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Debunking the "We need to go 4-12 to draft a franchise QB" myth...


Califan007

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There's this belief going around ES for months now that goes something like this:

"Going 6-10 or 7-9 would be disastrous for the Redskins this year. Much better that they go 4-12 so that they can draft (fill in Hot QB Prospect of the Moment here)."

The logic, as it were, goes something like this: You're more likely to get a franchise QB drafting higher up if for no other reason than you have more QBs available to choose from. Sounds reasonable on the surface, I suppose.

But if that were, in reality, true, we'd see a larger percentage of QBs drafted in the top 10 becoming truly successful franchise QBs than outside of the top 10. I mean, how can teams continually be given damn near ALL the rookie QBs to choose from and have it result in anything BUT a majority success rate for those teams?

To question this conventional wisdom, we need to ask a few questions:

1) Is there a significant difference in the success rates of QBs taken in the top 10 of the 1st round, and QBs taken outside of the top 10?

2) Are QBs taken in the top 10 more successful in the playoffs?

3) Does a team's record play a real role in dictating their ability to draft a QB the next season?

So let's take a look-see:

1) Is there a significant difference in the success rates of QBs taken in the top 10 of the 1st round, and QBs taken outside of the top 10?

Over the last 10 years (2001-2010) 27 QBs were drafted in the 1st round. 15 of them drafted in the top 10, 12 of them drafted outside of the top 10.

Now let's break the QBs into Top 10, and Outside the Top 10, and use 3 categories when doing so:

Top 10 QBs

Hits

Matt Ryan

Eli Manning

Phillip Rivers

Mark Sanchez (his playoff stats are impressive, so he belongs here)

Carson Palmer

Michael Vick

Sam Bradford (still early, but I'm putting him here anyway)

Too early to tell:

Matthew Stafford

Misses (all were either cut/traded or benched within their first 4 years):

Vince Young

JaMarcus Russell

Matt Leinart

Alex Smith

Byron Leftwich

David Carr

Joey Harrington

Outside the Top 10 QBs:

Hits:

Joe Flacco

Jay Cutler

Aaron Rodgers

Ben Roethlisberger

Josh Freeman

Too early to tell:

Tim Tebow

Misses (all were either cut/traded or benched within their first 4 years):

Brady Quinn

Jason Campbell (wasn't traded, cut or benched, but including him here anyway)

J.P. Losman

Kyle Boller

Rex Grossman

Patrick Ramsey

So...what's the success rate for each of these groups of QBs?

Inside the Top 10 - Hits: 47%

Outside of Top 10 - Hits: 41%

Inside the Top 10 - Misses 47%

Outside of Top 10 - Misses: 50%

Doesn't seem like too much of a difference in terms of both successful QBs and busts, does it...Neither of those success rates varies significantly enough to warrant a hard stance of wanting/needing a high draft pick to find a franchise QB and (more importantly) avoid drafting a bust.

So the answer to question 1: Is there a significant difference in the success rates of QBs taken in the top 10 of the 1st round, and QBs taken outside of the top 10?

No, not really.

2) Are QBs in the top 10 of the draft more successful in the playoffs?

Let's face it: getting to the postseason--and hopefully not stopping until the Super Bowl--is the goal of every team, and conventional wisdom says drafting a "franchise" QB is supposed to play a significant factor in reaching that goal. So, if drafting a QB high in the 1st round is worth having a crappy season over, logic dictates that the QBs taken in the top 10 would have noticeably more success and better production in the playoffs than QBs taken outside of the top 10. Becoming a starting-quality QB is one thing...being successful and productive once you're in the playoffs is quite another.

So let's look at the collective production and team success of both sets of QBs in the playoffs.

Inside the Top 10 QBs - playoffs:

59% completion rate

6.9 ypa

34 TDs

4.0% TD percentage

29 INTs

3.4% TD percentage

Record: 13-17

Outside the Top 10 QBs - playoffs:

60% completion rate

7.5 ypa

38 TDs

5.0% TD percentage

27 INTs

3.5% INT percentage

Record: 19-8

Do you see any difference there that would make "tanking" the season worthwhile? I don't.

And actually, the QBs taken outside the top 10 are noticeably more productive in terms of yards per attempt, TD percentage and wins. Completion percentage and INT percentage are basically even. when it comes to the playoffs, in no category have the top 10 QBs outperformed the QBs drafted outside the top 10.

So the answer to question 2: Are QBs in the top 10 of the draft more successful in the playoffs?

No, not at all.

3) Does a team's record play a real role in dictating their ability to draft a QB the next season?

The overriding viewpoint has been going 4-12 will help the Redskins draft a franchise QB...going 6-10 or 7-9 will not. In fact, the Skins going 6-10 again or 7-9 has been described as being a "disaster" by more than a few ES members on numerous occasions. Many have placed extreme importance on what our record will be and how it correlates to the quality of QB available for drafting.

But is that the reality? Not the theory, but the reality?

Let's take a look lol ;)...

"Hit" QBs and their team's prior season record:

Matt Ryan (Falcons: 4-12)

Eli Manning (Giants: 4-12)

Phillip Rivers (Chargers: 4-12)

Mark Sanchez (Jets: 9-7)

Carson Palmer (Bengals: 2-14)

Michael Vick (Falcons: 4-12)

Sam Bradford (Rams: 1-15)

Joe Flacco (Ravens: 5-11)

Jay Cutler (Broncos: 13-3)

Aaron Rodgers (Packers: 10-6)

Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers: 6-10)

Josh Freeman (Bucs: 9-7)

Average number of wins: 6.1

"Missed" QBs and their team's prior season record:

Vince Young (Titans: 4-12)

JaMarcus Russell (Raiders: 2-14)

Matt Leinart (Cardinals: 5-11)

Alex Smith (49ers: 2-14)

Byron Leftwich (Jags: 6-10)

David Carr (N/A)

Joey Harrington (Lions: 2-14)

Brady Quinn (Browns: 4-12)

Jason Campbell (6-10)

J.P. Losman (Bills: 6-10)

Kyle Boller (Ravens: 7-9)

Rex Grossman (Bears: 4-12)

Patrick Ramsey (Redskins: 8-8)

Average number of wins: 4.7...(David Carr is not included here)

Apparently, in the real world the number of wins plays little role in a team's ability to draft a franchise/starter-quality QB in the first round. But how can that be, since everyone knows that the worse your record, the higher you get to draft...and thus the more players you have available to draft from.

That's easy enough to 'splain...

What the stats above tend to indicate, to me anyway, is that trading up, really good scouting, and bringing in a promising 1st round QB into a stable and well-established situation with quality coaches and a competent front office will dictate that QBs success far more than where they are drafted in the 1st round. In theory, drafting 1st would be more beneficial than drafting 12th...but in reality, your draft position is only as valuable as your organization is competent.

You can give a team with crappy scouting, a disorganized front office and incompetent coaches a billion players to choose from...that doesn't mean their selection process will be any better or that the player they DO draft will overcome all that disfunction and live up to his draft status and contract. Quite the contrary, actually.

And the reality is also that the teams with the worst records also tend to be the teams that are the most dysfunctional lol...they are the teams with the worst front offices, the below average scouting teams, mediocre coaches...sometimes all of the above. So their QB selections often end up being a result of that--reaching for QBs and drafting them too high, not properly scouting them, drafting a QB whose skill set does not properly fit with the offensive coordinator's scheme...etc, etc, yadda yadda. A high draft position doesn't safeguard them from that.

Put another way, a QB drafted at #14 by a team that knows what it's doing, will have more success than a QB drafted at #3 by a team that has no idea what it's doing lol. This effectively diminishes the importance of season records to finding and grooming a franchise QB in the draft. It's not the team's draft position that dictates it...

Good teams know how to pick QBs outside of the top 10. They know where to find them, they know how to mold them, develop them...good teams know how to scout QBs and find franchise quarterbacks in numerous places throughout the draft. They also know how to maneuver up in the draft should they find a QB that they are absolutely sold on and believe he won't be around when they pick. They also know how to still win if they're unable to do so.

If you can't win with a QB drafted in the mid-late 1st round, then you won't win with a QB drafted in the top 10, either. The stats help underscore that thought.

So, the answer to question #3: Does a team's record play a real role in dictating their ability to draft a QB the next season?

Partially. But we would be making a huge mistake by placing more importance on draft position than on fostering a winning culture and establishing a competent atmosphere for any drafted QB to succeed in.

Bottom line: You gain no real advantage from drafting a QB in the top 10 than you do in drafting one in the bottom 22 of the 1st round...so you gain no real advantage by having a crappy season. Higher draft picks are important, no doubt...but they should not be the focus of draft and season strategy.

I say, go for as many wins as possible...help create that winning culture and attitude, help set a standard for your future QB's team mates before you even draft him...improve your scouting, your coaching, your front office contract decisions...help form the team into one that has a clue about what it takes to win consistently in the NFL...and the best way of going about doing that, is to make winning every game a priority in everyone involved. Believe that, no matter where you're drafting, it will lead to positive dividends precisely because you know what you're doing.

If you do that, you'll find the franchise's solution at QB...no matter where you draft in the first round.

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tl:dr

:ols:

Just kidding. Good info Cali. Agree on all the points. Would I be upset if we went 4-12? More yes than no, but a little bit of no because of the chances of getting one of the assumed "franchise" QBs. Would I be upset with 8-8? Not at all. It's an improvement on last year, and we can always trade up to get one of those guys. Enough teams drafted a QB last year or are getting a QB in FA that we shouldn't have trouble getting the guy we want.

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:ols:

Just kidding. Good info Cali. Agree on all the points. Would I be upset if we went 4-12? More yes than no, but a little bit of no because of the chances of getting one of the assumed "franchise" QBs. Would I be upset with 8-8? Not at all. It's an improvement on last year, and we can always trade up to get one of those guys. Enough teams drafted a QB last year or are getting a QB in FA that we shouldn't have trouble getting the guy we want.

What's tl:dr? lol *confused*...

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I refuse to accept your theory until Oldfan approves it. :ols:

Hey, I used percentages and everthang lol :cool:...

Since I am one of the ones screaming to tank the season, I'll give this thread a worth while reply later on. Some very good research and numbers

Looking forward to it :thumbsup:...have zero problem with people sticking holes in my theory :ols:...

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I don't think we need to tank to get a franchise QB but we do know that:

a) franchise QBs win Super Bowls

B) we need a franchise QB

c) the best shot at a top-rated QB in the draft is by picking higher than other QB-needy teams

So IMO, I would be more confident if we were picking higher but I don't think we need to tank for it. If we finish 7-9/8-8/9-7, there are always trades that can happen.

But the point is, we need a franchise QB badly and we need to get the best man for the job.

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By the way, this part here:

"Hit" QBs and their team's prior season record:

Matt Ryan (Falcons: 4-12)

Eli Manning (Giants: 4-12)

Phillip Rivers (Chargers: 4-12)

Mark Sanchez (Jets: 9-7)

Carson Palmer (Bengals: 2-14)

Michael Vick (Falcons: 4-12)

Sam Bradford (Rams: 1-15)

Joe Flacco (Ravens: 5-11)

Jay Cutler (Broncos: 13-3)

Aaron Rodgers (Packers: 10-6)

Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers: 6-10)

Josh Freeman (Bucs: 9-7)

Average number of wins: 6.1

"Missed" QBs and their team's prior season record:

Vince Young (Titans: 4-12)

JaMarcus Russell (Raiders: 2-14)

Matt Leinart (Cardinals: 5-11)

Alex Smith (49ers: 2-14)

Byron Leftwich (Jags: 6-10)

David Carr (N/A)

Joey Harrington (Lions: 2-14)

Brady Quinn (Browns: 4-12)

Jason Campbell (6-10)

J.P. Losman (Bills: 6-10)

Kyle Boller (Ravens: 7-9)

Rex Grossman (Bears: 4-12)

Patrick Ramsey (Redskins: 8-8)

Average number of wins: 4.7...(David Carr is not included here)

Both categories had six teams that went 4-12 or worse.

Both categories had one team that went 5-11.

Both categories had five teams that went 6-10 or better.

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I refuse to accept your theory until Oldfan approves it. :ols:

Ha, I'm the opposite. I accept it until he approves it :ols:

I agree with this in theory, but every draft class is different. I think to be able to land a guy like Luck or Landry Jones (who I feel will be the second QB taken), we'd need to be up there. Trading up would take a lot of ammo. Look at the Julio Jones trade. All those picks for a WR. Imagine trading for a franchise qb.

Could we get a guy later who ends up being good? Sure. It's all a calculated guessing game based on assumed potential. I think the reason most guys are clamoring for a bad season (which sounds crazy) is because this class seems to have 2-4 future stars. And if a team picks in the top 10, chances are quarterback is an area of need. I'm not one to say I hope we do poorly, but I'm also not a proponent of letting the chips fall where they may and grab the best QB available should we pick outside the top 10. Even if we end up 8-8 or better, we still need to trade up. In my opinion anyway..

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Nice work. It's a compelling argument. I think the oppositions premise that a 6-10 record would be "disastrous" is a weak one. However, all things being equal, I think most people would prefer to have a better draft pick than a worse one.

If you dig into things a bit more, I'd be curious to see how running backs fit into this, if at all. Just glancing at the successes and failures it seems that QBs with a better RB or running game seemed to achieve success more than if they didn't.

One of the anomalies about top ten picks is that the talent isn't equal every year. Bradford seems like a lock to go in the top ten any year. I think in many years a guy like Gabbert wouldn't sniff the top ten in a deeper/better QB class.

Interesting stuff. Of course just looking at recent Redskins history (Ramsey, Campbell) perhaps it's time we try a more coveted prospect. I think one way or another we're going to be drafting really high this year and we'll get one of these coveted QB prospects. But I'm not rooting for the team to do poorly to achieve that.

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Thanks for the info!!

I really appreciated the point that if we have a solid team (foundation) and coaching staff, the success rate ishigher. I think that is exactly what Shanny is doing now. He is decorating a christmas tree and all we'll have to do is add the star/finishing touch/Qb of the future

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You are debunking a strawman argument, one you have created that is easier to attack than the intelligent argument that most members are making.

The intelligent argument is that having a high pick in the draft offers a higher probability of success than a lower pick. There’s no debate on that point. And there’s no point to the argument you are making.

Let’s just set aside the small sample size and your subjective judgments on hits and misses and focus on the main flaw in your argument. There is no relevance to a Redskins draft. Comparing the ten highest positions in round one to the 22 lower positions in round one has no relevance.

The Redskins wont be drafting in the top ten positions; nor will they be drafting in the 22 lower positions. They will be drafting in one position -- and the higher it is, the better their chances will be of hitting a good QB if they draft one.

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You are debunking a strawman argument, one you have created that is easier to attack than the intelligent argument that most members are making.

The intelligent argument is that having a high pick in the draft offers a higher probability of success than a lower pick. There’s no debate on that point. And there’s no point to the argument you are making.

Let’s just set aside the small sample size and your subjective judgments on hits and misses and focus on the main flaw in your argument. There is no relevance to our topic. Comparing the ten highest positions in round one to the 22 lower positions in round one has no relevance.

The Redskins wont be drafting in the top ten positions; nor will they be drafting in the 22 lower positions. They will be drafting in one position -- and the higher it is, the better their chances will be of hitting a good QB if they draft one.

Translation: "****!" :mad:

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The Redskins wont be drafting in the top ten positions; nor will they be drafting in the 22 lower positions. They will be drafting in one position -- and the higher it is, the better their chances will be of hitting a good QB if they draft one.

So we won't be drafting in the first 32 positions? Are we trading out of the first round?

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You are debunking a strawman argument, one you have created that is easier to attack than the intelligent argument that most members are making.

The intelligent argument is that having a high pick in the draft offers a higher probability of success than a lower pick. There’s no debate on that point. And there’s no point to the argument you are making.

Let’s just set aside the small sample size and your subjective judgments on hits and misses and focus on the main flaw in your argument. There is no relevance to a Redskins draft. Comparing the ten highest positions in round one to the 22 lower positions in round one has no relevance.

The Redskins wont be drafting in the top ten positions; nor will they be drafting in the 22 lower positions. They will be drafting in one position -- and the higher it is, the better their chances will be of hitting a good QB if they draft one.

man, oldfan never disappoints.

i kind of disagree. i don't want to get into some great debate, but i think history is relevant to a Redskins draft. Comparing a top 10 pick to a non top 10 pick also has relevance. The argument itself is worth making. Many are saying that we need that high pick to get a franchise QB. Califan is saying that's not true. He didn't put every single draft ever in his original post, though I'm sure you'd have preferred that. But he put the most recent ones. I don't think you can just disregard his point. His argument wasn't overwhelming, but it shouldn't be disregarded as pointless.

But really, his point isn't that we'll have a better chance to get a franchise QB if we pick later. It's just that it's still possible - as we've seen in the past 5 or so years.

*Prepping for an attack on my logic*

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No. Did you read the rest of my post? I disagreed with oldfans overall post. Not that premise.

I did. The crux of Oldfan's post is that the probability of success increases the higher the pick. Irregardless of what position it is.

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