Considering the struggles of the top two quarterbacks taken in the 2007 NFL Draft--Brady Quinn and JaMarcus Russell--, and that Kevin Kolb--the third quarterback selected in 2007--looked about as bad as someone can throwing for 391 yards, I started wondering if the quarterback class of '07 is the worst of the past ten years. To find out, I looked over the quarterbacks selected in each draft from 1999 to 2008, and then rated each player and averaged out those ratings to determine the average value of each draft year. To read more about how I came up with the ratings, go to the bottom of the page. To see the crazy spreadsheet I used to determine all of this, go here. The results are as follows, from best to worst. Enjoy.
10. 2000, 58.6 average
Boom: Tom Brady, New England, 6th round, pick 199, 588.9 rating
Obviously. Besides Brady, this class also boasts Chad Pennington (94.5) and Marc Bulger (83.4).
Bust: Giovanni Carmazzi, San Francisco, 3rd round, pick 65, -27.8 rating
The second quarterback taken after Pennington, Carmazzi at least had the decency to never appear in a game. Spergon Wynn (-33.4), on the other hand, actually hurt Cleveland and Minnesota more by playing a few games for them.
9. 2004, 23.8 average
Boom: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh, 1st round, pick 11, 250.0 rating
Roethlisberger edges Eli Manning (166.7) and Philip Rivers (127.8) based mostly on his two Super Bowl rings, although his 2007 season ranks among Rivers's 2008 as the best of the class (thus far. Also, I can't believe that Rivers didn't make the Pro Bowl last season. Neither did Aaron Rodgers. The selection process must be quite the joke.).
Bust: J.P. Losman, Buffalo, 1st round, pick 22, 5.6 rating
There were worse rated QBs from 2004, but the Bills actually traded up to get Losman, taking him ahead of Matt Schaub (who actually had a negative rating of -5.6, which I'm going to attribute to the Falcons trading him). In 2005, Losman completed only 49.2% of his passes. After being released this past offseason, J.P. has found a home with former Giants coach Jim Fassell in the new UFL.
8. 1999, 18.9 average
Boom: Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia, 1st round, pick 2, 311.2 rating
For a draft that saw 13 quarterbacks taken (including 5 in the first round and the first three picks), McNabb is the only player that could really be considered a success. Daunte Culpepper (77.8) appeared to be on his way to a great career, as well, until he ripped his knee to shreds, and, like many Cleveland fans, I still believe Tim Couch (-16.7) could have had a solid career if he hadn't been thrown into such a disastrous situation.
Bust: Akili Smith, Cincinnati, 1st found, pick 3, -11.2 rating
For all the Kelly Holcomb fans out there who were shaking your heads while reading my Tim Couch thoughts above, just think how bad things could have been if Couch hadn't agreed to a contract prior to the draft. Smith is my vote for biggest draft bust of the past 10 years, and definitely one of the biggest ones ever.
7. 2001, 11.7 average
Boom: Drew Brees, San Diego, 2nd round, pick 32, 150.0 rating
In 2001, many people thought one of the most exciting quarterbacks to ever enter the league was going to be drafted number one; little did people know that he would be the first pick of the second round, not the first. While Mike Vick (105.6) did have his share of scintillating plays, its Brees who's re-writing the record books and playing the position of quarterback like only a handful of men ever have.
Bust: Quincy Carter, Dallas, 2nd round, pick 53, -5.6 rating
Carter actually started a wild card game for the Bill Parcells-led Cowboys; two years later he was out of the league. Chris Weinke (-11.2) also gets mention here, if only to remind teams to never rest their QB hopes on a 29-year old Heisman winner.
6. 2003, 8.1 average
Boom: Carson Palmer, Cincinnati, 1st round, pick 1, 55.6 rating
Other than Eli Manning, Palmer is the only #1 overall pick from this time frame to ever do much in the NFL. He appeared to be on his way to a Hall of Fame career until Kimo Van Oelhoffen rolled over his knee in the 2005 playoffs. Now that his arm is acting up, too, Palmer's once superstar career may have to settle into the "solid" category.
Bust: Kyle Boller, Baltimore, 1st round, pick 19, 5.6 rating
What makes Boller such a disappointment is that the Ravens traded up to get him. Others meriting consideration include Rex Grossman (83.4, but that number is skewed because of the Bears' Super Bowl run), and Drew "Can't Play Baseball, Can't Play Football" Henson (-22.3).
5. 2008, 4.8 average
Boom: Matt Ryan, Atlanta, 1st round, pick 3, 22.3 rating
Joe Flacco actually comes out ahead of Ryan in my ratings (38.9), but that is attributed more to the Ravens' playoff success last season than Flacco's actual play. I though Ryan had bust written all over him, but, as he's showing this season, he is probably going to be among the top 5 QBs in the league throughout his career. This class has a chance to move way, way up the rankings with Ryan and Flacco leading the way.
Bust: Brian Brohm, Green Bay, 2nd round, pick 56, -5.6 rating
Although it may be early to label anyone a bust after one year, Brohm certainly has seen the shine come off his star. After his junior season at Louisville, many figured he would be a first round pick, and perhaps even go number one overall. Follow a senior year full of struggles, though, Brohm fell to the second round, where the Packers snatched him up to help replace Brett Favre. Again, many thought that if Aaron Rodgers struggled, Brohm would be able to step in and play ably. Well, Rodgers, of course, played brilliantly, and Brohm apparently did not (in practice, I guess, since he never got into a game). The former Big East BMOC was released just before the season started, and another team has yet to pick him up.
4. 2006, 3.5 average
Boom: Jay Cutler, Denver, 1st round, pick 11, 27.8 rating
Cutler's future ratings will be hurt by the fact that he only played for Denver for 3 seasons, but he clearly is the best of the 2006 quarterbacks. Vince Young (22.3) got off to a hot start (Rookie of the Year and a Pro Bowl selection in his first season) before nearly falling out of the league last year, while Matt Leinart (-5.6) has been hurt, ineffective, stuck behind Kurt Warner, drunk, and a douche.
Bust: Omar Jacobs, Pittsburgh, 5th round, pick 164, -16.7 rating
This is more of a personal selection (I'm sure many of you would rather put Leinart here, which is fair). Jacobs had one of the ten best college seasons ever in 2004, was hurt for much of his junior year in 2005, and then stupidly left school for the draft, forgoing his senior season. That decision (plus getting drafted by the Steelers, who were never going to play him) stalled what could have been a good career before it even started.
3. 2007, -4.1 average
Boom: Trent Edwards, Buffalo, 3rd round, pick 92, 5.6 rating
Well, I guess 2007 isn't the worst QB class ever, but how good can it be if Trent Edwards is its boom pick? Honestly, there were no other contenders (Troy Smith [5.6]? Tyler Thigpen [-5.6]?).
Bust: JaMarcus Russell, Oakland, 1st round, 1st pick, -5.6 rating
Isn't it funny that the first QB taken and the last QB taken (Thigpen) have the same rating? And that Oakland fans would gladly trade Russell for Thigpen straight up?
2. 2005, -12.4 average
Boom: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, 1st round, pick 24, 11.2 rating
It may have taken four years, but Rodgers finally got a chance to prove that he should have been the first overall pick. While Jason Campbell (11.2) and Kyle Orton (0.0) are solid QBs, Matt Cassel (5.6) had a great year playing in the Patriots' system, and Derek Anderson (0.0) has this class's lone Pro Bowl appearance, Rodgers is the only one who looks like he can develop into something special.
Bust: Alex Smith, San Francisco, 1st round, pick 1, -5.6 rating
Smith is terrible, but the fact that Shaun Hill is the 49ers starting quarterback already told you that, didn't it?
1. 2002, -15.9 average
Boom: David Garrard, Jacksonville, round 4, pick 108, 38.9 rating
Garrard was looking like he was going to be among the top of the tier 2 QBs for a while there, but his recent play suggests he may be done as a starting quarterback. He did lead the Jags to the playoffs, and he's still much, MUCH better than the rest of the 2002 fare.
Bust: David Carr, Houston, round 1, pick 1, -44.5 rating
Carr is the lowest rated player in the field, which comes from a combination of his shittiness, his team's shittiness, his offensive line's shittiness (he led the league in sacks 3 of his first 4 seasons), and his insistence on playing every game (he started all by 5 games in his 5 years in Houston). In any other year, Joey Harrington (-11.2) would have been the big bust, but not in David Carr's year.
The ratings are based on team success, such as playoff appearances (1 point); divisional round appearances (2 points); conference championship appearances (3 points); Super Bowl appearances (4); and Super Bowl championships (5); and individual success, including Pro Bowl selections (2); leading the league in a positive category (completions, completion %, TDs, yards, yards per attempt) (1); Rookie of the Year Awards (2), All-Pro selections (3), Offensive Player of the Year Awards (4), MVPs (5), and Super Bowl MVPs (5). Negative points are awarded for leading a team to the worst record in the league (-5), leading the league in interceptions, fumbles, or sacks (-1), throwing more INTs than TDs in a season (-1), and completing less than 55% of attempted passes in a season (-1). Longevity counts, as well, with 1 point being awarded to a player for every year he played (not just took up space on the roster) for the team that drafted him (tallied through the 2008 season, so this year doesn't count). If a player's career fails to cover 5 seasons, then a point is deducted for each season less than five (unless the player was drafted less than a year ago. Then the number of seasons played is subtracted from the number of seasons his draft class has played).