There's been a lot of fun bantering about how to use the #4 pick and the crucial question seems to revolve around QBs. Should we draft a QB or not. Here's my rational on why we shouldn't. I realize this is all just my opinion but it's what I think.
First I wanted to look at what kind of QBs were gained by using a 1st round draft pick on a QB in the last 20 years. To do this I found out who was drafted in the first round and rated them. Obviously the rating is just my personal opinion.
Elite - these are the great QBs that anybody would want to have on their team. Only the best fit into this category. These guys do well even when the surrounding talent isn't very good or even mediocre. They can going to carry the team on their shoulders. Elite QBs of the past include Montanna and Marino.
Good: These are the QBs that can look great when they have good talent around them and are good with mediocre talent. They don't dominate a game like an elite QB but they are still very effective. These guys struggle when the surrounding talent is mediocre. They aren't going to carry the team on their shoulders but they can win a Super Bowl on the right team. Good QBs of the past include Theismann and Simms.
Mediocre: These guys look good sometimes and not so good other times depending on the talent around them. Mediocre QBs of the past include Dilfer and Neil O'Donnell.
Poor: These guys struggle even with good surrounding talent. They rarely make a positive difference and frequently make a negative difference. Shuler is a good example of a poor QB.
Awful: These guys struggle all of the time, even when they have good talent around them. The prototype for this rating is Ryan Leaf.
Year RND Pick Name Rating
2008 1 3 Matt Ryan Good
2008 1 18 Joe Flacco Good (giving him the benefit of the doubt)
2007 1 1 JaMarcus Russel Awful
2007 1 22 Brady Quinn Mediocre
2006 1 3 Vince Young Mediocre (very erratic, good 1 game then poor the next)
2006 1 10 Matt Leinart Poor
2006 1 11 Jay Cutler Good (but very erratic, good 1 game then poor the next)
2005 1 1 Alex Smith Poor
2005 1 24 Aaron Rodgers Elite
2005 1 25 Jason Campbell Good
2004 1 1 Eli Manning Good
2004 1 4 Philip Rivers Good
2004 1 11 Ben Roethlisberger Good
2004 1 22 J.P. Losman Poor
2003 1 1 Carson Palmer Good
2003 1 7 Byron Leftwich Mediocre
2003 1 19 Kyle Boller Poor
2003 1 22 Rex Grossman Mediocre
2002 1 1 David Carr Good (holds record for more sacked in a single season - 76 times)
2002 1 3 Joey Harrington Poor
2002 1 32 Patrick Ramsey Poor
2001 1 1 Michael Vick Mediocre
2000 1 18 Chad Pennington Mediocre
1999 1 1 Tim Couch Poor
1999 1 2 Donovan McNabb Good
1999 1 3 Akili Smith Poor
1999 1 11 Daunte Culpepper Mediocre
1999 1 12 Cade McNown Poor
1998 1 1 Peyton Manning Elite
1998 1 2 Ryan Leaf Awful
1997 1 26 Jim Druckenmiller Mediocre
1995 1 3 Steve McNair Good
1995 1 5 Kerry Collins Mediocre
1994 1 3 Heath Shuler Poor
1994 1 6 Trent Dilfer Mediocre
1993 1 1 Drew Bledsoe Elite
1993 1 2 Rick Mirer Poor
1992 1 6 David Klingler Poor
1992 1 25 Tommy Maddox Poor
1991 1 16 Dan McGwire Poor
1991 1 24 Todd Marinovich Poor
1990 1 1 Jeff George Mediocre
1990 1 7 Andre Ware Poor
1989 1 1 Troy Aikman Mediocre
44 QBS selected in the 1st round from 1989 - 2009
Depending on how you define a "franchise QB" (to me it's an elite QB but to many it's a good or elite QB), out of the 44 QBs drafted in the 1st round over the last 20 years, only 3 or 14 (again, depending on how you define the term) franchise QBs. That's a 7% success rate for elite QBs and if you inclide good and elite QBs as "franchise QBs" it's a 32% success rate. There's a 41% chance of getting a poor or awful QB. Yikes.
How do you know when to spend a high draft pick on a QB? There are several major factors the first of which is the quality of your current QB. Another factor is the number of other needs you need to fill in the draft. The other major factor is the quality of the QBs available in the draft.
How does this apply to our Redskins? The answer depends on your perception of what we have and what we can get. My personal opinion is that right now right now we have a good QB. I can see an argument for saying he is mediocre, I don't agree with thaty assessment but I can see the reasoning. Anyone who says he is poor or awful is ignoring the awful play of the OL, the ineptitude of the WR corps, the awful game planning, and the awful coaching. We have many other needs in the draft, most glaringly the need for offensive linemen. Not 1 but many, perhaps even all 5 but more probable 3-4. if 1 or 2 are aquired via FA without burning draft picks then the need is lessened. The draft scouting concensus is that this is a poor year for QBs. The best prospects are big gambles and/or have risks due to injuries.
I don't see a way to justify using the #4 pick on a QB.