≡ Menu

Stafford wins the prize for best quarterback drafted by the Lions since 2000

Stafford wins the prize for best quarterback drafted by the Lions since 2000

There are some teams — the Lions, Jaguars, and Raiders come to mind — that have spent most of the last 15 years looking for their next quarterback of the future. And others that seem to ignore the position in the draft, either because they found a Tom Brady or Tony Romo in a haystack (to go along with some Drew Bledsoe) or organizational indifference to drafting quarterbacks (Chiefs, Saints).

Today, I want to quantify those numbers. At the top of every page at Football Perspective is a link to the Draft Pick Value Calculator, based on the values derived here and shown here. If we assign each draft pick its proper value, and then sum the values used to select quarterbacks by each team over the last 15 years, we can see which teams have devoted the most draft capital on quarterbacks.

Here’s how to read the chart below. Detroit leads the way in draft capital spent. The Lions have only selected five quarterbacks, but spent 78.4 points of Draft Value on passers. That averages out to 15.68 points of draft value spent on each quarterback, the second highest (to Jacksonville) among the 32 teams. The far right column displays each quarterback selected in the draft since 2000.

RkTmQBsDV SpentAvg DVAvg RkQBs
1DET578.415.682Matthew Stafford; Drew Stanton; Dan Orlovsky; Joey Harrington; Mike McMahon
2JAX474.518.631Blake Bortles; Blaine Gabbert; Byron Leftwich; David Garrard
3OAK674.112.354Derek Carr; Tyler Wilson; Terrelle Pryor; JaMarcus Russell; Andrew Walter; Marques Tuiasosopo
4ATL670.711.785Sean Renfree; Matt Ryan; D.J. Shockley; Matt Schaub; Kurt Kittner; Michael Vick
5WAS969.47.7115Robert Griffin; Kirk Cousins; Colt Brennan; Jordan Palmer; Jason Campbell; Gibran Hamdan; Patrick Ramsey; Sage Rosenfels; Todd Husak
6NYJ865.88.2313Tajh Boyd; Geno Smith; Greg McElroy; Mark Sanchez; Erik Ainge; Kellen Clemens; Brooks Bollinger; Chad Pennington
7CLE765.19.39Johnny Manziel; Brandon Weeden; Colt McCoy; Brady Quinn; Charlie Frye; Luke McCown; Spergon Wynn
8SFO959.36.5919B.J. Daniels; Colin Kaepernick; Nate Davis; Alex Smith; Cody Pickett; Ken Dorsey; Brandon Doman; Giovanni Carmazzi; Tim Rattay
9CAR657.59.587Cam Newton; Jimmy Clausen; Tony Pike; Stefan Lefors; Randy Fasani; Chris Weinke
10SDG7578.1414Brad Sorensen; Jonathan Crompton; Charlie Whitehurst; Eli Manning; Seth Burford; Drew Brees; JaJuan Seider
11MIA553.510.76Ryan Tannehill; Pat White; Chad Henne; John Beck; Josh Heupel
12CIN652.88.811A.J. McCarron; Andy Dalton; Jeff Rowe; Reggie McNeal; Casey Bramlet; Carson Palmer
13TEN452.313.083Zach Mettenberger; Jake Locker; Rusty Smith; Vince Young
14HOU7486.8618Tom Savage; T.J. Yates; Alex Brink; B.J. Symons; Dave Ragone; Drew Henson; David Carr
15BAL945.25.0226Keith Wenning; Tyrod Taylor; Joe Flacco; Troy Smith; Derek Anderson; Josh Harris; Kyle Boller; Wes Pate; Chris Redman
16DEN844.45.5522Zac Dysert; Brock Osweiler; Tim Tebow; Tom Brandstater; Jay Cutler; Bradlee Van Pelt; Matt Mauck; Jarious Jackson
17MIN5438.612Teddy Bridgewater; Christian Ponder; John David Booty; Tyler Thigpen; Tarvaris Jackson
18BUF438.29.558EJ Manuel; Levi Brown; Trent Edwards; J.P. Losman
19NYG5387.616Ryan Nassib; Rhett Bomar; Andre Woodson; Philip Rivers; Jesse Palmer
20STL637.56.2520Garrett Gilbert; Sam Bradford; Keith Null; Ryan Fitzpatrick; Jeff Smoker; Steve Bellisari
21IND436.59.1310Andrew Luck; Chandler Harnish; Curtis Painter; Jim Sorgi
22ARI635.35.8821Logan Thomas; Ryan Lindley; John Skelton; Matt Leinart; John Navarre; Josh McCown
23TAM632.85.4723Mike Glennon; Josh Freeman; Josh Johnson; Bruce Gradkowski; Chris Simms; Joe Hamilton
24PIT632.65.4324Landry Jones; Dennis Dixon; Omar Jacobs; Ben Roethlisberger; Brian St. Pierre; Tee Martin
25PHI631.25.225Matt Barkley; Nick Foles; Mike Kafka; Kevin Kolb; Andy Hall; A.J. Feeley
26GNB628.94.8227B.J. Coleman; Brian Brohm; Matt Flynn; Ingle Martin; Aaron Rodgers; Craig Nall
27CHI627.84.6328David Fales; Nathan Enderle; Dan LeFevour; Kyle Orton; Craig Krenzel; Rex Grossman
28NWE827.23.430Jimmy Garoppolo; Ryan Mallett; Zac Robinson; Kevin O'Connell; Matt Cassel; Kliff Kingsbury; Rohan Davey; Tom Brady
29SEA621.53.5829Russell Wilson; Mike Teel; David Greene; Seneca Wallace; Jeff Kelly; Josh Booty
30DAL214.57.2517Stephen McGee; Quincy Carter
31KAN411.92.9831Aaron Murray; Ricky Stanzi; Brodie Croyle; James Kilian
32NOR45.91.4832Sean Canfield; Adrian McPherson; J.T. O'Sullivan; Marc Bulger

Some thoughts:

  • Detroit spent top-three picks on Stafford and Harrington, along with a mid-second round pick on Stanton. The Lions have experienced many years of horrible quarterback play, which makes Stafford’s pretty good/sometimes great/sometimes terrible quarterbacking look downright fantastic.
  • As Mike Tanier noted, the Jaguars go big or go home at quarterback: since 2003, the Jaguars have used just three draft picks on quarterbacks, but each one was a top ten selection.
  • On the other end of the spectrum you have the Saints and the Chiefs. Since 2000, Drew Brees (acquired via free agency) or Aaron Brooks (traded for an ’01 third round pick, which turned out to be Heath Evans) has led the team in passing yards every season. The last time New Orleans used a top-150 pick on a quarterback was Danny Wuerffel (#99) in ’97; the only other top-150 pick used since 1981 on a quarterback was the 116th pick on Doug Nussmeier in 1994. In ’81, New Orleans used a first round pick in the supplemental draft on Dave Wilson, which brings us to the following startling conclusion. In the 48-year history of the organization, New Orleans has used just one top-98 pick in the regular draft on a quarterback: the 2nd overall pick on Archie Manning in 1971.
  • Since 1988, the Saints have just two wins by quarterbacks drafted by the team; on the other hand, the Chiefs are still stuck on zero! Kansas City has spent almost no draft capital in recent years on a quarterback, other than a third round pick on Croyle in ’06. The former Alabama quarterback started 10 games for the Chiefs, but lost them all. Kansas City seems to enjoy cycling through other team’s quarterbacks (Trent Green, Matt Cassel, Alex Smith), so who knows when that streak will end.
  • bobrulz

    That stat for the Chiefs is almost as impressive as their receivers not catching any TDs in 2014.

    Will Aaron Murray break that trend??

    • mrh

      Former Chiefs GM Carl Peterson was famous for preferring vet QBs. He had a long run of good teams for the most part so it wasn’t a glaring problem until they lost a playoff game or the OL fell apart at the end of his tenure. I’m not so sure Scott Pioli and current GM John Dorsey have the same philosophical bent, they just opted to get a qb in a trade (Cassell and Smith respectively) in their first season and have been locked into those qbs for a while. With Dorsey, it was bad timing that the Chiefs sat at the top of the draft in a bad year for QBs (EJ Manuel and Geno Smith were the first qbs drafted, either one of them or Matt Glennon have had the bets career so far so NOT taking them was a good decision). I’m pretty sure if the Chiefs had the top pick in 2012, they would have taken a QB and one a game with him. Pioli could have tried to trade up in his 1st season to get Ryan or moved down and taken Flacco instead of trading for Cassell.

    • I liked Murray in college, but there hasn’t been much buzz about him. And Daniel seems to be the #2 guy there, for now. I have a feeling this will be a huge training camp for Murray.

  • Richie

    This is impressive: In the 48-year history of the organization, New Orleans has used just
    one top-98 pick in the regular draft on a quarterback: the 2nd overall
    pick on Archie Manning in 1971.

  • Richie

    This is a fun chart. But, as usual, it makes me think of another question: how much potential draft capital did these teams pass up? It would be a pretty complicated query, but it would be interesting to look at teams that “need” a QB. (Either had no QB accumulate at least 10 AV the previous season or their starting QB is 34+ years old.) And then look if any QB’s were drafted within 10 picks of the non-QB they took.

    For instance, in 2011 the Chiefs had a rough QB situation (they had Orton for part of the season. I can’t remember if they let him go, or he chose to leave after the season.). So in the 2012 draft, the Chiefs needed a QB. They had the 11th pick in the draft. By that point, Luck, Griffin and Tannehill were gone. The next QB taken was Brandon Weeden, 11 picks later. Since he was taken so much later, Weeden probably wasn’t a legitimate value at the 11th pick, so they took Dontari Poe instead. So it looks like the Chiefs didn’t invest any capital into a badly needed QB in 2012, but they didn’t really have the opportunity either.

    • Yeah, that would be interesting to look at, but really subjective and time consuming. So probably not going to happen anytime soon 🙂

  • Michael Schuttke

    Chase: When you say “draft capital”, are you referring to just the selection used or are you factoring in all draft resources used to acquire said draft slot (i.e. other selections used in a trade such as the two additional first round picks and the second round selection the Redskins traded to move up for Robert Griffin III)?

  • Tim Truemper

    Love the concept of draft capital. Amazing how some teams keep spinning their wheels.