Jaguars Draft 2014 : To QB or NOT QB : 2008

Matt Ryan

(2) shakes hands with The Devil (11) at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Jaguars Draft 2014 : To QB or NOT QB : 2008. 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. Blake Bortles. Johnny Manziel. One of them will be there. Even the casual Jags fan knows that QB is a position of need. There also could be one of the better pass rushers to come into the league for many years in Jadeveon Clowney also waiting to be picked.

The Jags have needed a DE for about the history of this franchise. Who should the Jags pick? Clowney, whom many feel will make an immediate impact? Or the QB that will hopefully wash the bile from our throats that was Blaine Gabbert. All come with some kind of visible flaw that could prevent them from ever being a true “franchise” player? Is it possible that the prudent move Dave Caldwell could make is trade out of this advantageous spot?

It has become very clear that a general manager that makes the mistake of drafting a QB that fails to hit will pretty much seal their fate along with their 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. We have already gone over:

The year is 2008. Overall there were twelve QBs drafted that year. Here’s the breakdown & stats.

Combined Career – 190 games played, 45,017 passing yds, 274 TDs, & 155 INTs. They have a combined QB rating average of 87.2. They have also combined for two Pro Bowls and Rookie of the Year honors for both. Flacco has won a Super Bowl.

How good are these QBs? Both came straight in and started immediately. Both are the all-time passing statistical leaders for their respective teams. Finally…Both have pretty awesome nicknames…”Matty Ice” & “Joe Cool”. not bad.

Combined Career – 95 games played, 13,756 passing yds, 60 TDs, & 77 INTs. They have a combined QB rating average of 58.2. This group has accomplished absolutely nothing. This list included 2 QBs with no NFL stats. Only one (Henne) remain in the league.

My goodness…this was a big heap of nothing. Brohm had 2 starts in two years and is now in the CFL. O’Connell has been out of the NFL since 2010. Johnson was given every chance to be a starter and just couldn’t make it work. Booty never got on the field. Ainge was derailed by substance abuse, both performance enhancement and recreational. No offense…but if the Jags had a better crop of QBs, Henne would only be a highly regarded backup.

  • Round Six & Seven – Colt Brennan (6th), Andre’ Woodson (6th), Matt Flynn (7th), & Alex Brink (7th).

Combined Career – 44 games played, 2,475 passing yds, 17 TDs, & 10 INTs. They have a combined QB rating average of 88.3. This group has accomplished NOTHING! Flynn won a Super Bowl with the Packers (as a backup). The other three have no NFL stats.

Woodson was a silly pick by the Giants. He was a product of a video-game like offense that would never translate to the NFL. I have no clue who Brink was and have no ambition to find out. Brennan was an awesome QB from Hawaii who was a Heisman finalist who killed lesser talented teams in the regular season, only to get his ass handed to him when they played a real team in the Sugar Bowl (GO DAWGS!!!). Yet he was drafted by the Redskins and was turning heads in the preseason of his second year, only to have a season ending injury derail his career. In 2010, Brennan was in an auto accident which has left him with a brain injury that has ended his professional football career. As for Flynn, he is the player I have spoken of often. A backup who is given a chance to play, puts up ridiculous stats, and then every GM in the league has him circled as the next big thing. Flynn has been given EVERY chance to be an NFL starter and has failed miserably, even in Oakland! People were CLAMORING about bringing him to the Jaguars the last couple of years…Thank GOD we didn’t.

Summary of the 2007 QB draft class:

First round selections – This draft makes a great case for selecting QB early. Matt Ryan was a slam dunk, and everyone knew it. The Joe Flacco pick by the Ravens was inspired. He came from a small college and you just don’t know how they will react to such better competition. Flacco has exceeded expectations and has a MVP in the Super Bowl for his hard work.

Rounds two thru seven – This was a car wreck to couldn’t keep your eyes ON. Poor choices. Poor performances. I guess Chad Henne could come into 2014 empowered by the starting position, and put up numbers we haven’t seen before. I mostly doubt it though. Just stay healthy and help groom the QB that will be our true leader one day. Actually, I would say the MVP of this group is easily Matt Flynn. If he hadn’t been such an underwhelming QB for Seattle, they probably would have had a harder time convincing the fans that he was worthy of clipboard carrying while Russell Wilson started. And we all know how that played out…

The verdict from this fifth experiment would indicate the Jags should definitely consider the option of selecting QB at #3. But they better damn sure make the right pick or they will be questioned about the choice for years. I also love the option of trading down some so the pressure of the first round “bust” label won’t be weighing on our QB’s head. As we get closer to the draft though, I’m seeing more and more declining draft positions for all of the QBs in the 2014 draft class. So maybe we won’t have to make a difficult choice! We’ll see in May.

See ya in 2009!

Still wanting Clowney at #3…Michael McDonald.

If you own a Matt Flynn jersey, wipe with it, take a pic, and send it to Twitter @gumbussy!