Logan Thomas: The riddle wrapped in the franchise enigma

Norm Hall

The Arizona Cardinals and the fans have hope for the big armed Virginia Tech prospect, but Thomas has history against him.

It's been a constant source of discussion over the last two and a half weeks, whether or not Logan Thomas can be the Arizona Cardinals "franchise quarterback", if he was a good pick or not, and what the expectations for his growth should be.

This is the reality of the Logan Thomas conundrum: He was a fourth round pick and most fourth round quarterbacks are mostly useless, while the other half are back ups at best.

Over the last two decades there have been 107 quarterbacks selected in round four or later and of those 107 only 29 have started at least ten games in their career. 29!!

There's a common misconception that comes with drafting a quarterback in round four or later that they are somehow a developmental player, that they have some "correctable flaws", and they are the right coach away from knocking down the door to become the next Tom Brady, because that happens so often.

Of the 29 quarterbacks who have started at least ten games in their careers, only nine have won 25 games in the NFL, the illustrious nine:

Tom Brady
Matt Hasselbeck
Marc Bulger
Gus Frerotte
Aaron Brooks
Ryan Fitzpatrick
David Garrard
Kyle Orton
Matt Cassel

That's it.  Those are the nine players drafted in the last 20 years that have been quarterbacks who have been starters and that is it.

Here's the thing though, this Logan Thomas pick was criticized from the jump for what reason?

Well, one local sports host said because he'll never see the field.  That he's not any good.

Maybe he's right, but here is my question: Who cares?

The Cardinals, if pro-football-reference.com is right,  have drafted 82 players from rounds four and on since 1994, and of those 33 never started a game and more than half (50) never started 16 games in their entire careers.

It gets even crazier from there, because most of them never stared three years worth of games and only 18 started two years worth of games.

People want to judge what happens with a player based on whether or not they start, but what happens if they just make it and what does it mean when a guy makes it?

Is it successful if Logan Thomas is a career back up?  Well, yes, it is, just based on the reality that there are so few quarterbacks who make it that long and that far in their careers after being drafted that late.

People can sit and pontificate whether or not Thomas will be a franchise quarterback based on a lot of things, talent, abilities, who his coaches are, but the reality is likely that he never will be, and that is why he was drafted so low.

When you have that much work to put in to get to the NFL median, that's a hard thing to do, but here's the reason it doesn't matter, why it won't be a "wasted pick": Because most fourth round picks didn't make it for the Cardinals, so why not swing for the fences? Sure you may strike out, but if you connect... Who knows what may happen.

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