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Checkdowns: Brady Quinn, Charlie Whitehurst and draft value

Posted by Chase Stuart on March 24, 2010

In the past two weeks, two QBs were traded in the NFL.

  • First, Brady Quinn was traded to the Broncos in exchange for Peyton Hillis, a 2011 sixth round pick and a conditional 2012 pick based on Quinn's playing time. Breaking it down into the pieces, we've got: a) not much (Hillis); b) the equivalent value of a 2010 seventh round pick (the 2011 pick) and the equivalent value of very late 2010 pick. I think it's probably generous to say the value of the package the Broncos are sending to Denver is an early to mid 2010 sixth round pick.
  • A few days later, the Seahawks acquired Charlie Whitehurst from the Chargers by moving down from the 40th pick in the second round to the 60th pick and by sending San Diego their third-round pick in the 2011 draft. On my draft value chart, Seattle moving from #40 to #60, along with giving up a 3rd rounder next year (valued as a mid-4th round pick this season), is roughly equivalent to trading the 77th pick.

So we can gather that Quinn was worth a 6th round pick and Whitehurst was worth a 3rd round pick. The obvious follow up question is, why? We don't know too much about either player, but here's what we know so far:

Whitehurst was the 81st pick in the 2006 draft; Quinn was the 22nd pick in the 2007 draft. Whitehurst is two years older than Quinn -- he'll turn 28 in August, Quinn will turn 26 in October. Whitehurst has never thrown a pass in four seasons, which is exactly the position Quinn or any other QB would be in if Philip Rivers was on his team's roster. Quinn has been promoted and demoted alongside Derek Anderson for the past three seasons; neither Browns QB has looked very good.

So did Whitehurst improve his stock so much from sitting and learning behind Rivers in a Norv Turner offense? Or did Quinn just look so bad that his value went in the tank? Would you rather have Quinn and a 3rd round pick or Whitehurst and a 6th round pick?