Would the Lions trade?

Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by Vigsted, Jan 29, 2006.

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  1. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

    I think the same can be said of any high pick regardless of position. The Browns are an excellent example. If Brown and "The Chosen One" would have panned out, they'd be challenging for the division.

    All three had little talent around them early in their careers. All three were chosen by teams not known for having stellar front offices (Texans were in their first draft). All three were tossed out there with no time to develop and all the pressure of the world on them.

    Let's look at some early picks at QB and see how different approaches/situations impacted them:

    Eli Manning - he had a passer rating of 55.4 his rookie year starting seven games for one of the better franchises in the league. The Giants were not gangbusters in '04 but he had one of the better RBs in the game to take some pressure off. Add a healthy Shockey and bring in Burress in '05 and you have over 3,700 yards passing this season.

    Carson Palmer - sat his first year and played 13 games in his second with a 77.3 passer rating. Ideally, this is how it should be done, IMO. I think the year he had certainly had a significant impact on his development. He took a passer rating of 77 in year two and turned it into one of 101 this year on his way to passing for over 3,800 yards. It doesn't hurt to have a couple of quality WRs and a RB on your side as well.

    Joey Harrington - started 12 games his rookie season with little talent around him. Had 16 picks and a 59.9 passer rating. The next season he had 22 picks and a 63.9 passer rating. Most would say the Lions front office isn't close to the best in the league and have a string of under-performing early draft picks to prove it.

    David Carr - thrown to the wolves and had a rookie season with 15 picks and 62.8 passer rating. He followed it with 13 ints and a 69.5 passer rating in 11 starts the following season. His sack numbers are well-known as are the questions surrounding the Texans ability to draft well.

    Michael Vick - played in eight games his rookies season (started two). Had a 62.7 passer rating but did have a 9.3 ypc average running. Started 15 games the next year with an 81.6 passer rating and close to 3,000 yards passing with another 777 on the ground. He not developed as a passer in the last two seasons despite having decent skill around him though some question the talent of his WRs.

    Bottom line:

    1. Bad teams may reach for QBs in the draft to begin with.
    2. QBs who start as rookies usually perform poorly unless they have a strong supporting cast (Rothlisberger).
    3. QBs who sit most (or all) of their rookie season appear to have much better careers.
    4. QBs drafted by the stronger franchises do better.
    5. QBs with talent around them perform better.

    I assume the above would hold true for most any postion you want to look at. If Harrington or Carr would have been drafted by the Steelers or Broncos and allowed to sit a year (or even forced to start with the better talent these teams have had) they'd be much better QBs today, IMO.

    The key here is whether or not Reese feels Young/Leinart is a true talent. I think the worst thing which could happen is that he takes one or the other and throws him out there early with the supporting cast he'd have right now. I think Leinart might be able to step in at some point late in the season but I'd prefer both to hold a clip board for '06. It would allow either to develop while the team hopefully improves as well.
  2. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

    True. But I think we are talking about taking a QB very early.
  3. Soxcat

    Soxcat Starter

    Jeff, your analysis is accurate but it doesn't fully explain why so many of these early picks fail completely, totally and drop out of football even when they have opportunities on other teams. We are not just talking about a QB getting thrown into the fire and having one bad year or even two. We are talking about guys who never amount to squat. Do you think Harrington could perform better if he came to the Titans? One could argue if we are a "strong" franchise at this point. IMO either a guy has it or he doesn't and even if it takes a couple of years for the light to come on for a guy who has it the light will come on at some point. Harrington and Carr have not reached that complete bust point yet but if in a couple of more years, even after moving to another team they still stink then they stink.
  4. Vigsted

    Vigsted Starter

    Brian Griese has regressed ever since leaving Denver.
    Matt Hasselbeck was a backup to Favre in GB when Holmgren took him to Seatle.
    Brett Favre had 2 games at Atlanta before going to GB and becoming and instant star.
    Doug Flutie might have been good in the CFL, but he's very mediocre in the NFL, a career backup.
    Trent Green is probably a fit, except he didn't play a whole lot for the teams prior to KC (was he injuried?), so you can't really say he sucked.
    Kelly Holcomb has only played 34 games in 9 years and not been particularly good at it.
    Jon Kitna played at the same level in Cincy as he did the years before in Seatle.

    Aside from that the players listed are 2xUFA, 11th, 8th, 6th, 3rd and 2nd round picks. So not exactly expected to be stars in any case.
  5. I don't think that list proves your point.

    Griese had off the field issues in Denver, and did have 1 good year there before they let him go because of his contract. He wasn't a failure on the field, he just wasn't worth his big contract. And he's still just a solid starter.

    Flutie never got much chance in Chicago, and they already had a QB.

    Favre didn't have any problem in Atlanta, they just traded him before he had a chance.

    Holcomb is still just a backup. Kitna is, too. Neither of them bombed out on their old teams.

    Hasselbeck was anything but a failure in GB. They developed him as a backup (who was never going to replace Favre) and traded him.

    I'm not sure why Green never played early in career. He was a late round draft pick (they don't even have an 8th round anymore), so he was probably just overlooked by the Chargers.

    *(sorry to repeat you, Soxcat, I posted before I saw yours).
  6. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

    I don't know if there is an 100% method which could do this. There are no guarantees. Every team has had first round busts. I'm just trying to look for a pattern for the sake of discussion and to kill some time until April 29. ;)

    At the time he was drafted, I do. He'd sat the bench for a year. He's had a better team around him. Probably better coaching too. Of course it's all speculation but most people perform better in a more ideal environment. I do believe many of these "busts" are a product of their environments.

    You assume failure early in one's career doesn't have any lasting impact. In any sport where confidence is important, I think you have to enjoy some success in order to take a game to the next level. Also, you have to consider that if neither Harrington or Carr ever succeed ANYWHERE they play, that they may have been overvalued to begin with.

    Maybe we can look at this the other way and see how many QBs in the league stepped into a starting role as a rookie and went on to successful careers. Just off the top of my head you have Peyton Manning who had a tough rookie season but managed to play well his second year. Elway started 11 games and stuggled as a rookie and managed to have a stellar career. But both had decent teams around them unlike anything Carr or Harrington had and took those team into the playoffs their second year.

    Do we think Peyton Manning would have had such early success if he'd been drafted by the Bengals or Lions? How would that have impacted his career overall?

    Side note: I think the best thing which could happen to Cutler is go to Miami or somewhere he can develop with some talent around him. He might make less on draft day but I think he'd enjoy a much better career in that situation.
  7. Maybe, but I think teams give QBs more time to develop than any other position. That just locks them into sucking for an extra year or 2 if he never does develop.

    I think most top picks at QB have little talent surrounding them as a general rule.

    As for being thrown into games early on in there career, I don't know how much of an impact that really has. Certainly, I think a rookie QB is usually better off spending a year on the bench being developed. But then, Troy Aikman started as a rookie and, after taking a ton of lumps, he's about to enter the HOF. Peyton Manning started his entire rookie season. McNabb started 6 games and played in 6 others as a rookie. Jake Plummer started 9 games as a rookie. Kerry Collins started 13.

    I think, end the end, it's more about how good the player is. Sure, there may be exceptions to that rule, but I think that's probably the truth.

    I absolutely agree about taking the guy they feel is the best QB (short of taking Bush or something) and sitting him for a year. Let him learn for a year behind McNair.
  8. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

    Which impacts their success rates.

    And all played for a strong franchise and saw some early success except Plummer who saw limited success until he was traded. I'm not saying it's suicide to throw a rookie in early but I think it can do as much damage as good if the teams doesn't have the talent.

    Probably. But do you think Harrington or Carr would be a different play now if handled differently or were taken by a better franchise? Would Manning have done anything close to what he's done if he'd been taken by the Cards?

    It's all hypothetical gobbly-gook but I see a receipe for disaster when a team takes a potential franchise QB and throws him in just to gain "experience" on a team without talent around him. Some may respond well in time but most are ruined before they ever see success.

    I believe the Niners asked Fisher what he'd do with Alex Smith and he told them he'd let him sit the bench and develop. I think Smith will be a better player in the long run because of it.
  9. Carr has a terrible OLine, so he would clearly be better off elsewhere. But I don't have any reason to believe that he'd be a great QB on another team.

    As for Harrington, I just don't think he's very good.
  10. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

    It's a Catch-22. Was Harrington never any good and therefore a reach or was he a product of a bad system few would have succeeded in?
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