I’m pretty sure I made some declaration some weeks back about how I was going to see this thing through to the bitter end. Well, to hell with that; the Suck For Luck Impotence Rankings have had a good run. It’s going on hiatus for a while though, because who cares?
Before I close shop on this feature, I’d like to talk about quarterbacks and the NFL Draft. Obviously, the Seahawks are going to have to draft a quarterback in the 2012 draft, so I thought I’d take a brief look back over the last 8 NFL drafts. Why 8? Because 2004 was the last truly great draft for NFL quarterbacks; it’s something we’re going to have to hope repeats itself if we ever want to have hope in Seahawksland in the foreseeable future.
In the past 8 NFL drafts, 104 quarterbacks have been taken. Out of those 104 quarterbacks, I would estimate 20 have been servicable on the NFL field. That’s being GENEROUS, because I’m including Alex Smith who has long been considered a huge bust (but has proven to be at least a competent game manager at times, including this year where the 49ers are dominating); Jason Campbell, who has at least shown in the past season-plus that he’s capable of winning games for the Oakland Raiders; and Kyle Orton, who for a while there was playing middle-of-the-road football until he lost his job this year for a rebuilding Broncos squad.
Now, if you want to count the truly ELITE quarterbacks out of that 104, you’re looking at the following list (in no particular order):
- Eli Manning
- Philip Rivers
- Ben Roethlisberger
- Matt Schaub
- Aaron Rodgers
- Joe Flacco
- Matt Ryan
- Matthew Stafford
Again, I’m probably being generous there; you could easily knock that list in half and I probably wouldn’t argue with you too much (still, we’re talking about 3 Super Bowl winners, another 3 who’ve made it to the playoffs more than once, Schaub who has two 4,000+ yard seasons under his belt and was well on his way to a third before he was injured last week, and Stafford who has proven to be excellent when he can stay healthy). So, to be generous, let’s count ’em all: 8. 8 guys in 8 years. These are franchise quarterbacks we’re talking about here! Everyone who picks a quarterback in the first round does so with the expectation that THEIR guy will be a franchise quarterback. And in the last eight seasons, we’ve averaged 1 per.
Of course, that number isn’t etched in stone. Some of these guys I haven’t included in the 8 might just need more time. But, I think it’s pretty safe to say that the bulk of the guys who I didn’t list AREN’T going to be turning any heads any time soon.
Want to look at it another way? Let’s just look at the first three rounds. Because, let’s face it, anything after that your chances are Slim-To-Fucking-None. Do you know who has been even remotely worth a damn from the rounds 4-7 in the past 8 drafts? Matt Cassel, Kyle Orton, and Ryan Fitzpatrick (all in the ’05 draft). That is IT! Of the 20 quarterbacks I referenced earlier, 3 of them came after the third round. Only Matt Schaub was picked in the third round. And only Andy Dalton was picked in the second round (the jury might still be out, but considering what he has achieved as a rookie, I’d definitely put him in the servicable pile).
That leaves 15 quarterbacks, who were all picked in the first round. Out of a total of 23 quarterbacks taken in the first round. But, let me remind you, I’m being generous here with my rankings! In addition to those 8 elites above, and the other servicable guys in the last paragraph, I included the following, who are all first rounders:
- Vince Young
- Jay Cutler
- Alex Smith
- Jason Campbell
- Sam Bradford
- Josh Freeman
- Mark Sanchez
- Cam Newton
Vince Young is a head case and currently a backup; Cutler has a cannon of an arm, but hasn’t really put it all together yet; Smith and Campbell I’ve talked about; Bradford doesn’t even have two full seasons under his belt yet; Freeman could be great, but he’s yet to play with a full allotment of weapons; Sanchez could be terrible, but he’s been bequeathed an otherworldly defense and a pretty-good running game; and Newton LOOKS like the real deal, but he’s still a rookie leading a 2-7 team absolutely nowhere.
The point is, while 15 out of 23 sounds like pretty swell odds for a team drafting a QB in the first round, not all of those 15 are guys you’d actually feel comfortable handing the keys to your franchise. Sure, their fanbases have to talk themselves into the Jay Cutlers and Alex Smiths of the world because that’s who they’re stuck with; but you know they’d rather have Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, or even Ben Roethlisberger instead.
I know I have the utmost confidence that Andrew Luck will be that next Elite-Level quarterback. But, will there be a second? In only 2008 and 2004 have we had multiple Elite-Level QBs in the past 8 drafts. Who knows? Maybe it’s an Every Four Years kind of thing.
Anyway, without further ado, the Final Suck For Luck Impotence Rankings:
- Indianapolis (0-10) – Fuck you, Indianapolis.