Dishing On Quarterbacks … Weekend Cup O’Chiefs

He’s quick to deflect any type of credit for the New England Patriots selecting Tom Brady with pick No. 199 in the 2000 NFL Draft

But there’s no doubt that Brady’s ascension from the sixth-round draft choice to three-time Super Bowl winning QB has made a lot of people involved a bunch of money, including Chiefs GM Scott Pioli, then the player personnel maven for the Patriots. Pioli joins Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, Josh McDaniels, Thomas Dimitroff and several others who should give thanks every single day that the skinny kid from the Michigan and the Bay Area developed into one of the most successful quarterbacks in league history. Brady’s success led to the Patriots success and that led to the chance for big paydays with other organizations.

In the aftermath of Brady’s success, every team in the league is searching for a quarterback diamond in the roughage at the bottom of the NFL Draft. Since Brady was taken at selection No. 199 in the ’00 Draft, there have been 38 QBs taken at the 199th selection or later.

Two of the 38 have amounted to anything memorable – Chiefs starting QB Matt Cassel (7th-230, drafted by the Patriots) and Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (7th-250, drafted by the Rams.) It confirms the fact that Brady was a once in a generation lucky break from the NFL Draft

The big odds against success won’t stop teams from drafting QBs and hoping for the best. Over the 10 to 20 years, teams have taken to drafting quarterbacks every chance they get, even when the position is not one of immediate need. The pioneer of that approach was Ron Wolf, now retired but a former personnel director and/or GM for Oakland, Tampa Bay and Green Bay.

Wolf believed that an NFL team should add a quarterback to its roster every year, and more pointedly a young quarterback. The premise was that a team develops a young quarterback and that man will either become the starter, or he will provide value in the trade market, bringing back the draft pick investment in him with more draft picks.

“If you get a quarterback every year at the right spot that has the right tools and the right makeup, you need to go out and get that guy,” Pioli said last week during the 2011 NFL Draft. “In my previous stops we’ve had some success with mid and late-round quarterbacks to develop and we’ve also had a number of failures, or situations where it didn’t work out.

“I like the Idea of drafting a quarterback every year … talking with Ron over the years it’s something he firmly believes in and a number of us in this league learned from him.”

And that’s one of the reasons Pioli grabbed Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi in the fifth round last week at No. 135. Since and including that 2000 Draft, over the last 12 years teams have drafted 84 quarterbacks in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. Success with those 84 QBs has been marginal at best, topped of course by Brady.

Whether Stanzi ever plays a down for the Chiefs, there’s the chance he could develop enough to bring back that fifth-round pick in a trade down the line.

Wolf was in charge of the Packers drafts from 1992 through 2000. In those nine seasons and despite the fact the Packers had Brett Favre as their starting quarterback, they drafted these seven quarterbacks. Here they are and their stats playing in Green Bay:

Year Rd/# Player

G

S

A/C

Yds

TD

INT

Outcome
1992 9/230 Ty Detmer

7

0

21/11

107

1

1

Signed UFA Phil. ’96.
1993 5/118 Mark Brunell

2

0

27/12

95

0

0

Traded for 3rd & 5th in ’95.
1995 5/160 Jay Barker

0

0

0

0

0

0

Never played in NFL.
1996 7/240 Kyle Wachhotz

0

0

0

0

0

0

Never played in NFL.
1997 7/240 Ronnie McAda

0

0

0

0

0

0

Never played in NFL.
1998 6/187 Matt Hasselbeck

9

0

29/13

31

1

0

Traded for swap 1sts & 3rd in ’01.
1999 4/131 Aaron Brooks

0

0

0

0

0

0

Traded for LB and 3rd in ’01.
    7 QBS

18

0

77/36

233

2

1

 

Three trades of QBs that cost them 4th (131), 5th (118) and 6th (187). In return they gained 3rd (66), 3rd (72), 3rd (82) and 5th (170), along with a swap of position in 1st (17 to 10) and LB K.D. Williams (from New Orleans in the Brooks trade.)

Wolf and the Packers got return on their investment from drafting Brunell, Hasselbeck and Brooks. All were traded away and went on to become starting quarterbacks for the Jaguars, Seahawks and Saints. Brunell started 151 games, Hasselbeck 131 starts (so far) and Brooks opened 90 games.

Using the draft pick value chart that’s used around the NFL, the Packers picks that were worth 2,066 points to draft those players. In return with the trades, they picked up choices worth 3,194 points. That’s a pretty good return on investment.

There’s one key element in Wolf’s plan that is hard for teams to duplicate – he didn’t need to find a starting quarterback. With Favre in place, he was able to draft developmental QBs, deal them when there was demand and draft another one. Once he got into the starting lineup, Favre never missed a start with the Packers.

At this point in time, Pioli does not have that Favre-like situation with Cassel. He’s only 45 starts into his career and while he’s shown gradual improvement, he’s a long way from the Favre category. So rather than a potential investment, Stanzi’s selection may have more to do with the young QB pushing Cassel for playing time.

During his time in charge of the Packers, Wolf directed Green Bay to a pair of Super Bowl appearances and one championship. The quarterback strategy worked out quite well for the green and gold, especially thanks to Favre.

Can Scott Pioli pull off the same results with the Chiefs, lose the ride on Brady’s coat tails, and establish his own QB legacy? The trade for Matt Cassel was the first step. Now, drafting Ricky Stanzi is the second step.

Quarterbacks Selected Late in the NFL Draft/Rounds 5-6-7 (2000-11)

  • 2000 – (5) Tee Martin; (6) Marc Bulger, Spergon Wynn, Tom Brady, Todd Husak, JaJuan Seider; (7) Tim Rattay, Jarious Jackson.
  • 2001 – (5) Mike McMahon, A.J. Feeley; (6) Josh Booty, Josh Heupel.
  • 2002 – (5) Randy Fasani, Kurt Kittner, Brandon Doman, Craig Nall; (6) J.T. O’Sullivan, Steve Bellisari; (7) Seth Burford, Jeff Kelly, Ronald Curry, Wes Pate.
  • 2003 – (5) Brian St. Pierre; (6) Brooks Bollinger, Kliff Kingsbury; (7) Gibran Hamdan, Ken Dorsey.
  • 2004 – (5) Craig Krenzel; (6) Andy Hall, Josh Harris, Jim Sorgi, Jeff Smoker; (7) John Navarre, Cody Pickett, Casey Bramlett, Matt Mauck, B.J. Symons, Bradlee Van Pelt.
  • 2005 – (5) Don Orlovsky, Adrian McPherson; (6) Derek Anderson; (7) James Kilian, Matt Cassel, Ryan Fitzpatrick.
  • 2006 – (5) Ingle Martin, Omar Jacobs; (6) Reggie McNeal, Bruce Gradkowski; (7) D.J. Shockley.
  • 2007 – (5) Jeff Rowe, Troy Smith; (6) Jordan Palmer; (7) Tyler Thigpen.
  • 2008 – (5) John David Booty, Dennis Dixon, Josh Johnson, Erik Ainge; (6) Colt Brennan, Andre Woodson; (7) Matt Flynn, Alex Brink.
  • 2009 – (5) Rhett Bomar, Nate Davis; (6) Tom Brandstater, Mike Teel, Keith Null, Curtis Painter; (7) Julian Edelman.
  • 2010 – (5) John Skelton, Jonathan Crompton; (6) Rusty Smith, Dan LeFevour, Joe Webb, Tony Pike; (7) Levi Brown, Sean Canfield, Zac Robinson.
  • 2011 – (5) Ricky Stanzi, Taylor Yates, Nathan Enderle; (6) Tyrod Taylor; (7) Greg McElroy.

3 Responses to “Dishing On Quarterbacks … Weekend Cup O’Chiefs”

  • May 6, 2011  - WatchfulObserver says:

    Just another one of your crap stories. Whitlock has always been right about you fatty


  • May 8, 2011  - Harold C. says:

    I thought it was a good and entertaining piece. Thanks Bob…..and try not to let worthless bully comments like those from “WatchfulObserver” (Jason?) get you down.




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