It seems like we're about to re-start the annual tradition of being bummed out by this quarterback class. First up: NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah.
I've had multiple texts from personnel guys with the same message: "I feel bad for teams in the top 5 looking for a QB."— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) January 5, 2015
Well hey now, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston may not be perfect prospects, but that doesn't mean they're that terrible. But because they're not Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning, they get ripped into. It happens again. It will happen again this year. And it's ridiculous, because inevitably several quarterbacks from each of those classes succeed.
Last year, everyone complained how terrible this draft class was. Now Blake Bortles, Derek Carr and Teddy Bridgewater are seen as at least the near future for their teams. 2013 was genuinely a terrible year for quarterbacks, but that QB-less top ten featured plenty of players that look like busts, too. Cam Newton was going to fail, Colin Kaepernick fell to the second round, Matthew Stafford wasn't developed enough to be a first overall pick, Matt Ryan threw too many picks, Joe Flacco was a no-name from a small conference, Aaron Rodgers' mechanics sucked, Alex Smith was nothing special.
And you know what? I'd take every single one of those quarterbacks as the Bucs' starter right now, because finding quarterbacks is really freaking hard and you need at least a semi-competent starter. The perfect quarterback does not exist, will never exist, and we should stop taking flaws in a quarterback's game as some sign of them not being 'worthy' of a top pick.
If we listened to these naysayers, we'd have one new quarterback in the NFL every five years and everyone would be starting their version of Josh McCown at this point. Teams need quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck are exceedingly rare, so players who aren't perfect get drafted instead. That doesn't make them bad prospects, it simply means that they're not game-changing. That's all.
If you're going to wait around for someone like Andrew Luck to come around, you're going to wait forever. It's not going to happen. And if you don't take a chance on a quarterback, you end up starting Josh McCown or Mike Glennon or Chris Simms or Josh Johnson and the list goes on and on and on.
People act like quarterbacks are the only position that bust, even though even at the top of the draft, half of all selections fail. Drafting is hard. You're going to fail. You're going to draft busts. It's a fact of life. That fact does not mean you stop trying to get better at quarterback, it means you keep on trying until you get it right. Because until you get it right at the quarterback position, you will not win championships.