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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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Sargo, Bill Belichet is a warlock.... It's well documented, if this was 1680 he'd be burnt at the stike......

Kris I'm not arguing that the pats are better than the dolphins anyone knows that I'm arguing the fact that you said a good QB will make the Oline better

So what QB are we going to take in the first round that is going to make our oline pass protect and run block better

all I'm saying is we have bigger issues than QB and none of the QBs coming out this year are outstanding and if there are they will be gone before 15

I thing we trade pick up a second and draft the best player available in the first at a need position like RB, Guard, or Tackle maybe even a speed reciever that will help stretch the field.

Ain't healthy being a fin:

Five Dolphins players from the early '90s have died, four in the last 18 months. The oldest was 46.
•Punter Reggie Roby (a Dolphin from 1983 through '92) died in February 2005 of unknown causes in Nashville. He was 43.
•Defensive lineman T.J. Turner (1986-82) died of complications of a stroke in August 2009 in Bryan, Texas. He was 46.
•Safety Jarvis Williams (1988-93) died of an asthma attack in May 2010 in Palatka. The former Florida Gators star was 45.
•Offensive lineman Harry Galbreath (1988-92) died of a heart attack in July 2010 in Mobile, Ala. He was 45.
•Shawn Lee, who spent 1990 and '91 with Miami before playing in a Super Bowl with San Diego in 1994, died Saturday in Raleigh, N.C., of cardiac arrest brought on by double pneumonia.


I'm just trying to understand what you're saying. So saying Henne gets it, gotcha so far. So we have this kid that we drafted this year, let's say it's Mallett. How do we get two first round picks for him when he's been sitting on the bench? Now they are saying something similar to that in Philly these days and the talk is they want a first for Kolb, who was drafted in the second round. I can't see it happening, but I suppose there's a chance a team might give Philly a second for him. Not sure that benefits Philly though.

Incidentally, San Diego think worked out Ok for them, only problem was that Brees walked away from them for nothing. I'm not sure when Henne is a FA, is it after 2011 or 2012?

kris it wasnt just them thinking that. he was a drug addict along with bill maas whos sister marino married. maas still on cocaine etc. marino kicked it


Also, the argument that if Shula had saeen him coming he would have gave up a pick or picks to move up is absurd.

Shula had just got to another Super Bowl with Woodley and Strock.

Thats the point! Shula didn't NEED QB! He had just gotten to the Super Bowl. He didn't NEED to give up his 2nd and 3rd to move up for a QB or any other position for that matter.

When ALL the "other Genius's" passed Marino down the line, EVERY SINGLE TEAM passed on him, Shula, DESPITE being strapped at QB, despite the red flags, Shula pulled the trigger. Shula is THE ONLY ONE that did see him coming.

The rest is history!

If Shula would have seen him coming-ROTFLMAO!!!!

Great owner plus a great GM plus a great coach = Multible super Bowls.... Buffoon Owner Plus a Clueless GM, Plus a FG Happy fist pumper as a coach = 7 and 8 season, the past 2 years and a probable 4 and 12 record this year.......

aj hawk is a free agent and should be signed right now by us

Fin Fan Orlando.....

I honestly don't believe all of the top 4 QBs will be gne.......most likely 2 will be gone...and 2 will remain.....

Teams who desperatley need QBs get cold feet and don't draft one maybe because it like a death sentence.....fans expectations go up...owner's expectations go up....and if the QB fails.......the FO will surely be fired.....

DE and LT are much safer picks.....

we have need a QB at least 2 years before marino retired....and we have never pulled the trigger......

To answer your question.....I am in the Mallett camp.....I know he has flaws....but I also think he has "IT"......I hope we get to find out......

and as far as trading back.....NO WAY....have some balls and pick the best player available at 15.....enough of this walmart 2 for 1 discounts.......

We can use more depth at every postion


Well the way I remember the 1982 QB draft, Marino was the last of the elite QB's to go in the first round and was considered one of the greatest QB classes ever. The big issue with Marino was a bad rap for his knees and for drug use. Considering the times and other players already playing or having played with allegations of drug use, it was no big deal. I'm pretty sure it was before mandatory testing for banned substances.

The knees were the issue and if I'm not mistaken it's also what ended his career. He had a few surgeries on them.

I think Shula was shocked that Danny was still around and never hesitated in taking him in the first round. He always looked forward and it really paid dividends for him personally and as a head coach. Shula always got what he wanted from Robbie..

kris go back and watch mallet in the bowl game. guy looks horrible

Who were The Other QBs taken in 82, Elway,kelly,Eaison,O'Brian and who else????, Oh yeah Marino......

your with me so far Craig M......

I'm using the Kolb Scenario as a baseline.....he was a 2nd rd pick I think and now Philly wants a 1st for him.....

If "mallett" gets drafted in the first but we decide to keep Henne....I am sure we could probly tradw him for a 1st and a 2nd or a 1st and a 3rd.....as long as he didn't expose himself......

Best case scenario is Henne lights the world on fire......and we trade him....he will bring more value than what we paid for.....

Ofcourse these scenarios take 2-3 years to develop....it won't happen in 1 season.....

and you have to be like andy reid and tell EVERYBODY WHO WILL LISTEN...that your back-up QB is great.....

If you say it enough....somebody will believe it

cuban even todd blackledge was taken ahead of him

3 HOFers on that list and 2 of them played in the AFC east....

FinFan in Orlando,

I'm with you man. Very good post at 5:48pm.

Bill, for once we agree on something. I'd like to see A J Hawk on this team too. Highly doubtful that we get something done before the CBA expires. This guy is going to want a multi year deal and he's going to want to shop his services. But I like your thinking at getting this guy on the team.

for mallet to pick up more value then what he had when he was drafted he would need to have some success like kolb has had. and if he did u be sure we would keep him over garbage henne

SOmebody told me that yesterday bill......

I still haven't looked at it.....

but c'mon...

6 feet 7 inches.....


Touch....can throw the seam over the LB...under the safety....

and already seemed to have that swagger at the combine


I understand what you are saying and it's not bad thinking, my only problem with it is that the Eagles have a much deeper roster than us and they can afford to wait on getting the best deal for Kolb. We can't do that. We're going to draft a guy, when we could be plugging TWO holes (via a trade back) and then have to wait a couple of years before we can trade somebody. I understand what you're saying, I'm just not so sure we can do it with the roster we have.

Kris one more thing you were talking percentages

well in the last 7 years only 5 QBs picked in the first round out of 20 drafted in the first round have started year one

Roethlisberger (1st RD P11)
Ryan (1st RD 3rd Pick)
Flacco (1st Rd 18 Pick)
Sanchez (1st Rd 5th Pick)
Bradford (1st Rd 1st Pick)

out of those five only one has one the super bowl in his first year


Ryan went to playoffs in his first year in 2008 but then took a step backwards in 2009 before he stepped it up in 2010

Flacco has been to the playoffs twice thx to a great defense

Sanchez same as above

Bradford almost made the playoffs because of the crappy division he is in

All I'm saying is that the chances and percentages say that if we draft a QB in the first rd he probably wont beat out Henne and right now we have bigger needs and next year all the experts say there is a much better QB class

I think this year we add some more pieces then add the QB next year

6'7 isnt a good sign. nobody that size has ever done anything in the nfl at qb. throws off his back foot alotttt

kris and bill,

Did you guys mention he can get free junk for all the guys on the team?

How tall is Flacco?

Forgot about Todd Blackledge.....

I'm not so sure the Packers aren't going to re-do Hawk's deal. Will be interesting to see if he signs it before the lockout or when the CBA is settled. They didn't want to pay his $10.5 million bonus. I have a funny feeling they have a deal under the table.

Mallet has feet of cement. Can only through with his feet firmly planted, he is horrible on the move, loses all accuracy. Not saying we need a running QB, but Mallet is a stiff. He is going to spend a lot of time getting off his rear.

Bill Ben Rapisburger I think is 6 ft 6......

Look Finfan, the fact is sometimes you have to take a chance. I mean I'm wondering did green bay ever think they'd go all the way?

Sometimes you play the law of averages, but we can't afford to be a god awful team year after year.

Personally, I think taking a chance on someone like Vince Young and drafting a QB in the first depending on who's around at 15 might work for us.

Don't get me wrong we have a lot of holes to plug on O. The fact is that we can't afford to ignore our biggest hole.

If Henne turns out to be the best QB play him.

To continue to ignore our most pressing problem is how we got here in the first place. Every player on this team is accountable for their play and actions. There was no love of Henne from his own players. It wasn't just Marshall.

And one thing too The Patroits always have so many picks because they have the luxury off trading back every year

There is no way that you can tell that Mallet has the "It" factor until he plays an NFL game. The speed of the college game versus NFL is huge.

Plus so far the only QB I here that is getting alot of love not only at the combine but from the senior bowl is Ponder

Orlando....let me add to this if you will....

Roethlisberger (1st RD P11)- 2 SBs...and three appearnces

Ryan (1st RD 3rd Pick)-hasn't done anything yet....

Flacco (1st Rd 18 Pick)-3 straight years in the playoffs and 4 playoff wins...

Sanchez (1st Rd 5th Pick)- 2 afc championship games in 2 years

Bradford (1st Rd 1st Pick).....just missed the play offs...but significantly improved his team.......

and to your post...i am not counting on a day 1 rookie starter.....i just want to know were planning for the future....

D'Dense, The Problem runs a lot deeper then QB, For instance, The Owner is a Buffoon,The GM is clueless, The Head coach"LOVES" A FG..., Did I miss anyone??

Isn't Ponder the guy with the jacked up shoulder?

kris ryan lead his team to the number one seed in the playoffs

Bill...they all got issues....if footwork is the wost of them....then we can work on that....

He doesn't have to be a day one starter....

BTW...worst mechanics in the NFL is BIG BEN......

Sometimes what makes the player...MAKES THE PLAYER

True bill...but no playoff wins

d-dense did you notice that we could not even run the ball last year sorry but the most pressing position on the team is the Oline followed by RB only because we have none on our current roster and to be honest there are no really good options in free agency except for Brown and you still have to back him up with someone good because he is not a workhorse he is injury prone and if we signed him and did not fix the Oline he will be no better than last year. We got to trade down and pick up a secong to try to get three starters between the first 3 rounds hopefully a RT so we can move Carrey to guard which is his natural position and a center and hopefully a young fast running back somewhere in there

but then again they were beat by the eventual SB champ Packers....with their 1st RD QB

Sargo.... I'm sure that you have your reasoning and I certainly respect them, but having a running or highly mobile QB does not guarantee anything other then that he will likely blow a knee or break ribs or eventually a collar bone.. Give me a QB who is elusive and has 1 or 2 steps in the pocket over a running QB any day of the week. Place a Above average O-line in front of Mallet and you have a damn dangerous QB under center. Will he get sacked?... Of course... will he throw strikes down the field for TD's a whole lot? You better bet you ass!!!
What I saw when I watch the entire Combine was a Dangerous QB in Mallet. He has attitude and a damn fine arm. He is the sort of gunslinger that could change the whole future of this franchise.
I'll stand by my words... we will either Draft Mallet or a guy like Newton or Locker... Or we will be watching any of the three, particularly Mallet hang TD's on our Defense for the next 10 years. Ive seen 45 years worth of QB's and Mallet will be a good one in the right situation...in other words... NOT a west coast system.

I'll agree with that Cuban! I saw your earlier post and forgot to acknowledge that.

I think if you look at the relationship we had with Robbie and Shula it was almost the status quo for that time.

Today the owner is far removed from the HC and relies heavily on the GM. I mean I even forget who it was, I'm thinking Smilie or something like that. All this GM stuff started, well I can't even remember , but good point.

yeah but still after couple years who wouldnt take that. matty ice damn good. im tellin u kris, go back and watch the bowl game for mallet. i was big on him until i saw that


Think for a second. We draft a guy in the first and we still have Henne. Why would Vince Young agree to come to Miami? Vince Young is going to want to go where he is almost assured of being a starter. If the lockout drags on, you're talking about a guy who's not a worker or a student of the game. I've you've got Henne and a first round pick on the team, I don't think Young's a fit for us and I don't think Miami is a fit for Young.

AMEN to Derek's post at 6:25 PM.....

Mallett has that "IT".....and I stand by that....

AJ Hawk?

Is he better than Crocodile Clam Chowder?

Hawk and Dansby in the middle!

I think I need a wet wipe!!!!

You maybe right Craig. Maybe GB backup, would be a better fit, but you gotta believe VY and everyone else is keeping as fit as possible awaiting the new CBA.

i'm gonn check it out tommrow at work....

FinFan in Orlando,

You make a lot of sense man! Almost like I was writing it myself....I see things the same way you do. Can't disagree with anything you said.

green bay sounds dead serious when they say flynn isnt available

This QB class is full of red flags, get a decent FA to put some pressure on Henne, worst case escenario next year take a shot for Andrew Luck...

Use pick 15 for a RB/WR..Jones or Green could slip..


Bill...I agree with you on Matty Ice...phenomenal QB...and he will get his play off wins later.....


I'd like to think that and I'm still a fan of bringing Vince Young in. I'm not a fan of drafting a quarterback in the first round however. I know what Armando posted today but I still think you could pick a QB in the 2nd-4th rounds and bring him along very slowly and have him be an above average QB. The Packers do this on a regular basis and then trade them for picks and there are some intriguiong guys later in this draft.


In no way did I say what you imply I said. Its amazing how often bloggers twist what you say into something else. In fact, I specifically said we don't need a running QB, but that he was just particular awful on his feet. A running QB is one thing, and a highly immobile QB is another. He is a highly immobile QB. He is not elusive, on a broken play, the play will remain broken.


Ryan has been to the playoffs twice

that is five QBs in 7 years out of 32 teams

the chances are not very good that we will hit and like I said before this QB class is not very good.

We need a good oline so we can run the ball and keep the pressure of the QB or forget it just so the QB can have the 3 to 5 secs they need to scan the field

and please St louis was 7-9 they only almost made the playoffs because there in a division with seattle (7-9), SF (6-10), and Arizona (5-10) if the fins were in this division we would have made the playoffs too

Bill.... Can you really judge a QB by one game? I mean you must take into consideration that a QB is more then just himself. He is a part of a total package. Mallet had a bad Bowl game... no doubt. Not one of the Offensive line he played behind is in the top three rounds. But take the guys intangibles along with raw talent and place that in a pro-Coaching staffs hands and things do get better. Mallet has put up some ridiculous numbers...60 TD's man...! History say what a guy does in College he can do in the NFL... 7K + Yards... 60 TD's... Henne could not DREAM of such numbers.

I believe part of the problem with teams drafting later round picks is that teams rush those guys and try to get them into the lineup too early. There's not much depth out there in the QB world and injuries happen, so the kids end up playing before they are ready. Again Green Bay has done this with guys like Brooks, Hasselbeck, Pederson, and Rodgers. This should be the model for all teams.

derek no i dont think its fair. but watch that game and tell me what u think. pay attention only to him in everything he does

If I remeber the story correctly Shula was undecided on Marino on Draft day so he called I believe Marino's Coach at Pittsgurgh and the guy said,- if he's there, grab him quick.!

brooks? pederson? come on craig man. rodgers a first rounder. hasselbeck yes in the 6th rd. and maybe flynn can be, 6th rd

Would really like to see VY become a Dolphin.

He has a good number of years left barring injury and may just mature into a solid teammate.

Of all the rookie QB's and FA QB's Young looks to me like the best option.

I just dont see this organization giving a player like Young a chance though.

Also, I dont see Young as enough of a game manager to suit Sparano.

Building pieces around a QB in this years draft seems like a good idea.

A speed WR, LT and physical freak TE would be some good places to start.

vyoung should not be an option. hes a cancer

Karlos... How is Miami to "get a decent FA" when there may not even be Free Agency until well into the Summer or even none at all? I must say... I agree with you. I also wanted Miami to bring in a FA. But Green Bay has all but shut the door on Flynn... Kolb is as big a risk as any pick after Locker, Carson Palmer is not going to strong arm anyone in Cincy and Vince Young's name causes people to begin projectile Vomiting at the mere thought. I have looked at next years QBs... don't buy the hype... after Luck it drops off just like this year... That talk is just "We want no drafted QB's around here" folks talking smack. Miami needs to be very serious about what they do here... this draft has talent and some guys that will be playing every Sunday in this league.

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