First round QBs in the NFL Draft may disappear.

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nflDraft

Not that long ago most NFL teams gave a rookie QB 2 or 3 years to mature and learn the game. However, that has changed in recent years and it may be changing again.

First round QBs are expected to start quickly and some of them are able to do that. The recent success of Roethlisberger (PT), Sanchez (NJ), and Ryan (AT) make us forget the list of those that have crashed and burned in recent years.

We start with 2007 because it is too soon to evaluate players being a bust from the 08 or 09 drafts.

2007-1st pick JaMarcus Russell Oakland Russell has thrown a total of 18 TDs and 23 picks since joining the league. He has a career passer rating of 65.2. In the 2010 draft the team traded for Campbell to replace him.

2007-22nd pick Brady Quinn Cleveland He didn’t get thrown into the game immediately but that still didn’t help him. In 3 years he had a rating of 66.8. He was traded to Denver this year for a bucket of water. They were so impressed with Quinn that they used a 1st round pick on QB Tim Tebow.

2006-3rd pick Vince Young Tennessee His first 2 years he was the starter and had passer ratings of 66.7 and 71.1. He got benched in 08 and the first part of 09 but came back after learning a little more about the game and had some success.

2006-10 Matt Leinart Arizona He started in game 5 of 06 and threw 11 TDs but 12 picks. He ended that year with a QBR of 74. He was named the starter in 07 but was done after 5 games with a QBR of 61.9. He has started 1 game since. He will have to fight for the job this year because the Cards traded for Anderson after Kurt Warner retired.

2006-11th Jay Cutler Denver Cutler was quite successful in his first 3 years with QBRs of 88.5, 88.1 and 86.0 before wearing out his welcome forcing a trade to Chicago. There he threw 27 TDs but 26 picks and a QBR of a mediocre 76.8.

2005-1st overall Alex Smith San Francisco Smith started the last 5 games of 05 and all of 06. But 7 games into 07 he was pulled for an undrafted FA. Even with a QBR in 09 of 81.5 his career number is 69.2. In his first 3 seasons he threw 19 TDs but 31 picks.

2005-25th Jason Campbell Washington Campbell sat out 05 but started 7 games in 06, 13 games in 07 and every game since. Despite improving his stats each year, he was traded to the Raiders this season for a 4th round pick in 2012. That is the equivalent of a 6th round pick this draft.

So in the 3 seasons we looked at, there were 7 first round QBs picked and only Cutler has been successful enough to be named a replacement pro bowler after a couple of others backed out. Young may be on the upswing after sitting for a year and a half. The rest were pretty much busts. Those busts set their teams back several seasons except the Cards that had future Hall of Fame QB Warner in reserve.

So what is the problem? There are several factors that are making the drafting of a QB in the first round less likely now and perhaps prohibitive in the near future.

The first cause is cost. The price of a QB as the 1st pick in 2010 will be 50 million in cash guarantees. Bradford will get that even if he never plays a down for the Rams. The Rams were willing to take offers to trade down but even in an uncapped year there were no serious bids for the pick.

The more pressing issue is the spread offense of the College game. More and more college teams are using a version of the spread and QBs that play 3 or 4 years in that system are not at all prepared to come to the NFL.

The pass patterns that the spread runs are very limited. The most frequent pattern is the bubble screen. There are very few teams that use the route tree like that of the NFL. The favorite pattern in the NFL is the skinny post. Very few college QBs even know what that is.

WRs are wide open in college but are not open at all in the NFL. As a result, QBs are not forced to make the throw to the back shoulder of a WR. There is accuracy in college but that does not relate to accuracy in the NFL.

The average QB is in the shotgun 90+ percent of the time. They never have to worry about the 3, 5, and 7 step drop back. Footwork is critical to accuracy and almost none of the QBs coming into the league have consistent footwork.

The CBs that an NFL QB faces every week are better than any that a college QB in his career. The college kid has seldom seen a rotating zone or combination man/zone D. Those are used every week in the NFL.

The worst part of the spread is that QBs never have to make more than 2 reads of the defense. Bradford was not even looking at the D prior to the snap. He was always looking for the coach’s call from the sideline. It takes time to learn to do pre-snap reads. An NFL QB has to know where the pressure is likely to originate and has to adjust to it.

The more the rookie 1st round QBs cost the more pressure there is to put them under center Day 1. But given the complexities of the NFL defenses and the lack of NFL offenses in college, the more expensive QB is less prepared to come into the league.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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cos,Titans

The Browns passed on a Hall of Fame QB and RB

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s

I know what your thinking. You probably believe that I think now that Sanchez the 5th pick overall pick in the 2009 draft is going to be a HOF QB. I don’t know about that. I still have a suspicion that Sanchez will be a good but not great QB. That is not the guy I am talking about.

In 1999 when the Browns were presented with the list of “vets” in the expansion draft from which they could build their roster, the name Kurt Warner was available! The Rams had put Warner on the list because they had brought Trent Green in as their starter and had Tony Banks who had been the starter for 3 seasons. They were also planning to draft a QB in 99. Warner was at best the 3rd QB on their roster.

Warner had been a super star in the Arena League. Before you laugh at that consider this–A critical key to success at QB is the ability to find the open guy and get him the ball in very tight windows quickly. The Arena League is a good training ground because there is only a 50 yard field that is 1/2 as wide as the NFL field and there are only 3 guys blocking for the QB.

Warner had also flourished in NFL Europe where he had been the MVP. Unlike the pinheads that were making decisions for the Browns, I had watched NFL Europe. I had also seen Warner in the Arena League a couple of times. As the Browns made their picks, I was S C R E A M I N G at the TV to take Warner. They didn’t. I threw an ashtray at the TV after the expansion draft and then went directly to Walmart to buy another one.

Every sports fan knows what happened then. Green went down in the preseason. Warner had beat out Banks for the 2nd QB spot in the 99 off season. Warner started and took a team that had won 2 games in 98 to a World Championship in 99.

The Browns on the other hand didn’t compete for a playoff spot. They went 2-14 and thus began the 11 years of inept play by the “new” Cleveland Browns.

What if?

What if in the Expansion Draft the Browns would have taken Warner? Then they could have traded their first 2nd round pick to the Colts for Hall of Fame RB Marshall Faulk. Then they could have traded their 1st pick overall to the Saints for their entire draft (except a 2nd round pick that had been traded previously) plus a 1st and 2nd or 3rd round pick in 2000 depending on RB Ricky Williams production. They would have had to pick up a vet free agent QB if they were not going to draft one early. Those that were available were Brad Johnson, Gus Frerotte, Trent Dilfer and Jon Kitna. All of them were capable of starting until Warner was ready. Of course Warner was ready long before anyone could have expected. Here is what their first draft could have looked like:

1-1 Traded to the Saints

1-12 DE Jevon Kearse TN

2-32 Traded to the Colts for Faulk

2-45 Fred Vinson CB GB

3-62 Cory Hall CB CN

3-71 Joey Porter LB PT

3-76 Mike McKenzie CB GB

4-107 Rosevelt Colvin LB CH

4-124 Ed Mulitalo G BA

5-125Traded to the Colts for Faulk

5-144 Jerry Azumah DB OK

2000 Draft

1-2 Chris Samuels T WA

3-64 Laveranues Coles WR NJ

Clearly it is easier to pick great drafts after the fact but I had every one of these players on my list and I am sure that other draft analysts had them as well. The key is if you have more picks even a blind draft guru can hit on more than if you have fewer picks. The extra picks could have made a huge difference in the team over the last 11 years.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday morning at 11. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL Football,NFL Draft,expansion draft,Warner,Browns,Faulk,Hall of Fame,NFL Hall of Fame,Colts,Saints,draft picks
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  • Published: Oct 10th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Around the NFL in week 5

Around the NFL in week 5

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NFL

ATL @ SF The Falcon passing game is not producing the big plays that it did last year. SF’s D is playing outstanding football despite not having a great deal of talent. They have taken on the attitude of their coach. The O needs to catch that same attitude. RB Gore is as good as any in the league but is dinged up. The QB and the O line need better talent.

This is a big test for the young Falcons O in particular. The O line struggled with the Pats variety of blitzes last week. The backs and TEs will have to do a better job of picking up the blitz because they will see a lot of them from the 49ers. The Falcons will pass it and win.

IN @ TN You probably wonder why I would list a game between 4-0 Indy and 0-4 Tennessee but I am OFF THE TENNESSEE bandwagon. I fell off and bumped my head. Indy wins and the Titans are out of the playoffs. Tennessee has the 31st ranked pass defense is going to be tested by the Colts. The Colts win.

NE @ DV This is the game that shows that the Broncos are just an average team. The Pats run the ball down their throats and the Denver 3-4 will not have an answer. On D, the Pats have to blitz to prevent teams from eating their DBs up. If Orton has time to throw the ball he can give the Pats DBs fits. He will not get time and the Bronco running game will continue to struggle. The Pats win.

CN @ BA The Ravens lost their first game of the year last week at NE. Now they are tied with the Bengals for first place in the toughest division in the league. This years Bengal team is significantly better than they have been in the past. The D grew up last year without the O being able to move the ball. The Bengal D got a lot of practice under fire.

QB Palmer is back and throwing well but not quite as well as he was before the injury. He has a QB rating of only 75.2 and has been sacked 9 times in 4 games. The Bengal O has been inconsistent looking great one week and inept the next. But the running game is getting better with former 1st round pick of the Bears RB Benson averaging 4.4 a carry. The O line has struggled at times protecting Palmer. They will be challenged severely by the Raven front 7.

The Bengals will hang with the Ravens but short of another below average performance by QB Flacco (27-47 247y 2tds 1int) the Ravens will win.

NJ @ Mia The Jets need a win over the Fish. The Jet D has played much better this year than last. They are doing a better job of putting pressure on the passer but still have some questions in the backfield with injuries. QB Sanchez looks good but still has trouble reading coverages and adjusting to pressure in his face.

The Chad Henne era started in Dolphin land earlier than they expected with the season ending injury to Pennington. Henne holds the ball too long and has struggled reading defenses as well. He has been sacked 7 times in a game and a half.

The Jets will come at Henne with enough blitz combinations that he will long for a return to baseball. The Jets put another dent in the playoff hopes of the Dolphins and get the win.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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Tuesday Morning QB for 10/06/09

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football

TN @ JK The Titans are in serious trouble. Just like the rest of those that watch and are fool enough to try to prognosticate NFL games, I thought the Titans would come around. They have had a ton of injuries on D and on the O line but that is no excuse. They are bad and there are no answers on the bench (see my column on Will Vince Young ever become an NFL QB?). The Titans are out of the playoffs for the first time in a while.

Jacksonville had their game blacked out. They are really struggling to get their attendance up. The only hope to keep the team in place beside a winning streak which won’t happen is to play some games in Orlando. They won’t do that and will end up moving. The 7 of you that have the NFL Network can see Jacksonville games after midnight on that channel.

BA @ NE The Pats took the one path to beat the Ravens that I have seen—Jump ahead and make them a pass first team. The 14 point 2nd quarter by the Pats put the Ravens behind and they gave up on the run. That was not wise because Rice averaged 9.4 yards per attempt but got only 11 carries. The loss pulled the Ravs even with the Bengals who they play next week. The Pats were able to pull even with the Jets in the loss column with their fall to the Saints. I still believe that the Pats are the class of the AFC East.

NJ @ NO The Saints untold story is their D. They stopped the Jet O cold and held them to 10 points. The O has carried the Saints for years but now under former HC Williams they are playing very well on D. Look for them to make the NFC South their personal playground. The Jets will be fine and should make the playoffs as a wild card behind the Pats. They are a good team but Sanchez has to have some time to become a NFL QB.

DA @ DV The luck continued but so did an above average effort by the D. The Bronco D has played above their heads and has contributed the most to their 4-0 start. Dallas is in trouble. Romo has yet to prove he can make it happen in tough spots. The playoffs are going to be tough for the Boys that are now in effect 2.5 games behind the Giants because they are 2 games back in the loss column and lose the tiebreaker. The running game is struggling because the passing game is not as effective as it should be. The O line is a problem but so are the backs. Neither Barber nor Choice got 4 yards a carry. That is the standard for an average running game.

SD @ PT The Steelers got another win by showing their grit. They held off the Chargers on a 2nd half rally that netted 28 points. The Steelers scored 10 in the 4th to win the game. Mendenhall got out of the dog house just in time to run for 165 yards and 2 TDs. He was the difference between this win and last weeks lost to the Bengals. The Steelers are now 2-2 but 1.5 games behind the Bengals. They should still get to the playoffs but will it be as the Division champ or a wild card. The wild card route is a tough road to get to the Super Bowl.

GB @ MN The Pack was able to keep Peterson under control and allowed him only 2.2 ypa. But by focusing on the running game, Favre went to work. He threw for 3 TDs and 271 yards. The Pack gave up on the running game too soon. Grant was averaging 4.6 per carry but got only 11 attempts. The Vikes are on their way to the 1st seed in the playoffs and that should carry them to the NFC Championship game.

TB @ WA The Redskins saved Coach Zorn from getting fired or worse. They stumbled to a 16-13 win over the totally inept Bucs. This was the stinker game of the week and lived up to that title. Between Johnson (TB) and Campbell (WA) there was only 276 yards of passing! If you were thinking that the Ds played really well, you would be wrong. Neither guy could hit the water from a sinking boat in the middle of the Atlantic.

CN @ CL Check out my full report on NFLDraftDog.com tomorrow.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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Around the NFL for 10/03/09

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football

Top games of the week

GB @ MIN The battle of the QBs should be more than interesting. The Vikes come in undefeated getting a breathtaking pass for a win last week. Favre is playing well but he has to do just a little with the great running game of Peterson and Taylor. Taylor is going to have to increase his 2.4 per attempt average to get the ball much. Rogers is playing great and the D has come around using the 3-4 faster than expected. The Vikes win in a close game.

BA @ NE The Ravens may be the best team in the league. QB Joe Flacco has a qb rating of over 100 and the combination of rbs have moved the chains. The goal line back McGahee has scored 5 TDs in just 3 games and is making his fantasy owners very happy. The Pats are OK on O but their D has deteriorated badly from age and neglect. The Ravens win and it might not be close.

NJ @ NO The Jets get exposed as a good but not great team. The Saints have always mistreated scoreboards around the league with one of the most potent Os in recent memory. The D has been a problem but is playing much better. Ex-Jet MLB Vilma has been looking forward to this game for a long time. He has stabilized the D getting everyone in the right spot. The D makes Jets rookie QB Sanchez look like a rookie and the Saints win.

SD @ PT This game is a must win for the Steelers. They will know if the Ravens win their game against the Pats before the kickoff. At 1-2 the Steelers can not afford another early loss in the conference. The Chargers should get LT back this week at least for part time duty. They have to generate a rushing game to go with QB Rivers passing O. The blame for a lack of running is shared by the backs and the O line that has not been getting the push they need. Pitt is tough to run the ball against and win the game in a low scoring squeaker.

DA @ DV Paul Brown once said “I’d rather be lucky than good. Good teams lose.” No team has been as lucky as Denver. Their D is much less than suspect and their O is depending on QB Orton because the running game has been invisible. Dallas is better than it has played and needs to show us something by beating a very over rated Bronco team. Dallas wins.

Stinker of the week – As usual, there are a lot of candidates for this “award” in the week 4 schedule. CN @ CL will make the battle of Little Big Horn look close. DT @ CH will insure the Lion winning streak ends at 1. OK @ HO who cares?

But there is one game that the league should have to pay the fans to watch—TB @ WA When you lose to a team that has not won a game in over a year, you deserve to be ranked among the rankest in the league. TB isn’t much better. I feel sorry for the announcers in this debacle. It will be a very long afternoon with the ineptness broken only by plays that will show up soon in Football Follies.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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What did we learn from the weekend?

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FOOTBALL

College Football

USC @ Washington I don’t think the Trojans are going to want to play Ohio State again any time soon. Every time they do they lose the next game on the road. Washington is better but USC lost the game Washington didn’t win it.

Florida State @ BYU I was wrong about BYU. Florida State is a young team that hasn’t figured out how to win consistently but is always dangerous because of their speed. They jumped out on BYU and never looked back. That eliminates BYU from the national championship discussion.

Tennessee @ Florida The Vols have one of the great D coordinators in the history of college football—Wayne Kiffin, the father of head coach Lane Kiffin. WK did an outstanding job of keeping the Florida O under control despite a lack of O from Tennessee. It will take LK a while to get the guys he needs for O but the D will keep them in a lot of games.

Texas Tech @ Texas The TTk system is good but it really helps to have a great QB and top WRs. TTk stayed with Texas for awhile but don’t have the depth this year to compete.

# 19 Nebraska @ # 13 Virginia Tech While all the experts picked VT to cover, I thought Nebraska would cover and possibly win. They came very close and should have held on.

#23 Georgia @ Arkansas Georgia is over rated and as predicted came back in the 4th quarter to win. But they are not as good as most thought they were.

The Pros

CL @ DV The Tan’s right tackle is the worst blocker I have ever seen start in the league. I have 2 for Mangini. 1st, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING SIGNING AND STARTING RT ST. Clair? Second, how do you like your rookie C Mack that can neither block nor snap the ball in the shotgun formation? Check out my complete analysis of the 1st through the 3rd quarter on tomorrow. I didn’t watch the 4th quarter because I just couldn’t take any more.

NO @ PH QB Kolb wasn’t quite as bad as he has been before but still threw picks that cost the Eagles any chance of a win. Look for the Eagles to start him again with the same result—another loss.

NE @ NJ Coach Rex Ryan’s D did a job on the Pats. The Pats are not as good on D as they were with Seymour. On O the Pats are not better. Part of the problem is the lack of WR Welker. He is out with a bad knee. But for the first time ever, I saw QB Brady not stepping into a throw when the pressure got around him. That is not like Brady at all. This was the first time he had a lot of pressure since coming back from his injury. He may get over it. If the Pats are going to be champions, he is going to have to ignore the rush.

The Jets are looking good on O and the D has played nothing short of outstanding football. I will have more on this tomorrow.

SD @ BA On Saturday the Charger NT Williams was put on IR. That hurt the D against the run in the game against the Ravens. The two headed monster of Rice and McGahee ran right up the gut against them. The Chargers just can’t score TDs. They kicked field goals regularly from inside the red zone. Unless that changes, the Chargers won’t go far in the playoffs.

CR @ AT Delhomme didn’t look bad but Atlanta is just a better team. The QB had just one turnover.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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