FanPost

If only we stopped drafting QBs in the 2nd round and drafted one in the 1st round.... That would solve all our problems...

     Now I have been one of the first one's to say that Henne was not doing the job last year.  But how many years have we wasted 2nd round picks on QBs only to expect instant gratification?  QB is obviously the most visible position on the whole field and if your QB makes a mistake everyone sees it immediately and says the QB has to go.  How many people recognize when a Center is totally messing up his job on every single play?  I admit I wouldn't notice.  Because it is a "QB driven league."  Pay no attention to the other 10 guys on the field, the offensive coordinator, or the head coach, it is all the QB. 

     Meanwhile there are teams that draft their QB in the 6th round and don't really ask him to do much and take the time to develop him into a Super Bowl winning QB.  They draft heavily along the offensive and defensive line in the early rounds of the draft and somehow still seem to have playmakers that can get them to the playoffs, year after year.  They seem to be able to take any washed up RB and turn him into a star, or any WR and make the most out of them.  Then they trade them away for more than they are worth when they are all used up and restock their draft picks. 

     Look at the teams that do well year after year.  They will have a core of offensive and defensive lineman chosen in the first 2 rounds of the draft.  I have posted before about the number of Pro Bowlers that were either first or second round picks and the number of interior lineman chosen in the first round that go on to be Pro Bowlers.  No one looks at that, or cares when they draft an O-lineman because, well they already have a good team.  But is that the reason they stay good?  Take a look at the Patriots for example.  "You can find offensive lineman at any round in the draft, but you have to have playmakers to be good."  How do they draft? 

1999 Draft

1

17

     Damien Woody

1

28

     Andy Katzenmoyer

LB

2

46

     Kevin Faulk

RB

2000 Draft

2

46

     Adrian Klemm

OT

2001 Draft

1

6

     Richard Seymour

DT

2

48

     Matt Light

OT

2002 Draft

1

21

     Daniel Graham

TE

2

65

     Deion Branch

WR

2003 Draft

1

13

     Ty Warren

DE

2

36

     Eugene Wilson

CB

2

45

     Bethel Johnson

WR

2004 Draft

1

21

     Vince Wilfork

DT

1

32

     Benjamin Watson

TE

2

63

     Marquise Hill

DE

2005 Draft

1

32

     Logan Mankins

G

2006 Draft

1

21

     Laurence Maroney

RB

2007 Draft

1

24

Brandon Meriweather

S

2008 Draft

1

10

     Jerod Mayo

LB

2

62

     Terrence Wheatley

CB

2009 Draft

2

34

     Patrick Chung

S

2

40

     Ron Brace

DT

2

41

     Darius Butler

CB

2

58

     Sebastian Vollmer

OT

2010 Draft

1

27

     Devin McCourty

CB

2

42

     Rob Gronkowski

TE

2

53

Jermaine Cunningham

DE

2011 Draft

1

17

     Nate Solder

OT

2

33

     Ras-I Dowling

CB

2

56

     Shane Vereen

RB

 

      Now there are a few things you can take from this illustration.  First, Bellichick doesn't seem to be able to solve his secondary problems no matter how hard he tries.  Second, he also will almost without fail draft AT LEAST ONE offensive lineman, defensive lineman, LB or RB in the first or second round in every draft, regardless of how many he may already have on his team.  D-lineman and LBs are essential to controlling the line of scrimmage on defense.  Offensive lineman are vital to controlling the line of scrimmage on offense.  TEs are both a part of the offensive line and a receiving threat.  I don't believe there were many drafted by the Patriots in the early rounds that would be considered a flashy pick though(Hernandez was drafted after the 2nd round).   The main focus of the TEs chosen by Belichick in the early rounds were old school blocking TEs who had the ability to catch the ball when called on.

     RBs are not offensive lineman, but they do wear out quickly and you need to keep redrafting them because you are going to use them until the wheels fall off.  You then trade them or let some other team overpay for them when their contract is up.  They are part of the running game and neccessary to keep teams honest.  The more respect teams have to pay your running game, the less people they can put back in coverage.  While it is a passing league now the best passing teams have at least the threat of a running game.

     I realize he did not draft the 1999 draft class, but I left that there to illustrate that they had already invested a 1st round pick on a Center the year before he showed up.  He still drafted an offensive lineman in his first 2 drafts.  You may say that they have Brady and they don't have to spend picks on a QB.  But they didn't just start this philosophy after they drafted Brady.  They drafted Brady in the 2000 draft after drafting an offensive lineman in the second round.  How many teams have benefited from taking a QB over and over again? That is not really something I care to look into but I can almost guarantee that the numbers aren't good.  So how do you create that explosive offense that we all want?  We all seem to be experts don't we?  How many more times are we going to give away or waste our 2nd round picks on QBs only to give up on them as soon as they don't produce the first or 2nd year?

MYTH

1.  We have to choose a QB in the 1st round.  FALSE.  While I aggree that we need to have an elite QB to be an elite team, there are a few examples of QBs that did not get drafted in the 1st round.  Tom Brady was chosed in the 6th round(but the key was who chose him).  Drew Brees was chosen in the 2nd round and the team that did gave up on him and picked another QB in the 1st round after a disapointing 2nd year starting.  2nd round QBs take time to develop, SO DEAL WITH IT.  We had bigger needs when they took over, but they still gave us someone that could eventually develop if we all don't freak out.  He may also be a complete bust, but we didn't really have the right situation last year and to give up on him and pick another QB might be wasteful.

2.  You can draft a O-lineman in any round.  Maybe, but why would Bellichick continue to WASTE HIS DRAFT PICKS if he is "the greatest draft guru the NFL has ever seen"?

3.  You need to draft speedy flashy players in the first round to have a high powered offense.  FALSE, The Patriots have not chosen a flashy player in the early rounds in 10+ years, unless you want to call Deion Branch flashy.  Also, if this was true the Oakland Raiders would have had the best offense in the league for the past 10 years.

4.  Chad Henne is definately not the answer at QB.  False.  Although, signs aren't looking good at this point, we have already made a huge investment in the kid and we need to know if he can be the solution.  If we drafted "Philip Rivers"(1st round QB) this year would we be any better off letting Henne go if he then turned into "Drew Brees"(2nd round QB)?  A 2nd round QB is not as NFL ready as a 1st round QB, but it doesn't mean that he has no hope of developing.  You can argue that he made some bad throws, poor decisions, etc. 

    I would argue that he was coached to run a 1960s offense in 2008 that everyone had already figured out 20 years before.  Do you think he learned how to run an NFL offense in college somehow?  Should he have suddenly learned all the nuances of the NFL game when his Offensive Coordinator didn't know them and was confused by the new-fangled defenses.  Are you surprised then that he tried to force things that weren't there and looked unprepared to be an NFL QB? 

     If it is true that the other team's CBs were telling Brandon Marshall what route he was going to run when he lined up, then it stands to reason they were ready for every little trick that the Dolphins had up their sleeve.  There is a reason that they still huddle up after all(that part hasn't passed away in the new passing era).  But if the other team knows what you are doing anyway it is pretty easy to make you look stupid, and desperate.  What kind of separation is Brandon Marshall going to get when he tries a double move, but they know where he is eventually going anyway?  If every throw the QB makes has to be perfect, it is easy to be off once and a while.  When a QB loses confidence it can also affect his accuracy, especially if they are getting in his head.  If he needs to be perfect all the time in order to score-- How many young QBs can do that... really?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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