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History dictates teams must find QBs early

I shared with you recently that an NFL scout related to me his opinion that any team hoping for a good chance at finding a starting quarterback should think of accomplishing that goal early in the draft, certainly not much later than the first round.

Well, the folks at draftmetrics.com are putting statistical weight behind that opinion now.

In studying the NFL drafts of 1991-2010, draftmetrics has come up with the astonishing fact that over 48 percent of quarterbacks starts the past 20 years were made by players selected in the first round (selections 1-28), which is nearly twice as much as the average for all positions.

There have been 241 QBs selected by NFL clubs from 1991-2010 and a whopping 68.2 percent of the ones picked within the first 13 picks of the draft became five-year starters.

Let that marinate for a moment.

The NFL draft is, in my opinion, a 50-50 proposition. Bill Parcells famously said, "they don't sell insurance for this."

Yet nearly 7 of 10 QBs picked between No. 1-13 overall were good enough to be starting for their teams for a long time. That is impressive.

The draftmetrics folks also bust the myth that drafting a quarterback must necessarily be an exercise in patience because 30 QBs over the past 20 years of drafting have started at least eight games in their rookie seasons.

Why am I sharing this you?

Well, if you think the Dolphins can find a five-year starter with the No. 15 overall selection in the coming draft, this study suggests the chances are much better if Miami could trade up a couple of spots to get a higher rated player.

It tells you that if you are convinced the Dolphins cannot find a 2011 starting quarterback in this draft, you are not recognizing facts because 30 rookies did exactly that since 1991.

If you are advocating the Dolphins trade back -- rather than up -- to add a pick and take a lesser rated QB, history is saying you're making a bad deal. Consider that while 68.2 percent of QBs picked by the 13th overall pick become five-year starters, only 14.3 percent of QBs picked between selections 49 and 74 accomplished the feat and only 6.7 percent of QBs selected from 74-114 overall accomplished the feat.

Point is teams maximize their chances of success with QBs by getting them earlier. And the ones that come late are typically not going to solve your QB issues.

Yes, there are exceptions. Tom Brady was the 199th player selected. Tony Romo was an undrafted free agent.

But exceptions are rare.

The top quarterbacks, the quarterbacks that start right away and last for at least five years as starters go early in the first round, according to the 20-year study.

So what does this mean in today's real world?

Well, it means that Blaine Gabbert, likely the first quarterback off the board in 2010 and likely a Top 10 pick, has a very good chance of being a success according to the history.

It means that JaMarcus Russell's failure was the exception and not the rule.

It means that quarterbacks teams rate as later prospects are more likely to become Brady Quinn than Tom Brady.

All of this should give teams pause. And it does. I know for a fact teams conduct similar studies of past drafts to maximize their chances of success.

So say, for example, the Dolphins have Nevada's Colin Kaepernick on their board as the No. 49 rated player ... Well, the historical probability of him becoming a five-year starter for Miami?

14.3 percent.

Think about that.


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Craig m yes now you understand I would be ok with them moving up to get a qb. As far as who I want them to draft I'm no GM and neither are u and I don't play one on this board so what ever qb are qb has the highest grade on

Craig, I know you lack intellectual capacity, and that's why you still say no to spending a 1st pick on the most important position on a team. And that it's way more important to select a lineman or a rb because they will make us instant champions? Whatever man, I guess you don't see my list of active qbs and can't process that they are/were effective not through luck but because a team made the investment of a 1st pick in them. Keep reaching for the stars with the Colin kaepernicks, Chad Hennes, Pat Whites, and John becks of the world.

Wanting to use a 4th pick ona qb is like using gum to fix a leak in the ceiling.

One thing we need to keep in mind...this FO has kind of dug us into a ditch. We have way more needs than picks. Everyone has a plan to stretch the picks we have into filling all the holes we have....but can't be done. We need to accept the fact that the 2011 team will not be complete.

At some point...this team needs a new #1 back, Ronnie never panned out, never will, and now he is 30. If you have to pick at 15 and the number one back in the draft is available, and even a Heismann winner, why not fill that need and be set for the next several years? All of a sudden because its a passing league everyone seems to think any 5th round RB is fine. Teams winning with the average late round RB's typically have HOF Quarterbacks and a lot more positives going on! We don't.

Let's at least kill one bird with one stone!

Dyingbreed did I ever compare what mallet did to what Marino did at Pitt? No I did not infact I'm wondering if u even read the post. I compared the fact that they both had drug rumors


If Aldon Smith are the impact players experts are raving that they will be. No way they slip to #15. Nice wet dream though.

Ty Smith also had a terrible 225lb bench at the combine. After that scouts are saying he needs to either hit iron pile evry hard or put on much more weight.

With those concerns now arisen, he isnt a very good #15 either. The guy's not powerful at the point of attack right now against much stronger nfl d-linemen.

No one likes Ingram but when sliced and diced he keeps coming up as the safest bet at #15. Dont worry though, the exact same circumstances kept surrounding Emmitt Smith. Many Cowboys fans were petrified at the pick until they saw him play. LOL........

Mark in t. I'm with you bro

Emmitt Smith benefited from having a HOF QB. Do you not think so Craig and DB.

Come On Man!!!!!


Here's the repost of that article for those who didnt see it:


Single page view By Skip Bayless
Page 2

That April Sunday in 1990 had been declared Earth Day. But when the Dallas Cowboys' first-round pick was announced, I immediately renamed it What On Earth Day.

Emmitt Smith?

The little running back from Florida whose 40-yard dash times (4.6s and 4.7s) were better suited for fullback? Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson needed another slow running back like Texas Stadium needed a hole in its roof during a thunderstorm. That's why Johnson had just made a trade with San Francisco for Terrence Flagler, a former first-round pick who could fly.

Plenty of people had their doubts about Emmitt Smith coming out of Florida.What on Earth, Jimmy?

As a Dallas columnist, I had been run ragged trying to keep up with Tony Dorsett, on and off the field. No Cowboy could say and do the wrong thing as quickly as Dorsett could. Nor could any running back in NFL history accelerate faster. Talk about a blaze of glory. And now the Cowboys were going to replace TD with Too Slow?

Earth to Jimmy.

Several Cowboy scouts had told me Johnson was dead-set on drafting a defensive difference-maker -- North Carolina State defensive end Ray Agnew or Baylor linebacker James Francis. As the draft unfolded, Johnson, indeed, tried and failed to trade up from No. 21 to get Agnew, who went 10th to New England, and Francis, who went 12th to Cincinnati.

From 10 through 16, seven straight defensive players were snatched. So with Pittsburgh on the clock at 17, Johnson realized it was time to take the offensive. That's when personnel director John Wooten reminded Johnson that 1.) the Steelers had agreed before the draft to trade places with Dallas for a third-round pick; and 2.) Emmitt Smith was still on the board.

About half the Cowboy scouts and coaches were against drafting Smith. Not only was he too slow, but he was too small (about 5-foot-9 and 205 pounds) and too soft to pound out the tough yards between the tackles. To top it off, he had an unbreakable habit of carrying the ball under one arm instead of shifting it away from an oncoming tackler.

But Wooten remembers the eldest scout, Walt Yowarsky, "all but standing up on the table and saying, 'This kid broke every high-school rushing record in Florida. He can catch, he can block, and I've yet to see him get caught from behind. All he does is make yards. You have to take him.'"

Johnson had experienced this first-hand, while coaching the University of Miami against Florida. Johnson told Wooten: "Do it."

Wooten called Tom Donahoe, then Pittsburgh's general manager, now Buffalo's. Wooten says: "Pittsburgh wanted [tight end] Eric Green, who was going to be there at 21. So we gave him a three [third-rounder] to switch places and move up to 17. No sooner had we made the deal than Ken Herock called from Atlanta and offered us a two to move up from 20 to 17, which was a very attractive offer. But I said, 'Kenny, who you gonna take?' He finally said, 'Emmitt Smith.' I said, 'No thanks.'"

At 20, Atlanta wound up taking a running back from Washington State, the spectacularly forgettable Steve Broussard.

And because Jimmy Johnson couldn't wheel and deal for a defensive demon, he got stuck with a little guy who managed to play for 15 seasons and set NFL records for yards gained (18,355), carries (4,409) and rushing touchdowns (164). Emmitt also helped put two Super Bowl rings on Jimmy's fingers, and a third on Barry Switzer's.

Craig M.....some RED FLAGS ON Peyton Manning:

He has good arm strength, but not necessarily a “gun” that you might expect from a QB at the top of the draft.. He has adequate mobility and good overall AA, although he is not a scrambler by nature. He has done an excellent job of getting the most out of his abilities, but he is not quite as natural a player as Leaf. One question that some NFL scouts have is the question “will he get any better?”. At times he gives the appearance of being a self-made player, and sometimes those types of players don’t always go on to great NFL careers. In Manning’s case, he may be a solid and productive NFL QB, but he may not have Hall of Fame type skills, but it certainly won’t be for lack of effort....

link below....

Land VY and maybe take a flier on Stanzi or Colin Kaepernick.

However, if a 3rd round pick is used on a QB then what about the rest of the holes on offense?

The Dolphins are going to find a speed WR in FA?

Or that seam threat TE?

I do not see that real dynamic TE in FA. That guy probably has to be drafted.

Same thing with a speed WR/KR.

I'd like to see

3rd round, Pick 79
Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy
Round 4, Pick 110
Virgil Green – TE – Nevada 4th round.

Mark in TO,

Keep the insults coming man....it just lessens any credibility you might have had. It's an indication of someone who doesn't have a leg to stand on when you have to get to that level. I have no 'intellectual capacity', because why?....I don't agree with you.

What you fail to understand Mark is that our problem is not that we can't or don't draft quarterbacks we're useless at developing them. So go ahead and bring your boy Mallett in at 15 this year and when he falls on his face and we're three years down the road we can have the onversation how 'drafts a first round QB guarantees NOTHING'. Everybody says it's a 50/50 proposition at best but you NFL guru no better. Amazing!

Deven - that was one of the best posts I have seen on this blog.

Mando - take the 68% QB starters and let Sparano and Lee have them for a couple of seasons I bet over 80% of them would fail - Henne is getting a bad rap because he played under these two nincompoops.

And ofcourse the big Knock on Manning was HE COUDN'T WIN THE BIG ONE...(his college rival)...

Then that resurfaced with his playoff losses....and only slightly hushed with his SB win....


thanks for the info on Manning. Yes, I am sure there are red flags on everybody that comes out, I'm just saying there are more on these guys than I can evr remember. I like Gabbert myself, but there's even red flags on him. Can't ever remember a year where there was as much disagreement on who the top picks are.


That's my knock on Manning today, if he has one. His playoff record isn't impressive and head to head against Brady is poor also.

Dang, Craig M, you stop fighting with Kris and now it's MarK...

I'm starting to see a common denominator here?


I would say the cowboys benifited overall from having a "complete" offense. Deep threat(Irvin/Harper), seam threat TE(Novacek), qb(Aikman) rb(Smith), oline.

So you see, you need to be a complete offense to be a multiple SB winner. But can still steal a SB trophy if you're very close to that. But the odds are still very highly against you.

Armando - It was asked to you on the 1st post of this arcticle, but I'd like to repeat: What are the #'s for QB's picked from 14-48? It would seem reasonable to include that statistic. Thank you.


I think the biggest thing with Emmitt Smith was they he played behind one Hell of an OL. Those guys used to open up holes that a bus could drive through. And for the most part, during those Super Bowl years, they kept the line together. Not saying Smith wasn't a good back or doesn't deserve to be in the Hall but his line made him. Good luck to him if he'd played behind our line from last year...LOL.


Stop trying to fuel the fire. Go back and see who started things....

Craig, your wrong. I've been right about every back-up QB Miami has employed since Marino retired. And I didn't need stats to tell me that. Miami absolutely needs to trade up to get a SB caliber QB. Miami has been listening to people like for far to long.

These Emmit Smith comparisons are a bit crazy.

I agree with Phinfan78, the rest of the offense around Ingram is not even close to what Smith had in Dallas.

In fact the closest counterpart might be Henne/Aikman.

No Johnson at FB, no speed WR in Irvin, and most importantly no great offensive line!

These comparisons are just fantasy. In fact much more of a wet dream than thinking Aldon Smith could be a good pass rusher. LOL

and that is a friendly swipe your direction DB.

Your right Craig M....his playoff record is poor at best...and the 6th RD draft pick Brady has stolen much of the annoited one's glory.....

I know, I know...You're always the victim Craig...


'A SB caliber QB'.....pre-tell? Who is that? I'm dying to know who we're talkiing about? How is it you can tell who that is and the 'experts' can't even agree who the best QB in this draft is or who should be drafted first.

Educate me please....


Manning always still looked great on a less talented Tennesee squad. Another great intangible for Manning was pedigree(Archie) and work ethic. Those were things that could not be overlooked and really pushed him over the top.

I wonder if the guy that printed the scouting report you posted even still has a job. Maybe he's the janitor at that company now! If they trust him to even do that correctly. LOL...........

Like I said Marc.....stop trying to fuel the fire.


I thought the comment that Manning 'is not quite as natural a player as Leaf' as funny. Betcha the guy that wrote that never lived that down.

Dying I agree (sort of) about taking QBs every year. Think that was the Ron Wolfe model. But I think a more realistic view is to get a QB who you believe will be the next Peyton Manning. What Mando points out, gives you the best odds at getting one.

But what if you guessed wrong? That's why you keep drafting. Doesn't necessarily mean the 1st round. Because sometimes, a later round QB does make it. And if he don't, you dump him and try again next year.

BTW, I do agree it is a weak QB draft in that not even the top 2 or 3 scream, pick me.

This Dolphins staff is conservative and arrogant enough to stand pat of the O-line and draft Ingram.

Look for another year of conservative predictable, plodding offense from the Dolphins.

Henne will be the robotic game manger and the Dolphins will always lose to dynamic, offensively aggressive teams.


I couldn't find a won-loss record for five year starter Alex Smith but I betcha it's abysmal! Sure hope our organization can add a first round pick quarterback who can be a five year starter like Alex.


Just keep jerking yourself off my friend. Aldon Smith isnt falling to #15 even in your stickiest dreams! LOL.........

All that will be there "if" we're lucky is Ingram. The Dallas fans hatedd the Emmitt Smith pick at first too. So I do understand. LOL.............


You're starting to sound like Bill Connors. DOOM and GLOOM!!

Why don't we all reach for the sleeping pills and razor blades.....it's a nasty, nasty old world!!


To the contrary, I believe Ireland isnt close to smart enough to draft Ingram. He'll get rid of 2012's 2nd rd'er to move up and take Cam Newton.

I dont think Ireland's quite as bigoted about fathers p*rostituting thier sons out! LOL.........

LOL @ breed.....

in the article it it actually sights his work ethic as a RED FLAG.....stating that he may have "hit the ceiling" in college...lol

The draft is over-rated. More specifically, your don't make or break your team in one draft. You CAN break it by screwing up in multiple drafts. But it is really the team's administration that makes the difference. You got to foster a winning attitude... somehow. New England doesn't pick in the top 10 every year but somehow they are always a good team. Granted, there is a point to be made that says it is Tom Brady, so you should pick a QB. But history has proven that odds are that it is very unlikely anyone of those quarterbacks will be near as good as Brady... or Roethlisberger or (fill in another great QB name here).... and chances are they are more likely to be the next Tim Couch.

I was watching Highlights of the Dolphins after Penny went down... I noticed that the player everyone is saying plays with no emotions was running down field after Td Passes.. High Fives to players and Laughing.. Something happened during the last off season..Turning him into the Robot you all call him..I beleive it was a direct result of Henning and being told not to make a Mistake..Don't take chances... Marshall and Thigy got blasted on the sidelines when he had 1-1 coverage and thig hit marshall cuz they broke the route...Marshall spotted it..Thigy read it and they made the play... I hope this year they let them make those reads..Throw those lobs..Funny how we read the stat line.. 15 Td's 19 int's.. But we fail to see the fact that.. In the Baltimore game.. 3 int's.. 1 Hartline falls down.. 2 Marshall pulls up over the middle..and the 3rd Bess slips on a come back.. Not Hennes fault..the Detroit game.. 2 int's in the end... 1 the rookie tight end quits his route 2 Bess slips int... thats 5 right there alone Direct result of Wr's.. The Patriots Game ..3 int's.. 1 was his fault..1 was Amazing pick by the Def..and 1 was Marshalls fault..thats 6... Then he had 3 td's called back Drop or Pen.you start to see a swing in #'s.. Stats dont always tell the story...Now im not blind Red Zone has to improve... But run up the middle..0 yards.. Wildcat loss of 3 or gain of 1..Ok Chad.. 3rd and long...convert now...There was more to the failure of this team last year then Henne Folks..Drafting a Qb does not Fix Miamis Problem..We fixed Def last year in the draft... Lets fix the O this year...

After the draft Ireland will try to convince us all Cam Newton was worth not having a 2nd rd pick this year nor in 2012. Prepare yourselves dophans! LOL......

nj,is that you?.lol

Its for those reasons that I never, ever believe these so-called experts.....

I'm curious to see if Ireland is even allowed to make this pick. I have a sneaking suspicion that Ross will be making it for him and he'll be picking Newton if he's there. And then all the guys who want a QB will say 'Why did we pick that guy? Everybody knew he was a problem child. Everybody knew he was a project'.

It's how the fanbase works, in case you didn't know.

mallet is basically leinhart, no thanks



SINCE 2001 --









I wonder how the guy that wrote that report on Manning's "work ehtic". I wonder how his work ethic is at the end of that mop he's now pushing instead of a keyboard.

Maybe he now works for team supervisor Ryan Leaf at McDonald's! LOL..........

mallet is flacco with cement shoes and rusty knees.


Can you PLEASE tell that to Mark in Toronto. He refuses to believe that to be the case. He believes the QB makes the team and I'm trying to tell him the team makes the QB.

Please show him the light....thank you.

Who is , well I would be glad to tell you if I was employed by the NFL and given all the resources they have. Yes I said it. I could do a better job than Miami's FO has done in the last 10 or more years. The first problem is listening to people who go by, just the stats. And not the person. Second I have more common sense in my big toe. Than most of people who are making picks just on stats. Third I understand how important the QB position is.

Give me a break on the first round bust. Because, the point is. That It's Miami's BEST CHANCE!!


look man the 'wet dream' and jerking yourself off' ore your weird comments and you can keep them.

I would much prefer to see Tyron Smith, OT, USC
Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

but even

Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri would be a better pick than any 1st round RB.

But you have been fixated on Ingram for a long time, so I get it.

Actually drafting Nate Solder, OT, Colorado would be even better than Aldon Smith.

Shoring up this offensive line will make 'any' RB that ends up back there a better player.

Craig...whatever QB is picked (if one is picked) is a new beginning for this FO....to me they should pick one FOR THE SAKE OF saving their jobs.....

They can tell Mr, Ross they need time to develop him.....

in either case the fan base would have to be patient....

Newton is a 2 year project....

Mallet probably will need a half-a-season....

and even then thats just so they can take there lumps for the next year

WHO CARES ABOUT PRO-BOWLS?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

LOL @ BREED....i'm out.....time to beat traffic

Oregon wants us to draft players that wont be around at #15. When he finds a way to draft players that have already been drafted before our turn. I sincerely hope he clues the rest of us in. LOL.............

Henne is inaccurate outside of 7 yds. Am I wrong?

Or are you going to say it's the recievers fault?

And don't blame it on the O-line. It's not their fault Henne is a stiff board.

Craig M,

I am not looking for sleeping pills however, I do think Tony, that is Mr FG is a piss poor HC.

Not overly impressed with Ireland's drafting and FA either.

I dislike the conservative, predictable offensive approach and believe it is a recipe for mediocrity.


We're taking Gabbert or AJ Green at 15, don't you know....pass it on....

Averages are for baseball!

its a 50 50 thing... you either have it, or you dont! yes/no..up/down...left/right..get it?


Mr Conservative is gone....FIRED!! Maybe you didn't get the memo. New start...

Can we get past this stuff guys. I know we haven't won a Super Bowl in almost 40 years and only been to the playoffs once in ten years but that's not THIS regime's fault. They've only been there for 3 years. They're not allowed to erase the history books. They can only control what's ahead of them. So Mr FG has become Mr Newstart or Mr I'mgoingtodowhateverittakestowin or Mr Winatallcosts. The new season starts in two days.....I'd like the crap from last year and previous to stop now!


I come out better jerking to a Sears catalog than wishing Julio Jones drops to #15 or anyone else Oregon is naming.

He also just stated you he doesnt want to see a "sleeping pill" offense yet he's high on taking an olineman(Ty Smith) with a high 1st rd pick. Geesh, what gives! LOL..........

Plus, Ty Smith was so weak at his 225lb bench at the combine. It sends huge red flags that unless he gets bigger, stronger, or both. He'll be very weak at the point of attack on the nfl level.

Some posters here strongly disagree with more solid picks, yet only offer highly breaded meatballs of thier own and are to blind to see this. LOL...........

All I'll say is I agree with the article. IF/WHEN we're ready to draft a QB, it MUST be a 1st-rounder. Otherwise, let's continue our strategy of getting all the other pieces in place before the most important piece and do what I'm doing now and crossing my fingers Henne "gets it."

You all can fight over whether this is the year to draft a QB 1st-round. I'd be fine with it (especially if Ingram is your backup pick for #15), but if we waited until next year I wouldn't cry too much over that either.

It's just a weird offseason people, you have to accept that. Free agency (at least for QBs) becomes worse and worse with each passing day, since a QB needs time to learn the playbook and gel with the offense.

Trust me, it really pains me to say this, but Henne is looking more and more like the SAFEST option this season. And the BEST thing you could do to help him (besides what we've done in getting rid of Henning) is get him some talent to play with (just not Ingram).

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