It is the Christmas morning of a lifetime. Finally, you just know that a new bike is under the tree. Sure enough, there is a big package sitting there. It just has to be that fantastic new bike that you have been dying for. But wait a minute, until you unwrap it, look it over closely, and actually ride it for a while you just can’t be sure that it is the object of your dreams. The Houston Texans are now just a month from that special day when eager team officials hope to use their draft picks of a lifetime to uncover that player of a lifetime – a franchise quarterback. Could he be under the tree? What are their chances of even coming close?
We went back through a quarter century of drafts and took a look at how the top five selections have fared once the glare wore off and the assumed thoroughbreds were set loose on the track. These 125 players from 1989 through 2013 were graded their success level of their careers. They break down as follow:
Success Level Number Percentage
BUST 17 13.6%
MEDIOCRE AT BEST 15 12.0%
SOLID PRO 45 36.0%
ALL PRO 37 29.6%
HALL OF FAME 2 8.8%
Total 125 100.0%
The results are telling. Less than 10% were hall of famers, but almost 40% were All Pro or better, which means that about 2 of the 5 made it to the Pro Bowl consistently. At the other end just fewer than 14% were outright busts and in all, over one fourth couldn’t ever even catch on with regular jobs. Remember, we are only looking at the very tip of the iceberg: the top 125 picks of the several thousand players chosen over the last 25 years. Any knowledgeable draftnik would agree that if there is any “sure thing’, or maybe “best bet” among draftees, the top five would be where they are. The numbers above indicate that it even at the very top among the crème de la crème, it is less than 50/50 deal at best. The draft is a crap shoot. (Maybe we could drop the “shoot” part.)
To go one step further, there have been 28 quarterbacks chosen among the first five picks of those 25 drafts, which is the most of any single position. There have been two hall of famers (Troy Aikman and, presumptively, Peyton) and eight more All Pros, indicating that teams have about a 35% chance of getting a very good QB among the top 5. Also, somewhat incredibly, there have been 5 outright busts and 3 very mediocre top 5 QB selections. There is, therefore, just under a 30% chance of your dream date ending up in the scrap heap. That leaves 10 “solid pros” in the middle. The numbers indicate that it is a bit harder to come away with a very good quarterback than a player from another position. If you expect, and it would be reasonable to do so, that only an All Pro or better would be an acceptable result from a top five pick, then be prepared to be disappointed about two-thirds of the time. The reality is the Texans probably won’t find their guy with numero uno.
In our next installment we will look at the historical busts and see how they compare to the guys available this year.
For more on how we rate head coaches visit our website- http://perfectprocoach.com .
The Perfect Pro Football Coach by Robert DeLuca is now available at the I Bookstore and most other national EBook booksellers.