Is there such a thing as a can’t miss prospect? Is there really less risk drafting positions outside of quarterback?
When you are picking fourth overall, you should be getting yourself a great player. This type of opportunity hopefully will not come again for a long time. You can use that as the argument for taking a quarterback, or you can think to yourself that there may be someone there that will be a better NFL player than the quarterback.
For this, let’s look back at some recent drafts.
In 2011, would you take Andy Dalton over a guy like Marcell Dareus or A.J. Green? While Dareus and Green are great at their particular positions, would the Bills be a playoff team with a QB like Dalton? Assume the Bengals had to choose one or the other with Green and Dalton, would they be where they are without Dalton?
In 2012, would you take Ryan Tannehill or Brock Osweiler over Morris Claiborne? At the time you would say no, because you thought Morris Claiborne would be an elite corner. Would you take either of those quarterbacks over Justin Blackmon? How about Luke Kuechly?
In 2014, would you take Derek Carr, Blake Bortles or Teddy Bridgewater over Jadeveon Clowney? How about Odell Beckham Jr. or Sammy Watkins?
My point is that this drafting thing…it is far from a science. You can argue that Jalen Ramsey, Joey Bosa, Laquon Treadwell, and Myles Jack are better prospects than any of the quarterbacks, but does this mean that these players are risk-free?
Even if one of these quarterbacks turns out to be Andy Dalton level, and the above mentioned players do not bust, are they more important than an Andy Dalton level QB going forward?
In 2011, I think I would take Andy Dalton over the players I mentioned. You are as good as your quarterback allows you to be and the Bengals wouldn’t be where they are without the success of Dalton. I would absolutely take Dalton over Dareus, and would argue that the Bills would be in the playoffs if they had Andy Dalton.
2012 is much more interesting, because we saw a similar situation to this year. Claiborne was looked at as a clean defensive back prospect. Justin Blackmon was supposed to be “Dez Bryant with all of his brain cells.” What if Ramsey turns out to be Claiborne and Treadwell turns out to be Blackmon? I bet you would have no problem at all taking Ryan Tannehill or Brock Osweiler over Claiborne and Blackmon.
Jadeveon Clowney was looked at as one of the biggest prospects in a long time. Odell Beckham Jr. and Sammy Watkins are two of the game’s biggest receiving stars. Derek Carr and Teddy Bridgewater have already had tremendous success at the premier position in the NFL and Blake Bortles is showing a ton of promise. I don’t think anyone would argue taking any of those quarterbacks over Clowney, but instead of Beckham Jr. and Watkins is interesting. Watkins can’t win due to the poor quarterback play in Buffalo. Beckham Jr. is an amazing player, but he has a franchise QB throwing to him. I bet things would be much different if Beckham and Watkins changed teams.
The point I am trying to make is that there is equal risk involved with all players. We have seen plenty of players not live up to what they were thought to be. We have seen plenty of great players come into the league that are not quarterbacks. You can make an argument of taking a Dalton level QB over an elite wide receiver.
You can have success without a quarterback, but I don’t think you will win a Super Bowl in today’s NFL without one.
I am a HUGE Jalen Ramsey fan and I think Laquon Treadwell will be a premier wide receiver in no time.
I also thought Morris Claiborne would find himself in elite territory. I have no problem admitting that. Most people would have agreed with me in 2012 as well.
If the same risk is applied across the board, give me the quarterback if the Cowboys have someone they love. This is the key position and you most likely will not get the luxury to pick who you want, do to draft position, again.