This year has not been the best for the Cardinals. So, while we see the team get beat as fans we begin to look towards the future to search for what our team needs to become what we all want -- a team that goes and wins a super bowl (preferably multiple years in a row).
To do this we breakdown college players, free agents, potential coordinators and front office personnel even though none of us will ever have an impact on the choices that the men who get paid...well...choose. This isn't to say we shouldn't spend our time breaking down players (although that might be a good idea). But I don't like good ideas. And so I am going to spend my time this afternoon writing about football players.
One of, if not the most, glaring problem this year is our QB position. We went from Kurt "the Hand of God" Warner to Derek "I know only one speed" Anderson and two rookies. Because of the troubles this has caused many of us are calling and hoping and maybe even praying to use a first round pick in the form of a QB and as the title suggests I don't like this idea.
I want to breakdown the first round pick since 1998 of QBs and explain two things. What I think is an important stat to look at when choosing a QB and to explain why we shouldn't necessarily choose a QB anyways.
And now, the jump
I don't know the secret to picking a Hall of Famer QB, but I really am intrigued by how teams pick their QBs. As we all know college success doesn't translate to the NFL. But one stat in conjunction with two NFL team factors is a very good indicator on a QB's success. At least, that is my belief. I do want to say I understand there are other factors to consider, I am simply taking one statistic I believe is one of the more important statistics for QBs.
Completion Percentage --Rather than look at how tall a QB is or whatever the combine says, I prefer consistency in passing because it helps shows whether the QB makes good choices and can make the pass more often than not. There is no hard and fast rule, but I think if a QB averages above 60% they have a good chance of being successful. If they are just around 57%-60% they can be a successful QB, but they a supporting cast and a stable environment even more than the 60%+.
NFL Team - The difference between a bust and success although are the factors of the NFL team drafting the player. If the team around the QB is terrible, the QB can only do so much. Let's face it, if there is no offensive line it doesn't matter how good they are, they will be terrible on the football field (unless you are Kurt Warner and have a release like lightning). If a team drafts a QB and has no supporting cast around him he will not succeed in all likelihood. Also, throwing a Rookie QB into the fire without allowing them to develop usually doesn't work well. In fact, it only ever works when the team has at least some wide receivers, a strong running game, and at least an average to above average defense (Ravens, Steelers, Chargers, Falcons).
Career Completion Percentage under 57% in college
Career Completion Percentage between 57%-60% in college
Donovan McNabb -- 58.4%
Carson Palmer -- 59.2%
J.P. Losman -- 57.8%
Jay Cutler -- 57.2%
Brady Quinn -- 58%
Matthew Stafford -- 57.1%
Josh Freeman -- 59.1%
Career Completion Percentage between 60%-64% in College
Career Completion Percentage over 64% in college
Tim Couch and David Carr were both on terrible expansion teams and were thrown to the dogs right off the bat, pretty much the same with Alex Smith and Jason Campbell (just not as bad). Roethlisberger, Sanchez, Ryan, Rivers, Manning, Young, and Flacco all had at the minimum an average team already assembled. Rodgers had years to develop and learn and a decent team. Leinart remember wasn't as bad as we make him out to be and some at ROTB wanted to keep him or wish we hadn't traded him. Grossman was very sporadic but had times when he played like a Pro Bowl QB. Pennington and Leftwich both were actually above average QBs, but just couldn't get their teams over that hill. Bradford looks good so far. Tebow is getting time to learn. And Russell is well, Russell.
Now the breakdown of the four touted potential 2011 QBs
Andrew Luck -- 63.3%.
Jake Locker -- 54.0%
Ryan Mallett -- 58.5%
Cameron Newton (is tricky because he really only has one year) -- 67.1%
Christian Ponder -- 60.9%
Current Arizona QBs (the rookies are college stats)
Derek Anderson -- Let's just say only Kyle Boller (50.0%) was worse and only by .7%.
Max Hall -- 65.3%
John Skelton -- 58.8%
So, the Cardinals could draft Luck, Newton, and Ponder and potentially have success. Looking at the history of first round quarterbacks I just come away thinking you need to be strong in all the other areas to draft a first round quarterback and have them be successful. Should we draft a first round QB? Or should we draft another position and address that need through FA or later in the draft?
My thoughts? Even though Whisenhunt likes to promote from within, he has to get proven coordinators (Wade Phillips? Josh McDaniels?) to help fix some of the Cardinals problems. This is because the Cardinals still have a majority the players that went to the playoffs last year. Get a veteran QB, and if and only if, Luck, Ponder, or Newton are the best player available should they choose one in the first round. Because personally, I think the Cardinals give Skelton time to develop and they can have a franchise QB on their hands and who knows maybe Hall just needs to develop too?