A lot of people recently criticized underclassman quarterbacks, pointing back to recent history and saying that a lot of them fail. Furthermore, they applied that logic to this draft class and said that it is a much higher risk than a senior quarterback. This is very true that a lot of them fail. I can’t deny that. Even with that being the case, I still would not rule out Stafford, Sanchez, and Freeman. Here is why:
A lot of quarterbacks fail regardless of class standing. Underclassmen fail. So do seniors. See Cade McNown, J.P. Lossman, David Carr, Akili Smith, and Matt Leinart (Yeah I said it!).
The other reason why I believe more underclassman fail is because you see a lot of small school guys or people who played at weaker programs who had a monster year and want to capitalize on the hype. Andre Ware went to Houston, Ryan Leaf went to Washington State (not a perenial powerhouse, but a somewhat legitmate school), Alex Smith went to Utah, Tim Couch went to Kentucky (big school with very little football production), and I throw J.P. Lossman of Tulane in there because he only started his senior season.
The difference between all of those guys and Matt Stafford and Mark Sanchez is USC and Georgia versus Utah, Houston, Tulane, etc. None of these guys were surprises. They have been legitimate talents their entire lives. The same is true with Josh Freeman. All 3 of those guys were 5 star recruits on rivals their senior years of high school.
Alex Smith, the only other quarterback on the list with a rivals profile I could find, was 2 stars. I know its a small sample size, but I still can’t imagine guys like Andre Ware and J.P. Lossman being much higher than that.
If the big 3 from this year did go back their senior years, they would still be first round draft picks (maybe not Freeman, but the other 2 are definite locks). The same may not have been true for Alex Smith, Ryan Leaf, or Andre Ware (Heisman and all).
I am not saying there is not a good chance that these guys could be busts. Using my same logic, Rex Grossman should have been a lock. I just think that the underclassman thing is not really all that valid. If the Chiefs did not have the best young arm in the league, I would gladly take any one of these guys (although I liked Bradford the most).
1. There has been this recent fad among analyst in saying that the combine actually does not matter as much as the fans think, and that a guy can only do so much. That in fact scouts base a lot of projections based upon performance in college.
That is ridiculous. Ray Maualuga was a top 5 pick on a lot of boards before the combine. I guarantee that you can not find a mock draft dated before the combine that him outside of the first round.
Also try to find me a draft that has Aaron Curry in the top 5 before the combine.
2. I am thankful that Jeremy Maclin slid all the way to the Eagles, and did not land anywhere in the AFC West. I am excited to see McNabb and the Cheat Code hooking up for long bombs all year.
3. There is no defending Al Davis’ crazy. That draft was abysmal. I normally think it is insane to try and rate drafts the next day, but to take a safety that no one has heard of at the very beginning of the second round is obnoxious. Prove me wrong, Al.
4. I got to give a shout out to my school… Did you know Mizzou had more draft picks than the rest of the Big 12 north combined, and the most in the Big 12? Anyone who says Nebraska is the still the king of the north is delusional.
Overall, a very fun draft. I am excited for next year, and can’t wait to see who the Chiefs will take with the 32nd overall pick.