Brohm in best position among rookie QBs

Should he get the opportunity to play, the Packers' second-round draft choice will have a better supporting cast than Ryan, Flacco and Henne, PackerReport.com's Doug Ritchay says.

Of the four quarterbacks drafted in the first two rounds of last week's NFL draft, Green Bay Packers second-round draft pick Brian Brohm is in the best position to succeed.

No, that's not a warning shot fired at starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers. It's based on where each of the quarterbacks are now calling home.

In order, Matt Ryan went to Atlanta (third overall), Joe Flacco went to Baltimore (18th), Brohm (56th) and Chad Henne to Miami (57th).

Rodgers very well might be a quality starter for years to come, but that doesn't mean Brohm can't be, either. How many quarterbacks backed up Brett Favre and at least became starters elsewhere? Mark Brunell, Ty Detmer, Aaron Brooks and Matt Hasselbeck.

The NFL is so starved for quality quarterbacks (see Chicago), that Brohm should get a chance. This is based on what many have said about Brohm the last two years.

Most believe he would've been a top-20 pick in 2007, if he had left Louisville. He stayed and dropped to the second round, in part because he lacked the quality personnel he had around him in 2006 and he went through a coaching change.

His numbers increased from his junior year to his senior season, but so did his interceptions. But many experts said Brohm might be the most NFL-ready among the 2008 QB class. The Packers remembered, and GM Ted Thompson tried to trade up in the second round to get him but failed. Brohm lasted to No. 56, making Thompson's day.

Brohm being in Green Bay with coach Mike McCarthy, who did a great job making Favre a NFL MVP candidate last season, should suit Brohm well. Furthermore, Brohm is headed to a team that reached the NFC title game last season and has a roster loaded with wide receivers.

Look where the rest of the QBs are going:

* Ryan to Atlanta: The Falcons have no proven receivers and a new coaching staff. A new coaching staff isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the Falcons are not in position to win soon, especially after last season's debacle.

* Flacco to Baltimore: The Ravens have a new coach and have no playmakers outside, although Derrick Mason caught a ton of balls last season. The Ravens are better than Atlanta, but Flacco's transition from lower-lever Division I to the NFL may take time.

* Henne to Miami: Henne is going to a 1-15 team that also has a new coach. Who does he have to throw to? Ted Ginn Jr.? He's fast but not a No. 1-caliber receiver.

Ryan, Flacco and Henne likely will start sooner than Brohm — Rodgers hopes so — but none are in a situation perfect for a rookie quarterback. Playing right away isn't always a good thing, and can send a quarterback on a downward spiral.

Steve McNair sat two-plus seasons before taking over for the Tennessee Titans. Yes, Peyton Manning has done well from the start, but others have faded away, like David Carr, who was fed to defenses during the Texans' early seasons, when they had no offensive line.

Quarterback is the hardest position in sports, let alone the NFL, to succeed. You don't walk in and take over just like that. The ones that have are like Dan Marino and Manning. Eli Manning has survived, but before winning this past season's Super Bowl, some wondered early last season whether he was the answer for the Giants.

Quarterback is the premier position in the NFL, and if you're pushed into the No.1 spot before you're ready, watch out.

Brohm doesn't have to worry about that. He can watch Rodgers and learn from the sideline. Based on so many teams needing multiple quarterbacks to get through a season — a concept Packers fans didn't have to worry about with Favre — Brohm will get his chance one way or another. It might be sooner rather than later, but unlike his three rookie other quarterback brethren, he's not being counted on to carry a bad team back into the postseason.

There's something to be said about where a player gets drafted. The Packers, based on the 2007 season, are by far the best team of these four teams with rookie quarterbacks.

Playing in a winning atmosphere instead of trying to build one is much easier.

In the end, this is the ideal spot for a quarterback to be. Brohm's with a winner, and when he gets his chance in Green Bay, or somewhere else, he likely will be ready. Ready to show he is the best quarterback in the 2008 class.

Doug Ritchay is a frequent contributor to PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at dritchay@sbcglobal.net


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