Bell: Don’t get invested in Day 3 quarterbacks
May 11, 2014 § Leave a comment
To lure the hard-core fans who showed up at Radio City Music Hall on Saturday for the final four rounds of the NFL Draft, the hook included a raffle.
Got winning ticket No. 347391?
Congratulations! Go claim your Baltimore Ravens mini-helmet, autographed by Ray Lewis.
And for some lucky person who stayed until the end, the grand prize is a pair of Super Bowl tickets.
Another raffle, though, was reflected on the big digital board on the stage that displayed the names of the draft picks.
Combinations for the Quarterback Super Lotto drawing, courtesy of the NFL Draft, Day 3:
Good luck, new teams, on hitting the jackpot.
Face it, quarterbacks chosen on the third day of the draft are essentially lottery tickets.
The Arizona Cardinals snagged Thomas, the 6-6, 248-pound specimen from Virginia Tech with the cannon arm, in the fourth round with the 120th pick overall.
The Houston Texans got the much-traveled Tom Savage, via Pitt, with a compensatory pick at the end of the fourth round, 135th overall.
Murray, the former Georgia quarterback coming off a torn ACL, went to the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round (163rd overall), with Alabama’s McCarron going to the Cincinnati Bengals on the next pick.
In the sixth round, LSU’s Zach Mettenberger and San Jose State’s David Fales came off the board. Mettenberger, also trying to rebound from a torn ACL in addition to reports that his drug test sample at the combine was diluted, went to the Tennessee Titans in sixth round, 178th overall. The highly productive Fales was nabbed by the Bears with the 183rd pick.
It took a while to get the latter-day run on quarterbacks. After the New England Patriots selected Jimmy Garappolo with a second-round pick on Friday, it took 60 picks for another quarterback to get drafted.
That really puts all of the hype about this year’s quarterback crop into perspective.
It was so over-hyped. This is not 1983. The pre-draft chatter about the potential of “second-tier” quarterbacks being viable options is so, so suspect.
Otherwise, somebody would have snapped up these latter-day quarterbacks a bit earlier.
As it turned out, there were more running backs chosen on the first two days of the draft than quarterbacks. Yeah, those devalued running backs.
Reality check: First-round quarterbacks have a 50-50 chance at success.
So what are the odds of striking oil with a fourth rounder?
Maybe Thomas and Savage — now hitched to esteemed quarterback tutors in Bruce Arians and Bill O’Brien, respectively — will develop into something special. And Murray has drawn the good fortune of being groomed by Andy Reid. Perhaps we’ll someday wonder how in the world Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater went ahead of these latter-day projects.
When a quarterback is chosen in the fourth round or later in the NFL Draft, he is a flier, a speculative play – which is a long way from being a franchise quarterback.
Sure, Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick in 2000, selection No. 199. Bill Belichick got lucky. No doubt, Mr. Hoodie was attracted to something. But if Belichick had known definitively that Brady was poised to win three Super Bowls and marry a supermodel, no way he would’ve risked leaving him up for grabs until the sixth round.
Tony Romo wasn’t even drafted. Bill Parcells should get a cut from Romo’s whopping check.
So, yes, it’s possible.
McCarron just might be the guy who shows Andy Dalton how to take the Bengals to the next level.
Yet Brady and Romo are such aberrations.
Just because Texans GM Rick Smith declared to USA TODAY Sports recently that he would land his “franchise” quarterback in this draft does mean that it happened with Savage.
The Texans could be rolling into the season with Ryan Fitzpatrick, provided he beats out Case Keenum and that the team doesn’t obtain a veteran from elsewhere.
Until proven otherwise, by Savage or someone else, the Texans still need a “franchise” quarterback.
Consider the pattern: Of the 27 veteran quarterbacks who will head to training camp with solid locks on their starting jobs, 18 were first-round picks, three entered the league as second-rounders, four were third-round picks. Brady and Romo are the others.
Matt Cassel (seventh round) and Brian Hoyer (undrafted) aren’t included in the tally of 27, with first-round picks Bridgewater and Manziel in the mix for the Vikings and Browns, respectively.
There’s a reason the latter-day quarterbacks were just that.
They are spec picks. If they pan out, their teams hit the lottery.
Instead, they lasted that long in the draft because their apparent flaws set the level on their value.
So, when Savage, McCarron and the others get on with their development, the expectations should be managed accordingly. Franchise quarterbacks don’t last until the second half of the draft.
But there’s never a limit on hope to strike it rich by hitting the number.