There's been a lot of talk lately around the Bucs' targeting of Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, and Teddy Bridgewater for the #7 pick.
Chances are 1 of those 3 could be available at the 7th spot, which has prompted a lot of debate from Bucs' fans and media members alike. The debate will continue to rage on if any of the QB's are worth a top-10 pick, if the BPA strategy should take precedent over QB, or whether trading down might be a better option.
I've become increasingly more fascinated by the sheer numbers and predictable analysis of success among QB's taken in the 1st round vs. mid-later rounds.
My question and purpose for this article is simply to find out, of the 32 starting QB's starting in the NFL, how many of which were drafted in the first round, and is there a correlation between success and draft position number. My theory would be yes, where you get drafted is a big indicator of future success, but I'll follow the scientific method and actually react from the data presented.
First Round QB's from 2003-Present
I posted this list in one of the comments section, but in case you didn't see it... Here are all the QB's that have been drafted in the 1st Round in the last decade (2003-Present). The Current NFL Starters are in bold:
2003: Carson Palmer, Byron Leftwich. Kyle Boller, Rex Grossman
2004: Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, JP Losman
2005: Alex Smith, Aaron Rodgers, Jason Campbell*
2006: Vince Young, Matt Leinart, Jay Cutler
2007: Jamarcus Russell, Brady Quinn
2008: Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco
2009: Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman
2010: Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow
2011: Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert*, Christian Ponder*
2012: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden*
2013: Ej Manuel
There are a total of 32 QB's on this list, and 16 of them are currently starters. That equates to a 50% probability that a QB would become a the the very least an NFL "Starting QB". Now I'll breakdown the varying tiers of QB's later in the column.
*Not counting as full time starter
Remaining Starting QB's with Draft Year and Round
Below is a list of all the other starting QB's from the 2013 Season with year and round drafted:
1998: Peyton Manning - 1st Rd
2000: Tom Brady - 6th Rd
2001: Drew Brees - 2nd Round (1st Pick)
2003: Tony Romo - undrafted
2004: Matt Schaub - 3rd Rd
2005: Matt Cassel - 7th Rd
2008: Chad Henne - 2nd Rd
2009: Brian Hoyer - undrafted
2010: Terrelle Pryor - Supplemental Draft
2011: Andy Dalton - 2nd Rd, Colin Kaepernick - 2nd Rd
2012: Nick Foles - 3rd Rd, Russell Wilson - 3rd Rd
2013: Mike Glennon - 3rd Rd, Geno Smith - 2nd Rd
Top 16 QB ("Franchise QB's") Rankings and Their Associated Draft Spot
This next list is to associate the Top half of QB's in the league who are most likely to be associated with the "Franchise QB" phrase. What's very interesting to see is where each were drafted, I'll break it down after the list. I didn't order these because this is NOT intended to discuss which QB is #11 as opposed to #8. Just a general grouping of the top 16.
- Peyton Manning - 1st Rd
- Tom Brady - 6th Rd
- Drew Brees - 2nd Rd (pick 1, 31st overall - technically a 1st rd pick in modern draft)
- Aaron Rodgers - 1st Rd
- Cam Newton - 1st Rd
- Andrew Luck - 1st Rd
- Russell Wilson - 3rd Rd
- Matt Stafford - 1st Rd
- Matt Ryan - 1st Rd
- Colin Kaepernick - 2nd Rd
- Philip Rivers - 1st Rd
- Ben Roethlisberger - 1st Rd
- Jay Cutler - 1st Rd
- Nick Foles - 2nd Rd
- Joe Flacco - 1st Rd
- Eli Manning - 1st Rd
"Franchise QB's" based on where they were drafted:
1st Round QB's: 11
2nd Round QB's: 3
3rd Round QB's: 1
Late-Round QB's: 1
The Point and Summary
The results proved my theory correct. 11 out of the 16 Top QB's in the league were drafted in the 1st round. So what's the point? The point is that it's extremely rare and unlikely to draft your "Franchise QB" past the 1st round.
With the Bucs sitting at the #7 position, it'd be wise to take that 50/50 coin flip if the remaining QB available can turn into that franchise QB. This isn't based completely on talent and scouting, this is based purely on data and probability.