Jaguars Draft 2014 : To QB or NOT QB : 2011


Jaguars Draft 2014 : To QB or NOT QB : 2011 first round selection

Cam Newton

. Mandatory. Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Jaguars Draft 2014 : To QB or NOT QB : 2011. 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 2011. Overall there were thirteen QBs drafted that year. Here’s the breakdown & stats.

Combined Career – 135 games played, 26,066 passing yds, 146 TDs, & 115 INTs. They have a combined QB rating average of 77.8. They have also combined for two Pro Bowls & one Rookie of the Year (both by Newton).

Add to the tally an addition 38 rushing TDs by this group and they look pretty productive. But they also added an additional 27 fumbles. This was a dynamic but careless group of QBs. Newton is considered one of the better young QBs in the league and it is well deserved, especially coming off his first playoff appearance. Ponder managed to get to the playoffs but it wasn’t because of him, it was because of Adrian Peterson. They actually made it in spite of his play and he ended up not playing per injury. Speaking of injury, that has been Locker’s issue. He just can’t stay healthy. As for Gabbert…we I shouldn’t have to tell you who the poorest playing member of this group has been.

Combined Career – 97 games played, 17,523 passing yds, 114 TDs, & 67 INTs. They have a combined QB rating average of 64.0. They have also combined for one Pro Bowl, four playoff wins, and a Super Bowl Start. Two have booked no NFL statistics.

This was not a horrible group. All but Enderle are currently still in the league. Dalton and Kaepernick are negotiating big contracts to stay with their teams and Mallett is one of the most sought after backups in the league. Dalton, Kaepernick, and even Yates have started a playoff game. Take Mallett’s 5.2 QB rating out of the equation, the remaining QB’s combine for a 83.6 rating. Not too bad.

Combined Career – 18 games played, 1,130 passing yds, 2 TDs, & 8 INTs. They have a combined QB rating average of 64.4. They have also combined for two Super Bowls (as  reserves).

They haven’t been spectacular, but Taylor & Tolzien are still in the league. McElroy has had the most action but in his one career start, he was sacked ELEVEN times against the Chargers, sustained a concussion, and just last month retired to work for the SEC network.

Summary of the 2011 QB draft class:

First round selections – Newton has been a star. Locker and Ponder have been disappointments. Gabbert was & is a BUST. Considering all were selected within the first twelve picks, this can’t go down as a well drafted class.

Rounds two thru seven & UFAs – Much better than you would have expected. The cream is definitely at the top with 2nd rounders Dalton and Kaepernick, but some serviceable backups were selected (Mallett, Yates, Taylor, McElroy, & Tolzien) in the rounds where they belonged.

The verdict from this eighth experiment would indicate the Jags should not be scared to let the first round go without selecting a QB, especially with this years deep crop of project players. That’s why we resigned Henne, so we could take a guy that may need to sit a year. We will see how the current GMs do in May.

See ya in 2012!

Still hoping Clowney is available at #3…Michael McDonald.

If you still have a Gabbert jersey, look in the yellow pages under “Goodwill.” Please send comments to twitter @gumbussy.