For all of you that want to draft Bradford at 4 or Tebow at all I will pose one question to you. How many top level or even starting NFL QBs came from national championship contending teams? Not very many. Think about it. Farve, Warner, Roethlisberger, Romo, Flacco, Gerrard, Josh Johnson and Delhomme all came from small schools who couldn't have won anything even with an undefeated record. Brees, both Mannings, Rivers, Brady, Rodgers, Cutler, Orton, Schuab, McNabb, Alex Smih, Matt Ryan, Hasselbeck, and even Stafford came from teams in power conferences that didn't have enough talent to put around the best college qbs at the time to compete with the top teams in their own league.Cassel was on USC but never saw the field.
So what quarterbacks did play for elite college teams? By my calculations this list includes our own Mr. Campbell, Jamarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, Vince Young, Mark Sanchez and Carson Palmer. Campbell, Russell and Quinn have all been disapointments since being taken in the first round. Vince Young looked to be going in the same direction until turning it around a bit with his role in the Titans second half run. Sanchez played great in the playoffs but was one of the worst QBs in the league statistically as a rookie during the regular season as the Jets rode a dominant defense and run game, plus a weak end of season schedule (including the Colts backups in a game they needed) to the playoffs. Palmer may be the one exception to my rule as he was an elite QB before his injury though he has never looked the same since. Vick could be put in this category as well, but thats a whole other discussion.
My point is that I believe that the college years are vital to the development of young QBs. The top tier schools still get the best QB prospects, but if your team is more talented than the competition's at every single position, a young quarterback will never learn how to put the team on his back and carry them when the need arises. QBs have to know how to respond to a loss. There are no easy wins in the NFL. There are no UL-Lafayettes or Florida Centrals on the schedule. Young QBs have to learn to learn from their mistakes when things go wrong and then shake them off. When you blow out your opponents every week but then lose it at the end of the only game that really matters at the end of the season you can't learn this in the same way. The QBs from smaller or less competitive schools had to battle every Saturday of the season, which I argue, prepared them better for Sundays.
I'll end my rant with this. In the NFL things don't always go your team's way. The starting quarterback is looked to as the leader, the best player on the team or at least the highest paid player, the guy who makes plays and puts the team on his back when need be. If have five other future first round picks on your team, how can you ever learn this? How can you ever believe that you are truly the leader of such a team, especailly with the huge personalities of the big time college coaches to consider as well. I think we can see a common thread here with Campbell, Russell, Vince Young, Sanchez and Brady Quinn. Off the chart physical attributes, no doubt the best talent in the country coming out, seems to have it all, fine if they have a great team around them, but will any one of them ever be considered a truly elite QB?
This is why I'd prefer Lefevour or maybe Jevean Snead around the 3rd (assuming we get a pick through trading) or 4th over reaching for Bradford or Tebow. But what do I know, I live in China right now, which puts my Intelligence in Relationship to Proximity of Landover Quotient (the undoubtable logic of the IRPLQ) far in the negative. Its been 6 long months typing this one word a day but I can proudly hit publish now. What do you guys think about drafting QBs on dominant college teams? I think its looks like a big no-no when looking around the NFL today.