Which team used the most draft capital on QBs?

Which team used the most draft capital on QBs?

Every NFL team has drafted at least one quarterback in the past decade. In fact, every team except for one (the Atlanta Falcons) has drafted more than one QB in that span. One team has drafted seven (!) over that time, and no, it’s not the Cleveland Browns.

a more equitable pick-value system, we believe, that more accurately reflects what each draft pick is worth. His system only counts the first 224 picks, whereas most drafts last into the 250s. (We assigned a value of 0.1 points for every QB draft pick thereafter.)’ data-reactid=”21″>One way of measuring it is through a weighted draft-pick formula, and we’ve eschewed the long-popular Jimmy Johnson trade-value chart for one we’ve actually favored for years. Chase Stuart has developed a more equitable pick-value system, we believe, that more accurately reflects what each draft pick is worth. His system only counts the first 224 picks, whereas most drafts last into the 250s. (We assigned a value of 0.1 points for every QB draft pick thereafter.)

Here’s the list, from the highest collective draft-pick value to the lowest, of how all 32 teams stack up:

But now they might have found that special player in Mayfield. Was it all worth it? We shall see. Still, as you work your way down this list, it’s hard not to look at just how much draft capital they’ve sunk into empty investments along the way.

The 2.0 Browns have only used two Day 3 picks on QBs: Luke McCown in 2004 and Spergon Wynn in 2000. McCown ended up being a serviceable backup for a slew of other teams, but Wynn will forever go down as the QB taken over Tom Brady. Wynn lasted two years, started three games and had a career 1-7 TD-Int ratio.

Goff already has done that twice in his two full years of starting, helping the Rams reach the Super Bowl. Following a disastrous rookie season, Goff has realized his potential under head coach Sean McVay. Although the Goff investment was made prior to McVay’s arrival, the coach has helped make it look like a smart one for now.

What’s not factored in is the trade cost the Rams incurred in moving up to No. 1 to get Goff. They traded four picks in 2016 (one first, two seconds and a third) as well as their 2017 first-rounder (which turned out to be No. 5 overall) and 2017 third-rounder (No. 100) to the Tennessee Titans for Goff, plus 2016 fourth- and sixth-round picks.

If you throw in the fact that the Rams didn’t get much return on the Mannion or Gilbert picks, they’ve been incredibly spendthrift. It’s a bit like scoring a really solid Acura but paying sticker price in Beverly Hills versus talking it down a bit in Reseda.

Prior to trading up (sending third- and fifth-rounders to Oakland) to take Rosen, the Cardinals had put themselves in a hole with some bad Day 3 picks who couldn’t help bridge the gap from Kurt Warner to Carson Palmer or provide a reasonable Palmer replacement. Thomas is now a tight end with the Lions, and Lindley and Skelton never panned out despite starting games.

So in dealing Rosen to the Miami Dolphins for dimes on the dollar and handing the keys to Murray, it puts even more pressure and more sunken cost on the head of the rookie. No pressure.

No team has spent more draft assets on quarterbacks lately than the Arizona Cardinals, taking quarterback Kyler Murray first overall this year. (Getty Images)

Locker was retired by age 27, and the three Day 3 picks amounted to little. Mettenberger stuck around for a bit and started 10 games, but the Titans lost every single one of them. This is a team that could be jumping into the Round 1 QB derby in 2020 or 2021.

Neither of those picks were good, but we’re hopeful about Darnold. The Jets might actually leapfrog the Titans on this list if we included the trade-up cost: their first-round pick and two second-rounders in 2018, along with a 2019 second-rounder. As if playing in New York wasn’t hard enough, Darnold also must break the trend of failed Jets QB picks and do so as an above-market cost player.

Credit to the team’s scouts over that span: All four picks remain in the league and in important spots, too, with Griffin backing up Lamar Jackson in Baltimore and Sudfeld backing up Carson Wentz in Philly. If the Haskins pick pans out, we’ll have to give Bruce Allen additional credit for not having to trade up to land the QB.

But overall, they’ve paid a premium on QBs and received insufficient return on investment to date: two playoff appearances and two losses in this span.

The last time the Jaguars drafted a QB in Rounds 2 through 5 was back in 2002. It worked out pretty well, as they got David Garrard, who was a solid starter for parts of a decade.

Newton’s good durability was tested last year late when that shoulder became too much to play through. But for years, the Panthers didn’t really have to worry about developing a young passer behind Newton as he missed only three games in his first seven seasons.

But Elway’s best investments might have been on Day 2. Say what you will about Osweiler, but he started seven games – winning five – during a Super Bowl-winning season and earned them a third-round compensatory pick in 2017 after signing with Houston. And the hope is that Drew Lock can sit for some length of time behind Joe Flacco (and learn what not to do?) before taking over.

If Lock develops in time, perhaps Elway’s rough record with QB evaluation can earn a silver lining to it.

But even with Foles gone, there’s big pressure on Wentz to perform, especially following his lucrative recent extension. The Eagles for decades have placed a high premium on stocking the QB position, back to Andy Reid’s first year. But now that they’ve paid Wentz, it is the most they’ve ever invested — money plus draft capital — in a QB in the team’s history.

They also have the distinction of being the only NFL team since the 1970 merger to draft two Northwestern quarterbacks in any round, Kafka and Thorson. For you Wildcat fans out there.

The Bills have a lot invested in QB Josh Allen (Getty Images).

There’s pressure on every first-round QB to perform. But in this era of major trade-ups to land these prospects more often than not, players such as Allen face even steeper expectations. Or they should, anyway.

Winston, like Marcus Mariota in Tennessee, faces a flashpoint season for his future in Tampa. If he thrives under Bruce Arians – and just as importantly stays out of trouble – the pick will start to yield more return. So far, it has been a disappointment. Glennon actually outplayed his draft position as a rookie before fading; he’s on his third team in as many years and his days of starting could be over, barring something unforeseen.

Eli Manning didn’t miss a start for a stretch that spanned parts of 14 seasons, and he led the team to two Super Bowl victories, so you can understand why they invested so sparsely for years at the position. But even with the recent rash of QB selections, there is no guarantee that the Giants will enjoy a seamless transition from Manning to the next generation.

Luck appears healthy now, and he’s still very much in his prime at 29. The Colts have had a luxury few teams can relate to over the past few decades, with Manning followed by Luck. Even with each of them missing a full season to injury, that’s incredible QB fortune. The Colts theoretically could move on from Luck in the next few years, but that won’t happen if he proves he can stay healthy. That might mean this franchise won’t be drafting too many other quarterbacks — at least not up high — for years to come.

We’re not exactly sure what that means beyond the idea of a team trading multiple first-rounders to draft one QB comes with some real risk. Or, if you take one with the first or second overall pick (without trading up) — the 31.3 Stuart value comes in just between Nos. 1 and 2 overall. You’re essentially sinking 10 years’ worth of assets for the position into one pick. But then again, we know what happens when you don’t have a QB …

The Ponder pick really didn’t work out, and we’ll never know what might have been with Bridgewater. We suspect he always would have been just shy of being that untouchable-level quarterback who wasn’t vastly above replacement. And now the Vikings also have another big QB investment in Kirk Cousins that was strictly monetary but massive nonetheless.

And it might have kick-started a mini-trend around the league. Deshaun Watson went two picks after Mahomes to the Houston Texans, and there were five first-round quarterbacks the following year in 2018. All six of those QB selections went to teams that traded up into that spot. That trend didn’t hold as much in 2019, with two of the three first-round QBs going to teams originally holding that pick, but it also was viewed as something of a down year at the position this spring.

By the way, for you trivia buffs out there: The longest current first-round QB drought for a team is the New Orleans Saints at 48 years! Yep, it was Archie Manning in 1971.

Here’s a wild stat: Of the 674 Day 2 draft picks across the NFL since 2010, only 23 of them were quarterbacks. But the Patriots have drafted three of them, and they’re one of six franchises combined that account for 14 of those 23 QB picks in that range. Quarterbacks are just far more likely to go early (10.7 percent of all of the first-rounders since 2010) or late, recent history shows us, than in Rounds 2 or 3.

The Patriots have drafted 10 quarterbacks since Brady joined the team. Etling and Stidham are on the roster now. Matt Cassel might try play a 15th season somewhere but is currently unsigned. Brissett and Garoppolo are on other teams’ rosters. Rohan Davey and Mallett are out of the league. But three other QBs New England drafted are still in the NFL as coaches — Kliff Kingsbury (sixth round, 201st) is head coach of the Cardinals; Kevin O’Connell (94th, 2008) is the Redskins’ offensive coordinator; and Robinson (250th, 2010) is the Rams’ new QB coach.

New England has made mostly smart investments with its QB picks, viewing them as assets and insurance for Brady, even if the team hasn’t been able to maximize those players’ trade values. They got a seventh back for Mallett, a second for Garoppolo and WR Phillip Dorsett for Brissett.

Are the Texans playing with fire with Watson the way the Colts did with Luck, not properly investing in their offensive line and allowing their prized QB take too many hits? We’ll have to wait to see how their first- and second-round investments in linemen this year pay off, but it’s a question worth posing. And it almost makes you wonder if the Texans might not dip back into the QB pool next year to add a different layer of insurance.

we had the Raiders just outside the top 10. But since writing that, we’ve reconsidered a bit. It wouldn’t shock us in the least to see Jon Gruden put some pressure on Carr (or move on from him) depending on how this season goes.’ data-reactid=”236″>Carr was sandwiched around two fourth-round picks that were busts, so the Raiders have had to mine other teams’ flotsam and jetsam to find quality backups behind him. When we wrote our piece about the teams most likely to draft a QB in 2020 the way things stand now, we had the Raiders just outside the top 10. But since writing that, we’ve reconsidered a bit. It wouldn’t shock us in the least to see Jon Gruden put some pressure on Carr (or move on from him) depending on how this season goes.

Can Derek Carr play well enough this season where the Oakland Raiders won’t draft a QB in 2020? (Getty Images)

Carr’s contract allows them to break free if they want. Jon Gruden has been hunting that elusive star QB for years now. The Raiders have made huge investments in their offensive skill players, dealing Carr a better hand but also issuing some pressure along with it. With the team moving to Vegas, it would be a very Raiders-esque move to use one of their two first-rounders in 2020 to handpick the next QB.

If Rosen pans out this season, perhaps the Dolphins won’t feel the urge to draft a quarterback high next spring. But by no means are they out of the mix for one, we suspect. If the Dolphins finish the season with a top-10 draft pick, they also will have two second-rounders and additional ammo (compensatory picks are likely) to move up for the right one.

This is going to be a fascinating season for the Dolphins under new head coach Brian Flores, even if the team isn’t that great right now. We can’t wait to see how they rebuild this thing.

We wrote in our 2020 QB draft story that the Bengals might be one of the more likely teams to be in the mix for a first-round quarterback, depending on how things play out. Four of the past five and five of the past seven Bengals first-rounders have been offensive players, and the defense looks like it needs big reinforcements, but new head coach Zac Taylor is likely going to have a sizable say in who his next QB is after Dalton, we’d assume.

working as a punt returner and could be on the field with Jackson in some two-QB formations (which we hope will work better than the Flacco-Jackson failed experiments early last season).’ data-reactid=”290″>We won’t know if that will prove to be the right move for the long term, but for right now it appears that the price was pretty smart. And they even have immediate plans for McSorley, who is working as a punt returner and could be on the field with Jackson in some two-QB formations (which we hope will work better than the Flacco-Jackson failed experiments early last season).

Overall, the Ravens have received a pretty decent ROI on their QB draft investments over the past 15 years or so — basically everything since the Kyle Boller disaster. Even if you’re not a Flacco fan, you’ve got to admit that.

Skinny: The Lions took Stafford first overall in 2009 and basically have let it ride since then. After a few major injuries his first two seasons, Stafford has started all 16 games for eight straight seasons — a wild run of durability, especially when you hear about his reported broken back last season.’ data-reactid=”354″>Skinny: The Lions took Stafford first overall in 2009 and basically have let it ride since then. After a few major injuries his first two seasons, Stafford has started all 16 games for eight straight seasons — a wild run of durability, especially when you hear about his reported broken back last season.

As we wrote the other day, we wonder how his tenure in Detroit ends. He’s largely been very good, or very solid at the very least. But with Matt Patricia in charge now — and perhaps feeling some heat in Year 2 — there’s no guarantee that Stafford will be a Lion for life. The team did some hard work on quarterbacks in this past draft cycle but ultimately passed on taking one or bringing in an undrafted free agent. To back up Stafford this year, they signed vets Tom Savage and David Fales, two former Day 3 picks of yore. Both Rudock and Kaaya are gone already.

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