Drafting Championship Winning Quarterbacks Or Not...
A few odds and ends about quarterbacks as the 80th NFL Draft approaches. Young players that quit because of health (Borland, Chris), religious (Worlids, Jason) or other reasons shocked the NFL world as the 2015 offseason began. The first overall draft pick EVER, Jay Berwanger, could not reach an agreement on salary with the Chicago Bears and did not ever play in the NFL. As recently as the late 70’s, Bruce Clark refused to play for the Green Bay Packers and went to the Canadian Football League instead (probably because the money was better although Green Bay was pretty awful at that point). Unusual things have always happened in the NFL and will continue to do so as long as the league is around. One thing has never changed in the NFL – championship teams have always needed a quarterback. So where do they come from?
So your team needs a championship quarterback? Perusing the list of men who have started a Super Bowl produces some interesting food for thought. Nebraska, USC, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, Penn State, and Michigan – all have been college football powers over the last 50 years. Yet only Michigan has produced a Super Bowl winning quarterback. That was Tom Brady and he covers a multitude of football sins, but all the domination by these great schools on Saturdays does not mean championships on Sundays. Notre Dame and Alabama have produced some championship quarterback talent, but it has been a while for either of those erstwhile college football powers as well.
A total of 31 men to date have started and won Super Bowls. These guys have been found in the draft at one extreme (16 guys selected in the first round – 7 of those #1 overall) or another (8 winners selected in rounds that do not exist anymore or were free agents). The results from the late round/free agent crowd are really shocking since finding a championship quarterback in the football trash heap seems akin to winning the lottery. Winston or Mariota may win Super Bowls, but Bryan Bennett of Southeast Louisiana has just as good, if not better, of a chance.
So when the draft takes place later this month in Chicago just remember that if your team is quarterback needy and fails to get a guy in the first round do not worry. Your team has a decent chance to find a championship winning quarterback in later rounds or among college free agents. It’s never about where a guy starts in the NFL; it’s always about where he finishes.
Only FIVE more months to go…enjoy your offseason.