov (.5 years)



STL: Bradford, 1st – Started as a rookie (0 years)

Cle: McCoy, 3rd - Plan was to sit him for a year, but started week 6 of first season due to injury to Delhomme (.5 years)

Den: Tebow, 1st - Plan was to sit him for a year, but started his first game in mid December (.5 years)

Car: Clausen, 2nd – Was supposed to sit, but forced into action as a rookie.  Benched by week 5. (0 years)

-  A few things that stood out to me the most.  Do starting QBs have to be taken in the first round?  Of the QBs that were considered the starters this season that were drafted between 1991 – 2005, 11 were taken in the first round and 11 were taken in rounds 2-7. That’s right……50/50.  Could the reason for this be that enough time has passed for first round busts to get cut and for late rounders to develop? 


Next, I listed the QBs by how many years they sat before being named starters and their current status as of the end of the 2010 season.

P. Manning, 1998 - 1st - (0 years).  Starter.  Elite…One of the best all time

Collins, 1995, 1st – (0 years).  Starter.  At end of career

McNabb, 1999 - 1st - (0 years).  Benched. At end of a very good career

Roethlisberger, 2004 - 1st - (0 years).  Starter.  Solid QB riding coat tails of great D

Young , 2006 - 1st - (0 years).  Cut by Titians in 2010

Ryan, 2008 - 1st – (0 years).  Very solid starter.  Poised to become elite.

Flacco, 2008 - 1st - (0 years). Starter.  Solid QB riding coat tails of great D

Sanchez, 2009 - 1st - (0 years). Starter.  Inconsistent QB riding coat tails of great D

Stafford, 2009 - 1st - (0 years).  Starter.  Looks solid, but to soon to call.

Bradford, 2010 - 1st – (0 years). Starter.  Looks solid, but to soon to call.

Clausen, 2010 - 2nd – (0 years).  Benched.  To soon to call.

McCoy, 2010 - 3rd - (.5 years). Starter.  Inconsistent and battling injury, but to soon to call.

Tebow, 2010 - 1st - (.5 years). Starter.  Inconsistent.  To soon to call.

Smith, 2005 - 1st – (.5 years).  Starter, but not for lack of trying to replace him

Cutler, 2006 - 1st – (.5 years).  Starter.  Inconsistent

Freeman, 2009 - 1st – (.5 years).  Starter. Looks solid, but to soon to call.

Farve, 1991 – 2nd – (1 year).  Hall of  Fame QB.  Elite, but at the end of career.

Vick, 2001 – 1st – (1 year).  Starter.  Inconsistent

Palmer, 2003 - 1st - (1 year).  Starter.  Injury and consistency issues.  Wants to be traded

E. Manning, 2004 - 1st - (1 year). Starter.  Solid QB riding coat tails of great D

Campbell, 2005 - 1st - (1 year).  Benched.  Inconsistent

Jackson, 2006 - 2nd – (1 year).  Current starter by default, but in reality…career backup

Henne, 2008 - 2nd (1 year).  Starter by default.  Inconsistent.

Brady, 2000 - 6th Round - (1.5 years). Starter.  Elite.  One of the best all time

Romo, 2003 - Undrafted - (2 years).  Starter.  Solid but not elite

Rivers, 2004 - 1st - (2 years).  Starter.  Trying to push into elite status

Anderson,  2005 - 6th – (2 years). Benched.  Inconsistent

Brees, 2001 - 2nd – (3 years).  Starter.  Elite

Schaub, 2004 - 3rd - (3 years).  Starter. Inconsistent

Rodgers, 2005 - 1st – (3 years).  Starter.  Elite

Orton, 2005 - 5th - (3 years). Benched.  Solid but not elite

Cassell, 2005 - 7th - (3 years).  Starter.  Solid but not elite

Kolb, 2007 - 2nd –(3 years).  Benched.

Hasselbeck, 1998 - 6th – (5 years).  Starter.  Solid starter. Injury issues.  At end of career

Garrard, 2002 - 4th - (5 years).  Starter.  Inconsistent

Fitzpatrick, 2005 – 7th - (5 years).  Starter.  Inconsistent


-  Things that stood out to me.  Currently, there are 16 QBs who won their starting job without sitting for at least one full year.  Only 1 is Elite (P. Manning).  Nine of those QBs were drafted in the past 3 years (2008-10).  So while history has shown that throwing young QBs into the starting line up early is not the best way to develop elite QBs, the trend seems to be for teams to do so.

Of the five QBs I listed as elite (Farve, Manning, Brady, Brees, and Rogers), they averaged sitting 2 years before starting. 

So does any of this help the Bills decide what round to take a QB?   Probably not. I really think that there is no one single factor that can be pointed to as a definitive predictor of NFL success. Round taken, overall team talent, sitting for at least a year, coaching, work ethic, intangibles, experience in college running a Pro system, wonderlic score, playing in a NFL system that matches the QBs natural talents, etc. It is very complicated…..which is probably why the people who get paid to do this have trouble figuring it out.

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of

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