Jaguars Draft 2014 : To QB or NOT QB : 2004


Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

There is no doubt that when the Jacksonville Jaguars draft 3rd in the 2014 NFL draft that there will be a QB available to them. Teddy Bridgewater. Brian Bortles. Johnny Manziel. One of them will be there for us to write on the sheet to submit. Even the casual Jags fan knows that QB is a position that needs to be addressed sooner before later. The issue is that there could also be the one of the better pass rushers to come into the league for many years in Jadeveon Clowney also standing there, waiting to be picked.

The Jags have needed a force at DE for about the history of this franchise. Who should the Jags pick? The DE, whom many consider to be a no-brainer for coming in immediately and making an impact? Or the QB that will hopefully wash the bile from our mouths that was Blaine Gabbert, but all with some kind of visible flaw that could prevent them from ever being a true “franchise” player? Is it possible to not envy Dave Caldwell though he is in what anyone would call an enviable position.

It has become very clear in the current NFL that a general manager that makes the mistake of drafting a QB high in the draft that fails to achieve will pretty much seal their fate and their future job security. For that reason, I am going to tackle this situation with a little science. Some statistical data to honor the tradition of “Those who ignore history are bound (or doomed) to repeat it”. I am going to go over the QB draft picks for the last ten years to get an idea if the mindset that I have had (that a serviceable QB could be drafted after the first round) holds any water. I have made it clear in my “Gumbussy Mock Drafts” that I want Clowney if he is available. Would that be a mistake. Let’s see what recent history indicates.

The year is 2004. Overall there were seventeen QBs drafted that year, the most in this experimental ten year period I’m using. Here’s the breakdown & stats.

  • Round One – Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, & J.P.Losman.

Combined Career – 473 games played, 108,090 passing yds, 702 TDs,  & 431 INTs. They have a combined QB rating average of 86.4. They have also combined for four Super Bowl championships, one Super Bowl MVP, one AFC rookie of the year award & 10 Pro Bowls.

  • Round two thru five – Matt Schaub (3rd), Luke McCown (4th), & Craig Krenzel (5th).

Combined career – 172 games played, 27,007 pass yds, 142 TDs, & 104 INTs. They have a combined QB rating average of 70.2. They have also combined for two Pro Bowls (both by Schaub).

Pretty serious drop in production here. This draft, to say the least, shows that the first round is where you choose your QB.

  • Round six & seven – Andy Hall, Josh Harris, Jim Sorgi, & Jeff Smoker (6th). John Navarre, Cody Pickett, Casey Bramlet, Matt Mauck, B.J. Symons, & Bradlee Van Pelt (7th).

Combined Career – 29 games played, 1609 pass yds, 8 TDs, 11 INTs & FIVE players who never pulled an NFL snap. The players who played have a combined QB rating average of 48.7. Jim Sorgi won a Super Bowl championship as a backup.

Looks like a lot of teams went fishing in 2004 and came up empty. Andy Hall…Josh Harris…Casey Bramlet…BJ Symons…Who the hell were these people? Do you know what this means? The Jags better make their QB selection prior to the sixth round if they even want a ghost of a chance for success.

Summary of the 2004 QB draft class:

First round selections – Three out of four drafted have had outstanding careers . Two have won multiple Championships. Aside from Losman, all have had very successful careers and still are starting today.

Rounds two thru seven – Aside from Matt Schaub, taken in the third round, the rest of the QB’s selected in this draft were either “never would be’s” or “never were’s”. I don’t know if the league was just QB hungry in 2004 or teams just made bad picks. One thing is for sure though, there were many NFL scouts filing for unemployment in 2005.

The verdict from this first experiment would indicate the Jags should take the QB at number three if they are hoping to find their savior. See ya soon with an analysis of the QB class from 2005.

Just trying to help…Michael McDonald.

If you own a Jeff Smoker jersey, take a pic and send it to Twitter @gumbussy.