Sobo: Draft Musings on Tap

Want Colt McCoy? What does history say about teams trading back into the first round of the draft for a QB? What about needing to pull starters from the 3rd round? Sobo examines both in these excerpts from the OBR's TAP Room forum...

OBR Draft Analyst Brent Sobleski has been writing down his thoughts every day in our subscriber Tap Room forum. Here are two of our favorite Sobo thoughts-of-the-day.

So, you want to Trade Back into the First to get a Quarterback?

A lot of recent conversation seems to be centered around this topic as of late, with good reason.

Quarterbacks are always the hot commodity.  Teams often scramble to acquire the next tier of prospect who may or may not have the ability to be their franchise signal caller.

One has to wonder about the track record of those who were acquired in such a manner. is the uninspiring list of quarterbacks acquired later in the first round by teams trading back into the initial installment over the past decade:

Brady Quinn, Cleveland
Jason Campbell, Washington
J.P. Losman, Buffalo
Patrick Ramsey, Washington

Not a large sample size, but certainly not encouraging.

Furthermore, here is the larger list of those signal callers selected in the second half of the first round in the same time frame:

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay ('09)
Joe Flacco, Baltimore ('08)
Brady Quinn, Cleveland ('07)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay ('05)
Jason Campbell, Washington ('05)
J.P. Losman, Buffalo ('04)
Kyle Boller, Baltimore ('03)
Rex Grossman, Chicago ('03)
Patrick Ramsey, Washington ('02)
Chad Pennington, NY Jets ('00)

Overall, it's always about the individual.   But that is a pretty depressing list in general.  One legit franchise type.  Two who made a Pro Bowl.   Again, not encouraging.

So the question remains, do the Browns gamble on the top ten quarterback or do what it takes to acquire the quarterback viewed in the next tier?

Recent trends are rather telling

Managing Expectations

Too often one will hear (especially this off season), "...if 'we' can get 3 or 4 starters out of this draft."   Or "...if we get a starter out of one of those third round picks."

It simply isn't overly realistic.

How many rookies last year from the third round became predominant starters on their team immediately?


- Defensive tackle Terrence Knighton and cornerback Derek Cox started all 16 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars last season.  They were the only players in said range to accomplish this feet.

- Two others started double digit contests; San Diego guard Louis Vasquez and Super Bowl starting cornerback Jerraud Powers.

In total among the 36 selections made in 2009's 3rd round, the group accumulated 76 starts combined.

That's an average of 2.17 starts per each selection.   

Minus those four early fixtures previously mentioned, that's a whopping 18 combined starts among the final 32 other prospects selected.

22 of those talents saw significant overall playing time.  Only a handful never saw the field in their inaugural campaigns.   So there are plenty that will be looking to make a jump in their second year of service.

Even still, people will still try to make an argument that it's about the individual, not the trend.   Starters can and have been found in the third round (or lower).  This is true to an extent, and those previously mentioned exemplary draft decisions highlight this thought process.

Unfortunately, those are generally the exception...not the rule.

It is like watching a built up movie about which people have continually raved.  Once the second hand viewer sits down to watch the film, he or she felt a sense of being let down.   Why?  It did not live up to those overblown expectations.   The NFL draft falls along the lines of the same slippery slope.

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