Beware of 2nd-round quarterbacks

Beware of 2nd-round quarterbacks
December 9, 2011, 11:54 am
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It is a little too early to be talking about draft strategy but I get a question like this one that I got from @frankcal20 a lot and even at this early date I can give it an intelligible answer.@Rich_Tandler - Some folks think that getting WR Blackmon in the 1st and a QB in the 2nd makes the most sense. How about that combo?While it might be nice to snag a top-five impact player first and then get the best available quarterback when your turn comes up in the second, it is too big a risk for the Redskins to take. They have to take a quarterback with their first pick.Mike Shanahan has to get this right. He cant go into the third year of his five-year contract without his quarterback of the future. And the chances of finding that quarterback in the second round are very slim.Sure, there is Drew Brees, who was the 32nd pick in 2001 (that was a second-round pick in the 31-team NFL then, it would be a first-round pick today). Andy Dalton, The 35th pick in last Aprils draft, has played well for the Bengals so far.But they are about it as far as hits on second-round quarterbacks. I wrote an article before the draft in 2010 looking the merits of draft an offensive lineman in the second round versus those of taking a quarterback in the second. You can go look at the details in the article but the bottom line was that second-round quarterbacks were almost universally busts. Since 2004, they have been guys like John Beck, Kellen Clemens, Tavaris Jackson, Drew Stanton and Brian Brohm.Shanahans job is on the line with this pick. The Redskins have to get a quarterback that can play in 2012 and can be a cornerstone for years to come.While the first round is no sure thing when it comes to getting such a player, even the top 10 where the Redskins are likely to be drafting, there is a much better chance of landing a franchise quarterback there than later in the draft.The reason is that teams overdraft quarterbacks. They take them earlier than they should be drafted because good ones are in such short supply. By the time you get to the quarterbacks available in the second round you are down to fourth- or fifth-round talent.Are there other needs that the team could fill with a first-round pick? Certainly. But on this team, quarterback trumps all other needs.Unless the Redskins do something to acquire their QB of the future prior to the draft they are very likely to be drafting him in the first round.