I’ve been a pretty big proponent of OBD taking Newton or Gabbert with our #3 pick because I think our need for a franchise QB is so great. And those two QBs have tremendous raw abilities that certainly could provide us with a franchise QB if they develop properly. But, after losing a lot of sleep trying to weigh the risk/reward of taking such a big chance with our #3 pick, I think I’ve decided that we should pass on the QB in round 1. Here is my rationale:
1. I think the risk of taking a QB and him being a bust outweighs the reward of them becoming a franchise QB. I don’t see either Newton or Gabbert being of the same caliber as recent top 3 QB picks like Bradford, Stafford and Ryan. While Newton and Gabbert may have higher ceilings than those three QBs, I think their bust factor is significantly higher.
2. Similar QBs to Newton and Gabbert typically go in the middle of the first round. Flacco and Freeman come to mind as guys with amazing tools but with a high ‘bust factor’. However, the risk of taking those guys was dramatically reduced due to where they were picked. Having the #17 or 18 pick bust isn’t nearly as damaging to an organization as having the #3 pick bust. So I just don’t think #3 is the right spot to take a risky QB.
3. Along the same lines as #2, I believe we can get a “can’t miss” player with our #3 pick. I believe guys like Dareus, Miller and Peterson are almost sure things. Even if they don’t become elite players, I can’t see them being busts. They are just too talented and played at too high a level in the major conferences to be complete busts in the NFL (barring injury). If we had the #17 pick this year and a choice between guys like Kerrigan, Heyward, Clayborn, Houston, etc., then I’d roll the dice on a QB. Because those other guys carry a much higher ‘bust factor’ than the options we’ll have at #3.
4. We just have too many holes to fill. The Jets could take a chance on Sanchez (who I believe had a high bust factor coming out) at #6 because they didn’t have numerous other gaping holes to fill. They are trying to fill in the final pieces of the puzzle and could take a chance on finding that franchise QB. If he busts, it will hurt them, but not as bad as it would hurt a team like the Bills. If we take a QB at #3 and he busts, not only does that still leave us with a gaping hole at QB, but it leaves us with a gaping hole at OLB, DE, CB or whatever position we could have filled with a “can’t miss” prospect at #3.
That being said, I really think we should NOT take the risk of grabbing a QB at #3. If they want to trade back into the middle of the 1st round and grab one, then that is a different story. Or if one of them slides into the teens, then try to move up to grab one of them. But I don’t think we are in a position to take such a gamble with our #3 pick. Let’s get the ‘sure thing’ this year.
That being said, I don’t even know if I’d take a QB in the later rounds either. Unless they believe a Ponder, Mallett, Kaepernick, etc. can be a franchise QB, then DO NOT take them with our later picks. If OBD believes the only two possible franchise QBs are Newton and Gabbert, then don’t pick any QB. Let’s use those picks to plug as many holes as possible this year. Because we can still get an IMPACT player at #34. So don’t pass on the impact player for a guy that you don’t feel can be a franchise QB.
If we can find some young talent this year to provide a pass rush, help us improve against the run, a solid right tackle and a CB for the future, then I believe we will have the nucleus of a championship team. A team that will still need a franchise QB, but a team that can be a consistent winner with an above average QB until we find the franchise guy.