Hey, this whole “the NFL ain’t buying what spread quarterbacks are selling” thing is gettin’ real.
Even though the NFL is more pass oriented than ever before, the seven signal callers selected in this year’s draft is the fewest since 1955, when only six QBs were taken.
For perspective: More wideouts were selected among the first 40 picks (eight), than quarterbacks taken in the entire seven-round, 256-pick draft.
Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark in somebody’s checkbook. And it’s getting worse.
While the small number of quarterbacks selected this year is the fewest of the common draft era (since 1967), just four signal callers that came from spread offenses have been drafted each of the last two years.
The drastic difference in the draft numbers at the position over the last two years likely has a lot more to the systems the top quarterbacks came from.
Ten of the 14 quarterbacks that were drafted a year ago ran pro-style offenses in college, as compared to the three drafted QBs who were a product of a more NFL-friendly offense this year.
Now, two years is an admittedly small sample size. But you know how these pesky memes work. I figure just a couple of ESPN spots devoted to the subject, and the panic will set in.
Of course, David Wunderlich is right – the NFL could roll up its sleeves and put in the effort developing quarterbacks. But patience isn’t so much a virtue when you’ve invested a draft pick (only seven rounds now, remember) and money in a guy for whom you have no clue from his background as to whether he can make the leap. The clock is always ticking in the NFL.
So we’re back at the fundamental problem. The NFL isn’t going to spend a bunch of money on a developmental league when it’s had a perfectly fine one that hasn’t cost it one red cent all these years. Nor is it going to change the role of the quarterback in some fundamental way. And college coaches aren’t in the business of delivering talent with a red bow around it for the League so much as they’re in the business of winning, which for many means relying on spread offensive attacks. Sounds like they’re at loggerheads to me.
Is this an insurmountable problem? Nah, I don’t think so. At least not in a world where money talks. For much less than the cost of a developmental league, the NFL could simply spend some seed money at certain schools to encourage them to support pro-style offenses. There are already places where coaches’ salaries are endowed; how about the Roger Goodell Endowment for Quarterback Studies, thoughtfully provided as long as the program has its quarterbacks taking snaps under center?
Talk about your win-win. Let a thousand pocket passers bloom!