Evaluating production of rookie QBs in past five draft classes

Quarterbacks Jameis Winston of Florida State and Marcus Mariota of Oregon are going to be first-round selections in the 2015 draft, and Winston could go first overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If Winston does indeed go No. 1, he would become the 11th quarterback to be the top pick this century (but also the first in three years).

For the most part, those quarterbacks have fared well, though if you want to make an Oakland Raiders fan shudder, whisper "JaMarcus Russell" in his ear. And even though most have fared well, only one of the 10 (Eli Manning) has won a Super Bowl, and guys like Alex Smith, Carson Palmer, Sam Bradford and David Carr never lived up to the overall No. 1 billing.

It's also smart to temper your enthusiasm for rookie quarterbacks. Yes, Andrew Luck (chosen No. 1 overall in 2012) was an immediate star, and non-first-rounders Andy Dalton and Russell Wilson have become playoff regulars. But a look at the quarterbacks drafted in just the past five years reveals that rookie success for a quarterback is something special, not something that should be expected.

Players are ordered based on the number of starts made during their rookie season, not on order in which they were drafted. Players listed in the "other QBs drafted" category did not make any starts during their rookies season.

2014 (14 QBs drafted, three first-rounders)

Derek Carr

Blake Bortles

Teddy Bridgewater

Zach Mettenberger

Johnny Manziel

Connor Shaw

Other QBs drafted:Jimmy Garoppolo (62nd overall pick out of Eastern Illinois), by New England Patriots; Logan Thomas (120th overall pick out of Virginia Tech), by Arizona Cardinals; Tom Savage (135th overall pick out of Pittsburgh), by Houston Texans; Aaron Murray (163rd overall pick out of Georgia), by Kansas City Chiefs; A.J. McCarron (164th overall pick out of Alabama), by Cincinnati Bengals; David Fales (183rd overall pick out of San Jose State), by Chicago Bears; Keith Wenning (194th overall pick out of Ball State), by Baltimore Ravens; Tajh Boyd (213th overall pick out of Clemson), by New York Jets; Garrett Gilbert (214th overall pick out of SMU), by St. Louis Rams.

Summary: Carr, Bortles and Bridgewater have given their teams something to build on. The jury is out on Manziel and Mettenberger. Garoppolo is worth keeping an eye on as he continues in his apprentice role behind Tom Brady.

2013 (11 QBs drafted, one first-rounder)

Geno Smith

Mike Glennon

E.J. Manuel

Matt McGloin

Jeff Tuel

Other QBs drafted:Matt Barkley (98th overall pick out of USC), by Philadelphia Eagles; Ryan Nassib (110th overall pick out of Syracuse), by New York Giants; Tyler Wilson (112th overall pick out of Arkansas), by Oakland Raiders; Landry Jones (115th overall pick out of Oklahoma), by Pittsburgh Steelers; Brad Sorensen (221st overall pick out of Southern Utah), by San Diego Chargers; Zac Dysert (234th overall pick out of Miami of Ohio), by Denver Broncos; B.J. Daniels (237th overall pick out of USF), by San Francisco 49ers; Sean Renfree (249th overall pick out of Duke), by Atlanta Falcons.

Summary: An underwhelming class. Does anyone think Manuel has a long-term NFL future? Or Smith, for that matter?

2012 (11 QBs drafted, four first-rounders)

Andrew Luck

Russell Wilson

Ryan Tannehill

Robert Griffin III

Brandon Weeden

Nick Foles

Ryan Lindley

Kirk Cousins

Other QBs drafted:Brock Osweiler (57th overall pick out of Arizona State), by Denver Broncos; B.J. Coleman (243rd overall pick out of UT Chattanooga), by Green Bay Packers; Chandler Harnish (253rd overall pick out of Northern Illinois), by Indianapolis Colts.

Summary: Luck and Wilson in one draft class? Not bad at all. Griffin and Tannehill -- and, to an extent, Foles -- might turn out all right, too; each already has had his moments. Weeden is a first-round bust, though.

2011 (12 QBs drafted, four first-rounders)

Cam Newton

Andy Dalton

Blaine Gabbert

Christian Ponder

T.J. Yates

Other QBs drafted:Jake Locker (8th overall pick out of Washington), by Tennessee Titans; Colin Kaepernick (36th overall pick out of Nevada), by San Francisco 49ers; Ryan Mallett (74th overall pick out of Arkansas), by New England Patriots; Ricky Stanzi (135th overall pick out of Iowa), by Kansas City Chiefs; Nathan Enderle (160th overall pick out of Idaho), by Chicago Bears; Tyrod Taylor (180th overall pick out of Virginia Tech), by Baltimore Ravens; Greg McElroy (208th overall pick out of Alabama), by New York Jets.

Summary: Newton is a keeper, and while Dalton is limited, he also has guided his team to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons. There's also Kaepernick, who did not make a start as a rookie but has assumed the reins of the 49ers' offense and been brilliant at times. But Locker, who didn't start as a rookie; Gabbert; and Ponder are going to go down as massive busts.

2010 (14 QBs drafted, two first-rounders)

Sam Bradford

Jimmy Clausen

Colt McCoy

John Skelton

Tim Tebow

Rusty Smith

Other QBs drafted:Mike Kafka (122nd pick out of Northwestern), by Philadelphia Eagles; Jonathan Crompton (168th pick out of Tennessee), by San Diego Chargers; Dan LeFevour (181st pick out of Central Michigan), by Chicago Bears; Joe Webb (199th pick out of UAB), by Minnesota Vikings; Tony Pike (204th pick out of Cincinnati), by Carolina Panthers; Levi Brown (209th pick out of Troy), by Buffalo Bills; Sean Canfield (239th pick out of Oregon State), by New Orleans Saints; Zac Robinson (250th pick out of Oklahoma State), by New England Patriots.

Summary: Bradford is going into his sixth season, but it's still hard to get a read on the guy because of his injuries. Then again, that he is heading into his sixth season and there is no read on him might say it all. Tebow had that miracle run in the second half of the 2011 season, but he still was ill-suited to play quarterback in the NFL.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content