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Where should you do your quarterback shopping?

Posted by Doug on March 23, 2007

Matt Schaub: Superstar was traded to Houston the other day for a price that I'd call high but not extravagant. That means we can expect to see David Carr on the move soon, with Minnesota, Miami, and Oakland being mentioned as possible destinations.

Everyone has draft on the brain right now and, as seems to be the case every year, there are a couple of quarterbacks who are being considered as potential first overall picks and who, barring something unforeseen, should go in the top ten. Both have their strong points, but both also have significant questions and, as usual, we're starting to hear the chorus of "drafting a quarterback with a top 10 pick is too expensive and too risky" from media and fans.

The three teams mentioned above --- the Vikings, Dolphins, and Raiders --- could conceivably be in position to draft either JaMarcus Russell or Brady Quinn this year. Or they could trade for David Carr on the cheap. Until a few days ago, they could also have traded for Matt Schaub.

I don't think anyone denies that your chances of winning a Super Bowl are drastically improved if you have a good quarterback. But where people differ is on how you go about acquiring one. If you're the Oakland Raiders, where are you most likely to find the quarterback on your next Super Bowl team?


  • You could draft JaMarcus Russell or Brady Quinn - the risks here are well-documented: you're paying a lot of money for someone who could end up playing like Ryan Leaf or Akili Smith. What might even be worse than that is if you end up with a Joey Harrington or a David Carr (or an Alex Smith? or a Michael Vick???) who doesn't ever play particularly well, but shows enough flashes of competence that you end up hanging onto him for several years. On the other hand, lots of first overall picks do end up winning Super Bowls with the team that drafted them.
  • You could have traded for Matt Schaub - this gets you someone who is slightly more proven than Russell or Quinn. And you pay slightly less money. But Rob Johnson and Scott Mitchell remind us that this strategy isn't bust-proof either. And it seems like your upside is more Hasselbeck/Delhomme/Brunell than Palmer/Aikman/Manning.
  • You can trade for David Carr or some other relatively young and seemingly talented quarterback who might be resuscitated by a change of scenery. Pacifist Viking has been calling David Carr the next Jim Plunkett for months now. This is a cheap strategy but, Plunkett notwithstanding, it has a low probability of netting you the starter on your next Super Bowl contender.
  • You can try to draft your own Matt Schaub in the middle rounds - the problem here is that, even if you do find that gem, you're looking at a minimum of two years before he's even your starter and you get to see what he's really capable of. For the record, here are the quarterbacks drafted in the 3rd and 4th round between 2000 and 2004: Giovanni Carmazzi, Chris Redman, Chris Weinke, Sage Rosenfels, Jesse Palmer, Josh McCown, David Garrard, Rohan Davey, Dave Ragone, Chris Simms, Seneca Wallace, Matt Schaub, Luke McCown. This strategy could leave you spinning your wheels for a long time.

So what's it going to be? I fully understand the reluctance to hitch your wagon to JaMarcus Russell or Brady Quinn. I'm just not sure I see a better option.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 23rd, 2007 at 5:54 am and is filed under General, NFL Draft. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.